July 22, 2011

Every summer, I teach in the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I’m been doing this since 2000 – and it’s one of the most meaningful experiences in my life.

We talk a lot about CRQs in my classes at SMU. CRQs — Student shorthand for “cage-rattling questions.”

Kudos to Cohort 21. Here are some of the cohort’s cage-rattling questions:

1. By asking cage-rattling questions, we’re assuming we’re in a cage. What is this cage? Where does it come from? Is it our own cage or the cage of others or?

2. Does privilege have to come at the expense of others? Is privilege always negative? Does the negativity of privilege come from a lack of acknowledgement of one’s own privilege?

3. What imapct does social media/technology have on social capital?

4. Why do we assume that “ideal” is not possible?

5. Why aren’t we proud of our pride?

But we don’t just focus on CRQs (cage-rattling questions) in my courses at SMU. We make up bumper stickers, too. How about these: “Don’t assume the ideal can’t be real.” “Inspire to inquire.” “Power is not all bad.” “Asking why is better than assuming.”

And here’s another one: “Are you wearing your context lenses.” (Yup, Cohort 21 said “context” not “contact.” Setting the context for things. Remembering that context is necessary to follow along and learn and explore and change.”

However, as Cohort 21 noted, sometimes the bumper stickers are so long that we must be driving a Humvee or something else with a really big bumper. And, of course, really big bumpers are often gas guzzlers…and that isn’t so good for climate change.

Check out the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. It’s pretty darn special


Filed under: Leadership

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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