Thursday, April 17, 2008

Snackin' with Jerome McDonnell of Worldview

Yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to go down to the Chicago Public Radio studio on Navy Pier and enjoy some great conversation about activism and world hunger. Our wonderful Chicago Bread for the World staff put together a program where we could meet Jerome McDonnell, host of Worldview. What a warm and wonderful individual! We got to hear about how Worldview came about, his goals for the program and insights on his hosting philosophy. BFW passed out white papers on the upcoming global poverty issues we are advocating about and we had time for some lively discussion about the state of poverty in the world.

Which brings me to a story about me re-learning a fundamental lesson: you don't get to stop paying attention even when you're out of college! Some of you seem to particularly enjoy personal stories about my missteps on this journey, so here it is:

WBEZ had really rolled out the red carpet for us with a wonderful lunch, a conference room with a phenomenal view of Lake Michigan (on a particularly beautiful spring day), and ample time with Jerome. I firmly told myself "Less talking, more listening!!" as there were many people there I could learn from. Conversation ranged from micro-loans to Share Our Soles to the Farm Bill. I was basking in the conversation, heady with that mid-afternoon I'm-playing-hooky-in-the-middle-of-the-day feeling because I was getting to hear about all this good stuff instead of the normal lunch conversation I usually engage in. I was on the edge of my seat learning all this new stuff, but when they turned to the Farm Bill, I suppose my brain sort of drifted since I have a handle on that after advocating on it for a year. I allowed my mind to sort of drift through the window and down to those lovely boats on the lake. Vaguely aware that someone was asking Jerome what he had done on the show on the Farm Bill and Jerome was wanting to know what we wanted, suddenly I was pulled back by our Bread coordinator turning to me and saying, "You're an advocate. Why don't you take this one?" To which my brain (not my mouth, thankfully) responded, "Boats???" My moment and I was missing it! I came up with an answer that hit on the main topics, but it was definitely on the rambling side and might have come off like I was telling Mr. McDonnell how to run his show after giving it 2 milliseconds of thought! Fortunately, I saw him later that night at the Expo and got a chance to follow up with him. So, the take away is, if you're going to bother to become educated on a topic and advocate about prepared to do so at any time!

Anyway, that aside, it really was a great afternoon followed by the Global Activism Expo that night filled with orgs and people with the common goal of making the world a better place. An uplifting day overall!

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