Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 2017

Hello everyone,
I hope spring is treating you well! I am going to keep this post short. I have decided to suspend the monthly newsletter for now, and focus more on my individual communication with chapters. I feel this may be a more effective form of support, since the needs of our chapters are so different.
Please do be in touch if there's any way I can help you, or resources I can provide.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 2017

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all doing well! If your location is anything like mine, it's starting to feel like we might actually make it through winter pretty soon... With Spring also comes tying up the data from the past year's Mosaics (how's that for an abrupt subject change?). As the National Mosaic Committee Coordinator, one of my responsibilities is to send all of the Mosaic worksheets I've collected from the prior year to the IO to ensure they are all 'counted' for international records. So, this month, I'm focusing the newsletter on tying up these loose ends.

Mosaic worksheets I've received for 2016 thus far:
Dallas - Fort Worth

Chapters I believe have a Mosaic worksheet to send me still :):
Michigan City
New York
Austin/San Antonio

If you don't see your chapter name on the above list, but you completed a Mosaic in 2016 (whether or not you've begun a worksheet at this point), let me know! If you did a project you believe counts and we haven't discussed it previously, that's no problem! We can hop on the phone and fill out the worksheet together to make it official.

Also, while we're at it, here's the list of chapters who have been in touch with me about planning a Mosaic for this year!:

I'm really excited to see our numbers growing steadily and this is all thanks to you all who are doing this good work on the ground. Please be in touch if I can support you in any way, and thanks to those of you who have already reached out!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January 2017

Hello everyone,

Happy New Year! I won't assume anyone's political leanings, but speaking personally, this last week has been very trying for me as I try to reconcile what I believe to be a just and peaceful world with what our new administration envisions. One thing I think we can all agree on is there are a lot of ways we can each help make our local communities a better place. What a perfect time for Mosaic!

I've spoken to a number of chapters that have exciting plans in the work for 2017 and if your chapter wants to share ideas or brainstorm (or seek any other type of assistance from me), please be in touch!

The resource I want to highlight this month is CISV International's Mosaic Stories website. On it, you can find numerous Mosaic ideas that have been successfully executed at chapters around the world. Maybe this will spark some ideas for your chapter!

As always, please be in touch if I can support you in any way, and thanks to those of you who have already been in communication!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 2016

Hi everyone, and happy holidays! Apologies for this coming out about a week later than usual- I have been caught up with holiday activities and traveling.

I had the pleasure of working with Kari from the DFW chapter a few weeks ago to finish up the worksheet for a project they completed on the International Day of Peace. In conjunction with a number of other local organizations, CISV DFW hosted a community fair for refugee families where they played games, shared food, and learned about CISV's educational approach.

Kari and I spent about 45 minutes on the phone talking about their project and getting on the same page about the details so that the DFW could get credit for their hard work, and also so that they could share their great ideas with other chapters!

Last month, I created a sign up sheet for chapters to set up 1:1 time to chat with me about things you have coming up or ways I could support you, and I greatly enjoyed the conversations I've had so far! I hope those of you who haven't had the chance to reach out yet will shoot me an email so we can have a similar discussion. This could surround a project you've already completed that you'd like to turn into an official Mosaic, how to train Mosaic chairs in your chapter, how to design an upcoming project, project ideas, or anything else you can think of! Please do reach out when you get a chance! (my email is and my phone number is 215-764-9628)

Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward to chatting with you soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 2016

Hello! Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you! Apologies for sending this out about a week late- I was too busy eating to pull anything together...

If you're anything like me, the results of the presidential election have you thinking a lot about how you can best impact the world from where you are. I realize I have a number of privileges that will (likely) keep me from being personally negatively affected by the new administration, and this fact means I have a lot less to lose than others might in fighting for the things I believe in (meaning I'm less likely to be persecuted). In case any of the above is not coming out clearly, what I'm trying to say is I want to figure out the best ways to work with communities in danger of being hurt by our incoming president's administration, based on who I am, where I live, and the privileges I have.

That's where CISV and Mosaic come in! I've been in communication with a bunch of chapters over the past few weeks as people are getting geared up for the new year and also thinking about how to best serve their communities. And this has led me to the realization that there are a lot of great things going on in our chapters that I don't know about! Although I've said this countless times (so apologies if I sound like a broken record to some of you), just about anything you do can be a Mosaic! A Mosaic is a structured activity in which you educate or work with either CISV people or non-CISV people in your community, focused on a specific task or issue. If you're reaching out to organizations that work with refugees, we could easily make that a Mosaic! If you're serving food at a soup kitchen or collecting donations for the holidays, that could be a Mosaic! You all are doing such great work in your chapters and I want to harness that energy to both boost your local chapters and share those great ideas with others!

In that light, I'd like to schedule 1:1 calls with chapter representatives over the next few weeks to hear more about what each of you are working on in your chapters and to figure out, individually, how I can best support you. Please click here to schedule a time to speak with me! If there's more than one person from your chapter who would like to talk with me, I'm happy to talk more than once, or more than one person can join the call. If none of the provided times work for you, email me and we'll find another time. I'm a grad student, so my schedule is reasonably flexible (but it's also finals season, so I don't want to open up all hours of the day...).

As always, please let me know any other ways I can support you, and I look forward to connecting soon!


Monday, October 24, 2016

October 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you've had a great month! Thanks to those of you who were able to attend the Mosaic session at CiM or who talked to me about projects during the conference. It seems chapters have a lot of exciting ideas in the works for 2017! As always, please do be in touch if there is anything I can do to support you.
There are a number of new people on the distribution list for this newsletter, so I'm recycling the post from May with a Mosaic FAQ. I hope this is helpful to those of you who are planning projects or who want a better idea about what Mosaic entails. 

Mosaic FAQ
Below are answers to some questions I've received, and some other things I suspect people are wondering about:

What makes a project a Mosaic?
This blurb from the Mosaic Programme Guide sums it up pretty nicely: Local communities are reflections of the wider world. Mosaic offers our Chapters a model for community-based peace education. Each project responds to local needs and interests in meaningful ways. Most of the projects are planned and delivered in cooperation with partner organizations and come in many shapes and sizes. Mosaic projects create an authentic learning experience for local participants of all ages and deliver a benefit to the wider community.

What's the benefit of making a project a Mosaic instead of just a chapter activity?
The biggest benefit of making a project an official Mosaic is you get the support of CISV USA and International in planning and executing it. This means you will get some external thought partners who will help you to make sure your project is as successful as possible and has a great impact. Support is tailored to what your chapter needs, such talking through the planning process, extra hands on the ground during the event itself, or providing training for your planners/volunteers.
There are other benefits to doing local work (ideally in Mosaic form) such as building chapter awareness, recruiting new families, and building partnerships with other like-minded organizations, aside from just having a great impact in your local community.

How small can a Mosaic be? How large?
There is no floor or ceiling! I suppose the minimum would be 2 people :)

Is there a required theme?
There is not a required theme, but you will likely find more resources aligned to the education content area of the year. For example, this year the education content area is Sustainable Development, so lots of chapters worldwide are hosting Mosaics related to this theme. However, the Americas also organized a regional Mosaic for International Women's Day in March and created resources for that. The key is finding an issue or a project the people in your chapter are really excited about! If you have excitement, the rest is easy!

Do we have to work with a partner organization?
In short, no. For example, the Mosaic project for International Women's Day was screening a documentary. For chapters that implemented this project, some invited in community members or organizations, and some showed the video to their chapter members. Both options are valid! You should decide whether/how to involve community organizations depending on what kind of project/issue your chapter members are interested in and how feasible it would be to partner with another organization.
There are also variations in community involvement. For example, your chapter could collect items to donate to an organization to benefit a cause (this would entail minimal involvement with the partner organization), or you could plan an event in conjunction with an organization and invite other community members. Or anything in between.

Can I host a Mosaic as part of another programme my chapter is hosting?
Yes! This would be a great way for a chapter not too familiar with Mosaic to get their feet wet. If you're hosting a program that includes an impact or local work day, why not make it an official Mosaic and enlist the help of others in the chapter or at the national level to help you plan it?

What are the steps for getting my project approved?
The planning and approval process is very simple. Since CISV USA has the ability to approve our own projects, all you need to do is email the worksheet to me when it's complete (or at any stage of the planning process if you'd like support), and I will either give feedback or approve it outright. The point of this process is to ensure our projects are as successful and impactful as possible.

What do I need to submit and by when?
Planning worksheet- you should submit this as soon as it's complete! Up to 4 weeks before you plan to implement your project is just fine
Evaluation- this should be submitted within a few weeks of the project's completion. It must be submitted by the end of the calendar year in which you host the project in order for it to be considered an official Mosaic by CISV International
(don't worry- I'll send you reminders and help you out along the way!)

Where can I find the planning worksheet?
The worksheet and some other resources are available here.

How are Mosaics evaluated? Is there a separate PDPEF?
There is no PDPEF for Mosaic, but there are evaluation questions included in Sections 2 and 4 of the planning worksheet. Essentially, you fill out part of the worksheet before the project and the rest of it after the project is complete. This also makes future planning easier, as you'll have both your intentions and your results in the same place!

Is there Mosaic training?
Each chapter should have a Mosaic Chair and training is available at RTFs each year. Additionally, I am able to provide virtual (and maybe even in-person) training to planning teams/chairs as needed.

Where can I find project ideas?
There are a bunch of projects linked on CISV's site. A number of chapters around the world have Mosaic pages on Facebook where they share projects and updates. (Here are a few examples: Argentina Perth Brasil Sweden Colombia Indonesia ) I'll also be including a project spotlight each month.

What if I have more questions?
Email me! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 2016

Hi everyone! I hope you've had a great summer! With the (anticipated) fall weather comes the (much anticipated) return of the Monthly Mosaic Newsletter! In case you'ew new here, this newsletter will be my main vehicle for sharing information, resources, and inspiration with local Mosaic Chairs and will be sent out around the 20th of each month. I am always looking for ways to be more useful to you all, so please don't hesitate to send along feedback or questions!

Thanks to those chapters who completed the brief survey about your intentions for hosting a Mosaic in 2017! If your chapter has not completed the survey yet, I will be reaching out to you individually to obtain that information.

If you are no longer the Mosaic Chair for your chapter or there is anyone else in your chapter who would benefit from receiving this newsletter, please send me their contact information :)

We are in the process of determining what Committee Chair involvement will look like at CiM, but I am hoping to hold a session about how to take an idea for a Mosaic through the planning process. There will also be a joint session with the JB to discuss preparing for their Mosaic/National Service Project in 2017. Stay on the lookout for additional information from Laura or sessions posted on the CiM website!

The International Day of Peace happens to be tomorrow (Sept 21) and the Sao Paulo chapter got ahead of the game with Tie a Ribbon for Peace last weekend!
Here's their description:
We invited all the CISVian community to come to Villa Lobos Park to pick up a ribbon, customize it, participate in the activities offered by our leaders about peace, then take the ribbon home, tie it around a post or tree in front of their homes with a Peace Message to their neighbors. And for the last, take a picture and share on social media with the hashtag #CISV4PeaceDay, as suggested by the IO and Peace One Day. We had more than 200 people in this event and we delivered more than 400 ribbons, also for the non-CISVian visitors.