Our Learning Framework Journey Starts with Tending to a Garden in a Desert

Equity is essential.

[This blog is part 1 of our sharing about the learning framework journey we have embarked on over the past six months.]

Leadership Learning Community (LLC) is a place that says yes to analogies, metaphors and poems. In addition to research, scans and practice, we also use imagery and music, rhythm and rhymes to understand leadership and movement spaces. LLC’s Learning Framework, our strategic guidance document, uses images from nature to describe our work. 

Before sharing our Learning Framework, we want to share the context of our work and explain a bit about how we have placed liberation at the center. 

Our journey starts with equity. This is a visual we have all been gifted by the folx at Interaction Institute for Social Change. For us, it’s a starting point because it’s a memorable image that has sparked conversations about what equity is relative to equality. 

For over a decade, LLC has been focused on equity, and more recently we have described our work as exploring what can exist beyond equity. While we talk a lot about liberatory leadership and practices, we would be remiss to not mention that equity, particularly race equity, is still essential. 


If Leadership Learning Community could add something to the discussion, it would be this additional image. Liberation, for us, serves as a reminder that there’s more to you, me, us and our work than the oppressive systems we interact with. What questions and conversations does this image spark for you?

We, as a movement, can do many things at the same time.

“Liberatory leadership invites us to lead from a place of love and possibility.” – The Liberatory Leadership Partnership
What we believe is that together we have the knowledge and the power to enable transformation. And how we choose to do this work matters because it informs who will do this work.
Lately, we have been dreaming up the next strategic phase of our organization, and how we might contribute to a transformation that sustains diverse, emerging, and historically excluded movement leaders. We started with a space that inspires play and practice, experimentation and incubation rooted in our values and our co-liberation, rather than starting with equity and oppressive systems.
So where is Leadership Learning Community in this scene? We’re tending to the playful garden in the back, and creating some space for you there as well.

Oasis work.

Lastly, we also want to put things in perspective. What we do is oasis work.  For LLC, Oases are intentional spaces of comfort, restoration, and purpose-driven learning. Outside of the oasis, we know that most people are laboring under extractive, exploitative, and exhausting desert like conditions. There’s a lot of desert out there y’all, and intentionally moving together in solidarity and in networked ways between oasis and desert spaces feels necessary to us. 

If you’re seeking refuge or simply some play space, know that there’s room here.

Tending to Liberatory Leadership and Practices

We look forward to continuing to learn from community, to tend to this garden, and to grow liberatory leadership and practices in the social good sector with you in this next phase for Leadership Learning Community.