Before it blooms, a small bud contains all of the potential of the flower it will become. The structure and energy of the bloom already exists before the bloom comes into its full expression. This inherent energy in the bloom is a powerful metaphor for the emergence of purpose and insight that happens as a part of client engagement with Broadsight.
I used to think our work was about addressing problems: helping clients understand and find solutions for problems they encountered as part of achieving their stated aims. As I absorbed the potency of appreciative inquiry and strength- and asset-based solutions, I pivoted from focusing on problems, obstacles, barriers, and deficits, to a solution-oriented mindset. Often, this means lifting up potential energy that already exist like a bud in an organization, community or in the life of an individual, and supporting it to flourish – in tangible ways.
There is so much rich, inherent potential in and with the people and client organizations that invite us to be a part of their work. By cultivating strong relationships with our clients and their teams, we can also get to the root sources of their inherent capacity, nudging that along so more of it can be realized in full bloom. That’s the feeling I try to bring to our collaborations with clients. I’m looking and sensing and feeling for that innate potential and where it’s going to take us. Our desire to uplift Wellbeing sits here, around facilitating conditions and experiences that inspire full expression of the potential in each human being, and by extension, in each community, organization, and grouping of humans who share common cause.
– Jessica M. Payne, PhD, Founder and Lead Consultant at Broadsight
Frameworks of Practice: Capturing how systems change efforts work so others can replicate with clarity
The Treehouse Foundation had pioneered a model for intergenerational community living that is changing business as usual for children, young adults and families who have experienced adoption and foster care. The organization shared evidence of the powerful outcomes of their work, especially among young people. When others sought to replicate their approach, the organization invited Broadsight to create a toolkit-type of guide that would offer information on how to replicate.
Broadsight facilitates deep dive team reflection as the basis for developing replication frameworks, strategic models, and practice guides for fellow practitioners to use as stepping stones for replication in new settings. Treehouse used this service to generate a narrative account of the legacy, mindset, practices, and institutional infrastructure that constitute their model. This product is foundational for creation of visual models and rich content for trainings, brand development, and leveraging of financial and other support.
Treehouse exemplifies the pivot towards human- and humanity-centered practices that are crucial for promoting wellbeing among people of all ages. We are extremely proud to collaborate with Treehouse and to lift up some of their recent news for your notice.
ReEnvisioning Foster Care in America (REFCA) – Treehouse continues to invest in foster care innovation. This includes honoring lived experience leadership through recognizing REFCA Champions, who are young leaders from across the country who are creating change. The next REFCA Conference convened by Treehouse will feature the collective voices of 60 REFCA Champions. The entire 2 day convening – from start to finish – will center on their wisdom, ideas and leadership. Early bird registration starts in May.
Innovate! Podcast. Treehouse is about to launch a Third Season of the Innovate! Podcast, hosted by Angela Tucker, featuring dialogue and discussion with REFCA Champions, young leaders with lived experience from around the country. Listen in on Apple or Spotify – you will be inspired!
RunWay 5K. Treehouse is launching a new all-age-friendly fundraising event, RunWay 5K, on April 23 at the Northampton Airport. Foster Care Alumni and Foster Families are welcome to participate at no cost. Kids under 5 run for free.
Creating “from the rhythmic color-rappin-life-style of Black folk” – Celebrating the legacy of Nelson Stevens
On March 4, 2023, the Springfield Museums opened its new exhibition Color Rapping, showcasing paintings created over several decades by Nelson Stevens (1938-2022), the renowned Springfield artist and UMass Amherst educator.
The breathtakingly beautiful paintings articulate and celebrate Black life, music, color, and culture. Color Rapping will be showing through September 3, 2023. The public is invited to a reception on Sunday, March 26, 2023, from 3-6pm.
For those wishing to see more of Mr. Stevens’ work, reproductions of his murals can be seen, thanks to our client, Common Wealth Murals (CWM). Among his many achievements, Mr. Stevens is known locally for designing and painting (often with his students) over 30 original murals throughout Springfield. Over time, the murals were painted over or taken down. Marking this legacy, in 2022, artists participating in CWM’s Community Mural Institute reproduced two of Stevens’ murals. The Wall of Black Women and the Wall of Black Music murals are located at 38 Catharine Street and 1 Montrose Street in Springfield, both within a block of their original locations in Springfield’s Mason Square neighborhood. Two short videos speak to Nelson’s work and his Springfield murals.
Resonance and Resilience: An event featuring Dr. Yusef Salaam
On February 16, 2023, Cinamon Blair, our Impact and Operations Executive, attended “Now We See You: The Wrongful Conviction and Incarceration of Dr. Yusef Salaam,” a panel on wrongful conviction as a part of Social Justice Week on UMass Lowell’s campus. The panel was moderated by Criminal Justice and Criminology Professor Erica Gagne, and featured Dr. Yusef Salaam, advocate and author of the memoir Better, Not Bitter, Rhada Natarajan, Executive Director of the New England Innocence Project and UMass Lowell Psychology Professor Miko Wilford, who specializes in issues of human memory and decision making, specifically in the context of the law.
Cinamon shared her thoughts on this experience:
Attending this event was very personal to me, as Dr. Yusef Salaam attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School with my younger sister. In 1989, at just fifteen years young, Yusef Salaam was tried and convicted in the “Central Park Jogger” case along with four other Black and Latinx young men. The Exonerated Five spent between 7 to 13 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, until their sentences were finally overturned in 2002. I remember the heinous statements that were made about these four, then children, and the unforgivable and wildly inappropriate $85,000.00 newspaper ad Donald Trump placed calling for the death sentence of four non-white, underaged males: with no real evidence incriminating them.
One of the many thoughts I’ve had and one of the questions that was asked of Dr. Salaam was, “What do you think you would be doing now if this never happened to you?” The “what ifs” are constantly on the minds of those who have been oppressed, disenfranchised, redlined, blacklisted, abused, and wrongly convicted, just to mention a few life altering factions of a larger Public Health issue, Racism.
Dr. Salaam’s memoir title, “Better, not Bitter” says it all. Yusef explained that what happened to him had to happen to him, for him to be who he is today. In this way, he acknowledged that his inherent humanity emerged over the course of his life and experience, culminating in the present moment in which he finds himself and the urgency of sharing his journey with as many people as possible.
This stunning way of understanding his life and purpose speaks to the notion of Wellbeing as the fulfillment of an innate potential, a force of personhood that not only persisted, but flourished, even through a course of excruciating and inhumane experiences.
The Exonerated Five have received a multi-million-dollar settlement from the City of New York for its injustice and have been profiled in award-winning films, including “The Central Park Five” documentary from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon and most recently the Emmy award-winning Netflix limited series, “When They See Us,” written and directed by Ava DuVernay.
Last year I worked with a brilliant team to develop a new name and visual language for a business I’d been running for 30 years. I kept returning to images of the trees, plants, and natural environments where I grew up and where I currently live, work, and play. Though Broadsight was the name we eventually chose, I considered calling us Bloom, for reasons that I explain at the opening of this newsletter. I remain grateful to the team that carried me from the bud of ideas that got me started, to the bloom that is our website and that’s expressed in cumulative ways in this newsletter. Please check out the stellar work of New Realm Consulting, Seth Gregory Design, Empowered Social Media, and JKirley Collective.
A shout out as well to Caroline Gurek, whose new title, Impact Data Analyst and Operations Assistant more accurately reflects the varied roles she’s been playing. In a time of rapid growth and change, she’s been a solid rock in every aspect of our team’s operations. Thank you Caroline!
Blessings and wellbeing to all from the Broadsight team
– Jessica, Cinamon, Ariana and Caroline