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leadership

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.

 

Vision, Hope and Liberation: Some Thoughts and Exercises for Visioning

Oddly, I don’t think I have written much about my own leadership development experience, which was profound on many levels. As I sat down to write about vision I found myself remembering two experiences as a participant in the Kellogg National Leadership Program that shaped my thinking and beliefs. The first was a week long, small seminar for 12 lucky fellows, self included, with Paulo Freire. His book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was sacred text to me. I could write dozens of blog posts about that experience, but for the sake of focus I will go straight to one of many punchlines. On about day three, he walked over to me and kindly put his hand on my shoulder as he said, “Your problem is that you don’t dream.” He went on to explain that while power might change hands in the fight for justice, we will recreate systems oppressions without imagining a society in which we are able to reach our full humanity by liberating ourselves from oppressive relationships (either as oppressor or oppressed). read more »

Action Learning Seed Fund's Community of Practice

By Susan Misra, CoDirector of Management of Assistance Group

Looking back over the last year of the Action Learning Seed Fund's community of practice, a major theme that surfaced was how to hold and wield the power of our full intersectional selves in racial healing and equity work. This is complex and exhausting work to name inequity and hold space for racial healing between different communities and within the same community.

Our group of eight people struggle with patriarchy, sexism and misogyny among leadership within our communities, for instance. We work with these leaders to confront Islamophobia or xenophobia, to have courageous conversations with other communities, and to salve historic and current racial wounds. At the same time, we need to call these (often male-identified) leaders into sharing power and leadership with women and gender non-conforming people. This can be particularly challenging when there are formal gendered roles (e.g., in a religious institution).

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LLC Webinar | Leadership and Large Scale Change: Are We Setting Our Sites High Enough?

 

July 12, 2018

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

 

People who are putting their time, energy and resources into supporting and cultivating leadership are for the most part doing the work to advance meaningful change and social justice. Our learning about this work is struggling to keep up with our change aspirations. It's not enough to know that participants believe they are better leaders without answering questions about the ways in which leadership development work is creating equity and contributing to concrete changes in the health, education, and wealth of all. This webinar will share findings from a collaborative research efforts between leadership Funders and Evaluators to understand what we can achieve through leadership investments, how we can know, and what we are learning about the kind of leadership we need to contribute to greater equity.

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Self-Care: Actualizing Freedom, Asserting Presence, Cultivating Power

In the nonprofit sector, it’s common to hear about burnout and lack of self-care. Though highly important to our work, with demanding deadlines and lack of resources, including time, self-care can feel like an added chore that never gets done. However, not taking care of ourselves can lead the sector astray and lead to the same problems within the field we are trying to combat, including but not limited to systemic racism. When people do not feel cared for, they can lose their sense of empathy and connection to others. Therefore, self-care is a leadership competency.
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LLC Webinar Series | LeaderSpring in Reset: rethinking leadership and risk taking

May 16, 2018

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

 

Our thinking about leadership is evolving as is the world in which greater numbers of people are coming together to take actions that will create greater equity. To keep pace, those who are supporting leadership for racial equity and social justice must pause, reflect and reconsider our approaches to leadership development. Because most leadership programs receive positive feedback from those participating in them, it can be hard to try something different...who wants to mess with what works, even if the payoff could be more dramatic results. It takes courage to do this and we are excited to have our friends from LeaderSpring share their "reset" process and what they are learning. Please join our next webinar with Sonia Manjon, Ph.D and Safi Jiroh from LeaderSpring.

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