Allyship: A Critical First Step for Lasting Impact
George Floyd's death sparked outrage like we've not seen in a generation. Will this lead to lasting positive change or, once the outrage fades, will we return to our comfortable lives just like we have done in the past? As AIESECers, this is a unique opportunity to live the values of our beloved organization and bring real impact to one of the most pressing societal challenges in the United States: racial justice. The fulfillment of humankind's potential is not possible as long as significant groups of people are marginalized, repressed, and sometimes killed for no other reason than the color of their skin.
AIESEC Life will host a series of Allyship sessions, led and guided by alum Peter Kovacs, an executive coach, speaker, and diversity & inclusion trainer. Our first session will be on July 9th - Becoming a True Ally & Deconstructing Racism in the US: An Open Discussion with the AIESEC Life Community. You can register here.
Ally is not an identity. It’s a verb. It is about action. It’s about what you do, and what you continue doing. Educate yourself from multiple angles and perspectives. Don’t worry about doing everything, or not doing things perfectly. But do something. Put your money where your mouth is. Pay people for the work they are doing. Support organizations, companies, and politicians who are doing the right thing. Educate yourself, so you know who you are supporting and make sure they are working toward real impact, not just trying to look good. We need to take ownership and responsibility for this process. Join us as we learn together and support each other.
aka AIESEC Onion
A Study Filled With Surprisingly Complex and
Interconnected Facts & Events
Last year, the AIESEC US board of directors commissioned a study entitled AIESEC Future. The idea was to have an independent consultant review the current AIESEC US situation (e.g. exchange challenges, financial security, environmental changes, declining membership, etc.) and make specific recommendations to the AIESEC US National Plenary on potential paths for improvement. Many alumni stepped up to help Project Lead, Marcia Zellers, interview the dozens of constituents who contributed to the discussion.
The final 90-page report provides a fascinating history of AIESEC US, which puts into context, specific recommendations regarding exchange, strengthening LCs, strategic planning, etc. While the project was commissioned by the BoD, the customers are the LCs and MCs. Results were shared at the AIESEC US Winter National Conference in Jan 2020. Several MC/LC "working committees" were formed and began work on the next steps. Then came the COVID-19 global pandemic, causing all work on AIESEC Future to temporarily stop. Even though the project did not (or could not have) contemplated the profound impact that COVID-19 would have on the association, the insights remain provocative and will be relevant as AIESEC emerges from this pandemic.
It is in that spirit, and the love of all things AIESEC, that we share this with our alumni. Download the report here.
Alumni Spotlight - Dr. Michael Smith
A Holistic AIESEC Life
Dr. Michael Smith and his naturopathic medical practice are passionate about empowering people to better health. Dr. Smith and his team do this through a comprehensive individualized approach, along with education and coaching to help members make real lifestyle changes to resolve underlying health issues and to gain true independence for the rest of their life. He founded the Carolinas Natural Health Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, a center that takes a holistic approach to wellness. They focus on uncovering the root causes of illness rather than treating the symptoms. He explains, “The approach in naturopathic medicine is that we understand the body has an amazing ability to heal. The emphasis is not to focus on treating the symptoms because that is not the solution. We focus on the real underlying cause of people’s health issues and address and treat those issues.”
Michael explains that AIESEC helped him develop the skills needed for his role as a doctor and business leader. He said, “As Regional Director, I supported LCs by coaching, training, empowering, and developing leaders. That is what AIESEC is all about, to create better leaders.” Click here to read the full article.
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