Team Member Spotlight: Cristy Chung

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Luminare Group is all about inspiring connections. How did you get connected with the team?

I fell in love with Jara and her clear approach to Strategic Frameworks when I was at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV). We were creating our Theory of Change with a different consultant and making it so much more complex than it needed to be. Jara’s approach was a breath of fresh air – pulling us up out of logic model-type details, where we were getting stuck, to a broader view of our organization. The focus moved to understanding and naming our unique contribution to the movement to end gender-based violence.

As one of the anchors of that process for our organization, I worked closely with Jara to lead our organization through a process of getting clear on the problem we were trying to solve and naming the values, guiding principles, outcomes and strategies. We were a challenging group, and Jara was able to hold and guide us so well. Because of that work together and my desire to understand what is needed to create liberated organizations that are truly doing work to transform our world, I responded to Jara’s call for folks interested in working with her and the rest of her amazing team.

As a consultant who works on Pushing Practice/Strategy, what “ah-ha” moments do you help people have?

I work at the intersections of issues, processes and strategies for the purpose of equity and liberation. I help people find and name the heartbeat of their work, and I encourage them to play and experiment with their Strategic Framework. I also help them explore the connections between Strategy Formation Process and Movement Strategy and evolve their practice and strategy to support integration and a deeper impact.

Luminare Group is unrelenting in its pursuit of an equitable and just world. What drives you to do this work? What is the special something you bring to Luminare Group?

I have a desire to envision and create the world I want to live in, which is fueled by my deep commitment to race equity and liberation practices. I bring my 30+ years of work in the movement to end gender-based violence to the team, along with a spirit of curiosity and learning and an investment in cultivating cultures that support curiosity and learning.

I love helping people navigate paths forward, while integrating mind/body/spirit practices with Forward Stance and Transformation practices. Most of all, I bring my love of bringing people together and creating the conditions for belonging.

Bright Ideas: What tip would you give to someone who is interested in learning more about your work?

I recommend checking out Forward Stance, which emphasizes a proactive, strategic action that draws from sustainable energy in a constantly changing environment. I also recommend looking up MAG’s Five Elements of a Thriving Justice Ecosystem.

Get Lit: What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robyn Wall Kimmerer.

My favorite quotes right now are:

“Transformation is not accomplished by tentative wading at the edge.”

- Page 89 from the chapter called “A Mother’s Work”

“It’s tempting to imagine that these three are deliberate in working together, and perhaps they are. But the beauty of the partnership is that each plant does what it does in order to increase its own growth. But as it happens, when the individuals flourish, so does the whole.

The way of the Three Sisters reminds me of one of the basic teachings of our people. The most important thing each of us can know is our unique gift and how to use it in the world. Individuality is cherished and nurtured, because, in order for the whole to flourish, each of us has to be strong in who we are and carry our gifts with conviction, so they can be shared with others. Being among the sisters provides a visible manifestation of what a community can become when its members understand and share their gifts. In reciprocity, we fill our spirits as well as our bellies.”

- Page 136 from the chapter called “The Three Sisters” (corn, beans, & squash)

Lighten Up: What’s been the funniest moment you’ve experienced as part of Luminare Group?

I’m not sure since I’m new to the team. This is a sweet and lighted hearted moment that I love: finding out that Jara and I both love popcorn, warm chocolate chip cookies and fancy grown-up chocolate!

How can people get in touch with you?

You can email me at cristy@theluminaregroup.com or call me at 415.312.0144.

When you are not working, what can people most likely find you doing?

You can find me eating meals and having enlightening hilarious conversations with our four teenagers and extended family of young people. I can also be found playing with dogs at our dog hotel, Xena’s Clubhouse for Dogs.

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