A First-Timer’s Perspective on the Federation Convention
Friday, November 09, 2007
A Communication from Federation of Alliances Françaises USA
As a first-time visitor to the annual Federation meeting and convention, I was very pleasantly surprised by an experience which can only be described as top-rate. First -- and this was frankly to my surprise -- attending the event turned out to be a very effective use of my time. On the plane afterward I excitedly knocked out on my laptop a seven-page report containing new ideas, strategies and programs for our board and staff to examine. Several of the things I learned will help end agonizing months of debate and indecision. By far, the most valuable experience for me was the ‘open discussion/debate’ session where I was encouraged to unabashedly ask all the questions that needed asking, and found that other Alliances had the exact same questions and challenges. Together, we arrived at helpful conclusions on all the topics we undertook to discuss.
Second: the Milwaukee-based hosts could not have been more welcoming, gracious and concerned about the quality of the experience, for all of us attendees. I will always remember special moments such as listening to the eloquent presentation of Monique Giroux of Société Radio-Canada, dancing to Sénégalaise music, and the excellent art museum tour by an impassioned local docent who was brave enough to use his rusty French on the Alliance group.
Most important, though, was the realization that the Alliance federation is made up of a large and friendly group of like-minded philanthropic people who dedicate themselves selflessly to a shared passion for French and Francophile culture and language. What a delight to find that the same things that drive our hard work in Portland on the west coast also drive our counterparts in Omaha, Puerto Rico, and Providence. This realization contributed to a rare sense of community and humanity that I was very grateful to discover.
Linda Witt, directrice des opérations
Alliance Française de Portland