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When Leadership Program Graduates Can’t Lead

More than once I have heard the complaint that leadership program graduates, excited to apply what they are learning, often find themselves thwarted by others back at work.  There are lots of reasons offered, bureaucracy, unsupportive supervisors, or lack of authority. There are also a number of remedies being tried...coaching, sessions on leading from the middle, and the recruitment of teams. These things may help, and yet until we address the most fundamental problem we are setting leadership graduates to fail, especially those from large institutions.

 

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LLC Webinar | Lessons from The Field: Leadership That Heals and Dismantles Systemic Racism

This past Tuesday, Vigilant Love shared how they’ve built community in Los Angeles to build resilient community. Vigilant Love started as a response Islamophobia after terrorist attacks in the US and here are some key lessons from their final report.

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LLC Webinar Series | Practicing Network Governance and Structures

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 
10am Pacific |1pm Eastern

Join us as June Holley, Tracey Kunkler and Steve Waddell dive back into sharing the importance of Network Governance and Structures. We'll be learning how networks are experimenting with and co-creating innovative network governanceand structures that are self-organizing, encouraging and supporting the formation of collaborative circles.
 
Join us for 90 minutes of hands-on virtual practice! June will bring questions and you will be in practice breakout groups. Please plug in your webcams and have earphones ready to roll up your sleeves and practice with us!
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Blind Spots: The Role of Leadership Development Programs in Inhibiting or Contributing to our Progress Towards Racial Equity

Since Creating Space, I have been doing a lot thinking about the ways in which leadership programs often promote leadership models that reinforce the dominant culture. At Creating Space, Design Team Member, Elissa Sloan Perry, Co-Director of Management Assistance Group, shared a presentation on how white supremacist culture shows up in our organizations based on an article by Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones. We focused most of the discussion at Creating Space on organizational culture, which I later realized cannot be separated from leadership culture because after all, most leadership programs are preparing participants to lead in an organizational context.

 

I strongly recommend their article. They share thirteen characteristics of white supremacist culture, all of which resonated, and for the sake of this article and beginning this discussion, I chose three to share that I think are provocative and reveal leadership characteristics being cultivated in leadership programs that help to reinforce white supremacists culture. (In future articles I will share additional characteristics.)

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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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The Action Learning Seed Fund’s Final Reports Next Month (November 2017)

2017 is quickly coming to a close. In mid January, we first announced our network’s Action Learning Seed Fund to support the leadership of people of color. At the time, LLC hoped that eight people would be able to join our selection committee to create eligibility criteria. To our humble surprise, 20 of you volunteered your time and in a matter of days we had a finalized application process, eligibility criteria, and even a selection and review process.

 

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Support the development and inclusion of voices of color today!

This Giving Tuesday, join us in supporting the advancement of social and racial equity in nonprofit leadership development.

 

This year, we committed ourselves to building a conversation around the importance of including diverse voices in nonprofit leadership. This looks like making space for leaders of color to thrive both in and outside of work.

We know that voices of color are often sidelined in discussions about leadership that privileges the mainstream dominant culture models. We also know that everyone should be able to join our work, independent of organizational budgets.

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LLC Webinar | Practice: Innovative Network Governance and Structures

December 6, 2017

10:00am Pacific | 1:00pm Eastern

 

Last month June Holley presented on the importance of Network Governance and Structures. We were introduced to a plethora of examples, but did not have much time to dig into some of the models. Join us on December 6th for 90 minutes of hands-on virtual practice where you will be able to talk and get ideas from other networks. June with be accompanied by Tracy Kunkler of Circle Forward Partners and Steve Waddell, who will share some resources about governance models and processes for networks.

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LLC WEBINAR SERIES | Liberating Structures: How Leadership Development Can Create Racial Equity & Social Justice

LLC Webinar Series

November 14, 2017

10am Pacific/ 1pm Eastern (60 Minutes)

 

Studies consistently show that less than 20% of nonprofit executive directors/CEO’s are people of color. The recent Race to Lead report offers a new story for how we think about and address this leadership gap: to increase the number of people of color leaders, the nonprofit sector needs to address the practices and biases of those governing nonprofit organizations.

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Early Reflection on Creating Space

Last week, we were honored  to spend three days convening with 85 members of the LLC community in New Orleans. We discussed, analyzed, and practiced Freedom to Lead and Leading for Freedom. To hold the container for these conversations, we trusted that the design team and everyone present were all catalysts with stories, strategies, and the capacity to create solutions to dismantle systemic problems. Our time together was focused on sharing and listening to our experiences and holding a container for healing, and strategizing solutions.

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