The more I do our collaborative consulting work here at IISC, the more interested I become in the role of the convenor in complex multi-stakeholder change efforts. This role, typically held in our work by a funder or someone else with convening power (local/state government, school district, a well-connected community-based agency) has much to say about the success and nature of a social change effort, and yet from my perspective remains under-appreciated and/or poorly misunderstood. Over the next few months I’ll spend some time in this space reflecting on what we and others are learning about this critical role and soliciting your thoughts, reactions, and experiences.
Archive for March, 2011
My colleague Melinda and I are just coming off a powerful conversation with a process design team this morning about the importance of bringing structural analysis to the existing opportunities, or lack thereof, for children as these play out along the lines of race. Low and behold, we receive the following job announcement from the Kellogg Foundation, for a Program Officer for Racial Equity. Part of the description reads as follows, and stands powerfully on its own:
In recent years the foundation has sharpened its focus on improving conditions for vulnerable children, concentrating on three key factors of success and their intersections: education and learning; food, health and well-being; and family economic security. Given that a disproportionate number of vulnerable children in our society are children of color, as a consequence of both the legacy of this nation’s history of racial oppression and the structural racism that continues to permeate systems and institutions, both racial healing work and the dismantling of structural racism are key ingredients in any effort to, as the foundation’s mission statement reads, “propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.” Thus, the foundation has made a commitment to being an effective anti-racist organization and to working to achieve racial equity.
We’re standing. We’re applauding.
Last Wednesday, March 23, my colleague Melinda and I had the privilege of hosting a beautiful dialogue among a select group of Boston’s Black and Latino leaders. Following is the invitation that we sent:
We have all heard the news – the United States will be a “majority minority country” before the turn of the century. The historical significance of this demographic shift cannot be overstated – Americans are already contending with this emergent reality. Black and Latino people have been living side by side for a long time, there are many ways in which ours is shared experience, our histories are profoundly intertwined. We recognize strong alliances and cultural intersections and we also recognize old and new tensions. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by: Munana
Tsunamis. Unemployment. Volcanoes. Cote d’Ivoire. Homelessness. The Middle East. The Midwest. Pirates. Earthquakes. Drug and human trafficking. Union busting. Collapsing economies. Dropout rates. Nuclear fallout. Foreclosures. Floods.