On our nation’s very first federally recognized Juneteenth holiday, NARSOL successfully managed to get several producers, 11 presenters, and 139 viewers together in one virtual space for our “Building Your Advocacy Tool Kit” live webcast.
In the first of four sessions, David Garlock moderated a lively panel of three reentry advocates who discussed the many challenges and useful strategies employed by formerly incarcerated people facing reentry after incarceration. They also discussed entrepreneurship, business hiring strategies, legal aspects of reentry, and how to acquire advocacy skills through a variety of endeavors.
In the second session of the day, we were introduced to Daniel Swern and Dave Seamon, both of coLAB Arts, a company that advances advocacy through theatrical arts and community projects. Their presentation included a very moving video segment called “Banished,” in which a young man tells the story of how a past sexual transgression that occurred when he was just ten years old eventually came back to haunt both him and his entire family more than a decade later.
The coLAB Arts Impactful Storytelling session continued into the third segment of the webcast, which consisted of a workshop involving the viewers and assisting them in reimagining and crafting more powerful and memorable stories. The workshop presenters, Dusty and Stephanie, were a dynamic team whose message really resonated with the audience. Viewers came away with solid, useful tools to add to their advocacy tool kits!
The fourth and final session, “Legislative Advocacy,” was moderated by Cindy Prizio and featured Senator Gary Winfield of CT and former Colorado legislator Daniel Kagan. Each offered valuable insights into how an advocate can develop a relationship of trust and familiarity with their elected officials while at the same time establishing their own credibility in their area of advocacy. Each also stressed how important it was to know what the legislators’ agendas and needs are, in additional to our own.
The webcast was, by all accounts, an entertaining and highly productive way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Here are just some of the positive comments we received about the presentations:
- “Extremely helpful information today. Thank you so much!” ~ Susan T.
- “Just what I wanted and needed.” ~ Phillip S.
- “Had my doubts, but I learned a ton. A+ Awesome job!” ~ Jeff M.
- “Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop!” ~ Ricky and Emily
- “Thank you, NARSOL for putting on this important 7-hour training on an important day like Juneteeth! What great training for important issues! ~ Michael S.
- “Impressive panel! Thanks to all for putting this together. I have been inspired and feel less alone in the fight! Happy Juneteenth!” ~ Gustavo
- “Thanks for the training and all you are doing to solve this problem!” ~ Steven I.
- “Great discussions and workshop! Thank you!” ~ Cathryn T.
- “Feel so empowered!!” ~ Paige
- “Gives us hope!” ~ Olivia R.
All of today’s sessions were recorded and will be available to registered attendees on Crowdcast for 30 days. Just log in to Crowdcast using the links sent to you prior to and during the live event, then select which sessions you’d like to view. In August, each of the sessions will be moved to the NARSOL You Tube channel and the NARSOL Resources (https://Resources.NARSOL.org) website, where they will be available free to the public.
Michael McKay is NARSOL’s Director of Marketing and a frequent contributor of articles to the NARSOL website. He is the published author of several non-fiction books, an editor & board member at LifeTimes Magazine, blogger at The Registry Report, and host of Registry Report Radio on BlogTalkRadio.