Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times

As my flight from Toronto made its descent to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 15, 2015 after 11 hours of flying, my excitement grew – my heart began to race as I looked out of the plane window to see Corcovado appear through the clouds.  I am really about to land in Rio, I thought.

Going to Rio de Janeiro had always been a dream of mine – something on my bucket list to do.  But, going there now knowing that my book, Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times, was being read in Brazil was something else – exhilarating, unbelievable and real!

I could not wait to hear what, Noemia Duque, author of ProsaPoesia and former free-lance writer for MTV Brasil, had to say about my book.

Noemia stated, “The conflict among environment and her psychological state of mind was palpable. It looked like that her dream was completely invisible to the people she worked with and dealt with.  She felt as a fish out of this habitat, talking to no one, at least no one seemed to hear and much less help or understand us and it’s a feeling that we black women know very well”.

So, without the luxury of a Public Relations machine behind me, I still have managed to get my book to another country, another continent so that another culture can experience it.  It is so exciting to know that my voice is being heard internationally now.

“Celeste’s book, Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times, examines the art of transformation and other skills that can be developed and that are needed to help one visualize a different outcome for an organization or one’s life.  It talks about how to develop vision, and the importance of vision for making things a reality.”

“My first impressions about Celeste Terry’s book related to her courageousness in talking about such intimate themes.  However, I understood immediately she had the right and deep perception that her history was a unique one, in spite of it being the common history of a thousand, maybe millions of women - specifically in this case, black women.  When I read the first pages I felt a kind of connection with her history, her battle to survive, her determination to go ahead in spite of the inhospitable environment.  Of course, I felt a bit of fear about the suicide idea that was discussed in the beginning of the book.  Yet, I confess it was an element of great curiosity about the history she was telling”, stated Noemia.

When asked if NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) – international non-profits – could benefit from the concepts in the book, Noemia indicated, “maybe, but in this case they should read the book to know their work and purpose”.

Further she stated, “Terry’s history with her richness of details and promise of suspension, in the way it is presented, makes us feel that we should never permit problems to destroy our will to live.  It seduces us at the first reading, making the reader breathe deeply, yet go on with the book – waiting for a happy end.  We can feel a lot of kinds of feeling in reading her book, but not indifference.

Essentially, I could say the strongest message is, “never give up, keep trying, keep moving, don’t worry be happy because life is a mission for everybody, so what we should do is give our best.  If I could translate the book in a word, it’d be separation – or most importantly, victory”.

If you have the desire to gain skill with the intangible art of transformation to help get to another level , the book will help you begin how to  “see” things differently –  to develop a vision that can transform things.

The book, Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times, by local author, Celeste E. Terry, is in circulation at Foundation Center – Cleveland.

Celeste Terry is Director of Grants, United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland and has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She is the recipient of “Outstanding Field Instructor 2012” from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University for her work with U.S. and International graduate students. She is also a Field Instructor at Cleveland State University/University of Akron Graduate School of Social Work.
Celeste is author of the book, “Transforming Non-Profits for Relevancy in Challenging Times”.