Five years ago, I was engaged in the Occupy Portland encampment, known as the largest Occupy encampment in the world at the time, encompassing three city blocks and population of more than 500 Occupiers from all walks of life.
One of the most inspiring experiences of the Occupy movement was the spirit of DIY – taking the “revolution” into one's own hands. Many people on the margins of society, perhaps for the first time in their lives, found meaning and purpose in life and gained a sense of pride in themselves. Whether the Occupy movement had a lasting political impact on the larger scale may be debatable, but on this very small, individual level, the revolution already has happened.
At Micro-Revolution Academy, I would like to rekindle that spirit of DIY to start the flame of “micro-revolution,” an individual-level social and economic transformation from dependence and subservience to self-determination and personal power.
Since the inception of Limeadestand Works, my spark has always been for those who occupy the social and economic margins within our communities.
While I have been servicing high-end clients who are more affluent, my desire is to serve more people who are unemployable, low-income, and/or members of a systemically disadvantaged class.
Indeed, the very idea that now sees its fruition under the Limeadestand Works banner began as part of the Jaguar Sisters community organization, in which I sought to help unhoused women who are on their way to exit survival sex work. I have never abandoned my social mission and will not do so for the sake of cash.
At the same time, however, I fully recognize the physical limitations of my own capacity and responsibilities for making this enterprise financially sustainable. Limeadestand Works has helped small business startups to formulate and execute their branding and marketing strategies, as well as to assist in overall business planning. This service, however, is work-intensive and costs can be overwhelming for those who are on the lower income scale.
To overcome this challenge to accomplish Limeadestand Works' social mission, and to do so without getting clients into any debt, Limeadestand Works has established the Micro-Revolution Academy, a guided and facilitated learning program that would empower clients to do much of the work themselves but supported by frequent professional guidance and feedback, as well as by formation of a mutually supportive peer community (a “mastermind” learning group). In so doing, I have formulated a model in which a larger number of clients can be served at an affordable price, while at the same time, can build a community and forge lifetime friendships.
Some of the Micro-Revolution Academy groups will be geared towards specific population and interests, to address specific social, economic, and personal challenges they face, for example:
Those who complete the basic Micro-Revolution Academy program will progress (at their option) into an “Advanced Academy,” a project-based mentorship program in which participants will work on building their own business to the next level.
We are more than just about "making money." We are a community of learners and future business leaders who will make a tangible difference in the community as we advocate for social, economic, spiritual, and political self-determination for all. Come join the movement, welcome to the Micro-Revolution Academy!
It is ultimately our goal to make the Micro-Revolution Academy a self-sustaining program funded entirely by revenues from class fees, workshop materials, and other income associated with the Academy programs. Unlike many non-profit organizations we do not rely on donations nor is it our intention to subsidize the Academy programs through revenues from other “high-end” business ventures, service, or products.
However, you can support the works and visions of the Micro-Revolution Academy in a number of ways:
S.A. Willow Morrigan
President and founder, Limeadestand Works
Director, Micro-Revolution Academy