Today is the last day to apply to join the PURPOSE team…well, it was supposed to be. But over the past few weeks, I done heard through the grapevine that folk ain’t quite clear about what we’re doing, who we’re looking for, how we work and and and… While I thought stating “We value transparency and welcome any questions that may arise from our work or this process” would be enough to bring those questions straight to me, life ain’t always that simple. And since we’re doin thangs in our purpose-full, liberated, revolutionary way – well, let’s just say our way might seem a bit foreign.

First and foremost, everything we do begins with a question of purpose. Not the simple, transactional kind where more work equals more people; but the deep, reflective kind that asks: how do we build a powerful team that works collectively and creatively while feeling empowered to self-determine? (There go those Kwanzaa principles again.)

In this hiring experience folks will name themselves, shine to their fullest, and build skills that will support them well beyond the work they might do for us. This revolutionary entrepreneurial practice that centers humanity over productivity is my contribution to the legacy of liberation that grounds me.

So, who are we looking for?

The heart of the matter is if you’re interested in supporting artists (particularly Black folk), organizers, and the institutions that support them while working in a community built on trust and self-determination, we lookin’ for ya.

Honestly, that is perhaps the hardest thing to articulate. So many of the decisions behind the success of PURPOSE have been in my gut, and that can’t always be codified. What I can say is that free-thinking and follow-through is paramount. You need to be able to run your own shit. Experience in marketing and web design is useful, but we can teach that. A comfort with technology is imperative – from Google docs and Hangouts to social media and e-mail (no really, we love e-mail). In fact, if you’re really good with technology, you don’t even have to live in/near New York to get the job.
The heart of the matter is if you’re interested in supporting artists (particularly Black artists), organizers, and the institutions that support them while working in a community built on trust and self-determination, then we’re looking for you.

Why is this application so long?

30 minutes is a lot of time. Like a whole episode of black-ish. Or a really great power nap. So why would we ask you to spend that much time on an application? Because we want to KNOW you as much as we can before you get in the room. How many times have you tried to write the perfect cover letter and then walked into an interview and felt like, “These mofos don’t know me from who-shot-John”? Yea, we’re not about that life. Our Assessing Skills section allows you to name your own expertise. Our Understanding Values section lets us know how you might integrate into our way of working. Our Honoring Time section clarifies the commitment you can provide to our work. Your resume – well that’s just icing on the cake and confirmation for what you’ve already named. We trust you. We want you to tell us who you be and what you’re bringing to our space.

What’s up with this 3-day training?

Every day will last 5-8 hours, not starting earlier than 11am, with food provided.

A whole weekend. Again, a lot of time. Let me start with this: every day (July 22-24) will last between 5-8 hours, not starting earlier than 11am, with food provided. Yes, I always believe in feeding people! Through the process on July 22, we will select our team. We’ll spend the next two days diving deeply into purpose-full practices with our staff alongside guests who will have paid for the training experience.

What will we do in the training?

I am creating a space for building and thriving. I am creating an experience where you begin to understand my vision for PURPOSE as a lifestyle. This training develops skills applicable to any and all work you might do. It’s about building folk up so they can do their best work in every space they enter.
A few of the things we’ll investigate:

  • Liberated entrepreneurial practices rooted in collective thriving – We are not capitalists, but we do need to eat. Throughout the training, I’ll offer various tools and strategies that have guided the rapid growth of PURPOSE and allowed me to feed my family AND my friends. Most importantly, we will invite folk to vision their own entrepreneurial practice because we believe when you thrive in your freedom, we are all stronger.
  • Clear communication skills – Seems simple right? Kind of like common sense. Well my grandma told me common sense ain’t common. We’re offering our communication habits and processes in hopes that your conversations, phone calls, and e-mails lead to successful work and positive relationships. We’ll spend a good deal of time challenging and questioning so that even our most difficult dialogues leave us feeling like we’ve spoken our peace.
  • Marketing as a storytelling tradition – While PURPOSE offers a wide range of services, the current majority of our work is marketing-focused. We define marketing as storytelling and we will guide you in our philosophies and strategies that support this value. We’ll also share skills around specific marketing tools including social media, e-mail, graphic design, websites, and more.
  • Understanding child care as people care – We watch babies (and toddlers and children and teenagers) and we learn from them constantly. They tell us when we are not clear. They express emotion without hesitation. They love in ways we have sometimes forgotten. We believe in caring for everyone, from staff to sojourners, the way we care for our children.
See why we need some time? We’re trying to do a lot!

On July 25, we will schedule hour-long conversations with each team member to exchange mutual feedback on the experience. Then THE WORK BEGINS. You’ll take your tools and run, with some checkpoints along the way of course. We can only hope that your life will be informed and invigorated by our purpose-full practice.

Real change is always a lot  — radical vision, shifts in thinking, growing pain.

Some may think that all of this is a lot to ask, especially for a max annual salary of $8k. Real change is always a lot. It’s composed of radical vision, shifts in thinking, and growing pains. We’re asking you to grow with us and trust that the financial opportunities and compensation will as well. After all, we’ve doubled our income every year since 2013.

Now that we’ve named all that,
we’re extending our application deadline

I also gotta take a moment to acknowledge the folks that helped me bring this to life. Even though we’ve had a team for over a year, this is our FIRST application process. Numero uno, my Baba who opened the way when he said, “I can train some people. Remember? I know how to do that.” He continues to offer guidance and challenge me to be clear every step of the way. My partner and Associate Director, Tim, who constantly reminds me that this crazy way we do things is not only possible, but necessary. My sista squad – Veleda, Kendra, Sydnie, and many more – who talked through ideas, read words, gave feedback, told me to go back and try again, and continue to share knowledge about this process. And you, every one of you who shared, read, applied, thought about it…I am learning from each of you.

I am constantly learning through the building. There is improvisation and there are steps. There is movement and there are characters. There is language and there is feeling. And I am so grateful to anyone who dances this dance with us. I know that I am because we are, and because we are therefore PURPOSE is.

We look forward to your applications: 7 more days and counting…