Discover the Best of What Is

In July, Be Strong Families started a year-long strategic planning process using appreciative inquiry, under the expert leadership of Yoland Trevino, founder of Transformative Collaborations International. The power of appreciative inquiry is that it taps into the stories of what an organization’s members believe is best and how those stories can be used to create new futures for the organization. The process is iterative and creative – and we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We are striving to create a simple, concise plan that every Be Strong Families parent leader, staff member, consultant, board member, partner organization, and supporter can rally around, remember, and use as a framework as we continue to develop transformative conversations that nurture the spirit of family, promote well-being, and prevent violence. We want to be grounded and guided by our strategic plan, in whatever form it takes.

The first phase, July 1 - September 25, is Discovery. During this time, we are gathering information about what’s best about Be Strong Families. We are discovering and uncovering our peak times of community excellence and learning from our extended Be Strong Families family what we do well and need to bring into the future. On July 23, seventeen of us gathered in Chicago to kick off this process. Click through the slideshow below to immerse yourself in the experience.

If you would like to offer your own reflections, please comment below or reach out directly to our Organizational Advancement Coordinator, Jessie Schrantz, at

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