This webinar will engage participants in exploration and thoughtful reflection about the role equity plays in the contemporary practice of leadership. After examining equity in a variety of real-world situations, participants will be invited to consider how equity factors into their everyday lives as leaders. Finally, the co-presenters will introduce some of the resources and strategies they've found useful for those seeking to enhance their abilities to plan and act more equitably in their roles as first-responders, advocates, thought-leaders, and/or pioneering social innovators.
Spotlight on Cheryl
Cheryl D. Fields is Executive Vice President of Langhum Mitchell Communications, a strategic communications firm specializing in social justice. For more than a decade, her firm has been the national communications consultant for the Community Learning Exchange, a national network of collective leadership practitioners that emerged out of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Kellogg Leadership for Community Change (KLCC) program. As the communications lead for this work, she has produced and hosted a weekly podcast on collective leadership, provided strategic communications consultation to several Kellogg Foundation grantees, edited a monthly newsletter about the work of collective leadership practitioners around the country, co-edited a book on collective leadership, and provided ongoing communications support for dozens of learning exchanges across the country.
When asked about her main concern for the upcoming Learning Cluster, Cheryl explains “…folks don’t always define equity the same way. As this cluster starts, therefore, our first priority will be to reach a common understanding of what equity is and what it takes to develop leaders who are committed to making it a personal, programmatic and pedagogical priority.” Once the group reaches consensus on a definition, Cheryl plans to gather questions and challenges the group would like to explore about equitable leadership. Some of the questions she anticipates the cluster will explore include: How do you recruit new leaders with equity in mind? What does equity look like in a collective leadership context? and How to have difficult but constructive conversations around equity?
The list of potential directions for the group she says, “is endless”.
Over the years, Cheryl has used her communications expertise as a lever to advance social justice. Her work has helped to give voice to the voiceless, influence public policy, illuminate innovative solutions to entrenched social problems, and challenge the status quo on pivotal issues such as educational equity (race, class, and gender), racial justice, immigration reform, and responsible fatherhood. She holds a master’s in print journalism from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s in urban development from Bryn Mawr College. As an editor and a communications consultant, she has experienced firsthand the phenomenal capacity of human stories to highlight injustice, influence policy and inspire positive change. Unearthing these stories and deploying them in the struggle is her life’s work.
In 2011, Cheryl took a hiatus from Langhum Mitchell to pursue an opportunity at The Education Trust, where she lead the advocacy organization’s editorial and design team. Throughout her stint at the Ed Trust, Cheryl maintained her involvement with the Community Learning Exchange and, together with her CLE colleagues, has recently co-authored a chapter in a new collective leadership book, which is scheduled for release early next year. Cheryl returned to Langhum Mitchell last February and is in the process of building a new portfolio, still with an emphasis on educational equity and collective leadership.
In addition to participating in past Creating Space events, and organizing the Leadership and Equity Learning Cluster, Cheryl has contributed to the LLC blog. See her recent post: Lessons in humanity, leadership, and environmental responsibility in Hawai'i.
Spotlight on Mary
Mary Stelletello is founder of Vista Global Coaching & Consulting which offers consulting services in organizational capacity building, strategy development, leadership development, governance, and facilitation & training. Mary brings professional credentialed coaching and dynamic facilitation to her work with nonprofit executives, board leaders and management staff. Mary brings deep experience of nonprofit leadership to her coaching and consulting work, having led five different nonprofit organizations, ranging in annual budget size from $150,000 to $13 million. Mary’s passion for youth development, especially for serving runaway, homeless, abused and neglected children motivated her past work as Executive Director of AYUSA Global Youth Exchange, Director of Education and Leadership Programs for the International Youth Foundation, as Chair of the International Board of Directors for Amigos de las Americas, and as an International Fellow in Community Development sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Mary blogs on organizational leadership, and is a contributor to The Leadership Challenge Activities Book, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. The activity entitled; “Listening Deeply as a Leader”.
Mary’s career has led her to rural Hawaii, the cities of Macedonia and South Africa working with community-based organizations, multi-national corporations and United States Congressional members. Her approach to management is as a team sport, leveraging the talents of everyone on the team to move the organization to greatness. Mary explains, “The change we want to see in the world starts with how we engage adults with our young people today. Not only do young people need the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their greatness, adults need to build their confidence in young people to lead. My approach to coaching incorporates both aspects of this audacious social change agenda.”
This year, Mary has partnered with Steve Zimmerman, Principal of Spectrum Nonprofit Services in the design and launch of Leadership Advanced Milwaukee (LAM), a program based on peer learning between a blended cohort of senior leaders and executive directors. The program will focus on self-reflection with Fellows taking the Gallup Strengths Finder to reflect on their core strengths, then engaging in the Leadership Practice Inventory 360 feedback process. Over the nine month program, the cohort will focus on building leadership and management skills, and a support system as peers to work together in their community.
As a Creating Space participant, an active contributor to our community via social media, and in her organizing the Leadership and Equity Learning Cluster, Mary points to the value of LLC’s Leadership for a New Era publications in helping to promote more inclusive, networked and collective models of Leadership Development that serve to further social justice.
In discussing the upcoming Learning Cluster, Mary tells us, “I’m really interested to explore another approach to learning- using another platform for engaging people to learn from each other. My interest in the area of equity is looking at leadership for the 21st century. My hope is that we will look at equity beyond race and gender and ask: what do we have to do to make leadership broader, more balanced and inclusive?”