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LLC Staff's blog

LLC Network Spotlight | Ari Sahagun

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As an organization, we believe deeply in the power and importance of network and shared leadership. LLC is made up not only of dynamic staff members, but also hundreds of folks collaborating across state lines and issues to share skills, co-create projects, and learn from one another. In our LLC Network Spotlights series, we interview active members of our network and make space for them to share their own experiences engaging in the practices of network leadership.  

 

This month, we interview Ari Sahagún, a movement network ecologist who supports social and climate justice movements through network building and open-source technologies. Ari is a part of the WEB Network, having designed its website, and has a deep commitment to using the innovation of networks to support cultural shifts. We hope that you learn something new from Ari’s story, and share it with your networks as well! 

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Guest Blog | Risk-Taking for Racial Justice: Building Networks That Support Us

 

By The Minneapolis St. Paul Network Weavers Community of Practice

 

This June, the Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) Network Weavers Community of Practice hosted our semi-annual day long gathering. The topic was Risk-Taking for Racial Justice: Building Networks that Support Us. Our facilitation team collaboratively wrote this blog to share some of the learning and insights we gained from the event – we hope you enjoy!

 

Mishel House, Kirsten Johnson & Sindy Morales Garcia – Wilder Center for Communities

Scott Labott – Bush Foundation

Terri Thao & Chalonne Wilson – Nexus Community Partners

Susan Schuster – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Amanda Ziebell Mawanda – Propel Nonprofits

 

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LLC Network Spotlight | Kiara Nagel

 

 

As an organization, we believe deeply in the power and importance of networks and shared leadership. LLC is made up not only of dynamic staff members, but also hundreds of folks collaborating across state lines and issues to share skills, co-create projects, and learn from one another. That’s why we’ve begun this new series of LLC Network Spotlights, where we interview active members of our network and make space for them to share their own experiences engaging in the practices of network leadership.  


We’re excited to share our first interview with Kiara Nagel, a strategist and trainer, who is also a facilitator in the WEB Network. We hope that you learn something new from her story, and we encourage you to share it with your networks as well! 

 

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LLC Webinar Series | Everyday Equity: Practices, Principles, and Perspectives

 

Everyday Equity: Practices, Principles, and Perspectives with Renato P. Almanzor, PhD

 

August 14, 2019

10:00 - 11:30 PST | 1:00 - 2:30 EST

 

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The Staple Foods Network Project | Lessons Learned from a WEB Network Innovation Seed Fund Project

 

By MaryAnn Martinez


 

MaryAnn Martinez is a non-profit director and interdisciplinary food systems scholar. She is currently aPhD candidate at Antioch Graduate School of Leadership and Change. Her work is in place-based food systems, and community-based food networks as catalysts for social innovation and transformative change. In addition, MaryAnn has over 10 years of experience as a vegetable and livestock farmer, in both for-profit and social enterprises -http://maryann-martinez.squarespace.com

 

The History

In 2008, the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative began to assess what was necessary for a regional organic staple grain and bean value chain in Appalachia. Michelle Ajamian who, along with her partner Brandon, runs Shagbark Seed and Mill in Athens, OH, had the vision, and began to reach out and form relationships with others interested in staple foods. Ten years later, this informal collaborative had grown from a handful to several hundred farmers, bakers, millers, and others around the country who are focusing on local, heirloom and organic grains and beans. 

 

Now a for a bit of a necessary segue.....

 

Why a staple foods network? 

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What We Are Learning From Our Work with Networks

LLC has been providing network building support to a number of emerging networks, and we ourselves are on a journey to be more network centric in our own work. Ericka, our fabulous new Co-Director, recently asked a great question, “How are we applying (or not) what we are learning from our work with other networks to ourselves?” Time to take a look in the mirror. Hopefully these three lessons and the strategies that suggest will be helpful to you as well.

Realistically, we are still a spoke and hub network, not where we would like to be at all. In the diagram below, notice the network image that looks like a bicycle wheel where most communications occur between the center (staff) and members of the network, rather than among members of the network. This image is a fair characterization of LLC at this point because most of our work is still directed by our staff with some experiments in supporting network driven initiatives intended to help move us along this spectrum to become a stronger multi-hub network with the ultimate goal of being a systems shifting network contributing to justice and equity.

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LLC Webinar Seriesl A Conversation with Mujeres Unidas y Activas: Shifting Power from the Inside Out

 

A Conversation with Mujeres Unidas y Activas Shifting Power from the Inside Out: Lessons on Centering the Leadership of Impacted Communities

 

June 20, 2019

10 - 11:30 PST | 1 - 2:30 EST

Join us for a Bilingual (English/Spanish) Webinar featuring Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA).  MUA is an intergenerational grassroots organization led by, and for, Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. MUA is an intergenerational grassroots organization led by, and for, Latina immigrant women. MUA’s innovative leadership development model trains members to plan and implement their programs and campaigns at all levels. MUA is proud to be a national model for Latina immigrant empowerment and organizing, and to have created a healthy, sustainable, grassroots-membership led organization.

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Collective Leadership in Action

 

 

 

Thanks to those of you who joined our happy hour in Oakland to meet our new Co-Director, Ericka Stallings.  I have to say onboarding Ericka made it a ‘happy week, and our process was well worth the time we took. Along the way there have been many lessons for the LLC board and staff, and of course me.  We wanted to pause and share some of our reflections, and maybe encourage you to consider this model.

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Who is LLC? A Different Approach to Capacity

We have written a number of times about why we are adopting a more network centric approach and what that looks like. This month we want to talk more about the expansive LLC team (a team that includes our staff and many of you, members of the network.) Over this past year we have contracted with a dozen folks from the network who are engaged with us on consulting projects. We consider our consulting work, the applied research arm of the organization because it is where we get closest to the ground and apply our ideas. For this work we source the network. There are many reasons for doing this and many advantages we want to highlight.

 

  • Expanding Capacity: There are well over a hundred consultants in LLC’s network who bring a broad range of skills and expertise that enables us to create the best possible match with the distinct needs of consulting projects. If we were to limit applied research opportunities to the skills of the staff we would not have the same agility in competing for super interesting projects that we feel can accelerate learning for the field.

 

  • Capacity Building: Early on we were inspired to create consulting teams to provide opportunities for consultants who are often competitors with proprietary tools to be on teams together that promote collaborative learning and resource generation.

 

  • Creating Opportunity: We also see our consulting services as opportunity for people in the network to access meaningful projects and gain visibility. We have committed to making sure that 50% of consulting opportunities go to people of color, and we are doing much better than that. We raise this because consulting can open doors for people of color or obscure discriminatory practices.

 

In short we like to say that instead of staffing an organization we staff the work. Now we would like to introduce you to the folks that have been helping us to do the work over the past year!

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Organizing, Openness and Community-Oriented Solutions with Ericka Stallings

By:  Marrion Johnson, LLC Communications Consultant

 

We decided to launch a search for a co-executive director of Leadership Learning Community for a few reasons. For one, as an advocate of thinking beyond the narrow limitations of hierarchical leadership models, we wanted to practice what we were preaching and invest in the possibilities of shared leadership, which decreases burnout and brings more voices to decision-making tables. Secondly, and equally important, we really wanted to center equity in leadership work and make space for leadership of color to thrive in an atmosphere that, quite frankly, is overwhelmingly white. So, when we met Ericka Stallings, an engaging, curious and experienced organizer from Queens, New York, we instantly knew that she might be the perfect person to help propel LLC into the future.

 

Some of you may be familiar with Ericka who shared a blog post and led a workshop of ours last summer entitled “6 Lessons forCultivating Leadership of Color in the Community Organizing Movement,” which Ericka says was an accumulation of knowledge gained from years of doing social justice work as an “organizer of organizers.” As LLC’s communications consultant, I spoke with Ericka about her experiences, inspirations and perspectives on leadership. Dig into our conversation below and join us in welcoming Ericka to the team!

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