We have some news to share: over the next few months Pollen will be winding down its operations.


As we prepare to sunset Pollen and intentionally phase out its programming, we’ve been thinking about how to do it in a way that brings more healing and hope amongst the sadness this loss will bring. True to our nature-inspired name, Pollen is exceptionally talented at embracing an evolutionary process — trying to be continually fluid and responsive — even when that means coming to an end.


While we never wanted the sun to set on us, we see this as an opportunity to reflect back with gratitude that we were able to experience something as a collective community for so many incredible years. We hope that this ending can be an opportunity for new growth and that Pollen’s work will live on through the many people who were involved throughout its life.




GIF from Libby Vander Ploeg Work Redux | Consequences 2017



Pollen changed a lot of our lives.

Pollen elevated what we believe is possible. Pollen showed us how to be better at telling our own stories for and with each other. Pollen — through over a decade of Work Redux, Like A Boss, and Unraveled Network events — has been amplifying marginalized voices in leadership positions to share the truth and reality of what we face in this region. And in our ending, Pollen is leaving us all with the tools, memories and hope we’ll need to navigate what comes after.


While this news is sure to bring a lot of sadness, it is written from a place of deep gratitude and pride that we got to be a part of this crucial soul-building work.








When you spread Pollen, things grow. And the same is true for stories.


At Pollen, stories were our secret power. Stories nurture our human potential for deep empathy. Stories pave new paths and new opportunities for communities to connect across lines of difference. Stories inspire us to fight for each other when our flawed and beautiful humanity is threatened.



That’s why Pollen shared stories of individuals who want to change our collective story for the better. Stories that dig into the nitty gritty, the heart-wrenching, the inspiring and funny elements of life in our region, and shed light on the wider world around us. Only by turning to detail and nuance, getting at truths both comfortable and uncomfortable, can we begin to relate the unrelated.


Pollen stories — crafted with both vibrant, colorful art and visceral, intimate writing — drove towards a choice: to take action on what you learned. We worked with a talented, diverse network of artists and writers who take words and images beyond literal representations of our world, and into the realm of the emotional — that was our way of tipping stories into action.

Meet Nausheena Hussain 2016

Meet Mark Haase 2018

The Revolution Will Be Served On A Plate 2020

Meet Tricia Heuring 2016

The Blessing 2019

Meet The Coven 2018

A World In Balance 2019

Worth Fighting For 2018

Meet Sarah Bellamy 2017

Meet Emma Berg 2015







Through narrative experiences, Pollen grew a network of Pollenites who have an unwavering belief in equity, empathy, and our shared humanity. Our success will be found in the sum of all the connections and actions Pollenites make when they were inspired by the platform, the space, and the hive that Pollen created.











Pollen turned connection into an engine for those seeking to make real, tangible change by curating opportunities to take real action towards the most urgent challenges facing our communities. Inspired by the narratives of our community, Pollenites curate, distribute, and engage with meaningful actions to shape that community for the better. The urgency of challenges facing our communities demands consistent, meaningful action—whether through organizing grassroots events, convening difficult neighborhood conversations, changing workplace policies, or other strategies yet to be dreamed up by our Pollenites.




You are a Pollenite If…

You have an unwavering belief in equity, empathy, and our shared humanity. You seek to understand the thorniest of issues, particularly from a perspective that might not match your own.


You embrace your civic responsibility and contribute to your community through active leadership. You hear a story and then take action on what you learned. You make art that takes words and images beyond literal representations of our world, and into the realm of the emotional. You’re imagining what could be instead of what is. You move beyond the transactional and access empathy to connect across difference — taking more meaningful action in our shared journey toward a better world. 









Pollen Logo




Though Pollen is ending, what was planted will continue to grow. Pollen spread a deeper understanding of human connection as the pulse that sustains our ability to create, work, and push for solving some of the biggest challenges we all face. As we close this chapter, we still believe a world more free, just and loving is possible. Thank you to all who believed with us for fourteen years.




To our many contributors, thank you for making with us.

— p o l l e n —