2018 Program: Organizational Change
As individuals and as organizations, we're committed to creating more racial equity, inclusion, and justice — but what do those values look like in practice within our organizations? Organizations (including our own) have spent money, time, and emotional labor (read: pain) trying to correct the inequities and exclusion present within them, and the results have been underwhelming at best. We want to become more inclusive and equitable - and it doesn't have to be so hard. After 2 years of labor, testing and practice, we'll share the key, innovative anti-oppression management strategies or “levers” that will ease the pathway to increasing racial equity inside your organization and in the work your organization works to achieve. We'll focus on immediately implementable tools and skills, with time built in for practice and workshopping of real-life examples.
Your team is all about racial justice and racial equity. Ever wish you could do more to put them into practice in your day-to-day work? Ways to shift organizational culture, structure, program design, or governance? Then, this workshop is for you.
1. Collaborative Leadership for Racial Justice
We'll explore the importance of collaboration for guiding organizational change. We will introduce Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, a form of leadership that is about “inspiring and creating the conditions for self-empowerment so that people can work together to achieve a common goal.” We will also introduce our Collaborative Change Framework, which is a simple way to begin mapping out your change effort.
2. Mapping the Territory: Eight Dimensions of Organizational Life
For each dimension listed below, you will explore critical questions, typical topics, and high-value resources to help shape your thinking and action. You'll also be able to share your favorite resources with other participants.
· Big Picture Analysis (vision, root cause analysis, strategy, worldview and theory of change)
· Program Design and Putting Constituents at the Center*
· Program Evaluation
· Storytelling (communications, fundraising)
· Organizational Culture
· Human Resources
· Organizational Structure
Putting Constituents at the Center cuts across all of the dimensions.
3. Making the Case for Change.
We’ll introduce a four-step process for making a powerful case for change within your organization.
We’ll encourage you to commit to specific next steps to continue advancing racial justice and racial equity in and through your organization.
How do I get my local government to incorporate racial equity across all departments? Where should the initiative be housed? There is frequently resistance to new initiatives and sometimes racial equity work is treated like an extraneous “add on.” Shrinking budgets, increasing mandates, and broad service areas add to the challenge of doing racial equity work systemically.
When the County of Monterey’s public works division faced a state review for compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, they turned to the County’s Equal Opportunity Officer for assistance. Utilizing racial equity principles, an inside/outside approach, and existing County structure, the team took advantage of the “open window” to develop a Title VI Plan for all of Monterey County, revise nondiscrimination policies, and rename the Equal Opportunity Office to the Civil Rights Office. The new identity gave us reason to work collaboratively with the community and an opportunity to work with all 26 County departments on some basic racial equity principles. The community gained a plan that they can lean on when they do not think we are working to engage them equitably and that helped developed new relationships with County staff.
In this session, we will work with participants to develop a wish list related to racial equity in their community. Utilizing our experience in Monterey County and broad knowledge of County functions plus the expertise of those gathered, we will identify potential windows of opportunity to incorporate wish list items into existing programs, plans, and compliance structures.
Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.
Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.
Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.
Racial equity has been en vogue in philanthropy for several years. However, recent research shows that the philanthropic landscape continues to be inequitable, with less dollars flowing to African/Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American-led, community-based organizations than to White-led, Eurocentric institutions. Knowing that systemic change is neither quick nor easy, how can both grantmakers and grantseekers better understand the entrenched inequities in the philanthropic sector, and make commitments to help course correct in our current cultural moment? This interactive workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to workshop solutions with philanthropic practitioners. Questions to be explored include: How is it that philanthropy is talking so much about racial equity (e.g. recent “ALAANA” and “DEI” initiatives) while the funding landscape is actually getting more inequitable? What strategies exist to address how philanthropic frameworks (and their resulting practices) perpetuate racial inequities within/through philanthropy? Grantmakers and grantseekers alike will leave this session with an understanding of current racial equity initiatives in philanthropy, barriers to and opportunities for change, and skills and strategies for interrupting inequitable practices and promoting equity in/through philanthropy.
Our fights against white supremacy seem to always be grounded in a fight over the control of wealth, who gets to produce it, and who gets to use it. Yet, by and large, our social justice movements typically accept the rules of our economic system as an unchangeable given, as if we expect capitalism to live forever. We critique it, but limit ourselves to “realistic” campaigns that can win concessions from capitalists or the agencies that regulate them. On occasion we develop movements that seek to build power yet replicate the same economic model that disempowers and creates poverty in the first place, changing some of the faces but leaving the system intact. But what would it look like if we actually built the economy of our dreams? How do we even start?
We offer up worker cooperatives (businesses owned and controlled by the people who work in them) as one place to start.
In this workshop we’ll explore the contrasting assumptions of ownership in cooperatives vs capitalism and their implications for social justice movements. We’ll take a deep dive into the powerful ecosystem in NYC that has successfully moved over $8 million in City funds towards worker co-op development over the past 4 years, producing over 100 worker co-ops. And after all of that, you’ll get a chance to put our work on the hot seat and pick, prod, and poke holes so that we can all learn and build a new economy together.
In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to reflect on this key question: How do we create and sustain racial equity systems change work within metro areas? We use the model of a cross-sector political coalition as one strategy to advance racial equity within institutions. First, we explore how to build a case about how structural racism negatively impacts entire metro areas, including populations and spaces that are predominantly white and/or affluent. We share research from Chicago’s Cost of Segregation project that demonstrates the negative impact to all. Participants complete a short exercise about the Cost of Inequity for all. Next, we brainstorm together why metro-area context –such as political history and fiscal realities—matters for how to organize cross-sector political coalitions. Participants engage in a reflective exercise to sketch their metro context, identify institutional leaders, and make connections across sectors. Next, we explore the construct of targeted universalism, watch a three-minute film from the Haas Institute, and explain its value in messaging. Next, participants identify policy areas and related recommendations in order to spell out what an agenda of racial equity could look like in their metro area. Here, we share examples from our work in Chicago. Finally, we conclude with a planning exercise that encourages participants to spell out for themselves future learning and action. In our conclusion, we invite participants to make connections within their local work to a broader global movement to advance racial equity through cross-sector political coalition building within metro areas.
Come spend 90 minutes with Emergent Strategy author adrienne maree brown to review the elements and principles of Emergent Strategy, a way of learning about organizing and being human by looking at science fiction and complex science.
The commoditization of storytelling regularly overshadows its healing and mobilizing potential through its capitalist or commercial exploitation (e.g., trading trauma for points in poetry slams, equating stories to advertising revenue). However, testimony possesses a healing and mobilizing utility. Our immediate access to information in the age of social media presents a unique opportunity to convert what is often a solitary and isolated battle into a catalyst for mobilization. Interrelational testimony allows storytellers to reconnect with themselves in novel and generative ways, break social barriers, and rally the masses to move forward collectively toward liberation. Present day griots cut through superficial social limits and build bridges to unclog the blurred paths of communication between communities. When people gather around this revolutionary act of storytelling, supportive communities develop. Storytelling becomes a tool to improve the quality of human lives in unpredictable ways by expanding and diversifying the spectrum of experience, challenging limiting beliefs, and inserting marginalized experiences into the canon of global history.
In this session, participants learn by doing and explore the practice of storytelling as a critical method for survival and prosperity. By documenting personal stories and focusing on the facts, we can develop compassionate language, shift our perspective, and find solutions to societal problems. We learn how to create and revisit a transcendent compendium of our lives to unearth the paralyzing narratives which no longer serve our health and success. We can excavate ourselves from the boxes society has drawn to pigeonhole us and chart new ones.
People of color with compelling visions for racial and social justice for underserved and vulnerable communities often find themselves creating and leading campaigns and organizations that mirror white supremacy culture. In these spaces, workers often experience unimaginable levels of stress and illness related to discrimination and institutional culture. This dynamic negatively impacts how workers relate to themselves, their comrades, and to the people and communities they serve. Unhealthy workplace culture + unhealthy workplace relationships = diminished effectiveness, sustainability, power and results.
Given the increasing socioeconomic and political challenges facing people of color-led campaigns and organizations, we need better solutions now to shift the unhealthy and harmful ways in which we do our work. During this session, experience a participatory, mini-design process that bridges the gap between good design, technology, art and social justice efforts to innovate solutions to this problem: how to support workers in POC-led institutions to de-escalate chaos and stress, build stronger relationships with one another and foster collective resiliency and power to address conflicts and stressful situations.
Many organizations profess a commitment to racial justice, but struggle to enact that commitment in concrete, practical ways. Internal conversations about race can be uncomfortable - even in social justice nonprofits that primarily work with clients of color. How can groups that are not yet “racial justice organizations” gain momentum to transform their internal practices, partnerships, and cultures to better support staff of color and people of color-led movements for justice? In this workshop, attorneys from the Community Development Project, a nonprofit legal services provider in New York City, will describe their struggles to shift CDP from a majority-white social justice nonprofit to a majority-people of color entity with racial justice at the core of its mission. We will discuss the core areas of our recent organizational transformation, share concrete strategies, and work with participants to develop action plans to begin to dismantle racial hierarchy within their own organizations. Moving beyond principle to everyday practice, we will acknowledge the sacrifice and struggle that such transformations require, sharing honestly what worked and what didn’t in a frank conversation about our triumphs and pitfalls.
Participants will be invited to reflect on their organization’s internal practices related to hiring and leadership; external practices, including substance of the work, clients and partners; and the culture that defines each organization. We’ll share practical tools and ideas to begin the process of transformation in each of these areas, arming participants with concrete strategies that are needed to advance a vision for racial justice day to day.
Too often, institutional policies and programs ¬— no matter private, public, or nonprofit institutions — are developed and implemented without thoughtful consideration of how they could create or perpetuate disparities in health, education, economic, and other outcomes for communities of color. When racial equity is not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, racial disparities are likely to be perpetuated and different groups of people will continue to have unequal access to resources and opportunities. Racial equity analysis must be explicitly conducted and integrated in decisions by nonprofits, foundations, and local governments, including in their policies, practices, programs, and budgets. It is both a product and a process. During this session, presenters from the Government Alliance for Racial Equity and Community Science will give an overview about a racial equity tool designed to help people interested in dismantling the structures, policies, and practices that create or perpetuate disparities, go through a systematic process of determining how to assess and identify the institutional changes required for the desired community outcomes. Participants will also learn how to distinguish and develop performance and outcome measures that will help them track and evaluate their progress and stay on course. This session will combine mini-lecture with experiential, small-group exercise using common scenarios of situations in different institutional settings. Following the exercise, presenters and participants will engage in a discussion about the usefulness of the tool and how it can be improved for use by decision-makers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
In 2016, the Bureau of Communicable Disease (BCD) at the NYC Health Department prioritized an initiative to provide opportunities for staff to address different levels of racism at work. This project was part of a larger Race to Justice Initiative-an agency-wide effort developed with the support of the Center for Social Inclusion and the Interaction Institute for Social Change.
The breakout session will describe each BCD committee with four participant activities (below) highlighting our experiences in promoting learning, engagement and action to promote antiracism systems and institutional change at our agency.
*Tea will served at the start of the session. Each tea bag will include a small picture and bio of BCD staff.
Equity in presenting epidemiological data
Activity: The dark spots on the map
Takeaway: Collect better demographic data and elevate structural causes in epidemiological presentations
Activity: What do we do with these racist monuments?
Takeaway: Internal review of all conference room names of notable public health figures to see if they are aligned with racial equity and social justice values
Activity: Stories from the BCD Microaggressions Report
Takeaway: Identify strategies to address microaggressions through policy change
Safer Space – Race Identity Caucuses/Fishbowl
Activity: White/Persons of Color caucus on the values and culture of public health science and government
Takeaway: Intentional discourse of white supremacy and the oppression of People of Color as fundamental constructs of racial identity development and racialized life outcomes
So you read Emergent Strategy, either alone or with a group. And perhaps you have been using it in the world, using the assessments, or the tools...but you have some questions! Come get answers from other readers, practitioners, and the author!
Questions and answers will happen in large group, small group and flocking exercises, as well as things we can't foresee but will emerge from the unique group that comes together. (If you haven't read the book, please come to the Emergent Strategy 101 session - if it gets approved <3)
The non-profit sector faces a specific set of challenges in advancing racial equity in the workplace. Those challenges are rooted in a field that, historically, was founded upon the premise that philanthropy and “good will” of White people could help cure all societal ills. That founding fostered an environment where racist ideologies were normalized and allowed systemic inequities to become standardized. The arts sector, widely thought of as liberal, faces even more complex challenges as progressive thinking is often paired with regressive practices. Enter women of color into the non-profit workforce. As of late, women of color have been heralded for their ability to reactivate consciousness and change the field. And while they are often championed for their inventiveness, experience and multi-layered perspectives, they are also often driven into professional corners where their unique points of view can become occupational deficits. Cultivating a racially inclusive field with women of color in leadership positions is more than opening doors, it’s about fostering an environment of support where equitable practices don’t come in the form of diversity initiatives but concrete changes in systems. Until that day comes, women of color continually manage to find ways to support one another to foster broader leadership and ensure a field filled with diverse voices. Hear how women of color encourage wider access for more people and communities of color in the arts, and work to create equitable systems for all to prosper inside and outside of the field.
Since 2013 the Creative CityMaking (CCM) program has partnered staff in city of Minneapolis departments with experienced community artists to advance the city’s goal of eliminating economic and racial disparities. The ‘One Minneapolis’ goal focuses on ensuring that all residents can participate and prosper. These collaborations between city staff and artists support strategies that use arts resources and practices to design and test new interfaces between city systems and the community and new approaches for community engaged policy making, planning and practices. The program intentionally cultivates intersections where city staff and artists can address issues of disparity. Hearing Tenant Voices is a CCM project developed collaboratively with the city’s Regulatory Services division, artists Mankwe Nsdosi, Reggie Prim and Fen Jefferies. They worked collaboratively with housing inspections staff and community members to listen better to renters vulnerable to exploitation and engaged inspectors to develop a method for collaborative and creative code enforcement. This innovative, systems change program and project model will be explored through an interactive workshop where participants will get the opportunity to hear from project participants, move around, model and play with artists to learn more about how creative practices and tools can help us better understand systemic problems and co-create equitable solutions.
GARE's focus is on normalizing conversations about race, operationalizing new behaviors and policies, and organizing to achieve racial equity. GARE is seeing more and more jurisdictions that are making a commitment to achieving racial equity, focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and working in partnership across sectors and with the community to maximize impact.
When government prioritizes racial equity, relationships with community shift to authentic engagement and the sharing of power. This workshop will highlight the experiences of jurisdictions that have been recipients of the Innovation and Implementation fund, working with community to eliminate structural racism.
There is an increasingly strong field of practice. We are organizing in government with the belief that the transformation of government is essential for us to advance racial equity and is critical to our success as a nation.