[act-ma] Socializing for Justice is closing this September

Robbie Samuels send2robbie at gmail.com
Fri Jul 14 14:23:24 PDT 2017

Socializing for Justice is coming to a close this September. It's been a
great run - 11 years! *Please join us on Thursday, September 28 to
celebrate all that we've accomplished* as a volunteer-run, grassroots,
cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community and network in Boston.

We grew to over 3,100 members, hosted over 230 events, and facilitated
countless connections. *We are celebrating at Lir on Boylston by Hynes
Convention Center. Learn more about what we have planned for this summer
and RSVP for this event at www.SoJust.org

I had no idea how starting Socializing for Justice was going to change my
life. I met my best friends, including my wife, through SoJust.

*I would love to hear YOUR story. Please post as a comment on this
thread: https://www.facebook.com/robbie.samuels/posts/10159038977170029?pnref=story

*"Because of SoJust..." *Who have you met? What have you learned? Who have
you influenced?

For some reading that SoJust is closing is a shock. For those who have been
aware of the ways my life has changed in the last few years - you probably
saw this coming. I've been a self-employed work-at-home dad for the last
2.5 years and this December my second son will be born. Meanwhile, I'm
launching my first book, "Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and
Inclusive Networking at Conferences" on July 30
<http://www.robbiesamuels.com/launchteam> and a virtual group coaching
program this fall*.*

To say a lot has changed since 2006 is a major understatement. It was not
an easy decision to close SoJust and I've put it off as long as I could,
but it's time. I'm proud of what we created together and I hope you'll join
me in person on Sept. 28th for one last hurrah!

When I started SoJust in 2006, I was still fairly new to Boston, having
only been in the city for a few years. I had made some friends and was
hired for my dream job, but something was missing. I had come to recognize
and accept that my identity was complex, as was the way I saw the world. I
was not a single-issue person and was looking for a community that would
support me and challenge me.

I had met amazing people doing important progressive work in Boston and
wanted to find a way for us to connect and share resources. I just looked
back at my earnest emails from July 2006, when I reached out to a dozen or
so people after speaking with them about this idea I had. The flurry of
emails trying to schedule our first meeting and even my first foray into
using an early form of "Doodle" to coordinate our schedules.

To give context, I was still on MySpace when SoJust got started.

We had our first and only "steering meeting" on August 1, 2006, launched on
Meetup a few days later, and had our first event in mid-September (50
people came an incredibly diverse group). We decided no more meetings,
let's focus on the socializing! And that's what we did - we held two
socials a month all around the Greater Boston area for 6 or 7 years before
switching it up and trying our hand at also running discussion groups for a
year and then mixing in monthly ProfDevs (professional development

At our core has always been the idea of being a welcoming community and
that has been most visible at our large networking events held a few times
a year. Our regulars, the SoJust STARZ, are the reason our group never
became clique-y. Many STARZ became my closest friends and 9, 10, and even
11 years later we're still in each others lives. The group would have ended
many, many years ago if not for the ongoing involvement of our STARZ.

Many, many thanks to Jaclyn Friedman for her early encouragement and
introductions and to Hilary Allen, for her willingness to jump on board and
help me build, reflect, and transform SoJust in those crucial foundational
years. Her role as co-organizer was later filled by Alison Brill and then
Jessica "JC" Critcher - I could not have done this alone and owe these
women a huge debt of gratitude. I must also thank the string of interns we
had the benefit of working with over the years - and Lisa Worsh from
Northeastern University's Co-Op Program for recognizing the value of our
efforts, despite our organization not being then (or ever planning to
become) a 501 c3 nonprofit. Speaking of nonprofits, I must also thank The
NonProfit Center for being a wonderful partner over the last several years
- hosting our monthly ProfDev Series.

*The last few ProfDevs are:*

   - *July 18 "Mentors Make a Difference: Build Your Personal Board of
   Directors" - *https://www.meetup.com/sojust-tm/events/239317103/

   - *August 16 "Socially Responsible Investing" - *
   - *September 19 "Art of the Schmooze" *(my signature session, which was
   inspired by SoJust STARZ) - https://www.meetup.com/sojus

The number of people to thank are too numerous to mention. You know who you
are and I hope you'll reach out to say hello.

Now I'll bring this to a close, before this turns into my second book. ;-)

For Justice,

Robbie Samuels
Socializing for Justice Co-Founder

p.s. Don't forget to share your "Because of SoJust..." story on this
Facebook post:

p.p.s. We asked this question last year and created a really great video
for our 10th birthday - have you seen it? https://youtu.be/zIeIBiNSjYU
               *Speaker, Author, Coach, Podcast Host*
 | @RobbieSamuels
 | Facebook
 *|* ArtoftheSchmooze.com

   "Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive
   Networking at Conferences" will be available July 30, 2017.
                          * Join my launch team!

                  *On the Schmooze*
                 stories of leadership and networking

                 Ready to make a change? Download
*             "Ten Tips for Convention Connections"

                 STOP wasting time networking and
                 START building great relationships

*    As a professional speaker, I am seeking introductions to *
*companies, law firms, and associations that host conferences *
*    and/or send staff to trade shows - thanks in advance!*

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