2022 Year in Review

December 15, 2022In Liberatory LeadershipBy

Sometimes the pull of urgency culture is so strong that we stand constantly future focused, striving for the next thing, unable to be in the present or appreciate the past. As we close out 2022 (and welcome in 2023), LLC is intentionally stopping to reflect, focusing on our achievements, learning from our stumbles, and appreciating our community and supportive ecosystem.

2022 was a time of great internal growth and focus for LLC. We were able to diversify our work and resources while simultaneously centering care for our staff team. As a result we feel more solid, safe and happy. We good!!

As a team, LLC achieved a lot in 2022. We worked hard and were the lucky recipients of the wisdom, generosity and grace of you, our network. Thank you!

LLC’s 2022 Achievements

1. Successful Co-Executive Director Search

In 2022, LLC welcomed a new Co-Executive Director, Nikki Dinh. This process has strengthened LLC and affirmed our commitment to a distributed leadership model. It has also expanded our capacity and brought new energy and fabulocity to the team (Read more here and also here).

2. Established a New Fiscal Sponsor Partnership

This year LLC switched fiscal sponsors and established a new partnership with PossibilityLabs. We’ve been able to lean into our collective humanity and establish a relational rather than purely transactional partnership with Possiblity Labs. This partnership has offered LLC new opportunities to grow our work and more deeply align our work with our mission and values.  (Read more here- FS Transfer Blog) An example of that alignment, PL facilitated our ability to invest a portion of our reserves in a values-aligned black led/owned bank allowing us to deploy some of our funds directly into communities we hope to impact,  they have also helped us to better align our HR practices with liberatory values.

3. New Look

LLC began trying on new and enlivened branding and communications. Our decks, blogs, newsletters, etc. all became more interactive and colorful. We intentionally incorporated biomimicry in our communications to showcase/communicate LLC’s increased focus on heeding the guidance of nature while also centering play and pleasure.

4. New Learning Framework

Our refreshed look is evident in LLC’s new Learning Framework which will be released in 2023. The Learning framework functions as LLC strategic planning & visioning guide. (See more here- LF Blog Part 1) Many thanks to The StarLion Collective for supporting us through this process, keeping us grounded and values aligned the entire way.

5. Spreading the word about Liberatory Leadership

We are excited to remain a member of the Liberatory Leadership Partnership. Over the course of the year, LLC was featured in podcasts such as the Nonprofit Mastermind, and presented at public gatherings such as the 2022 GEO conference. We have enjoyed sharing this enriching and restorative work with others.

6. Liberatory Leadership Conference

In October, LLC partnered with the Center For Third World Organizing (CTWO), the Liberatory Leadership Partnership, Social Insights, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to host “Living Liberation: Embodying Freedom, Honoring The Work, Living Our Values the first Liberatory Leadership Partnership Conference. The two-day event connected and engaged over 400 movement leaders, community members, funders and social justice changemakers in a conversation about deepening and actualizing liberatory practice. (Register here to view recordings of conference sessions.)

7. Supporting BIPOC Leaders

Foundation’s BIPOC Leadership Transitions Project in partnership with ProInspire, and The Opportunity Network’s BIPOC Action Network. We were excited to hold a series of conversations with BIPOC leaders and to surface the concerns of BIPOC leaders taking over from white leadership and real solutions to make those transitions smoother. LLC is happy to continue this work in 2023.

8. Holding Space: Wintering

Photos by Amira Maxwell

In November, we tested out a new approach to LLC’s traditional biannual “Creating Space” convening, asking a few folks to help us try on this new model. Following the flow of the seasons, we focused on shifting into the winter season by slowing down and preparing for next year’s harvest. The group of partners and colleagues discussed how we all are learning how to operationalize liberatory visions as researchers, field-building consultants, and staff of organizations and foundations.

9. Dignity for Families Fund
  1. LLC has been proud to manage the California Dignity for Families Fund, a collaborative action fund led by GCIR and housed at Tides Foundation. We invite you to follow the Fund’s learnings through these three learning memos captured by Community Centered Evaluation & Research:
10. Race Equity Toolkit for Leadership Development

In 2018, LLC engaged our extensive network to generate content for a tool to support practice leaders in establishing comprehensive leadership development programs that contribute to racial equity. This year we completed the compilation of your knowledge and ideas in the Race Equity Toolkit for Leadership Development. Over 60 members of our network contributed their wisdom and resources to this toolkit. In 2022 and beyond, many of these resources, questions, and considerations remain relevant. And still, we understand that a document like this must remain living and well aligned with the current climate. As we plan for the work of 2023, we will consider how to apply even more of a Liberatory Leadership lens to what we’ve captured in the toolkit. We invite you to share your updated thoughts and resources with us here.