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Developing Leadership that Contributes to Racial Equity

Our collective document is getting unwieldy, and in a good way. We want to allow for more generative contribution before working to integrate all of the comments and organize the content in more accessible ways. We continue to welcome comments on diagnostic questions, recommendations and resources, and we are getting great resources so please keep them coming. To add your comments or access this collective document, click here.

 

In addition, it would be helpful earlier in the document to describe what we are driving towards as the skills, ability, knowledge, practices and behaviors that we would expect to be present and observable in individuals and groups. In other words, what does racial equity compentency look like in practice. Answering this question if fundamental to understanding what it will take to help people and groups get there. We would love your help with this question in the document.

 

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Designing Leadership Support/Development Approaches that are Race Conscious and Contribute to Racial Equity

Appreciation and update: First of all, a huge appreciation to the many folks who have been contributing to our collaborative work to create a useful and rich racial equity resource for folks who provide and fund leadership development. We are definitely smarter together as those of you who have watched and supported the development of this will have seen.  We would like to propose some next steps to current and new contributors (it's definitely not too late to help.)

 

Creating diagnostics: Ultimately, what we would like to do with this document is create a supporting online diagnostic tool to help programs understand where they may need to double down in their efforts to offer race conscious leadership supports that contribute to racial equity. The diagnostic tool could also serve to provide a snapshot of how strong a specific approach will be in contributing to racial equity for potential funders. You will see in each section we are now creating a checklist to lay the groundwork for a tool. Ultimately, we would like to organize the recommendations/resources we are aggregating and link them to the major areas of the diagnostics. For example, a low score on designing and delivering leadership supports would direct you to specific design recommendations and models.

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What would it look like to bring a Racial Equity Lens to Leadership Development?

What would it look like to bring a Racial Equity Lens to Leadership Development?

You can help us to answer this question!

 

A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a funder who asked me about tools and resources that would be useful to grantmakers and people designing leadership programs; people who want to ensure that programs contributing to racial equity are supported. I shared some of the resources that I knew of, and then it occurred to me….there are tons of smart people doing great work at the intersection of leadership and racial equity.

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LLC Webinar | Important Lessons for Cultivating Leadership of Color in Community Organizing

August 22, 2018

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

 

 

Please join us for a conversation with Ericka Stallings from the Center for Neighborhood Leadership as she shares lessons from 10 years of experience about what makes an effective and transformative support model for developing indigenous community leadership. She will cover a lot of ground including learning from mistakes, intentional selection, working on real problems, putting in the time it takes, compensation, what it means to reclaim leadership and more. Her lessons are deeply rooted in the view that communities of color and other marginalized communities do not need external actors and have the wisdom and talents needed to take on complex problems with the appropriate supports. We hope you can join us for a thoughtful conversation that will help us to think differently about leadership development. If you would like to read a great blog post by Ericka in preparation for the webinar you can find it here.

 

Join The Team: Become LLC's Co-Executive Director

Job Title: Co-Executive Director

Reports to: LLC Board of Directors

FSLA Status: Exempt

To read more about why we are transforming our leadership development, read our LLC Executive Director's thoughts here. 
Apply here
People of color strongly encouraged to apply.
 

About the Leadership Learning Community (LLC):

LLC is a fiscally sponsored program of Community Initiatives, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Leadership Learning Community is an 18-year- old national nonprofit organization transforming the way leadership development is understood, practiced and promoted, primarily within the nonprofit sector. We believe that the dominant leadership development model must be challenged in order to address the needs of all who lead and are invested in developing leadership!  By centering the experiences of folks most impacted by racism and inequity, we work towards transforming leadership development approaches and systems to reflect and create an equitable world by tapping into the potential of everyone seeking an opportunity to better society. We know that we need a meta-shift in how we understand and develop leadership if we are going to produces systems change. This means leading and learning together through equity-based, networked and collective leadership to innovate new interventions that challenge the dominant way of thinking about leadership development. We do this by making the case of more expansive understanding of leadership, by constantly exploring and working the edge of where practice can shift and by building the field. This in turn will create a just and equitable society.

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Practicing What We Preach: The Co-Executive Director Model

I am excited to announce that we are beginning the search for a Co-Executive Director. It’s an idea that has been percolating in me for some time now, and for many reasons. As you may have noticed, the tagline for much of what we write is…”promoting equity-based, networked and collective leadership.” Obviously, if we want to debunk the heroic individualist model of leader in favor of more collectivist models of leadership as a process, it does not make sense to embody the ‘go it alone’ individual ED model, even though we are also trying to flatten out the hierarchy which also has to happen. We have been following the move by well respected colleagues in our field who have already made this move, MAG, Movement Building Project, Center for Movement Strategy, the Whitman Center and also coming on board CompassPoint. We have had a lot of conversations about this, and we are jumping into it with our eyes wide open about all that can be great, and all that could be challenging, so ... before going into the details, I want to spend more time on why this is so important.

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Six Lessons for Cultivating Leadership of Color in the Community Organizing Movement

By Ericka Stallings, ANHD's Director of Organizing and Advocacy

Non-profit organizing institutions have long struggled with the fact that their leadership is disproportionately white and middle class. We all know that our organizing will ultimately be more effective and more grounded in a true commitment to justice, if the primary actors are directly impacted people, those who come from the marginalized communities in which we work. Yet, for many reasons, groups in the Community Development movement too often fail to achieve this.

 

Cultivating movement leadership of color must include an effective approach for recognizing, attracting, and training new community organizers of color, then supporting them as they hone their skills to more advanced levels. But even here - or maybe, especially here - our movement falls short; we have seen that it is consistently difficult for people from marginalized communities to overcome the barriers to both entry and advancement in community organizing. Consequently, people of color and other marginalized people are grossly underrepresented in leadership positions . There are many reasons for this, including implicit bias and the glorification of mainstream career and educational backgrounds, both of which hinder the recognition of candidates from marginalized backgrounds. Consequently, our organizations often ignore or undervalue the critically important skills and experiences that directly-impacted leaders can bring to movement organizations.

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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).

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