not so isolated…

not so random…

#TBT Throw Back Thursday (July 2012)


From another isolated incident newsletter archives

Another month has gone by — how did that happen? I hear something about the rotation of the planets around the sun — but really — what happened to last month? WOW. Fortunately we are in the same new places and some of the same circumstances happen too. Patterns of old habits and the introduction of new stuff — question is how long can the new stuff be new before it becomes just part of the old? Welcome to yet another — another isolated incident!

Now what… Do something!


The summer time is often a catch up time for those of us who work in the education arena. In my life — around November I start thinking of all the things I am going to accomplish over Fall Break. I end up sleeping, resting, eating, lounging, laughing, and then poof — I am back at it. Shocked I then quickly make a list of what I need to do over Winter Break. I make folders, files, piles, stacks, check lists… I am all set. Somehow, I start having to gather things for taxes and thinking of the next year. I make resolutions, project timelines for the year, set up my new budget, and then before I know it, I am looking forward to Spring Break. As I am recovering from St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I stumble across the dusty lists, folders, piles, and such and get determined to make it to summer. Summer is also a great opportunity for professional development, trainings, conferences, and the like. Going through reading piles outdoors is not a bad life. Finding the bottom of your inbox jamming out to favorite high school albums until 3am because you don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow — this is bliss! It is now July. Sorry for the abrupt news flash — but summer is almost over. Now what… Do Something!

Please don’t put your conference materials up on a shelf somewhere to gather dust. Something that seemed pertinent in November may not be that big of a deal now — let it go. Little things like “organize office” sit on my to-do list for years… it is organized — it is on a list. What I want to focus on today is Do Something. You have accumulated a lot of ideas, methods, readings, plans, lists, and now — it is time to actually get something done. This is hard — it is a new element that has to become a part of your old pattern — so just pick one thing. Create something you believe in that will make your life better. Don’t waste the opportunity of fostering new ideas by letting them just stay ideas — let’s get to work on one thing!

My pal Billy Boulden is doing just this and I invite you to participate too! Billy and I first met in the Campus Activities context of NACA — in between balloon hats and college student faces painted like tigers, we would exchange greetings. It was nice to see a familiar (and unpainted) face. Then we co-facilitated a program together with some other amazing presenters and we got to know each other a little more. Now I am a part of an idea he had and that he is running with.

Billy has started Values or Not! as a blog and monthly conference call where we, within the fraternal movement — and beyond — can have reading groups, discussions, resource swaps, and the like on really tough subjects centering on our personal or organizational values. I heart me some Billy and I invite you to participate. There is a possibility that this won’t take off — won’t last very long — won’t come up with any grand conclusions — etc. — AND Billy isn’t just putting his IFI experience on a shelf — he is taking an idea to the next level. Let’s support him and let’s provide a space for us all to do something new. Before we know it — it is going to be summer again — we should do something now.

From Billy (

I will be starting a professional development conversation called Values or Not! The idea behind the program is that whether we are truly following our Values or Not! there are some important conversations that need to take place and are often taking place. I have enlisted the help of Jessica Pettitt ( to get the conversation started.

Here is how it will work. Topics will be determined and announced in advance. Some light reading material will be provided on the topic. Then, those interested will hop on a conference call and have at it. You could call it a facilitated conversation. Hopefully, it will inspire some professional development/learning and also determine best practices.

So join Jessica Pettitt, myself, and hopefully many others for Values or Not!: What makes a brother a brother? On August 8th at 4:00pm EST. This conversation will begin the dialogue on gender inclusiveness in fraternity and sorority life. We will discuss whether fraternities and sororities are sex based organizations or gender based organizations. How do we as professionals facilitate an environment in which cisgender students feel comfortable in joining the community? How do masculine and feminine roles play a part in our communities?

Now I recognize, this is a loaded conversation and actually several topics but we want to start the conversation somewhere. For the first call we will see where the conversation takes us and will use subsequent monthly calls to further elaborate on conversation topics until we decide to change it up.

Anyone can join the call so please feel free to share the information. I will be happy to post reminders about the call but if you want to get the reading material you will need to register by filling out this form.

I’ve invited you to fill out the form Values or Not!. To fill it out, click here.

Hope you consider joining us!

Social Justice Quotations That Keep Me Going:
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical disease with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.”
Mother Teresa [Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu]

From Rachel Maddow’s Show:
The wealth inequality chart

Wealth Inequality Chart

Read more…

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Participate in the next Go There! call… just click on “do something” when you are on my site.

Copyright 2015, Jessica Pettitt. Jessica Pettitt is the “diversity educator” your family warned you about. Through teaching, writing, and facilitating tough conversations, she has figured out how to BE the change she wants to BE. Now it is your turn!
As she travels around the country, you can catch up with Jessica on:

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