Thursday, July 28, 2011

Burn Out or a History of Oppression Impacting Women of Color Leaders today?

Recently, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Meyer Foundation released "Daring to Lead 2011", a national study of Nonprofit Executive Leaders focusing on the recessions impact on organizations and leaders. 
More than 3,000 executive directors participated in this study bringing to light major challenges in their organizations sustainability during this recession like burnout, the boards involvement or lack their of, ED roles, lack of support, resources, funding and succession planning. 

However, in general  for  people of color organizations,and specifically for women of color in leadership,  this is nothing new. In my new series Behind the Movement, I will be giving a face to this recession and its impact on our health , mind, body and spirit by featuring intimate interviews with woc executive directors and their journey of personal and organizational sustainability and healing. I will also challenge "burn out"  by taking an in depth look at how the trauma of  poverty, violence, oppression and often times neglect  we face by funders and the "movement" has on our lives,  putting us in difficult positions to choose between leading an organization and taking care of our selves and our families. 

My first interview is with Valery Jean, Executive Director of FUREE, who couldn't say it better when she states, "the clock ran out a long time ago, our communities where in crisis way before it was published".  

Valery talks candidly about her inspiration to organize, her family, past and present. reminding us that while, the spirit of people of color never dies and we are standing on top of an amazing ancestral legacy of creating from nothing, as leaders we are also standing on a foundation of spiritual depletion and scarcity.. Unfortunately, we have also  inherited a history of personal and institutional trauma within  the non profit industrial complex passing down scarce resources, competing limited access and visibility and loosing our front line leaders to prisons, addiction, cancer and internalized oppression breaking up movements.  

Join us on a journey to discover ,
1.Why do we continue to do it as women of color? 
2.What is it really costing us? 
3. what is  at stake if we walk away from our selves and our communities? 
4.At the end of the day do we have a choice? 
5.What tools of sustainability and healing are we using through the journey? 
6. What alternative structures are we creating in the process? 

and since this is a transparent conversation and a dialogue please send me some of your own questions, share with us the healing tools you use to keep you going  and  you stories.... looking forward! 

STAY TUNED ! Be the first to get the launching issue and subscribe to my blog today! There is lots to talk about! 

Read Daring to Lead article below...

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