I’m passionate about newly-developing approaches to fighting generational poverty and improving public health. I created this blog as a resource for people interested in collective impact, which utilizes cross-sector collaborations among private and public sector organizations and government to attack big social problems on many fronts at once. I love thinking about how the different parts of really complicated problems root into each other, and I love learning about how other organizations are working on solutions. And I love leadership, especially identifying people’s gifts and figuring out how they can be developed to catalyze a core mission.
As you can see from the list below, I’m also passionate about endurance sports, and still in the honeymoon phase of my affair with competitive running. And my Ph.D. gave me the permanent gift of a great love of poetry, Romantic and otherwise. I will go see any play by August Wilson, watch anything performed by the New York City Ballet or the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and read anything that Annie Proulx writes. Favorite poets: Rainier Maria Rilke, Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, Seamus Heaney (and many more). Too many favorite books to name, but some are Beloved, Interpreter of Maladies, To the Lighthouse, Shipping News, and The Hours.
I’m married to the intellectual-creative vortex known as Ian Eslick and we have twin daughters born in 2006. Together we have a passion for hiking, cycling, and Disneyland (the order depends on which one of us you ask).
Here are some of my favorite things:
Founding member and steering committee member, Women’s Leadership Council, United Way of the Bay Area, May 2011 to present. The Women’s Leadership Circle is a volunteer organization of women leaders working together to support the United Way of the Bay Area in its efforts to reduce poverty 50% by 2020. We’ll be pitching in on all aspects of the work, from policy advocacy to recruiting United Way donors and volunteers.
American Constitution Society, 2004 to present. The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) promotes the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. While I was a law student, I was a co-founder of the ACS Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition in Constitutional Law (first competition held in 2006), and I’ve served as the leader of my law school chapter, which earned the National Chapter of the Year for General Excellence award that year; steering committee member of the Boston lawyer chapter and co-founder of the now-annual Constitution Day gala event and fundraiser; and programming committee member of the Bay Area lawyer chapter. I’m a founding member of the ACS Next Generation Leaders (class of 2007) and the ACS Advocates Circle.
Member, Leadership San Francisco, Class of 2011. The LSF program develops future community leaders who are both knowledgeable about the city and concerned with its well-being. Individuals selected to participate in Leadership San Francisco explore community trusteeship, the ambition to work for the common good and serve the primary needs of others by holding their community in trust. I was part of a team that created the first all-day LSF session focused on food justice in the San Francisco Bay Area. I serve on the steering committee developing our class project.
Team in Training member, Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo century (100 mile) bicycle ride (October 2011), benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Pan-Mass Challenge team member with Ropes & Gray (two-day, 200-mile bicycle ride across Massachusetts), 2008, 2009, and 2010, benefiting the Dana Farber Cancer Center.
San Francisco Road Runners Club member and recreational runner, January 2011 to present.
Impala Women’s Racing Team member, February 2012 to present.
Best running results to date: 2012 San Francisco First-Half Marathon, Second Place, Women’s 40-49, Fifth Place, Women’s Masters Division, time: 1:40:58. Half-marathon PR: 1:36:32, San Jose Rock ‘N Roll Half, 2012. 2012 Catch the Road Runner 5K, Second Place Overall, time: 20:12.
United States Cycling Federation Category 2 bicycle racer (road and track) (in the 1990s). My home track was the Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, Washington, where I acquired the handle “Piranha Persyn.” Best results: silver medal, national championship tandem time trial, 1994 (with Glenn Erickson); 4th, women’s road race, collegiate road nationals, 1994; 33rd, women’s national road race championship (Cat 1-2-Pro), 1995; silver medal, points race, silver medal, team pursuit (with Thia Montroy), second place, miss and out, bronze medal, overall team finish (with University of Washington), collegiate track nationals, 1995; Collegiate All-American, 1995.