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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.

Sally Leiderman
Sally Leiderman is CAPD’s President and one of its founders. CAPD is a 29-year- old non- profit with a mission to help foundations, communities, organizations and public systems craft and execute thoughtful responses to pressing social issues. CAPD’s work is characterized by a “theory of change” approach, focus on results and outcomes, and a racialized perspective.


Ms. Leiderman’s expertise spans traditional and non-traditional research and evaluation design and implementation, with a focus on helping to build capacities of those who commission and/or participate in that research. She is a long-term member of the Leadership Learning Community, and its Evaluation/Funders circle. She has evaluated many identity and value-based leadership efforts (Berries Fellows, Community Leadership Program, Healing the Heart of Diversity, Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassadors Program, The Rural Fellows Program at the Duke Divinity School and the work of the Hispanic House of Studies at the Duke Divinity), as well as many other large-scale, cross-site, multi-year system and community change efforts of which leadership development was a central component. Those include, for example, evaluations of the Equity Learning Project, Project Change, Communities Creating Racial Equity, Communities for All Ages, Co-creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations and others.

Claire Reinelt
Claire Reinelt, PhD is a nationally recognized network and leadership consultant with over 20 years of experience evaluating leadership development, network formation, and collective impact on policy and systems change. She has served as Research and Evaluation Director for the Leadership Learning Community where she contributed to research and writing for several Leadership for a New Era Series publications on Leadership and Collective Impact, Leadership and Networks and Leadership and Large Scale Change. She has led numerous evaluation projects for clients such as the Kellogg Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Schott Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation among others. Most recently, Claire co-designed and implemented an evaluation to assess the capacity of a network of think tanks, international development nonprofits, and funders to align their efforts to reform U.S. foreign aid policy. She also led a project to apply social network analysis tools to assess public health communications networks, and place-based action networks to identify influencers in network ecosystems in order to design network strategies to increase the reach of a public health communications and organizing campaign. Claire is an author of numerous publications including the Handbook of Leadership Development Evaluation, and most recently, Contribution Analysis in Policy Work:  Assessing Advocacy’s Influence. Claire has a PhD in Sociology from Brandeis University and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin.
 

Deborah Meehan

Deborah Meehan is the founder and Executive Director of the Leadership Learning Community (LLC). In 1991, Deborah received a Kellogg National Leadership fellowship. She was also a 1991 Salzburg Fellow and returned to Salzburg in 2007 as a member of the Global Youth Leadership faculty. Deborah also conducts an annual Women’s Leadership Seminar. She has served as a consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to build an alumni association for the 700 leadership alumni of the Kellogg program. Deborah has created a consulting services arm of LLC and conducted evaluations for national and international leadership programs and produced leadership scans, literature reviews and made program recommendations on behalf of 30 foundations that include a broad range of small, large, regional, state and prominent national foundations.
 


 

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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).
 

This takes a lot of imagination! This was one of the things I loved about the film Black Panther. To be transported for a magnificent 2.5 hours to a society that had not been colonized and whose resources had not been exploited by others. There is something really powerful about seeing a visual representation of what you can only imagine. The Urban Impact Lab in Miami used this approach to inspire a community to organize for a transit line by actually holding an opening of an imaginary train station for the purple line that did not yet exist. The station had been created in sidewalk chalk under an overpass complete with pop up concession booths. The ‘opening’ attracted thousands of people.

 

As part of the process during a human centered design lab we did as part of work to understand what it would look like to create the conditions for health and well-being for all Californians, we we prompted to remove all obstacles to our dreams...imagine we had unlimited resources, decision making authority, and on and on. The group in the photo was producing and freely distributing resources (yes, while they chanted Wakanda). The joy level of the room began to rise. We used a modeling exercise that I highly recommend, borrowed from Theory U processes, to help our board imagine its way into a future in which everyone could lead and act together. The design process reminded me of how difficult it can be to untether ourselves from the “but this and but thats.” Donella Meadows designed a visioning exercise to help people expand their vision and capacity to imagine an ideal future, 10 years, 20 years out.

Another colleague I have great respect for, Eugene Eric Kim, kicked off the year with a great blog post about visioning called, “The Art of Thinking Really Big. I loved the post that talked about the evolution of this own thinking from an earlier focus on anchoring one’s vision to appreciating the importance of really stretching in our visions. (Please read his post because I am not doing it justice). He introduced the term ‘radical hope’ which I hope to hear more about, an intriguing idea for these times.
 

His post did get me thinking about the relationship between vision and hope, which leads me to the second story from my own leadership experience. I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua in 1989, not long before Daniel Ortega was defeated in the election by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. During the visit, we met with a cultural worker who had been a teacher and shared stories about friends murdered by the Contras, and still he sang and spoke enthusiastically about what he wanted for his country. I wondered how he could remain so hopeful in the face of such economic hardship and political uncertainty for the country, so when I had the chance I asked him. He laughed and said, “Hopeful?”, “I am like a flea nibbling on the heel of an elephant.” Incredulously, I thought about the songs he wrote and asked him, “How do you do it?” He pointed to his children and asked, “What choice do I have?” At the time, I felt despair and something else I could not quite name.
 

My understanding of what it means to take the long view has grown, as I had children, and they had children. And in a way, the long term view is liberating. I am not derailed by the pain and horror of what seems like daily assaults on people I consider brothers and sisters. My vision is definitely big. It’s big enough that I know it can’t be achieved in a lifetime, or at least this one. And because it’s big, it inspires me, so I keep planting seeds that I hope will yield  a more just, equitable and humane world. Maybe this is radical hope. While I don’t ascribe to a specific religion, when I returned from Nicaragua a friend gave me a excerpt from Archbishop Romero’s sermon, that I carried in my wallet for a decade.
 

From the sermon, “We are Prophets of a Future that is Not Our Own

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an

opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master

builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

 
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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).

We also reflected on anti-black racism that emerges among our Asian, South Asian, Arab, and Latino/a/x families, friends, and colleagues even within the same religious or geographic community.  Those of us who are allies and accomplices spoke about having the power to name and call attention to differences within racial/ethnic communities. For instance, if we are Latinx/a/o talking with other Latinx/os/as, we play an ally role when we raise the legacy of indigenous genocide. Or, if we are South Asian talking with other South Asians, we play an ally role when we address anti-black racism and colorism.

Finally, we talked about how we heal, recharge, and sustain each other in this work.  Racial healing that brings together communities across divides is draining.  Calling in our community based on one of our identities to recognize and address oppression based on our other identities is also exhausting.  On top of this, personal life issues related to health, family, finances, etc. are challenging. We support each other in slowing down and taking care of ourselves so that we don’t burn out in the face of unending demand.

As a virtual community of practice, for me, our conversations were a gift towards this sustainability – a place to reveal our true selves, to be accepted and validated for tackling challenges, and to be celebrated for our achievements. These achievements include building a larger community – of black women (WISE Network), black Muslim youth (Black Muslim Youth Rising), and LA-based organizations (Vigilante Love) – to deepen and expand racial healing and equity and to support each other for the long haul.

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May 23, 2018

10:00 am - 11:00 am Pacific | 1:00 pm - 2:00 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.

Sally Leiderman
Sally Leiderman is CAPD’s President and one of its founders. CAPD is a 29-year- old non- profit with a mission to help foundations, communities, organizations and public systems craft and execute thoughtful responses to pressing social issues. CAPD’s work is
characterized by a “theory of change” approach, focus on results and outcomes, and a racialized perspective.


Ms. Leiderman’s expertise spans traditional and non-traditional research and evaluation design and implementation, with a focus on helping to build capacities of those who commission and/or participate in that research. She is a long-term member of the Leadership Learning Community, and its Evaluation/Funders circle. She has evaluated many identity and value-based leadership efforts (Berries Fellows, Community Leadership Program, Healing the Heart of Diversity, Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassadors Program, The Rural Fellows Program at the Duke Divinity School and the work of the Hispanic House of Studies at the Duke Divinity), as well as many other large-scale, cross-site, multi-year system and community change efforts of which leadership development was a central component. Those include, for example, evaluations of the Equity Learning Project, Project Change, Communities Creating Racial Equity, Communities for All Ages, Co-creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations and others.

Claire Reinelt
Claire Reinelt, PhD is a nationally recognized network and leadership consultant with over 20 years of experience evaluating leadership development, network formation, and collective impact on policy and systems change. She has served as Research and Evaluation Director for the Leadership Learning Community where she contributed to research and writing for several Leadership for a New Era Series publications on Leadership and Collective Impact, Leadership and Networks and Leadership and Large Scale Change. She has led numerous evaluation projects for clients such as the Kellogg Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Schott Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation among others. Most recently, Claire co-designed and implemented an evaluation to assess the capacity of a network of think tanks, international development nonprofits, and funders to align their efforts to reform U.S. foreign aid policy. She also led a project to apply social network analysis tools to assess public health communications networks, and place-based action networks to identify influencers in network ecosystems in order to design network strategies to increase the reach of a public health communications and organizing campaign. Claire is an author of numerous publications including the Handbook of Leadership Development Evaluation, and most recently, Contribution Analysis in Policy Work:  Assessing Advocacy’s Influence. Claire has a PhD in Sociology from Brandeis University and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin.
 

Deborah Meehan

 

Deborah Meehan is the founder and Executive Director of the Leadership Learning Community (LLC). In 1991, Deborah received a Kellogg National Leadership fellowship. She was also a 1991 Salzburg Fellow and returned to Salzburg in 2007 as a member of the Global Youth Leadership faculty. Deborah also conducts an annual Women’s Leadership Seminar. She has served as a consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to build an alumni association for the 700 leadership alumni of the Kellogg program. Deborah has created a consulting services arm of LLC and conducted evaluations for national and international leadership programs and produced leadership scans, literature reviews and made program recommendations on behalf of 30 foundations that include a broad range of small, large, regional, state and prominent national foundations.
 


 

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At Creating Space, Elissa Perry shared a framework on White Supremacy Culture from Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones as she invited us to reflect on the ways in which this culture shows up in our organizations. Since then, I have been thinking about how these characteristics are often the default in our leadership development practice as well. Today, I wanted to discuss the remaining characteristics which fall into two areas: how we value what we do, and how we address power and conflict.

I  think about the question of what we value when involved in evaluating leadership development programs.  Okun and Jones describe two related characteristics of the values of White Supremacy, “Progress is More, Bigger” and “Quantity over Quality.”  Many people currently served by formal leadership programs are situated within non-profit organizations where more and bigger too often define success. A bigger organization, serving more people may be a poor proxy for contributing to social justice or equity.  Gold standard organizations may suffer from many of the characteristics of white supremacy described in earlier posts, like paternalism or individualism. By incorporating a frame of systemic racism and equity into leadership curriculum, programs can help participants to bring a different evaluative lens, one that focuses more on whether people closest to the problems being addressed are well represented in the leadership of the organization or how power is shared within the organization as more central questions than how much money an organization has raised or how many people served.  The site Racial Equity Tools is a great resource for bringing a race conscious lens to leadership work.

As we challenge the individual bias in mainstream ideas about leadership, and look more at how people lead and learn together, we understand that the quality of relationships is the secret sauce of how people work together to achieve common goals. In evaluating leadership programs a focus on quantity (the number of individuals served who believe they are better leaders) can miss the real story about the quality of trust relationships that have formed among participants, and a valuing of relationships that translates into the kinds of things people are accomplishing by working more successfully with others. The good news is that leadership evaluators are now asking new questions like, “How can we evaluate trust?”

The last characteristic I wanted to raise is “power hoarding’ and how it is reinforced by, ‘defensiveness’, ‘right to comfort’ and ‘fear of open conflict’.  As mentioned, individualism has permeated our thinking about leadership, causing us to focus a hierarchical model of a ‘leader’ who exercises leadership over, often believing that they, as leader, know best. This model implies power over others rather than leading with others. Leadership programs may promote a more relational and collectivist model of leadership as part of their program, and yet assume they know what is best, based on best practices, research or their own experiences. While an analysis of broader experience has value, there are also opportunities to co-create the programs with input from participants, source the experience of participants as contributors to peer learning and draw participants into experimenting alongside staff to learn together about the supports that are most useful.  

The power dynamic between program staff and participants may be most noticeable when participants raise criticisms about the program and propose changes. Anyone who has facilitated meetings or programs knows the tension between trying to keep things on track and the need to pay attention to what is emerging. How leadership program staff respond to new ideas or concerns will set a tone in the program for how power operates, and how conflict is used as an opportunity for learning, or not. I don’t mean to make this sound easy because it can be complicated, e.g. programs may have been put in place with staff or consulting contractual commitments, a solid case may have been made for the program that has already been funded with a commitment to the fidelity of that approach. The key to managing these conflicts is transparency about challenges to incorporating feedback so that staff and participants can work in partnership to ensure the most relevant and effective supports possible. Although LLC does evaluations, and I am not trying to put us or other evaluators  out of work, we would love to become more obsolete as leadership programs develop a more evaluative culture that activates continuous learning and openness between staff and participants.

Leadership programs, especially those that are doing a good job of diverse recruitment can be microcosms of the environments in which many people lead and provide opportunities to learn how to deal openly with conflict, especially conflict around race. Leadership program staff are not necessarily equipped to facilitate constructive conversations about race but the good news is that that there are plenty of people who are and leadership programs can help to finance this important work by funding experts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to support their programming. We have heard stories about fractures within leadership cohorts when conflicts are not handled well and some leadership programs who feel ill equipped may avoid these conversations in attempt to maintain comfort and cohesion within the group.  

In this case, “comfort’ is really only maintained for those in the cohort who are part of the dominant culture, and at the expense of people of color. I have been thinking a lot about how we can become more sophisticated in the ground rules we create, and our expectations for learning. I have found myself thinking about  our facilitation of spaces and about how we have to do a little more unpacking of some of the language we use in approaching our work, e.g. creating a safe space, or assuming good intent. I think it goes for leadership programs as well. Safe space does not mean a ‘comfortable space’ and ‘good intent’ does not absolve people from the impact of their behaviors, but sets a stage for important learning moments. Without acknowledging our defensiveness and opening ourselves to hard conversations about race and power, we will miss the opportunity to develop leadership programming that models a different relationship to power, and equips participants of leadership programs to shift power and create greater equity.

_______

This is part 3 of 3:

 
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Job Title:    

Operations & Project Manager

Department:

Leadership Learning Community

Reports To:

Executive Director

FLSA Status:

Full-Time Exempt

Location

85% Virtual, 15% Oakland, California

Salary Range

$ 50,000-60,000

Since 2000, The Leadership Learning Community has been a national nonprofit organization transforming the way leadership development work is conceived, conducted, and evaluated, primarily within the nonprofit sector. We believe that the dominant leadership development model must to be challenged in order to unleash and support the leadership of all people working toward social justice. We care about lifting up, learning from and promoting leadership that is equity based, collective in nature and networked. We currently have an exciting opportunity to join LLC’s staff.

About This Position

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Operations & Project Manager’s primary responsibility is ensuring organizational effectiveness by providing leadership for the organization's financial and project functions. The Operations & Project Manager monitors and maintains the day to day financials of the organization, spearheads aspects of project coordination, serves as the main fiscal sponsor liaison, works closely with the communications staff around events and promotion, and assist LLC staff with the management of the office. The main goal of the Operations & Project Manager is to provide the management team with real-time updates on the organization's activities and financials at different levels of operation and to coordinate logistics with the staff to ensure the accomplishment of LLC’s mission and long-term goals.

 

Primary Responsibilities:  

  • Financial Monitoring and Management (20%)
    You know how to develop and maintain accurate financial reports.
     

  • Project Management (20%)
    You can create project budgets, timelines, and final reports and can coordinate teams of consultants.
     

  • Programmatic (20%)
    You are a virtual meeting expert and can easily help others set up their technology. You can work on research by reviewing applications, facilitating focus groups, conduct interviews, set up and administer surveys and evaluations.

  • Administrative/Other (20%)
    You can maintain organizational files and records. Coordinate events, schedules, travel, materials and help registrants. You are able to communicate the fiscal status of the organization clearly with the Executive Director and Advisory Board.

  • Communications (20%)
    Organize monthly webinars, have a basic understanding of how to update a website (no coding required) and can create Constant Contact templates. You will work with a website developer and team to launch the next website. You are able to write a monthly blog article on leadership. You also know how to make documents pretty and easily readable.

Qualifications:

  • 3-6 years of experience in a similar role

  • Previous nonprofit work preferred

  • Exceptional organizational skills

  • Exceptional skills in PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and GoogleDocs.

  • Experience in Zoom, GoToWebinar, or other virtual meeting platforms

  • Ability to write professional correspondence.  Excellent writing and communications skills.

 

Physical Demands

  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to use work at a computer, use a phone and handle supplies.

  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.


If this seems like a job for you, please submit your application here.

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It is with a deep appreciation that I announce that I will be leaving LLC mid-May. I have an exciting new position at a local health startup that is offering me the opportunity to take my skills to the next level. The Leadership Learning Community has been my home for over five and a half years. I’ve been in the trenches through Creating Spaces, Learning Circles, webinars, publications, and consulting projects. I’ve been honored that you’ve come along as I’ve reflected on the world and this work each month in this newsletter. As I leave, though I will miss Deborah, Bella, our amazing consultants, and all of you, my heart remains full knowing that our time together knows no bounds and I hope that our interactions though big or small may ripple through time as our journeys continue.

I look forward to continuing to stay connected to LLC’s work as the work continues to transform how people see, fund, run, and evaluate leadership and leadership development. In my time, LLC taught me that:

  • Leadership is a process

  • The work without people in its center, is meaningless

  • We are all worthy and valuable in this work and have a role to play; find your role

  • True experimentation equals risks and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t; but you always learn

  • Nothing can stop a group of people determined to work together

  • And though humans are flawed, love is not

I have no doubt that LLC will continue to produce excellent work with integrity, transparency, and heart; as it has for over 18 years. I wish you all the best and may our paths cross again.

Rooted in this community,

Miriam Persley


Saudade: Definition: nostalgia, an ailment you enjoy

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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.

At EWOCC last month,  Yolo Akili Robinson and Cole McDaniel anchored the session “Building Non-Violent Intimacies In a Violent Society.” They were there representing Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM). They spoke about the importance of mental health in healing from trauma. People of color, specifically, many times find themselves outside of the circle of human concern when it comes to the mental health field. Not only is there stigma within communities, but it can be difficult to relate on the intimate level needed to heal if someone that cannot truly understand  generations of oppression and racism on top of other emotional traumas. Yolo Akili Robinson founded BEAM to create liberating spaces where Black people could heal together.

 

Yolo and Cole, along with other panelists, asked us to think of how can we engage authentically in spaces where we do not feel like ourselves? How can we engage with people when we are hurt? Typically, humans use coping mechanisms to deal with their trauma and it is best to name it and heal. Yolo and Cole stressed the importance of understanding the context of our backgrounds, which is not the same as getting a pass on our damaging behaviours. Rather, context can diagnose the problem, but nothing can substitute for the work that healing entails.

This dynamic duo introduced two concrete tools anyone can use to create healthy relationships. They presented the BEAM Healing & Accountability Wheel to be used with partners, family, friends, and colleagues to name behaviours not in criticism, but in self-reflection to name behaviours and start addressing them. They spoke about everybody’s need for love and healthy relationships and how to develop them.

 

They also presented The Feelings Wheel, which they adapted to reflect a wider depth of emotions. This wheel can be used for self reflection and to think about what our bodies are feeling and how that is embodied in everyone differently. This can be a conversation piece or something that can be referred to throughout the day to be present and acknowledge the complexity of emotions we all carry.

They encouraged the use of these tools to constantly reflect on our behaviour and emotions through journaling. This is the first step towards healing because it means making space for self-care and building endurance.

________________

This is part 2 of 2. Last month, I wrote on “Actualizing Freedom, Asserting Presence, Cultivating Power” and the lessons from Empowering Womxn of Color Conference (EWOCC).

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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.

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, PhD, Executive Director

Sonia possesses more than 25 years of experience in higher education, nonprofit, and government administration. Sonia is a LeaderSpring Fellow Class of 2006, who comes to us after serving as the inaugural director of the Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise and Associate Professor of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at The Ohio State University (OSU). The Center’s mission is to educate and prepare students for successful careers in the arts and related entrepreneurial fields.

 

Before joining OSU, Sonia was Vice President for Institutional Partnerships, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), and Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre at Wesleyan University in Connecticut from 2008 - 2013.  As CDO at Wesleyan she developed a comprehensive diversity initiative, “Making Excellence Inclusive (MEI), an on-going and multi-layered process for both academic and non-academic departments, students, alumni, and trustees and established both academic and programmatic initiatives to support it. As VP for Institutional Partnerships and as a member of the President’s Senior Cabinet, Sonia represented the institution at local, state and federal political and legislative meetings. As a member of faculty/administrative advisory boards, she helped to develop and establish certificate programs and centers in education and civic engagement including the Center for Prison Education and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

 

Actively involved in Connecticut and California education reform debates, Sonia was appointed by CT Speaker of the House Donovan to the State Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission where her focus was education. She was a member of the Governor’s Education Policy Task Force to reform teacher preparation programs for the CT State Department of Education. In California, she was a member of the Alameda County Education Reform Policy Board for secondary and post-secondary education, and developed and implemented a statewide evaluation and site-visit protocol for the California Arts Council that included technical assistance training to organizations in the areas of administration and artistic development.

 

As the former executive director of the Center for Art and Public Life and founding chair of the Community Arts major, she held the Simpson Endowed Professorship of Community Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA). Highlights of her tenure at CCA include restructuring diversity studies curriculum, executive leadership of a six-year campus-wide diversity initiative, and the establishment of the Community Arts Program, the first BFA program of its kind in the United States. 
She also created the Center’s Visiting Artists and Scholars program; raised over $8 million dollars for CCA initiatives; and implemented 100 Families Oakland: Art & Social Change, a highly successful community program that engaged over 500 Oakland residents in art making and civic engagement.

 

Sonia earned a PhD in Humanities, Transformative Learning and Change in Human Systems and an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She received a Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Cultures with an emphasis in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

Safi Jiroh, Deputy Director

Safi brings more than 25 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors as a leader, grantmaker, non-profit consultant, and certified integral coach with significant planning, facilitation, training and public speaking experience. Her Oakland-based leadership positions have included: Executive Director of the Marcus Foster Ed Fund; Community Faculty Fellow with the Center for Art and Public Life at the California College of the Arts; and Grants and Nonprofit Management Analyst for the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Department. In each position, Safi brought a social justice and equity lens to the work; in policy development, program design, community building and organizing, staffing, fund raising, and budgeting.

 

In her role as a grantmaker with the City of Oakland, Safi created several programs and initiatives; a capacity building multi-year grant and technical assistance program, a neighborhood cultural arts investment program, a youth to youth arts policy and grantmaking apprenticeship, an individual artist fellowship for established and emerging artists, an artist in education initiative and, an out of school teaching artist residency in each of Oakland’s public libraries. Her cultural equity policy work engaged the Congressional Black Caucus to take a stand in support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), helping members to understand the NEA’s critical partnership in sustaining art and culture development by and in communities of color across the United States.

 

Safi is a certified Integral Coach from New Ventures West since 1999 and served for 6 years on its coaching certification committee and as a cohort mentor. She is licensed to teach its 2-day course, Coaching to Excellence. As a 25-year nonprofit consultant her clients have included City of Oakland, City of Richmond, City of Berkeley, San Bernardino County Public Health Department, LA Care Health Plan, Berkeley Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Social Justice Learning Institute, Black Women for Wellness, and Parent Voices Oakland. Safi is an alumna of 3 cohort based leadership development fellowships, holds a BS in Organizational Management, graduating summa cum laude, and is a licensed minister practicing spiritual formation and soul care.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017 
10am Pacific |1pm Eastern

Join us as June Holley, Tracey Kunkler and Steve Waddell dive back into sharing the importance of Network Governance and Structures. We'll be learning how networks are experimenting with and co-creating innovative network governanceand structures that are self-organizing, encouraging and supporting the formation of collaborative circles.
 
Join us for 90 minutes of hands-on virtual practice! June will bring questions and you will be in practice breakout groups. Please plug in your webcams and have earphones ready to roll up your sleeves and practice with us!
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