- by Stacey Prince
Over the summer and since the dissolving of the leadership council in May, I have had a lot of time to regroup and to think about the role of TJP in the community and in my own life. I have steadily found myself contemplating ending the project for a variety of reasons, primarily the following:
1) Since leadership council ended in May, I've been doing this solo. This was always a project I wanted to do in a group, in community - not in isolation, like so many of our other professional endeavors end up being. Yet many of the folks who I might think about asking to join me in leadership are deeply involved with other projects or endeavors and don't have the time or energy to add this on.
2) I'm not sure the project is serving the community in useful ways that are worth continuing. I base this on blog readership (which is steady but low) as well as the fact that so many of you are already doing great, social justice / anti-oppression based work in other groups and settings. It's not clear to me what additional value TJP brings beyond that.
3) I myself have been quite busy with other projects, primarily Beyond the Bridge which many of you know about, as well as consultation on a national project to bring effective couple therapy approaches to veterans.
In light of these and other factors, I have been leaning toward bringing TJP to a close - feeling as if, while it served its purpose for a time including bringing together many people who might otherwise not have met, perhaps it has lived its course. However, there is something about this project that I still find very compelling and am not quite ready to let go of. So, as a compromise between continuing as is and ending it altogether, I've decided to take a several month TJP vacation between now and the end of the year. This means I won't be posting blog articles, Facebook posts or organizing retreats. This break will both give me some time to finish up some other pressing projects and allow me to sit with what makes the most sense for me and for TJP.
What I am hoping is that, toward the end of the year or beginning of the new year, we can have a mini (maybe half-day) retreat in which any interested parties can check in with one another as a group, and see what there is energy for to work on in community. "Energy" might be as simple as getting together periodically to discuss the work we're doing and support one another, or it might be more involved than that. If, when we touch base, other folks are not able or interested in engaging with me as part of TJP, I will be able to put it down with peace in my heart, and continue to pursue this work in other ways. If there is energy to collaborate and move forward, that will be exciting and we will do so... until TJP and the needs of our group change yet again.
So, I wanted to let you all know why you won't be hearing from me (at least in TJP capacity) for the next few months. I hope this makes sense and of course welcome any thoughts or comments you might have. I know this network of now 150+ people is deeply committed to, and already engaged in, work toward positive social change and redressing social inequities. If there are ways that TJP as a community can continue to serve that overarching goal, then great. If not, it has certainly been a great pleasure and honor to have done what we have in the last 3 1/2 years.