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How we’re learning to talk about Race at Creating Space

Beloved community,

 

We began writing this piece before the tragic events in Charlottesville occurred last weekend. Its message emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the threat of white supremacy within our communities, our workplaces and our homes. We proudly stand with all those fighting against racism in Charlottesville and hope that this post will encourage solidarity and much-needed internal reflection to affect the change we need in our country.

 

In solidarity,

LLC Staff

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We’ve been in the design stage of Creating Space for quite some time now. This process includes developing the convening’s agenda, working out travel and stay logistics, and most importantly, agreeing upon how we plan on talking about this year’s theme for Creating Space.

This year, we selected the theme Freedom to Lead & Leading for Freedom.

At Leadership Learning Community, we’ve come to believe that freedom cannot be achieved until we address some prevailing factors impeding upon everyone’s access to that very freedom. That’s why one of Creating Space’s main objectives this year is to provide folks with tools that help them identify, challenge and change systemic racism broadly present in our work.

In case you need a refresher, systemic, or institutional racism, is defined as the existence of institutional systemic policies, practices and economic and political structures which place minority racial and ethnic groups at a disadvantage in relation to an institution's racial or ethnic majority.

 

White SupremacyMissing from this definition is a larger issue, that some of our design team refer to as white supremacy. White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the Black race, and should therefore dominate society.

 

When many of us think of white supremacy, perhaps the KKK is the first thing that comes to mind. Some of us will even think of what is now referred to as the alt right. Groups of white nationalists that openly believe in their biological dominance over people of color, as unfortunately witnessed in Charlottesville this past weekend. While these examples certainly demonstrate the power of actively realized white supremacy, it’s important that we also acknowledge that white supremacy, whether intentionally or unintentionally perpetuated, is at the root of systemic racism.

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Creating Space 2017: Announcing The Agenda

Creating Space provides opportunities for experiential learning and sharing regarding what is required to increase the impact of racial equity in leadership development work.

 

At Creating Space, you will be supported with

  • tools that help you identify, challenge and change prevailing systemic racism/white supremacy broadly present in our work.
  • conversations with multiple entry points for engaging participants with varying levels of awareness and a rich tapestry of experiences with racial equity within leadership development.
  • opportunities for those in need of  defining language and for those already embodying understanding, to practice undoing and eradicating systemic racism/white supremacy.

Recognizing that conversations pertaining to race can trigger past trauma and open new wounds, healing is a big part of this experience. Creating Space offers safe spaces for grounding and healing, which will be readily available and easily accessible. Join us in learning new tools for strengthening leadership development rooted in racial equity, and be a part of these experiences helping you to grow in your own leadership.

 

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Three Experiments and Lessons on the Network Path

Several years ago friend, colleague and network mentor, June Holley, reminded me that LLC was a pretty traditional organization and not very network-like. Given the extent of our writing about the importance and power of network approaches, it seemed like a good time to experiment and venture away from our default organizational behaviors. Some of our lessons were the fruits of intentional experimentation and some are reflections about serendipitous change. We hope that some of them will be helpful to you.

Three lessons about tapping the talents of the network to do the work:

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LLC Webinar Series | Race To Lead

August 15, 2017

10am -11am Pacific | 1pm - 2pm Eastern

 

The nonprofit sector is experiencing a racial leadership gap. Studies show the percentage of people of color in the executive director/CEO role has remained under 20% for the last 15 years even as the country becomes more diverse. To find out more, the Building Movement Project conducted the Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race survey. Over 4,000 respondents answered questions about their current nonprofit job, interest in leading a nonprofit, training/supports, views of leadership, and personal background. They were also asked about their views on race and the nonprofit sector. This report, the first in a series to be released over the next two years, will compare people of color and white respondents’ background, aspirations to be leaders, training, and attitudes towards leadership.

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LLC Webinar Series | Tools for Network Mapping: How SNA maps can transform your work with Christine Capra & Tracy Kunkler

 

Social Network Analyses are often used to measure the progress of networks. Through the maps, you’re able to track how relationships propel the work and which relationships can be fostered further to catalyze energy and create the foundation for more experiments and harvest learning. Networked inherently means that not all individuals or organization know each other, but maps clarify where the gaps are and how to achieve deeper connectivity. However, this tool can feel allusive and expensive. Join this webinar to learn more about how you can implement this tool in your work and begin to create your own maps.

 

Christine and Tracy will introduce a new approach to network mapping, which builds on the benefits of classic SNA and has recently become available through the new mapping tools Kumu and sumApp. They will discuss how these new tools enable an approach wasn’t really possible using the old tools - which is more collaborative, engaging, emergent, more designed to follow the energy, enable greater transparency, and able to track network development over time. They will talk about the process of developing these new kinds of network maps, how the tools make the difference and how they fit together, and share some benefits of this new approach.

 

Tuesday July 25, 2017

10:00am -11:00pm Pacific | 1:00pm-2:00pm Eastern

 

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How Communication in Networks Differs from Communication in Organizations by June Holley

June Holley shares with us this quick tool, a chart, to help us understand how to transform our communication to be more network-like. It’s a short cheat sheet that can help us expand our thinking of what it takes to build a network.

 

Find it below.

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Creating Space: Freedom to Lead & Leading for Freedom

 

This year we are hosting Creating Space in New Orleans. Our design team (introduced last month) has been creatively engaged in designing a  space that fosters deep learning experience that invites courageous conversation, humble sharing and collective meaning making. Our theme this year is Freedom to Lead & Leading for Freedom; below we share the values and ideas that are shaping this year’s design. In the next month, we will share a working agenda and seek your input

 

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Confluence 2017: Valuing Humanity

Earlier this month, I was honored to join the Management Assistance Group’s Confluence: A Sharing Of Learning, Questions, & Dreams in Chicago, in Illinois. The Confluence centered around creating and exploring deep equity. We explored how to create Leaderful Ecosystems with the premise that this cannot happen without: 1. Engaging/Cultivating the the Broader Spectrum of Leadership; 2. Advancing and Intentionally Embodying Equity; 3. Flexing Across The Leadership Spectrum by Influencing Complex Systems Change; 4. Valuing Multiple Ways of Knowing; and 5. Creating the Space for Inner Work.

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Mindfulness Matters: Fierce Love

I had the good fortune to hear two people, who I greatly admire, speak last month: first Mimi Ho from the Movement Strategy Center at the Bay Area Justice Funders Group, and then john powell from the Haas Center for Fairness and Inclusion at the Othering and Belonging Conference. What a treat. Their words converged to remind me of why mindfulness practices are so important as they both spoke about the tough leadership work we are being called to do. The anger and outrage over the attack on civil rights and the planet fuels my spirit of fight, but will only take me so far in understanding the deeper work that john calls us to recognize in extending the circle of belonging to include everyone. This is the work that calls for what Mimi described as fierce love, grounded in the love of humanity that is a powerful source of love and action.

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Leadership Development Equity Tip: Learn about and incorporate assessment tools

This month's Leadership Development Equity Tip comes from a recent conversation with Anita Patel, Leadership Programs Director at the Bush Foundation. She explained that every Bush Fellow takes the Intercultural Development Inventory, an assessment tool that helps individuals and teams assess and reflect on stages of cultural sensitivity. It can be used to increase self-awareness, encourage development and to provide a conceptual framework for discussing intercultural interactions. Bush fellows use the assessment to create goals. 

 

The fellowship is about how you strengthen yourself as a leader and how participants are naming that intercultural competence has to be part of it. The conversation reminded me that some programs use the Harvard implicit bias test and others introduce racial impact analysis tools developed by Race Forward. Assessment is an important starting point for improvement. Please share tools you are using to increase the equity competence of your participants and we can create a resource directory. Thanks Anita for the example and inspiration.

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