Cheryl Honey is a certified prevention specialist and a pioneer of Community Weaving practices. Community Weaving taps grassroots resources and mobilizes the strengths and assets of caring people committed to creating a more civil society. Cheryl authored the Community Weaving chapter in the Change Handbook (2nd Ed.). Community Weaving is featured as a transformative community building methodology. The Northwest Area Foundation identified Community Weaving as one of the top models in the country to reduce poverty. Cheryl founded the Family Support Network (FSN) in February, 1992. Over a period of 15 years, she built the FSN into a nationally recognized "bottom-up" community mobilization strategy to weave a community web of support for all families and children across America. This exciting network is implemented by trained Community Weavers all across the country who are networked together with cutting edge web-based technology. The FSN received a grant from the Institute for Civil Society for a pilot project to replicate FSN's through systems in 1997 and establish an FSN Institute in the Puget Sound. The Lifetime Channel featured a story about Cherylís work with the FSN in a segment for New Attitudes which aired January, 1999. Cheryl is an advisor to the Alliance for Human Empowerment. Cheryl is president of Excel Strategies, Inc. a Washington based corporation and consults around the country on how to create a more civil society through volunteerism. Cheryl has trained and certified over 800 Community Weavers and Family Advocates and facilitated over 100 trainings, for volunteers and staff. She's had the privilege of presenting workshops at various conferences around the country and Canada, including the Family Resource Coalition's National Conference in Chicago; Building on Family Strengths in Portland, OR; Neighborhoods USA in Sacramento; and, the Grassroots and Groundwork Conference in St. Paul where Community Weaving was showcased as one of the top models in the country to reduce poverty in America. Canada recognized her innovative approach to community development at the Designing Community Health Conference in Alberta B.C. Cherylís achievements include the Jefferson Award for public service, awarded by the American Institute for Public Service; Daily Points of Light Award in February, 2006, and the prestigious Giraffe Award for sticking her neck out to provide a solution to empower families and strengthen communities. In October, 2002 she was selected as an Ambassador for Peace by the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace and in July, 2003 she was presented with the Excellence in Leadership award by Senator Davis on Capital Hill. The ABCD Institute at Northwestern University recognized the FSN model as an exemplary capacity building approach. Her referenced in "Parents Leading the Way" by the National Family Resource Coalition in Chicago. She was an advisor to the Washington State Family Policy Council, was a member of the state's Family Preservation Steering Committee and is currently serving on Washington State's Co-Occuring Disorders Interagency Committee. She graduated from Washington State University's Cooperative Extension Family Community Leadership Program, the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, a program of the Center for Ethical Leadership and Mediation Training at the Dispute Resolution Center in Everett, Washington. Articles about Cheryl and the Family Support Network have been published in numerous newspapers around the country including two front-page articles in the Seattle Times. "Bothell volunteer grew her group into 800 pairs of helping hands" on February 8, 1997 and on March 2, 1996, an article entitled "Substitute for Welfare: Volunteerism a Better Way?" The insight she gained from working one on one with families and local agencies indicated the need for a greater understanding of social and economic issues impacting the welfare and safety of children and families. She graduated with honors and delivered the commencement address at Edmonds Community College in June, 2003. She received certificates in Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counseling; Mental Health Case Manager; Human Services Case Management; Mediation; A/DIS, and Family & Community Leadership. She received her Bachelors in Liberal Arts from Antioch University in Seattle in Transformative Community Building and Human Services in December, 2004. Her inspirational story about how she transformed her own life and her community inspires diverse audiences all across America. Cheryl engages citizens to work together to improve their quality of life and create a more caring, just and civil society to save our childrenís future. She is a valuable resource to state and federal agencies, organizations, communities, schools and faith-based organizations who are developing programs in volunteer recruitment, leadership development, civic engagement, prevention and community mobilization initiatives.
Tell us about a meaningful experience you have had with self-organizing and/or ways you are engaging with new forms of leadership and organization.: Spearheaded Community Weaving America initiative. Currently implementing "process" in 6 communities across the US. The initiative was started in Chicago, IL as a demonstration pilot for a national initiative. When you think about leadership in a self-organizing world, what questions are cooking you? What do you hope to learn at this gathering?: Shifting a command and control response system to a prevention model whereby the community members self-organize into networked adaptive social support systems at all levels of community.