Organizing the Way Forward

Organizing the Way Forward

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Organizing means different things to different people, as we were reminded by this season’s compelling conversations. We want to share with you what we learned about organizing the way forward by reflecting on our favorite discussions with some of our favorite people.

The Memory Worker

Archives inform our memories and history. Naturally, they require a lot of organization and thought. Miranda Mims is the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivist Project and the Director of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at the University of Rochester. She refers to herself not as an archivist, however, but a memory worker.

The Privacy Expert

In the age of online everything, organizing and protecting our private data is more critical than ever. We have to organize it with a mind toward defending it, because other people do things with it that we might not like. Brian Minick, COO of ZeroBounce, explains why privacy and security should be central, even if they too often aren’t.

The Equality Champion

Our chat with Harish Patel, Director of Economic Security for Illinois, focused on organization around power. Poverty and inequality is a human choice. We created a system that allows for it. Crushing as this sounds, there is a potential upside: If it can be designed, we can also redesign the system to eliminate these abuses.

The Architect as Community Advocate

Katherine Darnstadt, founder and principal architect at Latent Design, explains how we organize our physical spaces, as well as how we can meet the ultimate goal of social and spatial justice in the built environment.

The Culture Changer

Ben O'Keefe is a human rights activist, political commentator and filmmaker. He has been organizing society from a very early age. For Ben, organizing society means organizing culture, with a particular focus on how that change starts with you.

The Significance of Our Stories

Organizing the way forward means sharing our stories. It is how we learn from our mistakes and make the changes that count. This also means our stories must be protected: We need to defend them so that we know what we shared is complete and correct.

Archives are the keepers and organizers, but it’s about more than just what's in the archives. We wanted to know who gets to decide what gets into the archives. Generally, our history's overarching narratives are the narratives of our victors, meaning diverse perspectives are excluded.

Nomadic Archivist Project Co-Founder Miranda Mims explains how she approaches preserving stories and history: "We try really hard to understand the culture in which we live. What's important to people now, and what will be important to people in the future? How do we make sure that certain people in certain narratives are not lost and are not left out of the historical record?"

Secure Your Story

For a long time, organizing was centered on physical spaces such as architecture. But now, how do we start organizing the infinite amounts of information in the Cloud?

We’ve gathered stories and pictures, and we put them online. It is nice, tidy, and mostly organized. The problem is that it’s not just organized for us. One bad actor can swoop in and do horrible things with it. So, while telling our stories is great, protecting them may mean even more.

Luckily, there are steps all of us can take. ZeroBounce COO Brian Minick has these must-do’s to protect your information: “Do the research. Read a privacy policy if you’re putting in very sensitive information. See what they do with your data because they actually have to disclose it. If they’re real, they have to disclose what they do.”

Who Gets to Hold the Power?

Inevitably, we organize around power and power has rarely been evenly distributed. Now, we’re trying to rebalance those power dynamics. Advance Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments show us that it is possible. Illinois’ Director of Economic Security Harish Patel explains how there can be real change: “Poverty and inequality is a human choice. We created the system that allows for that. So therefore we can redesign that system to not allow for that. It’s actually not good either economically or for us as a civilization.”

Harish elaborates: “And so Economic Security for Illinois, at least in Illinois, is trying to build that income floor where we can call cash policies, guaranteed income, universal, basic income. There’s so many different names to it, but ultimately it’s saying, ‘Nobody needs to be poor because America is so wealthy.’ We just need to figure out how to redesign this system. The question that we could ask is, “How much wealth is too much for an individual to have before we start calling them an emperor?’ If we don’t want a monarchy, or an aristocracy, we have to ask, ‘How do you want to redefine and how are we going to reorganize ourselves?’”

Spatial Justice

Organizing physical space is one of the more familiar concepts of organization. But there is nothing traditional about Latent Design founder Katherine Darnstadt’s approach to those spaces. We talked about how we organize our physical spaces and how that shapes who feels at home in them. Katherine declares:

“The ultimate goal is social and spatial justice in the built environment. That’s what I will work for my whole entire profession. That’s period, the end. And I don’t know how far I will get to resolving any of that, but that’s using the tool of design and architecture as part of the process and a skill set to resolve that. I think where it feels at times of doing many different things, teaching or architecture company or construction company, those are all part and parcel to that end goal of understanding what does equity in the built environment looks like.”

Katherine explains: “[People] are experts in their neighborhoods because they live in it every day. And I think that’s the professional shift that has to happen concurrently with people feeling more comfortable to make their voice known. When it comes to organizing space, the biggest compliment is organizing a space in a situation where people feel comfortable to say that.”

An Inclusive Future Starts With Individuals

As a human rights activist, Ben O’Keefe knows people and communities. Change requires galvanizing an entire community, which is precisely what Ben does through his work: “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Why has no one done anything about this?’ And then I realized, ‘Wait, I’m someone, I could do something about this right now.’’

“To me, organizing society means organizing culture. Policy change, doesn’t change hearts and minds. And until we change as a society, until we have a cultural understanding of what is right and wrong, until we decide that we will not allow certain groups of marginalized people to be othered and less than in our society, and our culture, then we have not really created the change that we need to see.”

Ben explains: “And to me, when I think about organizing society, I’m thinking about what are the things that will change the conditions that will allow us to have the largest long-term effect that we can have. And that means changing hearts and minds. I always say, if you can make someone feel, you can make someone do just about anything.”

People Featured in this Episode

Full Transcript

Mary Ellen Slayter:

This season of Margins from Managing Editor is brought to you by Showcase Workshop, which helps your team deliver outstanding sales presentations, wherever you go. Marketers, see how your content performs in real time and plant thousands of native trees in the process. Learn more at showcaseworkshop.com/margins. For Managing Editor magazine this is Margins, and if you've got content in your job description, we've made this podcast for you. I'm your host, Mary Ellen Slayter, and this season of Margins, we're exploring what it means to be organized.

Elena Valentine:

And I'm your cohost Elena Valentine.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

We picked this theme because we were talking about how we organize things has long-term consequences for the results that we get, right? You make these big picture decisions up front that have these long lasting consequences that go far beyond whatever individual decisions people make day to day.

Elena Valentine:

Or to themselves. Or when we think about all right, we have intended to organize an X group, an X company and 50 years later somehow those same organizing principles are still there without having evolved with the community or with the space or with the needs.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

I think some of it too, that was on my mind as we were working on this, as we talk a lot in the anti-racist space and we talk about systemic racism versus individual bias, because very few people want to think of themselves as, say, racist in this day and age. What we do have, though, are some institutions that are racist, right? Things that... decisions were made that organized things a certain way, a long time ago, that we continue to see the consequences of, and that's one of the things that was on my mind when we were planning this. And I think when we talked to Katherine, I thought that was really interesting. We talked about how we organize our physical spaces and how that shapes who feels at home in them. I feel like that one has stuck with me for a long time. What were the ones that stuck with you?

Elena Valentine:

Miranda's. Not only just about the framing of memory work generally, but it really had me thinking about when we think about these institutions of universities, of the archives. It's not just what's in the archives. Who gets to make those decisions of what gets in the archives? And then it got me into this rabbit hole of generally the overarching narratives of our history, which are often the narratives of our victors.

And that interview for me, I think really helped to set the tone and the framing for how I was able to, I think, have these other discussions with Harish, with Katherine and with Ben and because just like archives itself, when I think ultimate organize, I mean, jeez, I think about the museums, I think about these big spaces. And that was something that was also really interesting when we think about organizing because for a long time, organizing was around physical spaces, whether that was architecture, whether that's an archivist building, if you will. And now, especially when we got into an episode around organizing information, how the heck do you start organizing the infinite amounts of information in the Cloud?

Mary Ellen Slayter:

When we talk about taking all those things that were once physical things, and then we digitize them, right? And we abstract them, they become something else. And then you can use them in different ways and that can be for good and it can be for bad. Brian from ZeroBounce was talking about how to protect your data, right? So it's like, okay, so we've gathered this stuff and we put it online and it's all nice and tidy and organized, but it's not just organized for us, right? It's also organized in a way that other people can swoop in and do things with it, whether it's something we want them to do with it, or if it's something that we don't want them to do with it. And so that makes protecting that information even more important. So Brian really got me thinking about how--if we're thinking about how we organize our personal data--we have to organize it with a mind toward protecting it because other people will want to do things with it that we might not like.

Elena Valentine:

Which then gets into the theme of power, which was Harish's interview. Inevitably, we're organizing here around power. We're trying to rebalance the power dynamics. And even in this case, right? It's like who has power over your data and how are we protecting your ownership of that data? And so that to me inevitably is the overarching theme, especially when we think about organizing in these diverse or inclusive ways, any of that it's around power. Power among people. I think one more key theme was from Ben O'Keefe who so remarkably, when you listen to his story has made such a significant impact and all of this has to do with, you can just start with one, it just has to start with you. And that was one of the big key takeaways, as well as like, whether it's around organizing your life, organizing work, organizing space.

We think about power, we think about that. We have to galvanize an entire community to make these kinds of changes, but it was so clear in the way that he's done all of his kind of grassroots campaigning and quite frankly, because of his work and the work of others for a documentary like All In, that dramatically affected the voter registrations of Georgia. And it took a few people coming together in a vision of individuals to do that. And it takes a lot of guts, but it also, that's what it will take if we do think about how are we going to organize in diverse and inclusive ways?

Interview 1 - Katherine Darnstadt

Elena Valentine:

We’re living in organized spaces every day. To better understand what this means, I spoke with Katherine Darnstadt, founder and principal architect at Latent Design, a progressive architecture firm that sits at the intersection of architecture and community development. We started by discussing Latent Design’s philosophy and mission.

Katherine Darnstadt:

The ultimate goal is social and spatial justice in the built environment. That’s what I will work for my whole entire profession. That’s period, the end. And I don’t know how far I will get to resolving any of that, but that’s using the tool of design and architecture as part of the process and a skill set to resolve that. I think where it feels at times of doing many different things, teaching or architecture company or construction company, those are all part and parcel to that end goal of understanding what does equity in the built environment look like.

And it can’t just be through one pathway, because that’s not how our system of development is set up. It’s set up through architecture, design, construction, nonprofit, finance. So, you have to know all of these different pieces. And the way I learn is by doing, right? So, that’s why there might seem there’s multiple disparate elements happening in my professional pathway at any time, but they all reach to that goal.

Elena Valentine:

When we’re thinking about a high-rise building in downtown Chicago, how do you apply that same kind of approach in questioning when we’re thinking about equity and justice in a space like that?

Katherine Darnstadt:

That I think comes from acknowledging the land and what was there and what the histories of the Loop were, the site in particular that we’re working on, which had an SRO, has a vulnerable population that already lives on the site. So how do you start to look at a building and a program that addresses the needs, things about affordability in the loop and things about all the individuals that we rely on that can’t afford to live in that part of the city, right? So It’s acknowledging what we call defining the context in terms of what was there, what can we acknowledge, what shifted, and how can we resolve the core issues that are happening on the site.

Because the core problem on the site isn’t that there isn’t a building. The issue is there’s not social services, there’s not affordability, there’s not safety in the public realm, there’s not a space for small businesses to thrive next to chain retail. Those are the issues. Then you could design a space around it.

Elena Valentine:

How can you become more aware of the things Katherine is thinking about every day?

Katherine Darnstadt:

First, I would think about, “How do you get information about a project?” So if you see development happening in your neighborhood and you want to know more, you should first find out: Are you contacting the owner? Is it large enough that you have to go to a community meeting for it? I think being engaged in that process is the first step. But the one good thing that has happened with all these Zoom meetings that are happening is more people can be engaged, can give opinions, because it’s not like, “Let me show up to a meeting after I’m exhausted all day from work at 7:00 PM. to go sit in a room and hear about something for two hours.” Now I could watch a video. I could do it asynchronously, and then I can give my comments.

So that’s good. That has been great to expand access to information, but that’s one way to be engaged and involved. I think another is champion spaces, right? So if you’re on your walk in your neighborhood and you see a vacant lot or you see a vacant building, how do you use your own imagination to think about what’s needed and what could be there, and how could that be part of advocacy once you start being engaged in that built environment? Can you push priority areas? Can you say, “Our neighborhood needs a grocery store or this vacant lot could be a garden”? All of these things can come forward and become really valid.

And then I think when it’s looking at your own personal space or priorities of thinking about size of your place, everyone could be smaller or larger, right? Is there enough space? Does everyone have both privacy and public zones in their home? And then, what’s your access to the outdoors or views or natural light, and what does that look like in terms of where you could walk to? It always goes back to where’s the safe space that you could be in your neighborhood versus just in your home.

And I think that’s the beauty of a simplicity of a problem to solve. That’s actually also very challenging, because we want to, as architects and designers, make all neighborhoods safe spaces for anyone to feel they could enjoy without being over-policed, without being unsafe, and being joyful in it. That’s the challenge, right? And I think if everyone thinks about their space and their neighborhood and can bring forth and feels comfortable bringing forth ideas, that’s one step to getting more positive advocacy in the built environment.

And people, because they do have access, but sometimes they don’t feel that they’re smart enough to do it because they say, “I’m not an architect. I’m not this. I’m not that,” when they are experts in their neighborhoods, absolutely, because they live in them everyday. And I think that’s the professional shift that has to happen concurrently with people feeling more comfortable to make their voice known. When it comes to organizing space, the biggest compliment is organizing a space in a situation where people feel comfortable to say that.

Interview 2 - Harish Patel

Elena Valentine:

Our stimulus checks were a first-hand introduction to a novel concept: The government giving money directly to its citizens. How can programs like the stimulus transform work and, more importantly, society? To better understand these issues, I spoke with Harish Patel, Director of Economic Security for Illinois.

Harish Patel:

Poverty and inequality is a human choice. We created the system that allows for that. So therefore we can redesign that system to not allow for that. It’s actually not good either economically or for us as a civilization. And so Economic Security for Illinois, at least in Illinois, is trying to build that income floor where we can call cash policies, guaranteed income, universal, basic income. There’s so many different names to it, but ultimately it’s saying nobody needs to be poor because America is so wealthy. We just need to figure out how to redesign this system. The question that we could ask is how much wealth is too much for an individual to have before we start calling them an emperor? If we don’t want a monarchy, or an aristocracy, we got to ask, how do you want to redefine and how are we going to reorganize ourselves?

Elena Valentine:

I asked Harish what does he think the future of work will look like?

Harish Patel:

The pandemic reminded us that work requires human infrastructure, but it also reminded us that you can automatize a lot of work. So the future of work really should be about the future of workers and let the workers define how it should happen. But what the future of work looks right now is it’s actually mostly leaving workers behind. And the human infrastructure is in some ways being discarded because we don’t need them. Well, if the human beings are mostly creating a civilization so we can kind of all cohabitate this earth, then leaving most workers behind is not going to work. You can’t organize society without the human infrastructure. So it’s actually a very dangerous path if the governments don’t really create policies to center workers in the future of work. And so we’re working with legislators and philanthropy to kind of come together on a table to really think through that for the Illinois economy.

Because if not, we’re going to leave a lot of workers behind, like I was saying. And so I am worried about that as we come out of the pandemic and don’t think about a lot of folks who are not going to have a job to go back to because it was automatized or a lot of folks who are not going to have all the infrastructure that you need to survive because your job doesn’t give it to you anymore. And the tax code has also not evolved to keep up with the changing dynamics of work. Is a gig economy worker an actual worker? Do they have rights under the law? There is a lot of conversation happening around that. Depending on what our government or state governments decide, if they think these human beings who work 40 hours or more, but just are not defined as workers, are they actual workers? Because if they are, then they would have protection.

If they’re not, then we have to redesign our policymaking because we would all agree if you work 40 hours, that you may be considered a worker and you should have full equal rights. We agree on the concept, but the law doesn’t. So we have to evolve. The law needs to evolve. We’ve got to think about changing that text code to represent what we want it to and make some policies to curb the economic system so it doesn’t just leave the majority of us behind and possibly this earth may not survive if we let a few people control it all.

Interview 3 - Miranda Mims

Elena Valentine:

Miranda Mims is the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivist Project and the Director of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation at the University of Rochester. However, Miranda doesn't call herself an archivist. Instead she prefers another term.

Miranda Mims:

I think of myself as a memory worker and not as an archivist, and that can sound a little abstract and out there, but it's really not. It's sort of knowing and understanding what's worth hanging onto and coming up with creative ways to do that. So for instance, organizations or companies, there's a lot of memory work that goes into that. There's a lot that revolves around institutional memory. What records to keep, what to hold on to, what really tells the story of that company, how it came to be, the people behind it, the innovation that gets created day to day within a space. And so that is all a part of memory. So at its roots in archiving, you sort of just think about what tells the story that connects us as a society. And how do we approach preserving? Organizing is a big part of that. How do we approach preserving it so that we can all learn from it and understand it? And so that we can also say, if it's an artist’s records, if it's community group’s records, it's your family's records. Once it is preserved and organized, how can we say we existed? We were here, and we did this and this is the evidence. And so I think of it as memory work in that way, but it is very tangible. It's definitely not a very abstract identity.

Elena Valentine:

But why can't we save everything?

Miranda Mims:

This is actually a big theme in the archival world, in the preservation world right now, this idea of what gets saved and what makes it into the historical record is definitely something that is weighing on a lot of minds. Because the very act of archiving, there is another political piece that is the exclusion. You cannot save everything. No repository, no archive, no institution--I don't care how much money that institution has--can save everything. The Cloud seems so magical, that space: We will never not have enough space. But space is costly. In a physical building, if you think about it, you only have that building. And after a while, you fill up every single shelf and then what do you do? Then you have to buy another building. But most institutions, especially the work that we do, because it's mostly non-for-profit, you don't have the capacity to keep buying more buildings and the land to keep putting those buildings on.

There's so many practical and logistical reasons why you cannot save everything. And when making it accessible too, if you think about it, if you have hundreds of thousands of millions of photographs, it becomes very inaccessible, it becomes very difficult to find things. You have to apply some sort of organization to it. And that takes people, it takes people with design thinking, it takes people with understanding how people search. You have to have all those elements to be able to do that work. And those elements are not infinite. And so there has to be some sort of selection process for just those logistical reasons. But also as archivists, we try really hard to understand the culture in which we live, to understand what's important to people now and what will be important to people in the future. And that's when you start to think about the selection process on a more intellectual level.

And depending on who is making those decisions, the culture from which they come, the biases in which they bring forth, it can be very problematic. And that is why this is a big discussion in the community. And this is why we're also trying to bring more people outside of the field into the discussion so that this can be more of a collective work to thinking about how do we make sure that certain people and certain narratives are not lost.

Interview 4 - Brian Minick

Mary Ellen Slayter:

For digital marketers, few things are more critical than organizing and protecting the information and data we collect. I've always admired ZeroBounce's approach to privacy. And I spoke with their COO, Brian Minick, about how privacy and security have been central to their company from the beginning.

Brian Minick:

The founders of our company have been in the email marketing space and they had a need for email validation years ago. And they went out searching for companies and vendors. And one of the things that is very critical and a big part for our founders is how data is treated and the privacy and security of that data. And when they went through the evaluation of all the major players, they took a step back and said, “I'll never send my data to any one of those people.” So the owner, he's our CEO, Liviu, and he came back and said, “We're going to build it ourselves, we're going to find the best guy that has all the knowledge here” and we came and built it. And the first thing that was built into the product and the core of it is around the privacy and security of your data.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

They also make sure they don't cut corners.

Brian Minick:

We have a lot of experience with security based on some really good and talented people on our team. I have on staff a security officer. We have 24/7 on our network, live people ready to go, always looking at things, making sure everything's good and clean. I have two counselors on staff, a DPO, we're GDPR compliant. We go above and beyond every single time. We've never fallen short on data and how we treat insecurity. I mean, we pay people to try to hack our system ethically and we do this monthly. Most companies don't even do it yearly. We do anything new, the first thing is go to those third parties and say, “Hey, go hack it, go break it.” And we do it with multiple companies to make sure that we've not got a lazy guy on the other end. We just take it so seriously. And it's really what people should be doing. But a lot of people cut some corners on the things that you don't see, and you might not feel it today, but you might feel it down the road. So it's just something we're really passionate about. I'm really proud to be part of that, to be thinking about it in that way, because we don't have to. I mean, do we have to do that? No. But we do it because really, it's the right thing to do.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

How has working at ZeroBounce changed the way Brian thinks about his own data?

Brian Minick:

I've always taken it seriously. I've been in the tech world my whole life, even down to in middle schools, programming on AOL. And so my life and hobbies and passion is in the tech space. And so I've always been conscious, but I'd argue that I was as conscious as I am now, especially when you hear about all the data breaches and everything that's going on.

Some of the things that I do on a personal level is I always enable a two-factor authentication. So that's kind of how I manage against, let's say people logging into any account that I might not want them to. So on any bank, anything with financials, whatever it might be, sensitive information, health. I would always encourage two-factor authentication. Secondly, if I'm ever sending any sensitive data, I would always password protect that with at least a 16-digit password, 16-digit alphanumeric. And that would go through a secondary communication channel. So if I'm emailing you a ZIP file, I would text message you the password. And so in order for your computer to get hacked or anything get hacked, you'd have to get both lines of communication. And just be very cautious. I don't just believe everybody. Do the research, read a privacy policy if you're putting very sensitive information, see what they do with your data, because they actually have to disclose it. If they're real, they have to disclose what they do.

Interview 5 - Ben O’Keefe

Elena Valentine:

Ben O’Keefe is a human rights activist, political commentator and filmmaker who has been organizing society from a very early age. He is the head of diversity and impact development and production at CreatorPlus, and recently worked as the impact producer for All In: The Fight for Democracy. So what does organizing society mean to Ben?

Ben O’Keefe:

To me, organizing society means organizing culture. Policy change doesn’t change hearts and minds. And until we change as a society, until we have a cultural understanding of what is right and wrong, until we decide that we will not allow certain groups of marginalized people to be othered and less than in our society, and our culture, then we have not really created the change that we need to see. And to me, when I think about organizing society, I’m thinking about what are the things that will change the conditions that will allow us to have the largest long-term effect that we can have. And that means changing hearts and minds. I always say, if you can make someone feel, you can make someone do just about anything.

Elena Valentine:

It’s a lesson Ben learned at a young age.

Ben O’Keefe:

I actually got my start in activism when I was just 18 years old. I started a viral campaign against the clothing company, Abercrombie and Fitch because they didn’t want plus size people wearing their clothing. Seven years before I ever started this campaign, the CEO said in an interview, CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, “In schools there are the cool kids and then there are the not so cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kid, the popular All-American kid with a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong in our clothes and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” And so that was seven years before I read that quote, subsequently they had done all sorts of things to continue to prove that they were exclusionary. But I remember thinking to myself, “Why has no one done anything about this?” And then I realized, Wait, I’m someone, I could do something about this right now.

Elena Valentine:

What motivates Ben to continue his work?

Ben O’Keefe:

I fought for everything from stopping the censorship of AP US history classes, to saving the life of a man on death row. But what has always moved me the most is identity politics. It’s largely identities that I correlate to. Right? I am a black queer person who grew up in poverty and those intersections have always encouraged me, because that meant that I was someone who in society had very little power, very little power that I was just born into. Right? I had to find my power. I did not have privilege. I have privilege now, but that privilege was acquired through the power that I built through fighting for myself and my community. We’re so afraid of the word, poverty and poor. And we hear politicians all the time saying, “I want to work for working class people.”

So that’s great, but I want to work for people who don’t have a job too. I want to work for the people who don’t have a home that they’re trying to support. I want to work for the people who are suffering every day, who wake up and every day they’re filled with fear, because their lives are at risk or because they don’t know how they’re going to feed their family, or because they are afraid to walk outside because police brutality has become so rampant in our society. That fear is overwhelming and I’ve lived it. Right? I’ve been there. I’ve known what it feels like to not know what you’re going to eat the next day. I have known what it feels like to have police officers hold guns in your face as an unarmed black man just existing, just walking through a neighborhood that scared people and they called the police. And I just wanted to do everything in my power to make sure that no one else had to feel that fear.

Elena Valentine:

Ben and I ended our conversation with a reminder, no matter who you are, you can make an impact.

Ben O’Keefe:

I know famous people, I know world leaders, literally. And the way that we view these people is as if they’re infallible, as if they’re so much better than we could ever be. As if they don’t have to contain multitudes, they don’t have struggles, they don’t have good times and bad times. Every powerful person is still a person. Everything that you go through, don’t put any person higher than you in the sense that, “Oh, I could do this, but I’m not so-and-so,” comparison is the thief of joy. You are capable. You’re equally as valuable, whether you’re a greeter at Walmart or the president of the United States, and you have just as much power to make a difference in the world.

It is not always the same, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. Look for the ways that you can change one person’s life, because you never know whose life that person will change. Organizing is a chain reaction, it’s deeper than ourselves, it’s deeper than the interactions we have. It’s the tidal wave that we build together. So empower yourself, believe in yourself and never stop doing the one thing that you do better than anyone else in the world. That’s being your damn self. Use it. Your story is powerful. Your experiences are valid and your power is endless, when you learn how to channel it.

Outro

Mary Ellen Slayter:

I know this is the last episode of the season, and one of the things that sort of happened toward the end of the season is Rex, our former producer, left us and moved on to do other creative things. And we're really excited for him and we're really proud of him. But one of the things I often was asked to describe was what Rex was good at, right? So what does Rex do? And it's like, what Rex is really, really, really amazing at is you really can just give him a pile of stuff and he will find that thread, he will find the storyline.

Elena Valentine:

He will find gold.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

Again, organization is creation and he organized us, Elena. So we got organized by someone else. Basically he was the person who could wrangle. We dumped that stuff on him.

Elena Valentine:

The invisible artists behind all of that, right. The invisible hand. So yes, I mean, what a better way really to call him out, to thank him, to honor him really Rex, you were, you have been the invisible hand, the invisible artist behind all of this, really starting to put these stories and strings together for the rest of the world to understand and to make sense of it. So thank you, Rex.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

Yeah. Thanks, Rex.

So that's it for this episode and season of Margins from Managing Editor. You can find us on Apple music, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure you get organized and subscribe so you don't miss the next season.

Elena Valentine:

And if you like what you hear, share us with your friends, and rate us on your favorite podcast platform.

Mary Ellen Slayter:

If you'd like to hear more from the Managing Editor team, there's an easy way to do that. We send out an email every Friday morning and you can join the club at managingeditor.com/subscribe. Thanks again to Showcase Workshop, the exclusive sponsor of this season of Margins. With Showcase Workshop, all of your marketing and sales collateral is organized in one place, ready to present to prospects on your device or by email. And it even helps plant thousands of native trees making the world a better place too. Learn more at showcaseworkshop.com/margins. We'll see y’all next time.

Mary Ellen Slayter is CEO of Rep Cap. Before creating her own content marketing firm, she served as director of content development and a senior general business and finance editor at SmartBrief, a leading publisher of e-mail newsletters. Before joining SmartBrief, she spent 8 years at The Washington Post, where she authored the Career Track column and worked as an editor in the business news department. You can find Mary Ellen on Twitter @MESlayter.

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