Generating ideas, connections, and action

Blog

Vision, Hope and Liberation: Some Thoughts and Exercises for Visioning

Oddly, I don’t think I have written much about my own leadership development experience, which was profound on many levels. As I sat down to write about vision I found myself remembering two experiences as a participant in the Kellogg National Leadership Program that shaped my thinking and beliefs. The first was a week long, small seminar for 12 lucky fellows, self included, with Paulo Freire. His book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was sacred text to me. I could write dozens of blog posts about that experience, but for the sake of focus I will go straight to one of many punchlines. On about day three, he walked over to me and kindly put his hand on my shoulder as he said, “Your problem is that you don’t dream.” He went on to explain that while power might change hands in the fight for justice, we will recreate systems oppressions without imagining a society in which we are able to reach our full humanity by liberating ourselves from oppressive relationships (either as oppressor or oppressed). read more »

Action Learning Seed Fund's Community of Practice

By Susan Misra, CoDirector of Management of Assistance Group

Looking back over the last year of the Action Learning Seed Fund's community of practice, a major theme that surfaced was how to hold and wield the power of our full intersectional selves in racial healing and equity work. This is complex and exhausting work to name inequity and hold space for racial healing between different communities and within the same community.

Our group of eight people struggle with patriarchy, sexism and misogyny among leadership within our communities, for instance. We work with these leaders to confront Islamophobia or xenophobia, to have courageous conversations with other communities, and to salve historic and current racial wounds. At the same time, we need to call these (often male-identified) leaders into sharing power and leadership with women and gender non-conforming people. This can be particularly challenging when there are formal gendered roles (e.g., in a religious institution).

 read more »

LLC Webinar | Leadership and Large Scale Change: Are We Setting Our Sites High Enough?

 

July 12, 2018

11:00 am Pacific - 12PM | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

 

People who are putting their time, energy and resources into supporting and cultivating leadership are for the most part doing the work to advance meaningful change and social justice. Our learning about this work is struggling to keep up with our change aspirations. It's not enough to know that participants believe they are better leaders without answering questions about the ways in which leadership development work is creating equity and contributing to concrete changes in the health, education, and wealth of all. This webinar will share findings from a collaborative research efforts between leadership Funders and Evaluators to understand what we can achieve through leadership investments, how we can know, and what we are learning about the kind of leadership we need to contribute to greater equity.

 read more »

Blind Spots (Part 3)

At Creating Space, Elissa Perry shared a framework on White Supremacy Culture from Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones as she invited us to reflect on the ways in which this culture shows up in our organizations. Since then, I have been thinking about how these characteristics are often the default in our leadership development practice as well. Today, I wanted to discuss the remaining characteristics which fall into two areas: how we value what we do, and how we address power and conflict.

 read more »

Join The Team: Become LLC's New Operations & Project Manager

Job Title:    

Operations & Project Manager

Department:

Leadership Learning Community

Reports To:

Executive Director

FLSA Status:

Full-Time Exempt

Location

85% Virtual, 15% Oakland, California

 

Since 2000, The Leadership Learning Community has been a national nonprofit organization transforming the way leadership development work is conceived, conducted, and evaluated, primarily within the nonprofit sector. We believe that the dominant leadership development model must to be challenged in order to unleash and support the leadership of all people working toward social justice. We care about lifting up, learning from and promoting leadership that is equity based, collective in nature and networked. We currently have an exciting opportunity to join LLC’s staff.

 read more »

Rooted In Community & Appreciation: Saudades, Miriam

It is with a deep appreciation that I announce that I will be leaving LLC mid-May. I have an exciting new position at a local health startup that is offering me the opportunity to take my skills to the next level. The Leadership Learning Community has been my home for over five and a half years. I’ve been in the trenches through Creating Spaces, Learning Circles, webinars, publications, and consulting projects. I’ve been honored that you’ve come along as I’ve reflected on the world and this work each month in this newsletter. As I leave, though I will miss Deborah, Bella, our amazing consultants, and all of you, my heart remains full knowing that our time together knows no bounds and I hope that our interactions though big or small may ripple through time as our journeys continue.

 read more »

Self-Care: Actualizing Freedom, Asserting Presence, Cultivating Power

In the nonprofit sector, it’s common to hear about burnout and lack of self-care. Though highly important to our work, with demanding deadlines and lack of resources, including time, self-care can feel like an added chore that never gets done. However, not taking care of ourselves can lead the sector astray and lead to the same problems within the field we are trying to combat, including but not limited to systemic racism. When people do not feel cared for, they can lose their sense of empathy and connection to others. Therefore, self-care is a leadership competency.
 read more »

LLC Webinar Series | LeaderSpring in Reset: rethinking leadership and risk taking

May 16, 2018

11:00 am - 12:00 pm Pacific | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

 

Our thinking about leadership is evolving as is the world in which greater numbers of people are coming together to take actions that will create greater equity. To keep pace, those who are supporting leadership for racial equity and social justice must pause, reflect and reconsider our approaches to leadership development. Because most leadership programs receive positive feedback from those participating in them, it can be hard to try something different...who wants to mess with what works, even if the payoff could be more dramatic results. It takes courage to do this and we are excited to have our friends from LeaderSpring share their "reset" process and what they are learning. Please join our next webinar with Sonia Manjon, Ph.D and Safi Jiroh from LeaderSpring.

 read more »

Celebrating Women

For 23 years I have been hosting an annual brunch for women and girls to celebrate International Women’s Day. Unlike in other parts of the world, International Women’s Day, March 8th, is not well known or celebrated in the US. There is some controversy about whether the day grew out of the labor organizing activities of women garment workers protesting for safer working conditions in New York, or to commemorate the women’s movement for universal suffrage. What is clear is that IWD is a celebration of the power of women organizing and a call to action. As I thought about writing this article after decades of honoring women, I wondered what prompted me way back then as a mother of young children. I thought perhaps world events were a call to action and there were events indeed that year, the Balkan war, the Oklahoma bombings and the OJ Simpson trial to name a few . . . . . afterall, what years have passed that have not called for our attention. Then I picked up the journal from that year where women had written about the theme and the topic of our first gathering.

 read more »

Actualizing Freedom, Asserting Presence, Cultivating Power

This month has brought up a lot of emotions. Our country, still reeling from the losses in Florida, just witnessed the loss of  another person to police violence, Stephon Clark. With so much to carry, it can be difficult to create and be present in truly liberating spaces. Maybe because of these moments of deep sorrow, the the Empowering Womxn of Color Conference felt like sacred space.

 

I was immediately humbled by the offerings available for women to express and practice their leadership. Most of the sessions were facilitated and guided by young women of color to share tools and learning. I joined Af3irm SF’s session on Transnational Feminism that set the tone to learning more about the #MeToo movement.

 read more »