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Leadership Development Tools for Supporting Social and Racial Justice

Several years ago I had the opportunity to participate in StarPower a game simulation that was conducted by Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR). Without giving anything away I think that I can safely say that most of us thought it was a powerful and illuminating experience. LDIR hosted the session for leadership development programs so that we could learn from and about StarPower as an important tool for leadership programs that want to help participants understand how oppressive systems work and are perpetuated. I bring this up because Dave Nakashima has generously offered to conduct a session for leadership development folks in the Bay Area. You may wonder which leadership programs that would be most beneficial to. I would say all. Why?


In 2010 the Leadership Learning Community in collaboration with a number of people and organizations working on racial justice, came together to write and publish, “Leadership and Race” in an effort to encourage leadership programs to bring a more race conscious lens to their work. We encourage you to read the report if you haven’t yet. We hope to create more awareness that many models of leadership development are culturally biased and that the best intended leaders will not be able to address disparities that exist throughout society without understand the systems that produce them. One of the things we learned in the process of producing the report from a survey conducted by Sally Leiderman, who has done a lot of work and is developing curriculum for transforming white privilege, is that less than half of the leadership programs that responded to the survey had curriculum for introducing structural racism or white privilege. While StarPower focuses more in economics, there is a clear intersection between class and race and the systems that continue to perpetuate advantage and life opportunities that are often influenced by race and ethnicity. 


We recognize that it’s not just enough to call leadership programs to bring a new awareness and tools without providing more resources.  In that vein we want to thank Renato Almazor, Director of Programs at LeaderSpring for his recent webinar, Transforming Privilege and Power now available for viewing.  Stay tuned for StarPower coming to the Bay Area Leadership Learning Community Circle this spring.

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