IT  HAPPENED. We trained a new PURPOSE-full team.

Yes, it’s nearly two months later. Yes, it took that long for what we did to sink in, and it’s still marinating. The newest member of our leadership team, Sydnie L. Mosley, said “Everybody NEEDS this experience!” While I haven’t quite figured out how to make that possible (please believe I’m tryin’ though), I would like to share a glimpse of our weekend in hopes that the ripples will continue.


We opened our weekend with values. First, the values of ancient cultures, then the values that make us who we are, then the values of PURPOSE Productions. As we told ancient stories, our stories, and PURPOSE stories, we observed what we are all carrying and what we are choosing to leave behind. Most importantly, we defined our unity. See, unity ain’t kum-ba-ya and we all agree. Unity, like love, is active and takes work. This work was our foundation and these values carried us through the weekend (particularly that one about flexibility after the wild travel tales of the week).

We found our way to values by telling our own stories. Through storytelling we define and sustain our legacy. As we dove into the PURPOSE-specific strategies and practices around marketing, we kept storytelling and legacy at the center. After all, PURPOSE Productions defines marketing as storytelling.


Location was perhaps one of the most interesting decisions along the way. I debated a different location each day, but something about that didn’t feel quite right. Eventually I settled on holding the first day in Manhattan for travel equity because I knew folks were coming from different boroughs. Then, days two and three were in the Jonestineitwards* living room. With my family co-facilitating, this philosophy of PURPOSE work as life work echoed from the walls (literally).

It was hot. And we were close. And we found some interesting ways to all fit in the room. But I knew doing the work at home was the best way to embody the integrated practice of PURPOSE. As my living room walls remain covered with notes, observations, and reflections, I am reminded of all the ways we built together and I am beyond grateful.


These folks thought I was absolutely crazy when I asked them to immediately apply what they were learning. They thought crafting an experience that showcased our values in three days was on the edge of impossible. And then, they did it!

When it came time to address their challenge, the rocky road smoothed out when someone moved the values back to the center of the conversation. When they focused on their shared values, the experience became clear. And by day three we were celebrating and laughing together over a delicious brunch while sharing our stories with each other.

The fact that it was a Sunday made me smile even more. Our experience was fellowship. It was a church we built together.


Just before leaving for this PURPOSE experience, we collectively defined success. This is one of those practices that I had no idea was “revolutionary” until pretty recently. I have known Kujichagulia all my life. This Kwanzaa principle of self-determination was both my foundation and my fire. Wasn’t nobody gon’ tell me who I was, not even my parents at times. And I brought that clarity to the PURPOSE team as I invited them to determine their success.

This definition will carry us into our work for the next year. It will ground us in our moments of questioning and (invigorate) us in our moments of celebration. We look forward to sharing this success with our sojourners and our community.

Our story has only begun…

Stay tuned for more PURPOSE workshops and professional development experiences! We’ve got two appearances this Fall as a part of Fourth Arts Block’s Sustainable Artist Toolkit series – Tellin’ Our Stories: Marketing for and with Community and Artists with Radical Visions: Shifting, Challenging, and Thriving. We’re also considering bringing back our $5 Fridays (although they may be more than $5). And of course we can come to your institution and offer a customized experience as we did earlier this year at Middlebury College and for the Field Leadership Fund Fellows.

Contact us for more information on bringing the PURPOSE-full Practice to you.


*Jonestineitwards is the combined family name of PURPOSE-full Leaders A. Nia Austin-Edwards and Timothy Veit Jones.

All photos captured by Sydnie L. Mosley