Dear NLC SV Family and community of leaders,
We have now begun our seventh year here in the heart of Silicon Valley. We are very hopeful for our upcoming 2017 New Leaders Council Institute. Last year was an amazing sixth year with another amazing fellows’ cohort. Our dynamic network continues to grow with 23 New Leaders Council Fellows graduating on June 4th, and the Fellows Fundraiser a great success. Thanks to the support of our Board of Directors, Advisory Board, alumni and community, we fundraised over $11,000! Proceeds from the fundraiser go to the national New Leaders Council nonprofit, which helps us and other chapters continue to provide free, accessible leadership training for young progressives. During the Fellows Graduation, Neetal Parekh (‘12 Fellow, and board emeritus) joined us and provided words of encouragement and reflection to the 2016 Fellows.
As we wrap up this summer and prepare for the 2017 NLC Institute, we plan to send out opportunities to engage with NLC Silicon Valley. We look forward to seeing you at our events, and welcome your ideas and interest in getting engaged with New Leaders Council. Our summer mixer will be on August 17th -- join us!
Recently, we attended the 2016 NLC National Retreat from July 14 to July 16 in Washington, D.C., where we had the opportunity to meet with our regional leaders and national leaders.
After taking a group photo in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, we started our evening with a welcome mixer at the Russell Senate Office Building. Following the mixer, we went to Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant featuring sustainable, healthy and farm fresh food, and had some great conversations while enjoying the tasty meal. We ended the first night by taking a long walk throughout Washington D.C., arriving at the White House and pressing on to the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was quite an amazing sight at night. As we walked along the moonlit path we passed by visitors playing symphonic music, candles lit by the Lincoln Memorial Pool, looking towards the memorial. With the moonlit path, By this time it was evening and it was quite an amazing sight. During the walk, we reflected on our journey. It was powerful reflecting in DC.
The following day, Chris Kelly welcomed us at the Newseum. The morning kick off was warm and encouraging. We especially enjoyed the Spark Talks, a new feature of the National Retreat. We loved hearing from our peers about their passion and proposals for addressing the pressing issues of our nation. The Spark Talks featured a great range of topics -- from immigration reform to right and access to jobs in the military for deaf military personnel. This truly added an insightful and incredible experience to the NLC Retreat. Meeting new members of our NLC Family was so much fun -- alumni and board members came from all across the United States--from the South to the East Coast and from the Midwest to the West Coast.
Lunch keynote speaker Dr. Leana Wen delivered a powerful speech highlighting how we can leverage our progressive values and passions to get things done to improve the living conditions for our most vulnerable members of our society, and to evolve our society so communities can be empowered to make lasting, meaningful impact. Then we heard from White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on pushing for social justice in public policy and leadership.
Afterwards, we headed to Hamilton’s with our NLC family, building our relationships and learning why New Leaders Council continues to thrive over this past decade. It was so inspiring to hear our colleagues’ stories and connect with each other’s struggles and triumph.
On the final day of the retreat, we met with all the chapters’ directors, reflecting on 2016 and voting on a new financial sharing plan. We had a blast with the risk-taking workshop led by Caitlin Whelan, founder and author of The Lightning Notes. Anthony Piñeda was also interviewed on his passions. Then, we went to operational workshops where we shared best practices and learned from chapter and national leadership on improving our operations in fundraising, finance, institute, diversity, and recruitment. We rolled up our sleeves and got right to strategic planning.
The Retreat ended with an evening at The Howard Theatre. At the dinner, we heard from Toure and Krystal Ball on the future of our nation and politics, and chapter leadership received awards for their hard work. Congratulations to NLC San Francisco -- our board emeritus and alumna, Lexi Paza, who is now the NLC SF Director, graciously accepted the Chapter of the Year Award with her fabulous team. Following the awards, we were invited to stay to watch hip-hop legend Rakim perform!
The NLC National Retreat was an amazing experience! The programming continues to deliver new ways to engage and inspire. It is an opportunity to see how everyone is working to build a more progressive society across the nation, and witness the achievements of our core, small group of hardworking staff. More expansion is coming and the goal is to help our chapters foster stronger relationships, engage more of their communities, and civic involvement.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our local regional chapter, New Leaders Council Silicon Valley. We are ready to start strong! We would love to learn about your work more and passions. Please consider contributing to the discussion and help us make year seven one of growth and expansion!
See you in San Jose on Wednesday August 17th at our summer mixer. Join us to usher in the next generation of leaders for 2017!
If you have any questions, reach out to us:
Anthony Pineda: apineda[at]newleaderscouncil[dot]org; or
Yan Yin Choy: ychoy[at]newleaderscouncil[dot]org.
Anthony Pineda & Yan Yin Choy, NLC Silicon Valley Co-Directors