A Meeting of the Hearts and Minds

On Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 SIREN brought together its base of intergenerational and multiracial grassroots leaders, staff and board from Northern California and Central Valley for a Strategic Planning Retreat. During these two days we discussed current political affairs, immigrant and refugee struggles and opportunities, strategic visioning for the organization and everyone had an opportunity to discuss their own personal stories of the impacts of immigration.

Day one kicked off with a discussion the 32 year history of SIREN and an overview of our 10 Year Strategic Framework first developed at the end of 2016. The familiarity and tenure with SIREN’s work varied among folks, from 20 years to two months, so this was a great place to start. After celebrating the wide range of wins, small groups discussed how the strategic framework might be changed within the new context of today and what work SIREN should prioritize in the next three years.

Day two began with reflection and strategic thinking. After a small group discussion on what it means to be a SIRENISTA, a wonderful array of art was created. There was a poem, a song, and drawings all reflecting the power that SIRENISTAS possess and exert. This creative exercise led to deep discussions on bold goals, key strategies, and helpful outcomes for the next three years on each arm of the strategic framework.

The two days of deep thinking and heartfelt sharing concluded with a dinner of home cooked tamales and posole and a vibrant Afro-Latino drum circle. It was a very special time. We greatly appreciate and our deeply honored by the time and sincerity each grassroots leader, board member, and staff gave during this two day retreat. We look forward to sharing more details about the plans and products that came out of this convening. Stay tuned for more.