The Illinois Initiative is a membership-based organization. You don’t have to be a member to attend our events or get involved with our campaigns. We have “Friends of ILI” who may occasionally volunteer, show up to events, like our page in order to learn about community happenings, etc. However, official members of the Illinois Initiative help decide which campaigns to focus on and how to approach them.

If you just want to volunteer at a particular event, there’s no need to become a member. Just show up and do what you can to help. If you plan to volunteer on a regular basis, or want to start a new campaign, or want to learn the new skills required to work on a new campaign, we recommend that you become a member.

What Members Do

Illinois Initiative members are people who choose to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to community service work. As a member of the ILI, you choose your own goals and we work together to help you achieve your goals. In pursuit of these goals, every member is expected to do a combination of Inner Work and Outer Work.

  • Inner Work (About 5 Hours Per Month): This includes health and fitness programs, meditation, creative self-expression, learning new skills, self-defense training, training specific to a campaign, etc.
  • Outer Work (About 5 Hours Per Month): This includes any specific and tangible actions taken in support of an ILI campaign. You can either help another member with their own campaign or start one of your own that’s compatible with our mission.

Members strike a balance between doing inner work to support personal empowerment and outer work to support community empowerment. On a good day, the inner work and outer work are mutually supportive, leading to exciting experiences of personal growth while doing your best to make a difference in your community. As long as you’re active and making progress toward your goals, we’re not strict about the details. Those are up to you.

How To Become A Member

Becoming a member is a three-step process:

  1. Meet with a current member. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about membership and ask any questions.
  2. Choose a campaign. Each member of the ILI focuses on at least one campaign related to the mission of the ILI. This can either be an existing campaign or a new campaign that you’re proposing.
  3. Choose your actions. What concrete actions will you take to achieve the goals of your campaign? This includes both Inner Work (education, training, etc.) and Outer Work (events, programs, etc.).

Once you’ve discussed your campaign and actions, existing members will discuss your membership. If they like your campaign and action ideas and think you’re ready to start working on them, you will become a member.

Joining the ILI also makes you eligible to become a member of the Initiative Collective, a global network of people like you who are committed to doing good in their communities. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Initiative Collective, first become a member of the ILI and ask Treesong to recommend you for Initiative Collective membership.

Current Members

Treesong is the founder of the Illinois Initiative. He is a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero living in Southern Illinois. His current projects include co-hosting an environment-themed community radio show on WDBX and serving as branch leader of the Illinois Initiative.