This is a guest post by Shana Fischer, a Baltimore JUFJ leader.
My name is Shana Fischer, and I live and work in Baltimore City. In June, July, and August, I attended and learned a great deal from this summer’s three Intersession Interest Sessions organized and hosted by JUFJ. These informational online meetings offered presentations by leaders and advocates on the issues of police-free schools, paid family and medical leave, and Maryland’s budget and funding processes. Although I try to stay informed about state and local politics, I have often felt as though I was missing the sort of nuts-and-bolts knowledge needed to be as effective in taking action as I could and would like to be. I found that the series of intersession interest sessions filled that need in a timely and enjoyable way — each of the three events was engaging, informative, and more than worthwhile.
One aspect of the programs that I really appreciated was the way in which JUFJ intentionally invited the participation of coalition partners as presenters and subject matter experts. It was energizing to see the strong and deep connections and mutual respect that JUFJ has built with other groups doing important work on our issue priorities, as well as with the individuals who lead them. The other aspect of attendance that was of value for me was the wealth of clearly explained, high-quality, detailed information that was provided during all three sessions. The presentations left me feeling better equipped in some concrete way to speak on, advocate for, or take other action around the issues discussed. A final compliment goes to the overall care and attention to detail that was clearly integral to planning these events, especially to the organized and thorough way that access to presentation resources was provided via follow-up email. Over the past 18 months, I think many of us have spent more time in online meeting spaces than we ever believed we would. That’s certainly true for me and it has made me generally unenthusiastic about spending my scarce free time using videoconferencing platforms; the JUFJ summer intersession interest sessions proved to be a rewarding exception to this rule.
Now that the Intersession Interest Sessions are done, JUFJ is ready to kick off our 2022 Maryland statewide campaign.
Join us on Zoom on Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 PM for our Maryland Statewide Kickoff.