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Field Director Kinzie Mabon shares their thoughts on the Table's 2021 Field Day, a chance for nonprofit staff to share strategy, best practices, and connect with others.

Field Day was an opportunity to get our members together to both debrief and talk about what happened in 2020 and 2021: what were the successes, what didn't go well, different data points, things like that. It was also a chance to talk about 2022, just to begin the initial stages because Field Day was in July so that's pretty early for people to start thinking about GOTV for the next year. We've included quick trainings in the past for Field Days, but something really cool that we did this year was giving our members themselves the opportunity to train each other. We did the Make Your Voice Heard training with Ryan Morrisey, formerly with Heartland Workers Center, that had fantastic responses. Then we did two panels, one of which was a coalition-building panel, which included someone from the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, (we've never expanded our network like that before!), and Erin Feichtinger from Together Omaha. They talked about what it's really like to work in coalition with other groups and be successful, because they have been successful. I think that got a lot of wheels turning about how we can work together and actually build something, and what it means to be in coalition.

The last panel we had was the favorite of everybody and is inspiring lots of work and future plans for our Field team. It was the Engaging with Returning Citizens panel. We had member organizations on there, we had a therapist on there, someone who works with returning communities, people who had been formerly incarcerated. Altogether, Field Day was about a lot of stuff: it was about culture building, getting on the same page when it comes to Get Out The Vote work and the work that we have been doing together and are planning to do together. It was about thinking about the future and the ways we want to grow as professionals, in the community, and to all network together. Getting everyone on the same page about what the best practices are makes it more possible for people to build programming that can coincide. Whether you're working in coalition or not, all the work we do means we are cogs in a million part machinewe can't exist without each other. So when everyone's operating from the same level of understanding, rooting ourselves in what the goal is of the work and what the best practices have been for the different tactics that we're employing, it makes it more possible for folks to work together. It makes us more successful. I think it just builds the community further. When people are able to have leveled conversations, you start to see each other in a much fuller way.

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