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leadership

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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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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What it takes to shift Power

Perhaps because my background is in organizing and advocacy, for me the purpose of my work supporting leadership is to shift power. Looking at who has power and who doesn’t and then shifting that balance. 

 

I think we accomplish shifting power by actually creating opportunities for people with less power, marginalized and directly impacted people, to have real power over the conditions which impact their lives, not just “a voice” which power-holders can choose to hear or not. If we are to build leadership support structures that value equity we must intentionally assess and question how power and authority are distributed, in our society and in our institutions. 

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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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Leadership and Governance

Leadership is at the very heart of the ways in which we work, the processes through which we act and learn. We talk

about what it means to center equity in leadership and this week I had the opportunity to delve more deeply into

what this actually looks like with a wise group of people tackling questions of governance, for us the context was networks, and yet the questions are real for all justice loving people.

 

 

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Standing for Love

I was at the closing session at the International Leadership Association (ILA) when the speaker who took the stage told us she had just heard there had been a mass shooting. Phones lit up as together we all learned the horrifying news that 11 people had been killed at the Tree of Life Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. We stood in stunned silence honoring the lives of those who had died, and as an expression of deep sympathy for their families and neighbors, and for all of those reliving the loss of hate killings in their communities. I speak for all of us at LLC in expressing our love and support to the familes of those lost in Pittsburgh, the synagogue and the city, and to the families of Maurice Stallard and Vicki Jones, two African American who were killed by a white man in Kentuck who first attempted to barge into a Black Church.

 

I was filled with sadness, outrage, and overwhelmed by the tidal wave of attacks on people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, women, and LGBTQIA communities occuring against a back drop of hateful language that incites and condones these actions. I am fired up with anger about everything I am against. Over the last couple of day, I have been reflecting about what it means to be in a perpetual fighting posture defined by what I am against. Clearly I am against hate, and I don’t want the haters to be the ones defining where my energy is going, to the extent that I am losing touch what it means to be for love.

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Update on the Co-Directorship

We have received applications from a number of exciting candidates. We have interviewed people who are still of interest to us, and are keeping the position open a bit longer to meet additional candidates.  We are learning as we go, and have a great team of folks from the LLC board and network who are actively engaging alongside us in this learning. Here are some of our early lessons:

 

We are a relationale network and that goes for recruitment too:  I was in a hurry to recruit a co-director because we were holding off on hiring a FT Operations and Program Manager after Miriam left so that the new person could be involved. We also were holding off on board recruitment for the same reason. This was creating a sense of urgency about an important decision for LLC.  We need to create time to get to know potential candidates, and for them to get to know us. This will require more than two interviews. Getting to know more candidates is an important process for understanding what will contribute most to the future we hope to see. So, we are slowing it down so that we can engage with more people, and talk more with interested candidates.

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Developing Leadership that Contributes to Racial Equity

Our collective document is getting unwieldy, and in a good way. We want to allow for more generative contribution before working to integrate all of the comments and organize the content in more accessible ways. We continue to welcome comments on diagnostic questions, recommendations and resources, and we are getting great resources so please keep them coming. To add your comments or access this collective document, click here.

 

In addition, it would be helpful earlier in the document to describe what we are driving towards as the skills, ability, knowledge, practices and behaviors that we would expect to be present and observable in individuals and groups. In other words, what does racial equity compentency look like in practice. Answering this question if fundamental to understanding what it will take to help people and groups get there. We would love your help with this question in the document.

 

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LLC Webinar | Important Lessons for Cultivating Leadership of Color in Community Organizing

August 22, 2018

11:00 am Pacific - 12PM | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

 

 

Please join us for a conversation with Ericka Stallings from the Center for Neighborhood Leadership as she shares lessons from 10 years of experience about what makes an effective and transformative support model for developing indigenous community leadership. She will cover a lot of ground including learning from mistakes, intentional selection, working on real problems, putting in the time it takes, compensation, what it means to reclaim leadership and more. Her lessons are deeply rooted in the view that communities of color and other marginalized communities do not need external actors and have the wisdom and talents needed to take on complex problems with the appropriate supports. We hope you can join us for a thoughtful conversation that will help us to think differently about leadership development. If you would like to read a great blog post by Ericka in preparation for the webinar you can find it here.

 
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