One Cause At a Time – Archive

An Archive of Chicago Now One Cause at a Time Posts

Archive for November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

leave a comment »

For readers of this blog – just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

And as always, please feel free to join us on Facebook.

See you next week!

Written by gordondym

November 26, 2015 at 8:31 am

Posted in Community

Tagged with

Winston Churchill: Inspiration For Social Change

leave a comment »

Every month, Chicago Now invites its bloggers to write about a set topic – for November, the focus is on a particular quote and describes how it resonates or has meaning for us. One of my personal go-to sources for inspiration is Winston Churchill, and one of his frequently used quotes describes my attitude about dealing with personal strife when working towards social change:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”

To be honest, this has been a really trying week – family health issues and some other personal matters have kept me busy, almost too busy to blog. As a nonprofit program director, I found myself navigating some tricky areas: personal matters with professional concerns, dealing with administrative challenges as well as helping others face their own challenges. Working through thorny issues within complicated socioeconomic/political/organizational structures can be emotionally challenging and may often lead to more severe issues like depression and burnout. Keeping perspective is also a challenge – many (especially those in the helping professions) deny their need for healing and relaxation – after all, someone needs to fight for social justice, and someone needs to take a stand.

But during those times – when my personal tragedies and professional challenges seem to overtake me – I remember Winston Churchill’s words.

There’s no false humility about them – no false optimism about the sun coming out tomorrow. Churchill’s quote reminds me that everything is temporary….and that the only way through something is through it. There are no shortcuts, no ways around the feeling, and it also makes it clear that – for those of us working with others – that we can face our challenges with the same strength we attempt to foster in others.

(Plus, I should point out…Winston Churchill was my childhood hero. Having read an age-appropriate biography, I admired Churchill for his tenacity and his moral certainty. As a child, I admired him for his quick wit and savage insight….and as an adult, I not only carry a booklet of Winston Churchill quotes on my e-reader, but I’ll often use these Winston Churchill-inspired motivational wallpapers on my desktop. So my admiration of Churchill’s character may tend towards the nostalgic, but I find great inspiration from an individual willing to stand his moral ground.)

Churchill’s quote has also helped me through several other challenges in my life: a failed relationship, the passing of loved ones, and even smaller scale professional issues. The quote has become my mantra during times of high stress (like this past week) – a way to remind myself that things may feel rough now, but they are only temporary. That success comes from dealing with smaller issues with great optimism, and recognizing that low points allow us to rebound.

And as a social change agent, I find that I share one quality with Winston Churchill: we both like people who grin when they fight.

Have any insights or quotes that inspire you? Let us know in the comments section below or share on our Facebook page. You can receive updates via e-mail (instructions below), or contact me personally via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.


Written by gordondym

November 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Update: LAST WEEK TONIGHT & Upcoming Events

leave a comment »

Things have been quite busy in the weeks before Thanksgiving….so much so that I thought I would provide an update, as well as promote some upcoming events that may interest Chicago nonprofits, social enterprises, and other social change agencies.

  • Two months ago, I wrote an Open Letter to John Oliver of Last Week Tonight, asking if he would be willing to be interested in an interview. Well, at the urging of several of my colleagues, I reached out to his representation, who sent me to HBO….and I am waiting for word. However, there is no plan at this time, but I am extremely hopeful to have the opportunity, if only because I want to ask him if he considers himself a “social justice warrior”.
  • If you haven’t already, please consider supporting the Chicago TARDIS Charity Auction – we are open to item donations, and if you want to make a direct donation, please visit Simply make a donation, note “Chicago TARDIS 2015” in the comments, and forward the e-mail receipt to It’s a great way to make a greater impact.
  • 501 Tech Club – an offshoot of Tech Soup focused on driving nonprofit tech literacy – is sponsoring a free lunch-and-learn on “3 Must-Have Google Analytics Tips for Nonprofit Professionals” (Food will be provided). If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by Wednesday, November 18th at 12:00 pm via this Eventbrite link.
  • For nonprofit marketing professionals – you might want to consider attending “Creating Meaningful Marketing Experiences: A Fireside Chat with the C-Suite” on November 18th at Catalyst Ranch. Join Mike Brennan, COO of  PeaPod and Jon Ferrara, CEO of (live via video) for an intimate, interactive conversation. They’ll talk about the challenges marketers face with bridging the generation gap, as well as helping organizations handle their greatest marketing challenges. For more information (including cost), please visit their Eventbrite link.
    Bring your biggest marketing challenge and learn from decades of experience from two industry leaders at one event.
  • Become, Inc is sponsoring a session called “Taking It To The Next Level: Marketing That Matters” on December 4th at 9:00 am at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. For more details – and to register – please visit their Eventbrite link.

Know of any other events or happenings of interest to the Chicago social change community?  Let us know in the comments section below or share on our Facebook page. You can receive updates via e-mail (instructions below), or contact me personally via the About page.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Written by gordondym

November 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm