Generating ideas, connections, and action

LLC Welcomes 3 New Board Members

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our board of directors.  After an open and transparent selection process, in which LLC members served on a nominations committee and the entire community was invited to nominate candidates, three highly qualified candidates were selected: Grady McGonagill, Cecilia Roddy and LaDon James. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our selection committee:  Diane McCarthy Johnson, Jim Krile, Sonia Ospina, Ashok Regmi and Pauline Vela, and to introduce our new board members.
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Celebrating Women

For 23 years I have been hosting an annual brunch for women and girls to celebrate International Women’s Day. Unlike in other parts of the world, International Women’s Day, March 8th, is not well known or celebrated in the US. There is some controversy about whether the day grew out of the labor organizing activities of women garment workers protesting for safer working conditions in New York, or to commemorate the women’s movement for universal suffrage. What is clear is that IWD is a celebration of the power of women organizing and a call to action. As I thought about writing this article after decades of honoring women, I wondered what prompted me way back then as a mother of young children. I thought perhaps world events were a call to action and there were events indeed that year, the Balkan war, the Oklahoma bombings and the OJ Simpson trial to name a few . . . . . afterall, what years have passed that have not called for our attention. Then I picked up the journal from that year where women had written about the theme and the topic of our first gathering.

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Actualizing Freedom, Asserting Presence, Cultivating Power

This month has brought up a lot of emotions. Our country, still reeling from the losses in Florida, just witnessed the loss of  another person to police violence, Stephon Clark. With so much to carry, it can be difficult to create and be present in truly liberating spaces. Maybe because of these moments of deep sorrow, the the Empowering Womxn of Color Conference felt like sacred space.

 

I was immediately humbled by the offerings available for women to express and practice their leadership. Most of the sessions were facilitated and guided by young women of color to share tools and learning. I joined Af3irm SF’s session on Transnational Feminism that set the tone to learning more about the #MeToo movement.

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Leading with a Network Mindset: Training Opportunities

LLC is partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to offer a series of trainings to people and organizations interested in understanding more about how networks can amplify collective efforts to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to lead the healthiest life possible. There will be a series of virtual 90-minute basic and intermediate Network Leadership trainings offered at no cost. If you run a leadership program for individuals or organizations that are addressing inequities that undermine health and well-being, you and your participants may be interested in these trainings, both to build your network competencies and connect with others who are working to create greater health equity. Trainings will be offered by master trainer Beth Kanter and other leadership network experts. Modules will be created from all of the sessions that you are welcome to use to provide network training in your own programs or work. To learn more or register for the trainings use this link. If you have questions contact Miriam@leadershiplearning.org.

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A Shout Out to the WISE Women’s Network

It seemed appropriate during Women’s History Month to lift up the work of a very innovative leadership development strategy. They are new so the ‘history’ is a stretch but I do think they will make history. WISE Network is part of the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA), an organization focused on helping Black women generate wealth.

 

BWWA’s work is rooted in Black culture as a core resource and educational tool that facilitates cooperative economics through wealth literacy, homeownership, and cooperative business education. They believe that increasing Black women’s engagement with wealth may result in a shift outside of poverty since in many Black households, Black women are primary financial decision makers. That’s why BWWA equips women with the leadership skills and tools necessary to create generational prosperity.

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Response to "Blind Spots (Part 2)" by Lisa Miller Mattsson

Dear Deborah,

 

Thanks so much for the powerful theme and the questions being raised by “Blind Spots: Are Leadership Development Programs Contributing to Greater Racial Equality or Inhibiting our Progress?”  Lots to think about!

 

I just wanted to share a thought regarding “worship of the written word” as a means of support for white supremacist culture.  It is definitely true that there are many valuable and powerful ways to communicate other than in writing. Personally, I believe effective oration to be more a powerful form of leadership communication than writing, as a general rule.  Even negative leaders know this, and use the spoken word to move people.  Hitler, the iconic example of white supremacist leadership, comes to mind.  He utilized the power of the spoken word as a means by which to stir and mobilize people.

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LLC Webinar Series | An Innovative Approach to Supporting the Leadership of People of Color

Earlier this month, we had a great webinar with the women of The WISE Network. Kenya McKnight presented on how leadership development can dismantle systemic racism. Leadership that comes from and for community creates lasting changes that transverse generations of oppression and inequity.

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Blind Spots (Part 2): Are Leadership Development Programs Contributing to Greater Racial Equity or Inhibiting Our Progress?

Last November on the heels of our annual national convening, Creating Space, I felt compelled to sharpen the discussion about the ways in which leadership culture can work hand in hand with white supremacy to reinforce the status quo unless we are vigilant in our collective efforts of uncovering the blind spots in our thinking and behavior.

 

I was inspired by Elissa Perry and Susan Misra, from Management Assistance Group, who described this process (referenced in part 1 of the Blindspot Series, “White Supremacy Culture” by Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones) of understanding how the 13 characteristics of white supremacist culture show up in their work. This is the rigor we need to upend white supremacy and enact equity across communities. In my last blog post, I took on Individualism, Paternalism and Urgency. This month I address perfectionism, objectivity and the worship of the written word.

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The Women’s March and #Metoo Reflections

I joined the Women’s March again this year in Oakland with 50,000 other women, children and men. I appreciated the call to action with a focus on midterm elections and... I think we need a much deeper conversation about leadership and democracy, who votes, who doesn’t and why (maybe next month). Being part of the march this year also caused me to reflect on an issue I have wanting to write about, #me too. It would probably be more accurate to say I have and haven’t wanted to write about it because it’s complex and emotionally triggering, as you can see from the machinations of my internal dialogue below.

 

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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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