PJC 2021 Pause Reflections

-Rachel Siegel, PJC Executive Director

Like everything else that’s happened during the pandemic, the PJC’s Annual Staff Pause was different than it was in past years. We spent five days together in virtual space focused on content, hard skills, joy, and healing. 

Thank you to those who have been patient with us in getting back to you as we settle back in to our work and catch up on emails and such. The time out that this pause allows us is critically important to the relationship-building and culture shift we are creating internally. 

The content we dug into: 

  • Group agreements 
  • Work culture and equity statement 
  • The future of the fair trade programs 
  • Racial identity of PJC (facilitated by the one and only Ita Meno and including members of our board and Racial Justice Advisory Committee) 
  • Disability Justice (KQED program on Stacey Park Milbern) 

    Hard skills: 

    • Database training 
    • Website training 

    The silly things 

    • Buzzfeed and IQuiz quizzes 
    • Staff trivia Kahoot 
    • Social Justice Bingo 
    • Drawing each other 

    The healing/connective things 

    • Staffirmations 
    • Check ins 
    • Lunch and goodies 
    • Love Languages 
    • Meditation 
    • Time to ourselves to do whatever was healing, joyful, or otherwise valuable 

    Taking this pause together over video didn’t allow for rest and connection the way it has in the past. We had to be creative about how to play and work together and we had to be flexible with our scheduling. When we started getting Zoom fatigue, we needed to call it quits and get off our screens.  

    We also realized that while we were able to pause our external work, we can’t pause the internal workings of the organization. This left an extra burden on a couple of staff members for whom the new year is a very busy time with our membership drive as well as end of year tax related tasks. Next year, we will push the pause back to the end of January or the beginning of February to better equalize the impact of it on our workflows. 

    Once again, we appreciate the support and patience of the community to allow us space for this critical work. Next year the staff will be able to share space IRL!* 

    *In real life