Results NW Regional Conference

March 12, 2010
by Marie Johantgen, RESULTS Olympia, WA

In case you missed it, here’s a brief summary of RESULTS’ amazing Northwest Regional Conference in Victoria B.C. I highly recommend you make plans to attend next year!

Victoria is always pretty, but an unseasonably gorgeous weekend in an exceptionally lovely town was heavenly. RESULTS activists from Alaska, Calgary, Victoria, Washington state, and even North Carolina came together to share stories, skills, and successes. Many were “old timers” who have attended for years and were happy to catch up with friends from past conferences. Several, like me, were “newbies”, but more seasoned RESULTS activists welcomed us like long-lost relatives.

We arrived with eager anticipation and left with rejuvenated hearts and empowered minds. We are bringing home new skills and information to use in our individual and collective efforts to make our world a better place for all.

Some of the highlights included a heartwarming talk by Raffi Cavoukian, the children’s singer and songwriter. He’s also a very thoughtful activist, working with peace and the environment, who inspired us to create a world that honors children. We can do this by living our lives in a way that is consistent with our values.

Calgary RESULTS activist Bob Dickson led a thoughtful talk about rebranding RESULTS, showing us how powerful language can be. He invited us to consider what we are “for” instead of what we are “against”. We also learned new social media skills from an enthusiastic social media specialist, Natasha Beckow, who demonstrated how to develop networks of activists worldwide by using sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

RESULTS Canada activist Bayo Ogunbote, spoke to us about the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, sharing his work with HIV and TB in Nigeria. We also learned about the Etta Project in Bolivia from Dr. Rich Renner. An experienced panel of RESULTS activists also taught us how to effectively lobby our respective governments. On Sunday morning, we were joined by community musician Shivon Robinsong, who led us in community-building song. Throughout the conference we enjoyed luscious eats prepared on the spot, topped only by more elaborate and exotic fare on the streets of Victoria in the evening.

The conference was over too soon! If your region does not have such a conference, I encourage you to call a few friends and plan one. It will surely inspire and rejuvenate you and — to paraphrase Margaret Mead — demonstrate what the power of a community of thoughtful people can do to change the world.

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