Archive: Social Justice

Racial Equity Toolkit, webinar & podcast

Dominique Samari and I have created a comprehensive Racial Equity Toolkit for centering racial equity in collective impact. It includes six sections Looking Inward: Racial Equity Begins Within: activities for individual and team reflection Ground the work in Data and Context, Target Solutions: approaching strategy with targeted universalism and approaching data in asset-based, community-informed way Focusing on Systems Change, in…

Read more >

2021 Reading List

This year, I studied and read books about policing and criminal justice, early American history, Latino history, Native American history in the South, reckoning with our history, Juneteenth, the filibuster, democracy, the darkness of the Trump years and a hopeful read of history that could restore us. I also wrestled with conservative philosophy. On music, I dug into my two…

Read more >

Letter to Mayor Barrett (Answer the call for change)

Dear Mayor Barrett, I have been a supporter of yours since 1992, and today I’ve never been more disappointed in your leadership. My friends, my neighbors, my children, and I are all marching, and you have enabled the police and national guard to operate as an occupying military force that is treating our citizens as enemy combatants rather than concerned citizens…

Read more >

Alabama Civil Rights Tour

For years, I have wanted to tour civil rights sites in Alabama. The Equal Justice Initiative’s new Legacy Museum and Peace and Justice Memorial grew that interest. The history is inspiring and it is heavy – the reminders that the struggle continues are everywhere. I’ve studied this history extensively, but I think anyone visiting would find it instructive, moving, and…

Read more >

Public Allies Milwaukee 25th Anniversary

I was grateful and honored that Public Allies Milwaukee invited me to their 25th anniversary celebration, and to join Executive Director Ashley Lee, Shawn Vega, and Amanda Clark (current Allies) in a story telling program facilitated by Megan McGee, the Public Allies alum who founded Ex Fabula. The night was magic with a room that was filled with diversity, energy,…

Read more >

Remembering Harris Wofford

Harris Wofford’s death on Martin Luther King Day was fitting, even poetic. He was a pioneering champion of civil rights and national service. He inspired thousands of people to believe in and pursue big ideas, to serve causes larger than themselves. He was also a kind, curious, warm, thoughtful, and beloved friend I will sadly miss. I first met Harris…

Read more >

Exploring Historical Trauma in Native American Communities

America was founded with an inspiring vision of a democratic society compromised by two original sins of white supremacy, slavery and genocide. Our nation has never fully reconciled and amended for either. Instead, these sins tragically evolved over time. While more and more of us understand the evolution of slavery through Jim Crow laws, widespread racial discrimination, and the prison…

Read more >

Remembering Civil Rights and Women’s Rights pioneer Vel Phillips

My daughter Olivia texted me this afternoon that Vel Phillips had died. Mrs. Phillips deserves the many superlatives used to describe her. She was a pioneer, giant, and lifelong fighter in the movements for civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights. Honoring her often begins with her legendary firsts: first African American woman to graduate from University of Wisconsin law…

Read more >

New Community Engagement Toolkit Available

I’ve posted a new Community Engagement Toolkit on the Collective Impact Forum website. The toolkit is meant to be a comprehensive, step by step strategy guide for groups to engage community members – those most impacted by their work – in the design, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation of their work. The toolkit builds on my work work for years with the…

Read more >

Are Nonprofit Leaders too Elite?

I was recently interviewed for an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that asked whether elitism is a problem in the nonprofit sector, especially during an era of increasing populism. For over two decades, I worked to build leadership among very diverse young people, mostly young people of color and “opportunity youth” (young people disconnected from educational and career opportunities)….

Read more >