LA Diversity Con

Captains Log Star date 10-21-08

I still cannot believe a few weeks ago I was paddling on the mighty Amazon and one week later I was paddling with the entire Healer Team at Treasure Island! Much happened in such a short span of time. Another reason to savor each moment of each day, once it is gone it cannot be recaptured.

Last weekend I slept late, a great treat of the off season. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that there are other things which I enjoy in addition to Dragon Boating… turning other people on to the sport! Last week I was in Los Angeles for Kaiser’s national Diversity Conference. This was my 12th time attending this conference. It is always a time of renewal and affirmation for me - reconnecting with comrades in the diversity fight, and hearing about cutting edge ideas for interventions in the diversity world. I always come back from the conference ready to do battle, and it is a battle to help us “all get along”. Well this year is no different, except I did some Dragon Boat work at the conference which was very exciting.

I went to LA one day earlier so I could meet with some Kaiser employees who are interested in forming dragon boat teams in their facility. These facilities are Bellflower and Harbor City. I used my PowerPoint presentation for the first time and it was a great success. It was a very excited group representing THRIVE committees, Employee Wellness and Health Education. We all agreed that this sport was like no other in terms of creating team and organization spirit in the community and the workplace. We saw the creation of Kaiser Teams as a win-win for the employees and the organization.

By the end of the meeting they were all prepared to lobby for money, write proposals and budgets to get teams formed at their facilities. I will continue to work with both groups to make their dreams a reality. I was determined to continue my DB campaign at the conference. I ran each morning in my Healers shirt, hoping people would ask me about DB. People did and I was only too happy to talk about the team, the sport, and their interest in developing a team at their facility. At lunch, if there were people at the table I did not know I talked about Dragon Boating and encouraged people to try it. One time as I walked down a hallway someone was behind me asking about the tee shirt. She wanted to buy one. When I turned around she was someone I had lunch with the day before! She already heard my Dragon Boat story. She wants a team in her facility, which is in Woodland Hills……not sure there is a body of water there….that’s okay we can make a lake for them! So back to LA I go next month to continue to spread the word!

In the off season I will also be working with the coaches to revamp our Expectation Document as we continue to work on creating a competitive Masters and men’s crew for next season. We are all working on recruiting and to date we have 7 new recruits who will be on the water with us on November 1st. Thanks to those of you who are bringing new blood into the fold.

I have been in contact with Mike and Ed from Peru and I will be collecting cash donations to send to the people in the villages along the route of the race for the holidays. Any donation will go a long way.

Until my next entry, be well, be safe!   Kathy

Kathy Britt