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In every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. — Iroquois proverb

Seven Generations Circle

To mark its 20th year of service, City Year Seattle/King County (CYSKC) launched an associate board called the Seven Generations Circle in the fall of 2017. The CYSKC Seven Generations Circle aims to support CYSKC’s goal of serving two complete feeder patterns (3rd-9th grade) by raising awareness of CYSKC and cultivating new champions and supporters.

The Seven Generations Circle is focused on raising awareness of CYSKC within their professional and personal circles, converting that awareness into increased participation and revenue, and providing a space for networking and community-building. As an associate board, the Seven Generation Circle was established to complement the activities of the Advisory Board (senior executives who facilitate major financial or other contributions) and the Alumni Board (primarily a means for recent City Year graduates to stay connected to each other and the current corps).

Activities and Areas of Focus

In its first year, the Seven Generations Circle averaged 17 members, with the following activities:

  • met in November 2017, February 2018, April 2018, and June 2018
  • participated in CYSKC’s MLK Day of Service
  • coordinated a Wine Wall at CYSKC’s annual Ripples of Hope gala, raising nearly $10k
  • organized one ‘friendraiser’ for June 2018
  • drafted marketing and messaging materials and an op-ed
  • established a governance committee that met by phone between full circle meetings

After year one, the following areas of focus have emerged – acknowledging that these areas will evolve with the composition of the group:

  • Marketing and messaging. A number of Seven Generations members have professional experience in marketing and public relations, so took the initiative to develop messaging materials.
  • Corporate circles. The Seven Generations Circle has members from Seattle’s largest employers, including Amazon, Microsoft, the University of Washington, and Starbucks. Those members have begun exploring awareness-raising activities at their companies, connecting with their formal City Year liaisons (e.g. those in charge of grant-making) and seeking to build a champions community however appropriate for their culture and organization. For example, Amazon sent a team to MLK Day and is organized an Amazon City Year Champions' happy hour in June; executives from Boeing have participated in City Year school visits; Microsoft has hosted Leadership After City Year events.
  • “Friendraising.” The first friendraiser was hosted at Populuxe Brewing in June 2018 and was co-hosted with the alumni board; thanks to a Populuxe connection by a board member, $1 per pint sold that evening went to City Year. Members have also discussed events like screenings of films relevant to City Year’s mission, with community discussions afterwards.

The Seven Generations Circle has two primary tenets:

  1. All Seven Generations Circle activity will be directly in support of CYSKC’s annual goals;
  2. All Seven Generations Circle activity will be self-executing, meaning members organize meetings and carry out activities without using CYSKC program funds or staff time (while acknowledging that some staff time is necessary to achieve Tenet #1).

Interested in learning more? Ready to join? Reach out to Alissa Schneider @ 206.219.5016 or

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