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Reflections on Equitable Design

I felt honored to be part of the Creating Space Design Team with an amazing group of leadership development funders, delivery partners, network and movement builders and racial justice champions. I was eager to learn from the team about how to create an event that would deepen our learning about the ways in which our approaches to supporting leadership for racial justice need to shift.  I did not have to wait until me met in New Orleans to begin learning. I was struck by the fact that some of our conversations were filled with questions that people creating leadership development programs should also be asking, e.g. how would we honor the whole person and multiple ways of knowing; what does it mean to assume good intentions and look at impact; how do we hold space for courageous conversations; how are we thinking about power and whose knowledge is privileged; and how do we build authentic community?
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Leadership and Race Publication Launch Highlights

We launched the "Leadership and Race: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice" in September 2010.  The publication was developed by the Leadership Learning Community and other thought leaders in the leadership and racial equity fields.  The publication offers practical methods and recommendations to help leadership programs prepare their participants to bring a more race conscious lens to all policy and service work; and empower people of color to better lead their communities.

We reached out to key partners and media (bloggers, etc.) to help us communicate the messages from the report.  We wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the launch campaign: read more »

News Alert: Race and Unity, Innovation, Networking, and Collaboration!

On Race and Unity read more »

  • Using the “No Wedding No Womb” program as an example, Mikhail Lyubansky makes the argument that racial injustices need to be addressed at a systematic or structural level rather than at an individual level.  NWNW is a program that encourages black women not to have children out of wedlock.  It does not promote abstinence necessarily, but instead relies on statistics to show that children are much more likely to succeed when they have “physical, financial, and emotional protection,” which they are more likely to have if their parents are married than if they are not (or than if they are being raised by a single parent).  Lyubansky argues that the message of the program is positive, but it addresses the wrong issues.  Rather than focusing our efforts on helping black women to make the best of the current (unfair) situation, we should be focusing on changing the system to resolve current inequalities.
  • In South Dakota, 2010 has been dubbed by many as the “year of unity.”  The purpose of the year of unity is to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions American Indians have brought to the state and, ultimately, to get their land returned to them.  In a blog post on Race-Talk, Tim Giago writes about the necessity of bringing unity to South Dakota and also recaps some of the major gains in the past 20 years regarding ending racial injustices.

Leadership and Race Webinar: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership Programs to Promote Racial Justice

Two weeks ago, the Leadership Learning Community hosted a webinar to explore their recently published report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice. We were honored to have great panelists, which included three of the authors – john a. powell from Kirwan Institute, Sally Leiderman from Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD), and Terry Keleher from the Applied Research Center. The panel also included Carmen Morgan from Leadership Development for Interethnic Relations (LDIR). LDIR has a strong focus on promoting more inclusive leadership models, and we wanted to include Carmen’s perspective. Over 150 participants joined the call, including individuals and groups working in leadership and/or racial justice across various sectors. Over the course of one hour, we invited participants to share their questions with the panelists and collectively explore some of the most critical concepts and questions from the report. Several interesting ideas came up: read more »

Supporting leadership that promotes racial justice (Race-talk.org)

Guest blog on Race-talk.org

By Deborah Meehan, Executive Director, Leadership Learning Community

Oakland made the headlines again this summer when a jury delivered a verdict of involuntary manslaughter in the trial of Johannes Mehserle.  Mehserle, a BART police officer, was on trial for shooting Oscar Grant, a young, African American, unarmed passenger who died on New Year’s Day 2009.  Oscar Grant’s shooting and death were captured on a cell phone video and posted on YouTube.   Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he was defensively held face down by other BART police officers with his hands handcuffed behind his back.  Mehserle asserted that he accidentally pulled and fired his pistol instead of a taser gun.  It is possible with this verdict that Mesherle will be given probation and no jail time when he is sentenced on November 3rd 2010.

Months in advance of the verdict, a number of youth organizations in Oakland began organizing to provide opportunities for young people to gather and talk about how this could happen and what could be done so that it doesn’t happen again.  This is a leadership question and makes the findings of a report just released on Leadership and Race particularly relevant.  Why? The report, How to Develop and Support Leaderships that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that the focus on the individual has permeated the ways in which we think about leadership with some serious costs to our efforts to change the realities of people like Oscar Grant who have been denied many life opportunities because of their race. read more »

How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice PDF file [download] [more info]

Leadership programs can help solve racial inequalities in access to education, healthcare, income and wealth. But according to the report, many current approaches to leadership development actually maintain and promote racial inequalities. This is the first report to analyze the link between major philanthropy investments in the racial equity and leadership development fields. The report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that a large number of leadership programs associate leadership with equal opportunity and individualism. This thinking does not recognize that current systems (i.e. policy, culture and institutional practices) can cause racial identity to limit one’s access to life opportunities. It also focuses too narrowly on changing the behavior of individual leaders. Instead, leadership programs should: 1) make their programs more accessible for people of color; 2) help participants understand how race limits access to opportunities – in other words, the impact of structural racism; and 3) promote collective leadership. This approach will help participants work together to tackle the systems that maintain racial inequalities.

Authors: Think.Do.Repeat.; Maggie Potapchuk, Terry Keleher, Social Policy Research Associates (SPR), Ph.D., MP Associates; Professor john a. powell, Leadership Learning Community (LLC); Elissa Perry, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University; and Hanh Cao Yu, Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD); Deborah Meehan, Applied Research Center (ARC); Sally Leiderman

Subjects: race, leadership

09/07/2010 - 23:00 - 0 comments - 1 attachment - Posted by Natalia Castaneda

New Report: How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice

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Leadership programs can help solve racial inequalities in access to education, healthcare, income and wealth, but many current approaches to leadership development actually maintain and promote racial inequalities. The report, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, suggests that a large number of leadership programs associate leadership with equal opportunity and individualism. This thinking does not recognize that current systems (i.e. policy, culture and institutional practices) can cause racial identity to limit one’s access to life opportunities. It also focuses too narrowly on changing the behavior of individual leaders. Instead, leadership programs should: 1) make their programs more accessible for people of color; 2) help participants understand how race limits the access to opportunities – in other words, the impact of structural racism; and 3) promote collective leadership. This approach will help participants work together to tackle the systems that maintain racial inequalities. 

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Key Learnings from Open Conversations on Leadership, Networks and Race

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been hosting a series of meetings – both face-to-face and online – to engage leadership programs, funders and researchers with the Leadership for a New Era work, a collaborative research initiative focused on promoting a leadership model that is more inclusive, networked and collective. As we collectively discussed ideas and questions around Leadership and Race and Leadership and Networks with over 50 participants, a couple of trends and areas of interest came up. Here are some of the more interesting ideas we discussed: read more »

Leadership, Race, and White Privilege

LLC hosted a webinar on Leadership, Race and White Privilege with Sally Leiderman, President of CAPD. Sally has been a long-time member of LLC and an active participant in the Evaluation Circle. She received an LLC seed grant to support her work to disseminate share and disseminate a curriculum on white privilege that can be adapted and used in leadership development programs. During the webinar Sally presented findings from a survey of 123 leadership development funders, practitioners, and evaluators. With one program in mind, each survey respondent had answered questions about how their program addressed issues of diversity, structural racism, and white privilege. The powerpoint presentation is available below. Highlights from the conversation are available here. We invite you to continue this conversation at Creating Space, May 20-22 and as part of our Collaborative Learning Initiative. read more »

Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building [more info]

The goals of this monograph are to shine a bright light on these issues, to suggest new ways of thinking and acting, to share solutions where there are some, and to raise questions that challenge all of us doing this work. By doing so, we hope it will help those involved in improving communities to work in more equitable and thoughtful partnerships with community residents and other stakeholders, with special attention to issues of privilege, oppression, racism, and power as they play out in this work.

Authors: Sally Leiderman, Maggie Potapchuk

Subjects: evaluation, race, equity, guides-tools-reports, community building

09/08/2005 - 23:00 - 0 comments - 0 attachments - Posted by Elissa Perry

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