It’s Abby, the point person/Executive Director/co-founder/woman behind the emails. I’d like to share a little bit about our developments as an organization in just a few short months.
I moved back to Poughkeepsie from Seattle at the end of October with two things: a collection of fabulous but disjointed ideas given to me by several different visionaries, and the commitment to spend eight weeks seeing if we could turn them into something. I spent November talking with community stakeholders and conceptualizing what Women’s Power Space might actually look like. We knew that it had to be a space for and by women, we knew it was going to center racial justice, we knew we had to have good food involved, and that we’d probably be doing quite a bit of yoga. We knew that there were gaps in our community, but we couldn’t quite see what would be best for filling them in.
I conducted the “needs assessment,” which means that I talked to everybody and their mother about these nebulous ideas to confirm the hypothesis that women want a center, that people want yoga, and this community has all the potential to make it happen. With the hypothesis confirmed, I moved on to “capacity building,” which means that I again talked to everybody and their mother, but this time inviting them to join a project that, although it only existed in the collective imagination at the time, had a clearly defined set of goals to work towards and roles to fill.
Quite simply, I have been overwhelmed by all of the positive, inspiring, and forthcoming energy that we have been met with. I am overjoyed to say that the Women’s Power Space team is now home to five members of the Board of Directors, five members of the Advisory Council, eleven Teaching Artists, nine Interns, a few people without titles who help out in their own ways, and me. A total of thirty extraordinary people who have committed their time, skills, and energy to the goals of Women’s Power Space – and it’s growing every day. I can’t even express to you how incredible it feels to wake up to more emails in my inbox than I know what to do with, all from thoughtful and passionate people looking to collaborate and become a part of this movement to bring yoga, women’s leadership, and community-building to Poughkeepsie.
Before, I wasn’t sure if this was going to actually happen. It was a unique blob of cool and somewhat disparate ideas, which wasn’t in itself an organization. Sometimes, I started to feel somewhat crazy, as I was spending most of my waking hours talking about something that was predominantly imaginary.
But I gotta say – I think this might actually happen. Women’s Power Space is becoming a thing. A really, really awesome thing. I feel so honored and lucky to be a part of this project and community as it begins to take shape.
I am so grateful that I get to wake up every morning asking one question to myself and to everyone I get to meet with, “What can we do today to increase this community’s access to yoga, embodied arts, fierce food, identity consciousness, and women’s leadership?” And here’s the coolest part – people know what to do. The knowledge and the skills are here, in Poughkeepsie. There are plans for a community garden, a girls of color mentoring program, a vegan food/yoga party, street yoga at the mobile farmers’ market, a wellness fair fundraising event, a video essay series, and probably a thousand other things I haven’t heard of yet. And we’re working on it all the time – stay tuned in the next couple weeks for announcements about what we’ve already started achieving and ways to join various projects.
Thank you for all that you do as we create Women’s Power Space together! If you’d like to share your vision for this project, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.