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The Year of Creating Space
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 21:55
This year, in response to the current environment and the need for a significant uptake in racial justice leadership, we are departing from the traditional format for Creating Space, LLC’s national meeting. Creating Space has been a space for people engaged in leadership development to meet over several days to harvest learning across their experiences, share resources and build meaningful connection.
Our purpose this year will be to build greater awareness, access to resources and capacity among leadership development organizations about the opportunity and need to help their participants strengthen their knowledge, skills, connections and tools for contributing to social and racial justice.
This year, to achieve our purpose there are two important changes in our approach.
First, we are joining forces with Greenlining Institute and Management Assistance Group, organizations who are working successfully at the intersection of leadership and race, and can bring their wisdom, resources and communities to this event. We are also talking to additional partners. Only by working together can we advance our work to build a more inclusive and equitable society in the current environment of attacks.
Second, we are also encouraging a year of practice throughout the year leading up to Creating Space in the fall that will accelerate our learning and impact. Partners plan to provide multiple opportunities for our networks and communities to engage in trainings, communities of practice and peer assists.
To support practice change, we will ask people running leadership programs to engage in practice opportunities that deepens their personal understanding of race, power and privilege; and introduce them to resources for supporting practice changes in their organizations. To do this we will:
Identify existing racial equity programs for leadership development programs to utilize to augment their curriculum
Create a calendar of racial equity trainings and encourage leadership development programs to attend for their own development and to become aware of useful resources
Support train the trainer programs focusing on racial equity and white privilege for leadership development programs
Create communities of practice for leadership program staff that want to experiment with bringing a stronger equity lens to their programming
Provide seed funding to collaborative learning projects focused on strengthening the leadership of people of color
To support reflection, we will hold a space at a national convening in October 2017 that fosters participant driven learning, openness, sharing and authentic connection.
To accomplish this we imagine an event that will include some of the following elements and be further enriched by partners and a design team.
Incorporate ceremony and culture, arts and creativity in the space to affirm and deepen the experience, connections and learning
Create an opportunity for people to step away from their organizations and reflect in community with people from different contexts, regions and experiences
Host people for 1.5 - 3 days in the South to tap into the richness of the region, its history and the leadership experience in the American South
Pay attention to community building activities that acknowledge the whole person
Use approaches that enable the wisdom of the group and collective meaning making
If you have gotten this far, you are probably wondering when the Creating Space event will be held and where. We plan to bring people together for 2-3 days in New Orleans and as soon as partners have successfully juggled our calendars to find a workable date you will receive a “Save the Date” notice. So stay tuned!