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Developing Social Change Leaders:  Practices and Perspectives on Fostering an Intersectional Approach to Identity and Social Justice
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Developing Social Change Leaders: Practices and Perspectives on Fostering an Intersectional Approach to Identity and Social Justice

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The Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR) program has been training leaders for social change since the early 1990s, when it was founded by a multiracial coalition of organizations …

The Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR) program has been training leaders for social change since the early 1990s, when it was founded by a multiracial coalition of organizations led by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. The program's curriculum prioritizes the growth of participants' analyses around race, gender, class, ability, and more, alongside the development of effective facilitation and communication skills. This presentation will provide insight into the rationale and values behind LDIR's pedagogy, challenges seen and lessons learned over time, and brief examples of how we currently get participants thinking and acting on race, gender, class, privilege, and other facets of identity in an intersectional, allied way.

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  • 1. Developing Social Change Leaders: Practices and Perspectives on Fostering an Intersectional Approach Tuesday, August 6, 2013 11am-12pm PDT
  • 2. Our Story • Founded in the early 1990s by a multiracial coalition of organizations uniting to respond to growing intergroup tensions and violence • First LDIR cohort graduated from a 9-month program in 1992, a few weeks after the Los Angeles 1992 civil unrest
  • 3. Values and Practices
  • 4. From the beginning… • Early research informed the program’s paradigm around social change leadership • Sought to provide what others weren’t: a space for building analysis and skills, combined with the opportunity to practically apply both • Program curriculum was designed to support relationship building, dialogue, sharing of personal stories • Facilitation approach honored the knowledge in the group, supported a participatory growth process
  • 5. Defining social change leadership • Committed to social justice • Emphasizes collaboration and relationship building— understands leadership as a collective process • Engages holistic and systemic strategies
  • 6. Expanding our lens • A singular focus on race/ethnicity undermined the work • Supporting leadership from a social justice perspective required an intersectional approach to identity • Curriculum had to emphasize how privilege and power pivot around not only race/ethnicity, but also class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, nation of citizenship/immigration status, and religion
  • 7. Dominant Group
  • 8. Keeping best practices • Dedicate enough time and attention to preparation with facilitators, tailoring of curriculum, and participant demographics and dynamics • Recruit a diverse group of people to support a process of learning from one another’s lived experiences of privilege and oppression. If an identity is not represented, encourage the group to note how that may influence conversations • Facilitate in diverse teams—with different identities, communication styles, leadership styles • Create affinity spaces, with facilitators to support them • Emphasize discussion guidelines, allowing participants to brainstorm their own if time allows, or bringing preset guidelines
  • 9. Keeping best practices • Start by building trust to pave the way for deeper processing around identity, privilege, power, and agency • Never assume prior understanding of the vocabulary used—build a shared understanding of concepts such as privilege, ally, cisgender, etc. • Expect and embrace conflict, supporting participants in using conflict as an opportunity to learn • Maintain flexibility, checking in with facilitation team throughout sessions to make changes to a curriculum per group needs • Always allow participants sufficient time to reflect and absorb, both individually and collectively, silently and aloud
  • 10. Ways we work • Intensive series • Capacity-building • Consulting services and customized workshops • Public workshops
  • 11. Intensive Series • Facilitation for Social Change • LDIRs in Health • Leadership for Social Change • Healing for Social Change
  • 12. Central Valley Leadership for Social Change
  • 13. Resource Highlight: Allyship 1. Self-awareness 2. Self-education 3. Creating and open and supportive environment 4. Taking action Allies understand the many layers of oppression, can identify positions of privilege they hold, and actively work to rectify inequity. They are committed to:
  • 14. Healing for Social Change
  • 15. Resource Highlight: Isms at Work A liberatory space is one that is free from racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, heterosexism, classism, citizenship privilege, religious privilege, ageism and other –isms that affect our access to resources and our general safety in this society. We live in a context where all of the –isms are alive and well, which means the –isms are literally at work with us.
  • 16. Capacity Building • Philadelphia, PA • Flint, MI • Central Valley, CA • Solano Coalition for Better Health • Gender Justice LA
  • 17. Consulting Services • LA Public Health Department • Center for Nonprofit Management • Riverside Human Relations Commission
  • 18. Public Workshops • Facilitating Intergroup Dialogue • Strategies to Manage Conflict • Supervising to Empower
  • 19. Q&A
  • 20. Thank you Keep in touch! ldir.org facebook.com/ldirprogram twitter @leaders4action activistsoul.tumblr.com linkedin.com/company/ldir

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