Executive Director Posting

Dear Friends of The Leaven Center,

Recently you received a letter telling you that our Executive Director Melanie Morrison will leave her position at the end of 2007. We have now begun a national search to recruit a new executive director. Because we are seeking a director who understands and embraces the unique mission of Leaven, it seemed natural that we would turn to you for assistance in this search.

Each of you has a connection with, and investment in the future of, The Leaven Center. Therefore, we are sending you a copy of the job posting, and ask that you help circulate it as widely as possible. Perhaps you could pass it on to individuals who might be interested in applying, or you could distribute it through listservs or newsletters that may reach interested individuals.

Although we will miss Melanie's presence, we are also excited by the possibilities that are unfolding in this year of transition. We appreciate your support in so many ways as we move forward.

Oletha Haller
Search Committee Chair & Board Vice President


Executive Director
Leaven Center - Lyons, MI

The Leaven Center seeks an Executive Director. The Leaven Center (www.leaven.org) is a retreat and study center dedicated to nurturing the relationship between spirituality and social justice. Located on 25 beautiful acres of land near Lyons, Michigan, The Leaven Center provides a context where people committed to social change can find rest and nourishment for body and spirit, as well as bold and innovative programming. The meadows, woods, river banks, and facilities at the Leaven Center offer a healing and restorative environment for people who need to disengage for a time from their daily lives in order to re-engage more fully and creatively.

Leaven's programs are guided by a commitment to racial, sexual, and economic justice; the rights of people with disabilities; and respect for the wisdom of varying religious and spiritual traditions. Since opening in March of 2000, The Leaven Center has been the site of 177 retreats, workshops, or seminars facilitated by outstanding leaders and attended by participants from across the United States and Canada. Much of Leaven's programming addresses the needs and concerns of marginalized groups such as communities of color, women, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Core to Leaven's mission is the goal of building a community of allies who are committed to doing their own work in understanding their relationship to oppression and privilege and to building authentic relationships across difference.

Executive Director:

The Leaven Center Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and has responsibilities in the areas of fiscal development and management, program development, staff supervision, organizational development and governance, constituency development and publicity/marketing. Within these areas, the Executive Director will:

Oversee and manage organizational development, including strategic and operational planning
Develop the center's overall program vision
Supervise the management of day-to-day activities of the organization, including the hiring, supervision, and evaluation of all staff and contracted individuals
Develop and maintain relationships with constituents, guests, donors, and renters
Work with Leaven staff to increase and diversify Leaven's constituency base and oversee the publicity and marketing of Leaven programs
Work with the Board Finance Committee to develop yearly budget and business plans, research and prepare grants, submit interim and final reports to grant makers as requested
Work with the Board Fund Raising Committee to develop an annual fundraising plan to meet budgetary goals
Work with the Board Fund Raising Committee and staff to design and implement individual fund raising campaigns, coordinate the cultivation and solicitation of individual donors
Work with Board to develop and solicit corporate donor prospects.
Desired Qualifications:

Demonstrated commitment to Leaven's mission and values ~ demonstrated commitment to the personal work of understanding one's relationship to systems of privilege and oppression, and to the intimate relationship between spirituality and social justice ~ strong administrative skills ~ demonstrated experience securing, expanding, and managing multiple funding sources ( e.g. individual, foundation, corporate) and experience providing fiscal oversight, management, and development ~ supervisory and managerial experience utilizing a collaborative style in working with colleagues ~ knowledge of, and experience working with, diverse communities (urban and rural) and proven ability to work with multiracial, multicultural, multireligious, intergenerational communities and organizations ~ excellent communications skills, including strong verbal and written abilities ~ ability to both listen and lead ~ ability to inspire others and generate enthusiasm for Leaven's mission and programs ~ strong interpersonal skills and a hospitable spirit ~ ability to work variable hours, including evenings and weekends ~ ability to travel statewide ~ recent leadership experience in non-profit (or comparable) organizations preferred ~ bachelor's degree preferred.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience. Salary range is from 35K to 42K. Benefit package also included.

To Apply:

Please send the following:

A resume or vitea
A statement, no longer than 2 pages (double spaced) of relevant skills and work experiences related to desired qualifications
Contact information (including email) for three references
Information should be sent to:

Oletha Haller, Chair - Leaven Search Committee
2801 Cooley Drive
Lansing, MI 48911

Or emailed to searchcommittee@leaven.org

Deadline for submission of materials is August 3, 2007. The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. It is expected that a candidate will be selected by October 2007.

Leaven is an equal opportunity employer committed to developing a culturally diverse work environment that reflects the make-up of the people and communities we serve.

For further information contact:

Oletha Haller, Chair
Leaven Search Committee
2801 Cooley Drive, Lansing, MI 48911
517.484.2107 or 517.214.6194 (cell)

You can also find a copy of this job posting in pdf format at www.leaven.org/documents/EDposting.pdf .

red cross bs

Went to the red cross to donate blood the other day. Everything went fine, then they took me behind one of those portable wall thingies to ask questions about my medical history. Everything went fine until the lady asked me what I was taking Estradiol for. I leaned in closer so noone could evesdrop, then told her I was undergoing a sex change procedure.
She wasn't openly hostile to it or anything, but then she must have felt the sudden urge to ask me what was apparently an extremely important and relevant question about my medical history: "So do you have boy parts or girl parts?"
What the hell.
You don't ask a guy in a wheelchair how he pees, you dont ask a person born intersexual what their genitals look like, so who did this lady think she was?
Anyway, I politely said something to the effect of 'thats none of your business', and that was that.
But then, after i had finished giving blood, a different nurse called me back to ask a few more questions. Since they thought at first I was a born female, they had neglected to ask a few 'male only' questions, and they wanted to go over them with me. Fair enough, I thought, until a few questions in it happened again; "So do you still have your penis?"
Good GOD, people!
I again asked if that was even an appropriate question, the she acted all apologetically and said someone else told her to ask me that (yeah, right). Maybe I'm crazy, but I would think that people working in a MEDICAL FIELD would know better than to get rudely intrusive like this.

okay, i want to know something.
and somebody please just give me an honest answer.
why do people seem to find my genitalia so god damned fascinating? i really do want to know. why do complete strangers find it appropriate to ask such rude, irrelivant questions right to my face?!
god damn.

the Red Cross is definately going to get a phone call now.

any one?

dream of a day when someone not annoying gets onto one of these MTV true life...any takers???

True Life: I'm Out
Now that the anxiety of coming out to your friends and family is over, it's time to find out what being openly gay means to you. From going on your first date to marching in your first pride parade, True Life wants to follow you as you adjust to and explore the realities of gay life. Are you starting to date and not sure how to get into the game? Are you learning how to read your Gay-dar and are anxious to see if it works? Are you currently seeking new gay friends and feeling stressed about leaving old ones behind? Are you ready to go on a gay cruise or enter a drag contest but are afraid of what your family will think? Are you now homeless or being bullied as a result of coming out?

If you appear between the ages of 18 and 28 and are finding out that settling into your sexuality is tougher than you thought it would be we'd like to here from you. Please e-mail us your name, age, location, picture and brief situation to Out@mtvstaff.com