Kelly Bates

Interaction Institute for Social Change

 As president of IISC, Kelly leads the strategic direction of IISC and supports its dynamic and diverse team of staff and affiliates to meet IISC’s highest aspirations for social change through consulting and training.

Kelly is a social changer, nonprofit civic leader, and lawyer who for more than twenty years has led advocacy, organizing, racial justice, and women’s organizations promoting collaboration, equity, and civic engagement, both locally and nationally. She seeks each day to develop the heart, skills, and mindset to be a facilitative leader and civic innovator for progressive movement building across the country and in communities.

In both personal and professional settings, Kelly is known for her passionate belief in people, social movements, and inclusive politics. An experienced trainer and facilitator with an approach that is creative, accessible, welcoming, focused and direct, Kelly is known for her unique skills in supporting high conflict teams to become more collaborative. She has consulted with nonprofits, foundations, academic institutions, corporations, and businesses to help them navigate planning, equity, and organizational challenges.

Prior to her work at IISC, Kelly was the founding executive director of the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research at Emerson College. She also served as the executive director of Access Strategies Fund, a social justice foundation funding organizations to expand democracy in communities of color and low-income communities. For ten years, Kelly led a consulting and training practice working with social change organizations and other institutions in the United States around issues of power, diversity, and organizational development.

Kelly graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1991, and from Boston University Law School in 1994. She served as adjunct faculty at Northeastern Law School and at Tufts University in the areas of civil rights law and social welfare policy. Kelly is a resident of Boston, and was raised in the vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York City. She’s a mom, an avid runner, a cycling instructor, and a closeted poet.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Walking the Talk: Putting Racial Equity and Justice into Organizational Practice

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
· Governance
· 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.

Speakers: Cynthia Silva Parker, Kelly Bates