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Name It! Podcast
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Name It! Podcast: How to be layoff proof- with 2 people’s jobs with Melissa Watkins
Melissa E. Watkins Podcast KEY/SEGMENTS Mazarine Treyz: Host Melissa E. Watkins: California Polytechnic University, Executive Director, Major Gifts 00:00:47 –> How did you go from social services to a university fundraising job? 00:06:34 –> What drew you to higher ed? Was it salary or passion? 00:08:56 –> How are you managing working two people’s jobs? 00:11:22 –> How does knowing project management help you in fundraising and doing two people’s jobs? 00:13:31 –> Could you define the key areas of project management? 00:17:30 –> Project management also manages people. 00:18:14 –> How do the project management key points help during a time of unprecedented work expectations? 00:20:01 –> If a person has survived a layoff, what can they learn from you during this crucial time? 00:23:00 –> What does being a futurist mean to you? The New power Fundraising Conference 00:00:06 –> 00:00:44 Mazarine Treyz: All right. Hey, everybody, welcome. This is Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising and the Name It podcast. Welcome to the Name It podcast. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Melissa E. Watkins, MBA, PMP as well as who is the Executive Director of Major Gifts at California Polytechnic University. And oh, my gosh, she spoke at the Rooted Collaborative UPRooted Retreat and I just had to ask her to come on to speak at my event and to be on this podcast. So Melissa, thank you so much for being here. 00:00:45 –> 00:00:46 Melissa E. Watkins: Thank you for having me. 00:00:47 –> How did you go from social services to a plum university fundraising job? Mazarine Treyz: So, you have risen spectacularly in your career going from being Development Director at the Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit to Director of Annual Giving at Los Angeles Food Bank, to Executive Director of Major Gifts at California Polytechnic University. How did you go from social services to a university plum fundraising job? 00:01:11 –> 00:01:58 Melissa E. Watkins: Wow. Thank you for asking the question and thank you for having me again today. I’m honored to be here. And I just want to start out by saying that the path to higher ed had been in my vision for years and years. It was something that I always aspired to do. And as you mentioned Gleaners, and also the food bank in LA, it was something in the back of my mind, even back then, so I started planning even before. So I could actually step a few steps back. When I worked as a consultant at CCS Fundraising, I actually left that job to go back to school full time to get my master’s in business, because I wanted to kind of get on that path to get into higher ed. And I thought to myself, “Okay, so how should I do that? Okay, I have to get a higher ed degree.” 00:01:59 –> 00:02:46 Melissa E. Watkins: While I was getting my degree, kind of going back full time, I met a woman at the gym. So just at a spin class, I met a lady who said I had a great smile and she was wondering what I did for a living. And I said, “Actually, I’m going to school full time, but I’m a fundraiser.” She’s like, “I work at the food bank. You need to help solve world hunger. Come work for us.” Two weeks later, I was working at Gleaners. So it’s funny because I totally derailed on my plans were to go back to school full time, and “I’m not going to work at any place”, and in talking to her and in even just learning about the issues with hunger and making sure that people have their basic needs, especially food was so near and dear to my heart that I actually took the position and worked there. 00:02:47 –> 00:03:39 Melissa E. Watkins: And so I worked there, got my degree at the same time, and when I finished, my significant other and I decided to move over to Los Angeles. So again, keeping in mind that I wanted to get to higher ed, at the same time, I’m like, “How do I get there? How in the world am I going to get there?” So we moved out to LA, one Executive Director called the next and I had a job at LA Food Bank just like that, which was a gift, okay. So continuing that hunger conversation and how we can make solutions, but again, the climate, the environment, totally different. So I appreciated having the Los Angeles and the Detroit because it’s two different urban settings, but still similar. The face of hunger is always going to be not what people are expecting. And so the narrative was the same, but just the distribution of food and who the donors were, were just all different. 00:03:39 –> 00:04:33 Melissa E. Watkins: Okay. So I’m in LA. So I’m still like, “I want to get to higher ed.” So I have a friend of mine who, and I want to say this just on record, I interviewed with UCLA nine times, okay? Nine times in person. And I wasn’t getting in and still like, hunger is near and dear to my heart, but I still wanted to get into higher. So I just wanted to bring it back to that just to let everybody know that I wanted to get there. Okay, so I had a buddy who was working in Cal State Bakersfield, we were actually consultants together way back before I decided to go back to school and get my degree, my second degree. He said, “Melissa, we have a position open. I know you well, you’re down in LA but we’re in Bakersfield. Would you be willing to come up and get your feet wet in higher ed fundraising?” And I was like, “Absolutely”. 00:04:34 –> 00:05:45 Melissa E. Watkins: So I actually took the job. So that was actually my transition to higher ed, and without my friend getting me in the door, it would have just taken me a little bit longer. And again, I left the Los Angeles market because there was so much competition in this area that I couldn’t break in. And so I stayed there for three years and a position opened at Cal Poly Pomona, and the actual– Okay, so get this right. The president of Cal State Bakersfield where I was working was really good friends with the president at Cal Poly Pomona. So there was always this connection. So also I should mention that in Bakersfield I had this tie into agriculture because that was the primary donor for the community. So I had a tie into agriculture. I even led the project that started a food bank in Bakersfield. So there was a tie to food, nutrition, and then I also [was] able to use my food banking experience. So I applied to the position as Development Director at Cal Poly Pomona, Senior Development Director there. So it was a step up, but again, same constituent. 00:05:46 –> 00:06:13 Melissa E. Watkins: So I got the job and within two years of just working hard, making prospect calls, building relationships on and off campus, I got promoted to Executive Director, Major Gifts, and now oversee six positions under my title plus an assistant. And that was a pretty fast trajectory and I’m just grateful for the opportunity and to be in the role. 00:06:16 –> 00:06:27 Mazarine Treyz: Wow, incredible! That is so incredible. And I know you make it sound like there’s a lot of luck but it sounds like a lot of hard work was involved in that luck. 00:06:27 –> 00:06:32 Melissa E. Watkins: Thank you. And also just staying focused, like “I got to get to higher ed. I got to get to higher.” I was always mindful of that. Yeah. 00:06:34 –> What drew you to higher ed? Was it salary or passion? Mazarine Treyz: Can I ask you like what drew you to higher ed? Is it because it would be a more sustainable salary? Or is it really because you just feel passionate about education? 00:06:44 –> 00:07:25 Melissa E. Watkins: I am so passionate about education. That’s a great follow-up question. So the reason why I was like– So just a little side personal story. When I went to college, I went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. That was the only college I applied to. I got there and I must tell you, it was a culture shock. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan. It was the greatest amount of white people I had ever been around in my entire life. I felt like a fish out of water. I was like, “Well, do I belong here?” On top of that, everything that could go wrong with my financial aid did. And so I found myself having to pay for college and on top of that, just being like, “What is going on here?” 00:07:25 –> 00:08:23 Melissa E. Watkins: So after about a year and a half or so of school, I just dropped out. I was like, “I can’t do this. This is too hard. I’m not smart. And I’m not supposed to be here.” And so if you fast forward, I actually worked and went to school undergrad, I mean, it was a struggle. So by the time I got to be 25, I had my undergrad, but it was a grind. So the reason why higher ed is important to me is because I never ever, ever want people to have to experience what I did. And so I’ve always said this is how we propel people to the next level. This is how we get them access to education. No one should have to worry about how to pay for school. If you’re from a different culture, we want to get you into programs where you feel accepted and wanted. I mean, just to be a part of that system through fundraising, we can help donors understand what the student’s perspective is, get funding for these programs to help students propel their lives to the next level. And so that’s why it’s such a passion for me. 00:08:26 –> 00:08:54 Mazarine Treyz: I love that. And it really does tie into the Patriot Act. I was looking at that today with Hasan Minhaj and he’s like, “College degrees really are a pathway for folks. They’re not just like something you reach for anymore, they’re expected.” And people that have college degrees, women make half a million dollars more over their lifetimes and men make over $600,000 more over their lifetimes if they have a college degree. 00:08:55 –> 00:08:56 Melissa E. Watkins: Right. Yeah. 00:08:56 –> How are you managing working two people’s jobs? Mazarine Treyz: So I love that. I think you’re totally right and right now, in our first conversation, you mentioned that you’re working two people’s jobs and not on purpose. How are you managing that? 00:09:11 –> 00:10:49 Melissa E. Watkins: No, that’s such a good question and just to give some context. So when I took the position, we had three positions open out of the six that report to me, well, plus my assistant. And the idea was that we were going to fill all of those positions, and then COVID hit. So what ended up happening is the position that I was previously in, so the Senior Director of Development for Agriculture, was open and then all of the other open positions ware still open. So I’m covering the Executive Director position as well as Senior Director of Development and I’m doing that using a project management approach. I’m being very intentional about the time that I’m using for both positions. So I’ve even like from a weekly standpoint, set aside certain days of the week for which positions, So I’ll only take certain meetings or I try to for each position. And what’s nice is that because I have built such strong relationships with a lot of donors in that college, some of the work is almost automatic. So I’m not having to put in some of that grind work. I’m more or less just following up with the strongest prospects. So I will say this is not the easiest thing to do to manage those positions. There are times when I’m thinking “Am I doing C level work at both?” But I just try to do my best and stretch the 40, 50-hour workweek as much as possible. 00:10:51 –> 00:11:17 Mazarine Treyz: I know for people that are listening who have survived a layoff, this is something that they care about. “How can I do both jobs equally well if I have to do two people’s jobs?” Maybe your Grant Writer got laid off, maybe your event planner got laid off, you’re shifting to virtual events. There are a lot of reasons why you could just have more work right now. Maybe you’re the Executive Director and they lay off the Development Director, which I don’t recommend you do. 00:11:20 –> 00:11:21 Melissa E. Watkins: I don’t either. 00:11:22 –> How does knowing project management help you in fundraising and doing two people’s jobs? Mazarine Treyz: So you have a PMP, project management certification, as well as your MBA and I’m so impressed. You’re a lifelong learner clearly, and how does knowing project management help you in fundraising and doing two people’s jobs? 00:11:36 –> 00:12:33 Melissa E. Watkins: Well, honestly, what it does is it helps you be much more intentional about your work. So sometimes people don’t think about our work as being like projects, but if you think about it, you can break down every aspect of fundraising or development into the project management kind of structures. So for instance, just to give an example, in the beginning of any project, you should have what they call a project charter. And a charter is just a tool that outlines like, “What is our goal? What is our vision? Who should be involved in this project? Do we have sign-offs?” And so what project management has forced me to do is say, “Okay, in order for us to move forward with any project that I’m working on, we must have these things in place.” So it’s more or less a checklist to help guide the work. And then it’s also “Let’s look at the timing. Let’s look at the budget.” And it helps all parties involved, especially internally. 00:12:34 –> 00:13:30 Melissa E. Watkins: So what I use this for is mostly internally when we’re starting out any fundraising project. Or even if I flip the hat over and look at my Executive Director role, as I’m working with the people who report to me, those Development Officers, asking them those questions even before we start a project with a donor. Or let’s say we are going down the path with the donor. The donor has made a commitment. Are we communicating to everyone? So it really is through project management, just making sure that we’re intentional about every aspect of the project or like I like to call [them] philanthropically driven projects, right? It just helps clear everything up and I recommend everybody look into it. Even if they don’t get their project management professional certification, there are courses out there that you can take that talk about this methodology and just help you be more intentional. It just helps tremendously. 00:13:31 –> Could you define the key areas of project management? Mazarine Treyz: Well, I know that I know very little about it, so I know that I know nothing. But I did look it up a little bit before we talked and I know in project management you have some key areas like work breakdown structures, competency development framework, project configuration management and change management. Could you tell us what each of these [mean]? 00:13:54 –> 00:14:48 Melissa E. Watkins: Yes, absolutely, especially so I’m going to start off with the first one that you’ve listed, the world breakdown structure. So basically this is a great tool because if you think about a flowchart, that’s exactly what it is. So it says, “Okay, so we’re going to start a fundraising initiative, what’s all involved in this project?” So from start to finish who are the key players? So if I use the higher education model as an example and use something very simple like a scholarship. So we say, “Okay, in order to get this scholarship implemented, how do we start?” So we start off with the core thing, which is get scholarship implemented. And from there, you break down every step. So we need a gift agreement, we need to get the criteria established, we need to identify what the reporting structure will be. And so you really just outline it in a flowchart format. 00:14:49 –> 00:15:40 Melissa E. Watkins: What’s nice about that is that you can take that breakdown and then assess or add the key players who will be responsible for each task and then ultimately, add a timeline to it. So the work breakdown structure really is a great outline. And as you know, to get through to people, sometimes you need visuals, and it’s a perfect thing for that and you break it down. And I could get more into the specifics of course with, you know, they say that you shouldn’t drill down too far on some of the tasks. So you wouldn’t want to say change all font to 12 point Arial. You wouldn’t want to put that, but you would want to kind of keep it in broad categories that can be assigned and tracked. So that’s the work breakdown structure. I’m going to skip over to the project configuration management. 00:14:40 –> 00:16:25 Melissa E. Watkins: So configuration management just means how do we integrate this project within the existing structure of the organization? And so if we even throw out the food bank, for example. Let’s say someone donates $10,000 for a new system to track the food that’s donated. Okay, so we can’t just take that, right, if those funds– Who are all the parties involved? So we got to talk to the IT department, we have to talk to shipping, let’s talk to development because maybe more money needs to be raised. So how is that all incorporated? And so just managing that process and all the communication, the planning, everything that needs to go [involved 00:16:23] because we know we don’t just live in one bubble, right? 00:16:26 –> 00:17:24 Melissa E. Watkins: Okay. And then change management. I love that one because basically, we all know that people love or hate change. So having a process in place for the changes that need to happen, and involving the key players at the right times. No one likes to be told after a decision has been made that change is coming. So making sure all parties involved know about the change, are involved in that change, have some decisions in the process, and so that’s what change management is really all about. Really all of these are communication, right? And then going back to competency development framework, again, that kind of goes into change management as well. But again, those core competencies that need to be maintained at an organization, having that framework in place so that when changes happen, when projects are managed that everybody’s on the same page. 00:17:30 –> 00:17:38 00:17:30 –> Project management also manages people. Mazarine Treyz: I love that. I love that. So it sounds like it doesn’t just manage projects, but it also manages people. 00:17:40 –> 00:18:10 Melissa E. Watkins: That’s correct. And that’s the name of the game. After all, who would we be without our teams and people management? That’s what we do as development professionals. We keep making sure everyone – the donor, the internal constituents, as we’ll call them, like whether that’s a faculty member here in the [inaudible 00:17:59] space or the president of an organization, the CFO, all of these folks need to be kind of kept in the loop. And how do we do that, you know? 00:18:14 –> How do the project management key points help during a time of unprecedented work expectations? Mazarine Treyz: Yeah, and it also seems like, during a time of great change, we need to think about and be competent in change management more than ever before. And so, how do these help you during a time of unprecedented work expectations? 00:18:32 –> 00:19:59 Melissa E. Watkins: Yeah, I am a very structured person. I love organization and so it helps me feel safe. I know that sounds very– But it helps me see the future. It helps me plan out things. It helps me anticipate what could be coming and so through project management, you also have to do risk assessment. That’s part of the checklist. So using this model, I’m always assessing risks. So one of the kinds of theories is you should always be looking at time, schedule, risk, and so I’m always looking at, “Okay, so we’re at right now we’re in COVID; these things could happen, but even after, what could happen?” So it’s always those questions. And so I think having project management just gives us safety and organization to our work. And also I will say it also gives the donor – because I’ve used some of these kinds of like strategies as I communicate with donors, and it makes them feel secure like, “You all know what you’re doing. Look at this organization. Look at these tools that you’re using, and I trust you with my donations”, in a time when we know that donors are feeling a little bit wary about, or not sure wary is the right word, but not as concrete feeling in their giving. 00:20:01 –> If a person has survived a layoff, what can they learn from you during this crucial time? Mazarine Treyz: I think that’s a really good word. I mean, there’s a lot of demands on their attention now and their time. And there’s a lot of crowdfunding campaigns out there that they could be giving to, not just to us. And those crowdfunding campaigns can often seem even more urgent than what we’re doing. So I love that this is not just a tool for people to manage your project better, but actually do their job better as fundraisers. And so you’ll actually be talking about that at the new Power Fundraising Conference. So if a person has survived a layoff, what can they learn from you during this crucial time for–? 00:20:39 –> 00:21:21 Melissa E. Watkins: First of all, gain as many skills as possible because right now, the people who have survived the layoff, we know that we’ll have to wear multiple hats, and we probably will for the foreseeable future, because normal is not going to be normal for a long time if we even return to it. So I would say any free resources that are out there in terms of webinars, workshops, and then also investing in your own personal future. So just as I went down this project management professional certification route, it’s a good time to start thinking innovatively about the skills that we have as development professionals. 00:21:22 –> 00:22:29 Melissa E. Watkins: I have a colleague who I trust in and love, and she actually has gone back and taken different courses on the industry side for the organization that she’s working with. So it’s more or less like, even though she didn’t go get a CFRE, she got a specialized skill in the area that she’s raising funds for. I think that as we as development officers look to the future, we know that we’ll have to be innovative in our thinking just like we talk about all the time. So many times we don’t think about fundraising as being innovative, but we have to. It’s not just about the ways that we reach out to donors, it’s what we’re saying to them when we do. So I think just to get as many skills as possible, learn as much as possible, stay motivated, stay positive. Yeah, just love the work, find the passion, keep the passion going, stay connected to the cause as much as possible because even in remote settings we need things that keep us motivated because we have to do so much motivation for others. 00:22:30 –> 00:22:47 Mazarine Treyz: Oh, I love that, and you feel like a very motivating person. I cannot wait for people to learn from you, Melissa. I’m just so excited. I’m so excited to have you come speak. Is there anything I like [inaudible 00:22:43] with where they can find you? Anything you’d like to share? 00:22:48 –> 00:23:25 Melissa E. Watkins: Yes, sure. I welcome anyone to reach out to me via LinkedIn. My handle is Melissa Ellyn but Melissa Ellyn is filled with Melissa and then E-L-L-Y-N. So I want people to reach out. We can always schedule a 30 minute time and talk. I’m happy to share my story, hear other stories, and give feedback. And I just encourage everyone to just make the most of this time, whether it’s learning more resources, reaching out, and volunteering yourself. Just trying to help as many people as possible so that we can all get through this together. 00:23:27 –> 00:23:59 Mazarine Treyz: Thank you so much. That is so powerful. And I agree, we really do need people to start thinking more creatively and innovatively about fundraising if we’re going to be able to overcome what is looking like the great culling of many nonprofits. And even many universities are shutting down locations because of COVID-19. So that’s something that building your skills is always going– 00:24:01 –> 00:24:02 Melissa E. Watkins: I totally agree. 00:24:04 –> 00:24:10 Mazarine Treyz: Right on. All right. Well, everybody, thank you so much for listening, and thank you again, Melissa. 00:24:11 Melissa E. Watkins: Thank you. 00:00:01 –> 00:00:04 00:00:01 –> What does being a futurist mean to you? Mazarine Treyz: Okay, go. You’re a futurist. What does that mean to you? 00:00:04 –> 00:00:54 Melissa E. Watkins: I’m a futurist. So I should back up and just tell you that I took the StrengthsFinder. One of my core strengths, this is my second top, is futuristic. And so basically it’s someone who enjoys looking into the future and can often forecast what’s to come. So it’s helpful as we look at fundraising and development and especially in turbulent times because people with futuristic personalities can see beyond right now. So I think that’s how I’m able to stay so happy all the time, because I’m like, “No, but there’s a change coming. And we could see this as the breakthrough for the beautiful things that will come as a result of getting through COVID.” 00:00:55 –> 00:01:10 Mazarine Treyz: Yeah, I mean, as you said, the days of a 100 person development shops are over and people are going to have to really start looking at doing more than they ever have before is what it sounds like. 00:01:11 –> 00:01:32 Melissa E. Watkins: And being more efficient. So how can we do more with fewer resources, but in the most efficient way we ever had? Using the right tools, asking the right questions of donors, getting out the right reports. I mean, this is the time for us to really make significant changes. 00:01:35 –> 00:01:53 Mazarine Treyz: I agree with you. If 40% of nonprofits potentially are going to close in the next year, then now more than ever, we have to ask ourselves, how am I helping my nonprofit, but not just my nonprofit but my own career succeed during this time? 00:01:53 –> 00:02:14 Melissa E. Watkins: That’s exactly right and I’m glad you brought that statistic up because it is real. It is real and that’s another reason why we need to make sure we have our skill sets strong. They are transferable. People can transition to anything they want. Honestly, the development professional is one of the most unique and wonderful positions on this planet in my opinion. I know I’m biased. 00:02:14 Mazarine Treyz: I agree. 00:02:15 –> 00:02:34 Melissa E. Watkins: But at the same time, just the relationship building, the strategy, the customer service, I mean, I know it’s an old school world, but essential skills that we have, just that combination, you can’t find anywhere else. And so the work is wonderful. Yes. The people are great. 00:02:35 –> 00:02:46 Mazarine Treyz: I can tell you love the profession and you love other fundraisers and you love what you do and that is just infectious. So I can’t wait for everyone to learn from you. Thank you so, so much. 00:02:48 Melissa E. Watkins: Thank you.
41 minutes | 2 months ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Grieving during COVID and BLM: Interview with Kierra Taplin
KEY/SEGMENTS Mazarine Treyz: Host Kierra Taplin: President and Founder of the Healing Footprints Foundation 00:03:27.630 –> Why she founded the Healing Footprints 00:06:53.010 –> What happens when we allow ourselves to grieve? 00:09:31.110 –> What more people need to understand about grief 00:10:57.360 –> How to deal with the discomfort of grief 00:17:09.540 –> How grief is affecting us now with the COVID-19 00:22:47.790 –> What happens when people push down grief? 00:28:02.160 –> How you can embrace your grief and rewrite your story 00:31:14.260 –> Why we all need self-care and self-love. 00:35:30.990 –> What lessons can we learn from experience of the pandemic? 00:38:13.860 –> Allow yourself space and time to grieve. New power Fundraising Conference 00:00:06.150 –> 00:00:07.200 Mazarine Treyz: Everybody, welcome to the Name It Podcast. I am so happy to have Kierra Taplin here. I heard her speak at the UPRooted retreat, Kishshana Palmer’s retreat, and it was fantastic. I had to have her come on and talk to us. Kierra, please tell us who you are. 00:00:31.110 –> 00:01:12.270 Kierra Taplin: Well, first let me say I am honored to be here. I, like you, totally enjoyed the Rooted Retreat. I think this is a great sign of how wonderful the collaborative is, that it was able to bring us together. I’m Kierra. I’m a woman who is just like so many of us, who was at one point in life searching for fulfillment, searching for more. I knew that there was more for me to do. I sit here today as someone who has discovered her purpose. It’s such a beautiful journey when you know that you have a purpose and you can live with intention. 00:01:12.660 –> 00:01:39.090 Kierra Taplin: I’m a woman who brings hope to everyone that I come in contact with. I’m constantly pouring into my husband, my son, my family members, the women that I’m blessed to be connected with. That’s who I am. I’m a connector. I’m a light of hope in your darkest moment, I show up and I bring light, I bring laughter. That, in a nutshell, is who I am. 00:01:42.030 –> 00:01:45.900 Mazarine Treyz: You’re the executive director of the Healing Footprints Foundation. 00:01:45.900 –> 00:01:47.160 Kierra Taplin: Oh, that’s a minor detail. 00:01:57.060 –> 00:01:59.820 Mazarine Treyz: I think that’s impressive. I started a non-profit; that’s hard to do. 00:02:02.190 –> 00:02:43.710 Kierra Taplin: It’s terribly hard. I just don’t like to admit it so that’s probably why I don’t want to bring up that part. Yes, I am President and Executive Founder of the Healing Footprints Foundation. It is a labor of love that I created over eight years ago, and I’m very proud of the growth that the organization has experienced, but also the growth that I experienced, personally, from taking on that responsibility. It’s a huge responsibility. I don’t think I entered it understanding what it really meant to be a founder of an organization and to commit to serving people. 00:02:43.710 –> 00:03:26.250 Kierra Taplin: I think if you commit to human services, the Journey is a little different because your motivation is different, the commitment is different, and, of course, the responsibility is different because now if I fail or if I show up and don’t give my best self, I’m not just affecting my bottom line, which for most corporations is maybe funding or finance, for me these are people. I’m investing in people, in their future, and their healing. So it’s a huge responsibility to be a founder. I jokingly said that it is a minor detail, but I fully understand the gravity of having such an organization. 00:03:27.630 Why she founded the Healing Footprints Foundation 00:03:27.630 –> 00:03:35.220 Mazarine Treyz: For people who don’t know, you have a movement and you have a mission. Could you share with us more about why you founded this nonprofit? 00:03:38.370 –> 00:04:17.160 Kierra Taplin: Yes, the organization is committed to serving families who have experienced or are grieving from pregnancy and infant loss. What I realized at the start of my journey is that grief is far more than the loss of life. What the movement is, it’s reframing how we see grief. That it is to be experienced, that we don’t have to run from it. We don’t have to hide it. We don’t have to suffer in silence. You don’t have to avoid it. That we actually can embrace the grief, and that if you do that, you’ll actually learn to see the beauty in it. 00:04:17.490 –> 00:04:48.090 Kierra Taplin: It’s a valuable lesson that we have, a valuable life experience that we have. There are so many life lessons wrapped up into it. That’s what the movement is about. It’s about exposing grief and the beauty that we can find if we actually take the time to get to know it and embrace it, and embrace our individual journeys of grief so that we can get the lessons that we need to learn and we can view it from the experience that we are to have. 00:04:48.420 –> 00:05:21.630 Kierra Taplin: That’s what the movement is about. My journey, again, started out focused on infant death, and went from infant death to pregnancy loss, understanding that one in four women experienced some type of pregnancy loss. Your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members; you are more than likely know someone who has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth or some type of newborn death. Oftentimes, they may not talk about it, especially if it happened early on during their pregnancy. 00:05:21.630 –> 00:06:01.710 Kierra Taplin: There’s this grief that they’re carrying that they’re not able to expose. However, you can connect with them because you too may have experienced some other type of grief. You may have experienced divorce. You may have experienced job loss. There may be some other losses that you’ve had in your life that you can now use to connect with the person who has experienced the type of grief that’s a little more devastating, I will say. That you can connect in that way. Grief is, I think, one area that bridges all of us because we have experienced some form of grief on different levels. 00:06:53.010 What happens when we allow ourselves to grieve 00:06:04.980 –> 00:06:43.740 Mazarine Treyz: I love that you say that because, right now, I feel like, during COVID-19, we’re experiencing a lot of grief. During the BLM movement, we’re experiencing a lot of grief. Part of being a human is experiencing grief, but we don’t really have structures and outlets for that. I was listening to the For the Wild Podcast with Lama Rod Owens about liberatory rage. He said we’re not allowing ourselves to feel sadness and despair, and we’re not allowing our hearts to break, and that is what upholds patriarchy. 00:06:44.940 –> 00:06:45.360 Kierra Taplin: Yes. 00:06:53.010 –> 00:07:01.140 Mazarine Treyz: It touched me so deeply. What is your experience of that, when you allow grief versus when you fight grief? What have you seen with the people that you work with? 00:07:01.560 –> 00:07:56.220 Kierra Taplin: I think allowing grief is giving people permission. For me, I’ve literally had to give a lot of my clients the permission to grieve. To your point, we have this cultural stigma that you’re not supposed to hurt or you’re weak if you show signs of pain, if you cry, that somehow it diminishes their strength or their masculinity. We connect all these expressions of strength with denial. We’re actually denying our humanity that if my mother or my father passes away, that it hurts. If I come home and my wife has packed up everything and moved out, that I’m hurt that I’ve poured 20 years into this relationship and now it’s over. It’s okay to say that I’m hurting. 00:07:56.250 –> 00:08:55.260 Kierra Taplin: A lot of times, we don’t call grief what it is, that it’s grief. It’s oftentimes disguised as bitterness. We’ll say someone is bitter, or they’re angry, or they can’t control their emotions, or they’re insecure. Insecure is one that I hear a lot. We often relate grief to some form of insecurity that you don’t feel powerful or that you’re good enough to move on. I see a lot of that where we’re not identifying grief for what it is because I think if we recognize it and called it grief, that we’ll be more likely to approach it. Who wants to really approach feelings of anger, or disappointment, or not being worthy, or feeling that you’re not good enough? Who wants to really admit that? To go into a relationship or the ending of a relationship and say, “Maybe I wasn’t good enough for that relationship.” 00:08:56.140 –> 00:09:27.930 Kierra Taplin: However, if you say I’m grieving because it’s over, that I had these plans, and I had this dream of what my job would look like, and now it’s over. How do I move on? How do I move forward? How do I deal with it instead of just moving on to the next position or finding a better title, or moving on to the next relationship and suppressing all of those feelings? If we recognize it as grief and call it what it is, then we can address it properly. 00:09:31.110 What more people need to understand about grief 00:09:31.110 –> 00:09:41.670 Mazarine Treyz: I love that. What do you wish more people understood about grief? 00:09:50.100 –> 00:10:30.300 Kierra Taplin: If I had one underlying mission of my grief moments, it is to dispel the myth that time heals all wounds. Usually, when someone addresses grief or talks about grief our response is, “Oh, give it time,” or, “You’ll feel better in time.” I see it all the time across social media; time heals all wounds. It’s a myth. It’s not true. If you sit in your bedroom after experiencing some deep loss, whatever was important to you, if you just sit there and allow time to pass, you will continue to just sit there. Things will not get better for you. Things will not change for you. 00:10:30.300 –> 00:10:55.710 Kierra Taplin: We have to be an active participant in our healing. I think that’s important for us to understand grief and the responsibility that we have in our healing. No one is going to come from the outside and make you feel better. Nothing outside of yourself is going to make you feel better, and that includes time. We have to be an active participant in our healing. 00:10:57.360 How to deal with the discomfort of grief 00:10:57.360 –> 00:11:28.620 Mazarine Treyz: Thank you so much for saying that. I know what comes up for me when I activate how I feel in my body, I feel grief. I get very uncomfortable. One of the things that Lama Rod Owens said is, comfort will not get us free. The question he asked was, how can we begin to center discomfort so that other people can get access to the resources that they need? I thought that was an interesting question. 00:11:28.650 –> 00:12:06.030 Kierra Taplin: That’s actually a good one. I often talk about the discomfort of grief, and also, how we can become comfortable in our discomfort, that we allow ourselves to not address it, especially when it comes to pain. If you are accustomed to pain, if you’ve experienced childhood trauma and a lot of trauma in your life, it’s possible to become accustomed to that pain. You feel that it’s not necessary to address it. You believe that pain is just a part of your existence; that it’s your reality, that you are designed to live in constant pain. 00:12:07.050 –> 00:12:29.820 Kierra Taplin: It’s important to know that if you activate your healing, that you can get out of that place of pain, and that the discomfort may start to look like healing. Addressing those dark places, addressing the trauma that you’ve experienced that that initial discomfort is actually a lot of your healing. It starts to look like healing. 00:12:31.280 –> 00:13:10.860 Kierra Taplin: I tell people all the time, healing can be extremely messy because you have to admit, one, that something has actually hurt you. You sometimes have to admit, too, that someone that you love has hurt you. That’s hard to do. It’s hard to admit that my parents, who were amazing parents, were very good parents, did the best that they could, however, some of their behavior; some of their thought patterns were painful for me. It’s hard to admit that, to say that my wonderful parents may not have been the best at all times for me. 00:13:14.760 –> 00:13:50.250 Kierra Taplin: I think that makes healing messy. It makes it very uncomfortable. It’s important to understand that that discomfort is what liberates you. That discomfort is where you’ll find your healing and it’s extremely freeing to get to a place where you can admit and call it what it is, that this thing actually pained me. It’s very liberating. I will warn that once you get on this path of discomfort, I think, naturally we start to seek comfort. 00:13:56.940 –> 00:14:41.640 Kierra Taplin: One of the areas that I’ve experienced grief is after losing a job. I was laid off after 15 years of a wonderful career in information technology. I had experienced several corporate restructures, but I always ended up on the right side of the restructuring. So the very first time that I got laid off, I was devastated. I did not recognize it initially as grief until I started to experience a lot of the same emotions and reactions that I had when I lost my son. I went through anger. I had a period of guilt. I had periods of depression. I questioned my self-worth, and it’s because I had wrapped myself into this position and this title that I had. 00:14:41.640 –> 00:15:21.790 Kierra Taplin: When I got to a place where I was able to understand and I was actually grieving, I started to feel a huge weight lifted off of me. Now I can call it for what it is, and that means I now know how to address it. Now, I can find healthy ways to cope with it. I think that’s one of the important parts of understanding the freedom that comes with that and that discomfort. Then, I remember thinking, eventually I’m going to get to a place of comfort because we want to believe that’s the whole goal of healing, that you’ll get to this safe space. 00:15:23.570 –> 00:16:03.500 Kierra Taplin: I will warn you, what you will start to do is expose all of the other areas where you’re hurting. So all these other areas where I’m grieving, the relationship disappointments, other dreams and aspirations that I had, it became very important work that helped me to become a better person. Now I can fully understand who I am and why I feel the way that I feel, and it’s so liberating. It’s so freeing. If I could give the gift of healing to everyone that I know was hurting, it would be my life goal to do that for sure because it’s extremely liberating. 00:16:04.680 –> 00:16:52.170 Kierra Taplin: I know it’s scary because I’ve had those moments approaching the subject. It can be scary, especially when we don’t know what to expect because we don’t know how we’ll respond, and grief is not linear. It’s not all uphill once you make the decision to do it. We go back and forth. Some days, still, 14 years later, after the death of my son, I have great days, but there are still moments where I cry. I’m on the floor bawling 10 years later. It still happens. So grieving isn’t this linear journey where it’s always the same, where it’s always up. Expect to toggle back and forth, but it’s a journey that’s well worth it for sure. 00:17:09.540 How grief is affecting us now with the COVID-19 00:16:53.460 –> 00:17:14.340 Mazarine Treyz: I’m really glad you brought up that it’s not just about one grieving how other things get uncovered when you start to deal with grief. That’s what I’m experiencing right now. I was going to ask you, is there a way grief is affecting us right now that we should be looking at? 00:17:15.390 –> 00:17:54.870 Kierra Taplin: Yes, I think now we are surrounded by grief. For me, personally, I can feel it in the air. It’s a lot better now than it was at the start of the pandemic. When I went into my local supermarket, I could feel the tension and the heaviness in the air. We’re all experiencing grief on some level. Of course, we know people who have literally lost their lives. If you don’t know someone personally who has experienced death as the result of COVID or some illness related to it, someone around you probably has. 00:17:54.870 –> 00:18:35.970 Kierra Taplin: What makes this experience so unique and how we’re grieving is that a lot of the tools that we used to be able to utilize to help us during that bereavement period, something as simple as the funeral service has now been either taken away from us, or it’s been restructured. So the comfort that we used to get from hugs, those aren’t available to us right now. The joy of being able to sit around with your family, and talk, and possibly laugh about your loved one’s life has been taken away from us in some regards. I think that makes the grief that we’re experiencing right now a little different. 00:18:43.900 –> 00:19:17.580 Kierra Taplin: We’re also experiencing a lot of symbolic loss. We’ve had the loss of experiences. Our kids, who were ripped out of school abruptly at the end of the school year, have lost the opportunity to have the proper goodbyes with their classmates. We haven’t had high school graduations, colleague graduations. We’ve had weddings that were planned and that did not take place. There’s a lot of symbolic loss that we’re experiencing that I don’t know if we’re actually addressing it properly or identifying it as grief. 00:19:17.580 –> 00:20:19.500 Kierra Taplin: I’ve heard a lot of people address it as if this is just something you’ll get over, or we’ll try it later, but it does not take away from the fact that a lot of us have been planning for these experiences and now they’re gone. Grief is not always attached to a person or the death of a person. It’s also those life experiences that we’ve been planning for: mouthfuls on birthdays, family vacations. If you’ve been saving for two, three years to take your family on a Disney Cruise, and now all of a sudden, you can’t take them, it’s not as simple as, “Oh, it’s just a cruise,” or, “It’s just a vacation. Be grateful that you have your family. ” Of course, I’m grateful that I have my family, but I still had this plan in place that I had been anticipating and now it’s been taken away from me. Not only has it been taken away from me. most of us have no idea if we’ll ever get to do those things again or what it will look like when we start to do those things again. 00:20:21.650 –> 00:21:11.910 Kierra Taplin: We’re experiencing a lot of loss in that regard. When we hear the orders to stay at home to social distance, we assume that everyone has a safe home to stay in, that everyone has a safe environment, that we have food and fresh air and clean water, and a loving environment. That’s not true for everyone. For some people, the thought of staying home, or the order to stay home or not be able to see my girlfriend’s on Sunday brunch, which was my safe space from a husband who may be abusive, or kids who are being abused, that also contributes to the grief that we’re experiencing. 00:21:13.020 –> 00:22:04.850 Kierra Taplin: The grief that we’re experiencing now is surrounding us in so many ways that I think it’s important to pay attention, one, and two, to have the empathy to understand that everyone isn’t living the same comfort that you may have, that everyone’s life experience is not the same as yours. I’ve had to discuss this when it comes back to starting school. I have a second-grader at home. I also have a husband and I now understand that there is some privilege to having a two-parent home when it comes to this virtual school model. I can’t imagine the pain of the single parent who now has to navigate virtual school and working at the same time. What about the parent who has multiple children? 00:22:05.250 –> 00:22:26.940 Kierra Taplin: It’s important for us to have some empathy when it comes to the experiences of other members of our community who may look a lot different from us, and their journeys are a lot different from us. However, we can connect with them with that commonplace of understanding that there’s some grief that we may be experiencing. I feel like I gave the long answer there. 00:22:47.790 What happens when people push down grief? 00:22:27.240 –> 00:22:50.820 Mazarine Treyz: No, that was beautiful because it’s true. What if the kids are not safe at home because parents are stressed about having to have the kid at home all the time or the moms are safe at home or elders safe at home. There’s so much extra grief we have now. When people push down grief, what do they do? 00:22:52.710 –> 00:23:33.540 Kierra Taplin: It’s painful. I think we have to understand that grief causes real bodily harm. I think we like to think of grief from an emotional standpoint, but there are physical attributes to grief. If you spend days depressed and those days do into weeks, and for some people, months – I’ve met clients who have been depressed for a year’s unmedicated, undiagnosed. You’re risking your health when you decide to not address your grief. 00:23:33.960 –> 00:24:18.360 Kierra Taplin: It not only affects you; it affects everyone around you, not just the people in your home. We’re talking about your coworkers. When I hear stories about road rage or you’re in the grocery store and someone bumps your cart, and instead of an excuse me, it turns into this big blowup, I often wonder the type of grief that people are experiencing. When we hear, oh, they’re just a ticking time bomb. Those are a lot of the expressions that we use to identify someone who has been suppressing so much till you actually lose track of everything that you’re suppressing. 00:24:22.370 –> 00:25:03.730 Kierra Taplin: One of the goals of the organization is we evolved into an organization that addresses the grief experienced by young mothers. One of the reasons that the organization started to focus on young mothers is that I discovered during a lot of my discussions with some clients, when discussing their current loss, they would refer back to the loss that they experienced when they were younger – the pregnancy that they had when they were 17 or 18 years old and they weren’t allowed to even have their baby or it ended in miscarriage and no one knew about it. 00:25:04.350 –> 00:25:59.130 Kierra Taplin: I started to realize that that’s one of the ways that we uncover grief, we start to see the layers that are underneath it. That’s what happens when you’re suppressing your grief. You’re creating layers of pain. That makes your journey, 10, 20 years from now, of healing, so much harder because now you have to peel back all of the layers that you probably didn’t realize existed. When we think about some of the behaviors that we have now as adults, a lot of those, we can often point back to our childhood; some of the images that we saw, or the relationships that we saw around us that were indirectly molding us. That’s one of the other disadvantages of suppressing your grief and not dealing with it. 00:25:59.370 –> 00:26:32.910 Kierra Taplin: You’re creating these layers of a person who may not be who you intended to be. Now you’re disguised because I’m covered in so much grief and pain and trauma, and all these life experiences that I don’t actually experience fully because we move on to the next thing before we deal with the relationship or the loss that we’ve experienced. It’s important to deal with things; to address it. 00:26:35.400 –> 00:27:34.890 Kierra Taplin: We talk a lot about our life experiences, but we need to not just experience the joys of my life. Life has pain. Life has disappointment. Experience it. Feel it. Allow yourself to feel it. Feel the pain. It’s what makes us humans. It’s what shapes us into beautiful people. It nurtures our empathy because now I understand. I can reflect back on my failed relationships, and now I can connect with you during your moment of divorce. I can now draw from those other life experiences that I’ve had. I think it’s important, when we press down our grief, to make sure that we attach ourselves to it so that we can understand what it is. Don’t pack it away, put it in a box, and act like it didn’t happen. It’s important to address it and embrace it. 00:27:36.120 –> 00:28:01.170 Kierra Taplin: I talk a lot about embracing the grief, and I think it’s because when you embrace something, you can now make it and mold it into what you need it to be. Now you can frame it the way that’s necessary for you, for the way that makes it healing for you, and then carry that with you. I think that’s important. 00:28:02.160 How you can embrace your grief and rewrite your story 00:28:02.160 –> 00:28:06.360 Mazarine Treyz: Is it like telling yourself a different story about your grief? 00:28:08.610 –> 00:28:32.940 Kierra Taplin: I don’t know if I would say telling yourself a different story as much as reframing your story. Grief is a lot like art. If you’re looking at a piece of artwork and you tilt your head a little, it starts to look different. Today, I see the beautiful white light, tomorrow if the sun shines a little differently, I may see the image a little differently. 00:28:33.150 –>00:28:59.440 Kierra Taplin: When I talk about grief and how we carry it, it’s that notion that this loss that I’ve experienced, this pain that I’ve experienced will comfort to me, will fulfill me, will be what I needed to be on this day and at this hour. Understanding that tomorrow that same grief may have a different meaning, may have a different value. 00:29:00.170 –> 00:29:40.230 Kierra Taplin: So it’s important to recognize the life experience for what it is so that you can use it to your advantage. My husband and I talk a lot and we experience now trials in our life because, of course, we’re living, and if you’re living with the goal of thriving, you will experience hardships. However, for us, we always pull from that experience that we had with the loss of our son, how devastating it was. I had moments where I felt like I would not survive. I had times when I did not want to survive. 00:29:40.830 –> 00:30:21.990 Kierra Taplin: However, because I’m able to articulate that, when I experience loss now, I can draw from that experience. I can draw from that strength that I realized that I had from that experience. When you connect with your grief and allow it to be what it is for you, you can draw from that experience, the lessons that it taught you about yourself, the lessons that it taught you about others. That’s how you use that experience. So allow it to be what it needs to be for you in that moment. However, if you box it up, you lose that. If you don’t resurrect it, then you lose that. 00:30:26.280 –> 00:30:42.870 Mazarine Treyz: In a way, you can say, I can feel so much more deeply because I felt this pain. I can feel my joy more completely. You can also say, I’ve gone through this and I know how deeply I love and sometimes deep love means deep hate. 00:30:43.710 –> 00:30:44.790 Kierra Taplin: Yes. 00:30:45.360 –> 00:30:47.850 Mazarine Treyz: I get you. 00:30:49.470 –> 00:30:49.980 Kierra Taplin: Yes. That’s it. 00:30:51.210 –> 00:30:53.370 Mazarine Treyz: Being a full human. 00:30:55.980 –> 00:31:07.530 Kierra Taplin: As crazy as it sounds, it’s not something that we aspire to do. We want to pick and choose the good parts of our humanity and we want to be that 00:31:14.260 Why we all need self-care and self-love. 00:31:08.820 –> 00:31:13.860 Mazarine Treyz: And when we’re sad, capitalism is all like, “Go buy a car, go buy a boat.” 00:31:14.260 –> 00:32:05.280 Kierra Taplin: Yes, but at some point, you will deal with your sadness. At some point, you will deal with your pain. When the lights go off, when all the cars are parked in the garage, when everyone leaves the party, at some point, you’re going to be sitting alone and you’ll have to deal with the pain. You can only consume so much. I think that’s one of the beauties that I found during this time of COVID, that a lot of our coping mechanisms have been removed: flocking to concerts, vacation. We used to love being surrounded by people because that’s an outlet. For many of us, it’s a healthy outlet. However, you need to learn how to love yourself. 00:32:05.880 –> 00:32:38.010 Kierra Taplin: Self-care has a completely different meaning now. Self-care used to be going to the spa, get your nails done. Now, self-care looks a lot like looking in the mirror and picking out about all the beautiful parts of your face, all the beautiful parts of your body. Now, self-care and looks a lot like that. It’s enjoying who you are; your personal journey, your personal life experience. It’s important to connect with that person, and we’re being forced to do that. 00:32:39.320 –> 00:33:17.700 Kierra Taplin: I pray that everyone is taking advantage of that and we’re not so quick to want to go back to normal. I’ve had to remove that from my vocabulary. I no longer say, “I can’t wait till we go back.” I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back to the way things used to be. I am excited about what life is going to look like post COVID. I’m looking forward to life after COVID; all of the lessons that we’re about to learn about each other, about how we need to be concerned about our neighbors and our community. 00:33:17.730 –> 00:33:56.950 Kierra Taplin: This mask mandate is forcing us to think about, at the very least, our neighbors, people that we weren’t concerned about before. Whether you believe the effects or not, you at least need to think about it. Consider your neighbors. We’re a very selfish society, that everything is geared towards ourselves and our needs and what works best for me. For once, you have to consider your neighbors. I have to consider other parents and that’s important. I think that’s the beauty of this time that we’re experiencing. 00:33:59.960 –> 00:34:35.790 Kierra Taplin: I think, at the end when this is over, we’ll have a nation full of people who are a lot more empathetic, that you understand that we can find joy in each other. We now have this corporate grief that we’re experiencing because we’re experiencing it together. You brought up the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s because we’re experiencing it together. There’s strength and community in this belief that we’re all experiencing it. 00:34:36.360 –> 00:35:15.990 Kierra Taplin: Many of us are experiencing unemployment. So now the pain or the stigma often attached to unemployment, now it’s not just you. You’re amongst millions that are experiencing unemployment. Now you have this community of grief that you can draw from. I think that that’s one of the beauties that I’ve found personally during this pandemic. I think that speaks to my personal life journey, that I can take the most devastating thing and find the light in it. I believe it always exists. 00:35:30.990 What lessons can we learn from experience of the pandemic? 00:35:17.700 –> 00:35:30.570 Mazarine Treyz: That is so beautiful. I love that you’re looking forward to not having it go back, but really seeing the lessons in this pain, in this grief right now. Is that what is alive for you right now in your work? Is there anything else that’s alive for you? 00:35:38.550 –> 00:36:38.520 Kierra Taplin: Yes, it is. It’s that hope. I always carry hope with me. I don’t mean hope in this magical sense. I’m a realist, and I understand that everything requires some work on your part. Even this belief in hope and this belief that things will get better and that things can be better activates my personal responsibility to assure everyone or myself that things will be better. That’s why when I speak of hope and I think of hope, it’s not this magical thing that happens. It requires that we all do our part. We each have a part to play to get to better. What life looks like after COVID, we each have a responsibility to play in how what it looks like. For me, it is life will be better. I think things will be better for us after this. We will care more. 00:36:38.550 –> 00:37:34.500 Kierra Taplin: I was pained by our lack of compassion, pre-COVID, for other people, and their pain. You lost a job, okay, go find another one. Your boyfriend left, okay, that’s fine, go get another one. Let’s deal with what we’re feeling. Now, we have challenges in dating, we have challenges with finding new jobs. We have people who used to have six-figure careers, now they’re Uber drivers. Some of the things that we used to attach our value to are no longer there. We have to find value in other things. I have to offer you something other than my six-figure salary or title or whatever other accomplishments that I had. Now that it’s been taken off the table, we really have to find our personal value. 00:37:35.190 –> 00:38:12.540 Kierra Taplin: I think that’s the beauty that I’m experiencing with a lot of my clients; it’s just attaching and identifying the value that you have to your family. Where you used to anticipate those beautiful vacations, now we have to get creative. We have to take staycations. We have to start having dinner every day now together as a family. We find value in that. We were too busy before for a lot of those activities. That’s the beauty that I’m seeing now during this time. 00:38:13.860 Allow yourself space and time to grieve. 00:38:13.860 –> 00:38:34.110 Mazarine Treyz: I love that. What I’m hearing for you, as the call to arms to our listeners, is asking people, how am I allowing myself space and time to grief right now and what is the world I want to create? 00:38:35.130 –> 00:39:45.030 Kierra Taplin: Yes. I challenged a client, a few weeks ago, to journal. That was the approach I suggested for her; to journal. In the midst of a crisis, I asked her, what would you like for it to look like? She couldn’t explain it. She didn’t have the word so articulate what it looks like. It’s amazing to me how we as adults aren’t able to dream. I see it with my son all the time. He has the best imagination and it’s beautiful to watch. Sometimes I’m actually a little envious of, how does he have the ability to dream like that or to think that that is possible? It’s such a gift to have and I wish that we as adults would tap into that childhood ability to dream, to understand that you can change your circumstances, that what you’re experiencing is not the end. It does not have to be the end of the story. It does not have to give you a glimpse of the rest of your journey. 00:39:45.090 –> 00:40:31.890 Kierra Taplin: You can rewrite your story. You can imagine your deepest pain having a different meaning for you. It can have a completely different meaning. I totally understand the research. I read case studies. I understand the effects of growing up as a result of parents who have divorced and what that means for you, growing up in poverty. I understand what research says your life should look like. However, you can rewrite that story. You can re-imagine what your grief does to you. You can re-imagine how we can utilize your grief. 00:40:32.340 –> 00:41:16.080 Kierra Taplin: Your grief can become the biggest catalyst for you. It can take you so much further when you’re now thinking that grief is something that will suppress you. It’s very oppressing to feel the grief, but it can become so liberating. It can actually catapult you to the very next level that you’ve been dreaming up. Who knew getting there would be the result of my deepest pain? That’s exactly what happened to me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be the result of my darkest, most painful life experience. I’m joyously talking about grief sitting here. 00:41:25.980 –> 00:41:29.100 Mazarine Treyz: I love that. I want all of this, but we do have to wrap up. What will you be speaking about at the New Power Conference? 00:41:35.880 –> 00:41:44.250 Kierra Taplin: I’m going to teach you how to smile. I’m going to teach you how to look at your deepest pain and find joy. Don’t you want that? 00:41:46.670 –> 00:41:48.250 Mazarine Treyz: Yes, I do. I want it. 00:41:54.630 –> 00:42:34.710 Kierra Taplin: It’s a life skill. It’s taken hard work. I will not diminish the hard work that was required for me to get to this place, but it’s possible. That’s what I want to teach people at the conference: that it’s possible to find the joy in your pain, to find the goodness in your grief. That it’s there, that together we can seek it out, we can identify and I can give you healthy ways to cope with the pain that you’re experiencing. You’ll get this place. We’ll be sitting here chit-chatting. No one will know that we’re talking about grief because we’re smiling and laughing. It’s possible. I’d love to give you this. Follow Kierra Taplin on social media. 00:42:37.050 –> 00:42:46.320 Mazarine Treyz: I can’t wait. This is incredible. Ms. Taplin, where can people find you? 00:42:48.660 –> 00:43:08.700 Kierra Taplin: The organization is healingfootprints.com. You can follow me on social media Kierra Sunay. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Kierra Sunay Taplin. Yes, I would love to connect with your listeners. I’m excited about grief. It’s my calling. It’s who I am. I show up as this big bright light in your darkness of grief and I’m on this journey with you. I would love to chat, see how we can connect, and I can help lift you. 00:43:27.090 –> 00:43:32.070 Mazarine Treyz: You thank you so much. I can’t wait to have you speak at the conference. 00:43:32.160 –> 00:43:34.770 Kierra Taplin: Thank you for this. I totally enjoyed it. 00:43:36.750 –> 00:43:43.110 Mazarine Treyz: Me too. I learned so much. All right, everybody, join us. See you next time. Bye.
47 minutes | 4 months ago
Name It! Podcast: Racial Trauma during BLM Protests – Interview with Dr. Debra Jenkins
“Rumination is when sometimes thoughts get stuck. For example, the thoughts are stuck in the past. Say that this is a traumatic experience. But this is what’s coming up for this person is another traumatic experience they’ve had.” – Dr Debra Jenkins I was privileged to chat with Debi Jenkins about racial trauma during this time. Debra (Debi) Jenkins, PhD is an award-winning life coach, author, national and international presenter, facilitator, and educator with expertise in developmental, liberation, and transformational psychology within the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her business, Share the Flame LLC’s opportunities were birthed out of over 23 years of unsolicited recommendations and requests from people and organizations for consulting, coaching, and speaking! She shares, “As I continued on my journey, my hobby of over 23 years began to grow, tremendously, as more people and organizations came my way. I began to consider that maybe this was more than a passionate hobby rather a much needed business to serve needs on personal, professional, and organizational levels. So, in 2017, I established what was already known as Share the Flame as an LLC.” Clientele refer to Dr. Debi’s whole life approach as enlightening, refreshing and innovative! Dr. Debi powerfully and meaningfully engages with individuals and groups to insight, ignite and inspire growth, development, and change! In addition to Dr. Debi being the founder of Share the Flame LLC, she has experience in leadership and education with degrees in Education and Administration (AAS: Early Childhood Education & PhD: Higher Education Administration), Human Development (BA: Developmental Education & MA: Bicultural Development) and an MS in Psychology. Visit the rest of her story at www.shareflame.com Dr Debi Jenkins Podcast KEY / SEGMENTS Mazarine Treyz: Host Dr. Debra Jenkins: Share the Flame LLC, Founder 00:01:07.740 –> What are you noticing in this time of BLM protests? 00:02:51.330 –> What happens when people do not feel safe? 00:04:08.580 –> Goal of Trauma Informed Care 00:07:08.940 –> Feeling safe with the medical profession 00:08:28.470 –> What is a Reflective Practitioner? 00:10:43.680 –> Trauma Informed Care for understanding what’s going on 00:11:52.800 –> Strategies for gauging where you’re at 00:17:35.220 –> Programs Dr. Debra offers 00:20:53.700 –> Trauma in the body 00:23:47.430 –> Healing in the Corporate World 00:29:02.520 –> Fitting in Self Care 00:30:34.170 –> You Need a Village 00:32:57.810 –> Having Children in Your Life 00:34:47.040 –> I Love My Kind of Brown 00:38:40.890 –> What is Racial Trauma? 00:42:34.200 –> Racialized categories and development 00:44:24.630 –> Conformity, Dissonance, Immersion, Emersion, Internalization & Integrative Awareness 00:00:02.639 –> 00:00:15.059 Mazarine Treyz: Welcome everybody to the Name It! Podcast. I’m your host Mazarine Treyz and today I have the pleasure and privilege of speaking with Dr. Debra Jenkins, who is the owner and founder of Share the Flame LLC. She is a DEI corporate and academia consultant and a coach for historically resilient women and a speaker. Clientele referred to her whole life approach as enlightening refreshing and innovative. 00:00:30.810 –> 00:00:37.140 Mazarine Treyz: They say that Dr. Debi powerfully and meaningfully engages with individuals and groups to inspire and Ignite growth, development and change. In addition to being the founder of Share The Flame, she’s experienced in leadership and education with degrees in Education Administration, Human Development, a BA in Developmental Education and a master’s in Bicultural Development and an MS in Psychology. To learn more about her visit ShareFlame.com. So, thank you so much, Dr. Debi. 00:01:04.110 –> 00:01:04.860 Debra Jenkins: You’re welcome. 00:01:05.550 –> 00:01:06.870 Debra Jenkins: I’m excited to be here. 00:01:07.740 What are you noticing in this time of BLM protests and civil unrest? Mazarine Treyz: Well, you know, I’m excited to have you. Because one of the things that I know that you’re an expert in is trauma informed care and racial trauma and we are in not only a global pandemic, but also a time of great massive unrest. With the murders of George Floyd, with the murders of Breonna Taylor, with the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and many other people, I wanted to ask you, what are you seeing right now? And what are you noticing? 00:01:39.870 –> 00:01:47.310 Debra Jenkins: I’m noticing that especially amongst people of color, I’m going to rein it in to African Americans, because of the very people you named and that those lived experiences tap closer into the periphery of those lives. I’m going to focus there. But, one of the things I’m noticing, especially in my clientele is more of a reach out of all women, but specifically African American women because they’re feeling a lot of trauma during this time. 00:02:19.200 –> 00:02:34.920 Debra Jenkins: One of the things that I’m noticing mostly is that because coming out of COVID into all of this has made them hypersensitive to what’s going on. And because of that their day to day tools that they’re used to using are not as effective for them. So, they’re reaching out for additional tools that they could use just to make it through the day for some people. 00:02:51.330 What happens when people do not feel safe? Mazarine Treyz: Wow. So, thinking about those tools. I wanted to ask you, because I’m not an expert on this, what happens when people do not feel safe? 00:03:07.530 –> 00:03:17.160 Debra Jenkins: Well, you know, so many different things come up because a lot of responses to safety, have to do with who the person is. Their personality has to do with their lived experiences because how they’ve responded to not feeling safe in the past determines the tools they bring forward to who they are today as adults. 00:03:29.100 –> 00:03:42.570 Debra Jenkins: When I say lived experiences, it’s also connected to the traumas they’ve experienced in their childhood or in their adolescence or young development. I mean, young adulthood development, and so most of the time for most, “I’m not feeling safe” means that you’re not feeling secure in the context of how you’re perceiving harm. So you’re looking at harm being something that you’re unable to control. You don’t feel like you can manage it. So, you usually feel unsafe in that moment. 00:04:08.580 What’s the Goal of Trauma Informed Care? Mazarine Treyz: When I looked up trauma informed care, it looked like what the goal of it was, was to try to get people out of their limbic brain, which is the fight or flight, or freeze response, and into their prefrontal cortex, by making them feel safe. Is that kind of what you understand? 00:04:26.580 –> 00:04:33.450 Debra Jenkins: You know, the interesting thing about trauma informed care is that in 2001, I think it was Roger Fallon or Maxine Harris, they brought that to the attention of mental health in the sense of how to not retraumatize your clientele. And so, they were talking about service delivery and skill sets necessary for mental health practitioners, so that they’re able to be sensitive to the needs of their clients. 00:05:08.940 –> 00:05:16.680 Debra Jenkins: One of the things that aligns with the racial trauma is reflective practitioners, that’s something that’s not really…there’s not a lot of reflective practitioners, especially here in the northwest for people to be able to access them and have a really reflective talk without having to over explain themselves because they’re of a different group. 00:05:38.310 –> 00:05:50.250 Debra Jenkins: There’s a lot of conversation they don’t need to have because the person has a shared lived experience as they do so, they don’t have to go into a lot of things. Not to make the assumption that all African Americans live the same, but that their experiences are common enough to where there’s some things we don’t need to know. They don’t have to over explain themselves, but we do need to know what happened. 00:06:06.990 –> 00:06:10.470 Debra Jenkins: In the clinical sense, people are asked more about “what happened in your past”, you know, “what were some of the experiences that you think are contributing to your trauma today”. 00:06:20.490 –> 00:06:43.200 Debra Jenkins: My role as a developmental strategist and life coach is that I can take those goals that come out of the office with the clinician and I can actually help them manage those and implement those so that they’re able to do next step life goals in alignment with the experience they’ve had with their therapist. So, I’m the therapist and I tend to work hand in hand. Sometimes my husband is a Clinical Practitioner and so because of that, and working alongside together early in our careers, I kind of have an idea of how to support a therapist and their client. 00:07:08.940 Feeling safe with the medical profession Debra Jenkins: For next steps. So, that’s a big question because knowing how safe you are and knowing how to respond to trauma informed care depends on how safe you feel with the medical profession. A lot of African Americans don’t trust therapists and they don’t trust the medical profession. There’s a lot of negative history in with the use of African American bodies for science purposes, without their permission. A lot of times without anesthesia as an anesthetic. A lot of pain, a lot of harm. 00:07:59.850 –> 00:08:02.280 Debra Jenkins: Also, not receiving adequate care even today. And then for some they don’t have medical care at all. So, accessing a professional is very difficult for them because they don’t have the funds, nor do they have the resources to be able to seek out a Reflective Practitioner. They don’t know where to go to get one. 00:08:28.470 What is a Reflective Practitioner? Mazarine Treyz: Yeah, so the term Reflective Practitioner is new for me. Could you explain a little bit for our listeners in case it’s new to them too? 00:08:36.630 –> 00:08:43.140 Debra Jenkins: Sure! A Reflective Practitioner is somebody who has a close lived experience to your own, or you’re part of the same ethnic group, or a part of the same racial identity developmental stage or experience. And so, you’re trusting them more because you can feel comfortable because you know that they can relate to you. 00:09:09.330 –> 00:09:11.400 Debra Jenkins: I was on another webinar, and it was wonderful because I was with a doctor who is trying to align barber and beauty shops with practitioners so that people can receive services simultaneously. I thought that was a brilliant idea because that’s the role in the community of the pastor of the hair care professional. They told their business to them! They would talk to them if they felt stress, they would say, when they came into the shop, “oh, it’s been such a week”, and then they would just talk to them about it. 00:10:01.320 –> 00:10:13.290 Debra Jenkins: I find that to be an example of how reflective practitioners can also be culturally responsive because they’re within the neighborhoods of the people, or there where the people tend to go. So that’s what I mean by that. 00:10:17.430 –> 00:10:20.070 Mazarine Treyz: Thank you. That’s really helpful. I really appreciate that. That so useful. And I do have some other questions here. I’m just going to quickly. Look at that. Basically, during COVID 19 and during these protests, I’ve had a hard time thinking. And I’ve not felt safe. And if that’s true for a listener as well, just know that you’re not alone. 00:10:43.680 Trauma Informed Care for understanding what’s going on Mazarine Treyz: And now, trauma informed care can help you understand what’s going on with you and so one of the things that I understand that trauma informed care can help you understand is how to organize what’s happening and see things. 00:11:09.210 –> 00:11:09.870 Debra Jenkins: Well, there’s a real bridge between clinical and developmental so I can respond to this one. When we’re looking at organizing thoughts you’re thinking about usually when a person’s thoughts are moving. Sometimes rumination is a part of that. And what rumination is, is when sometimes thoughts get stuck. Or, for example, the thoughts are stuck in the past. Say that this is a traumatic experience. But this what’s coming up for this person is another traumatic experience they’ve had. 00:11:52.800 Strategies for gauging where you’re at Debra Jenkins: They’re spending a lot of time focused on another negative experience in the past or they’re spending a lot of time and anxiety or stress or anger or frustration, they’re spending a lot of time in a space and they’re having a difficult time transitioning from it. So, in the opportunity to gauge. I would say gauge where they’re at, they would need to do some things. And so these are some strategies that are helpful. One is to distract yourself from what you’re currently doing. What else can you be doing? 00:12:37.200 –> 00:12:47.040 Debra Jenkins: One person that I had as a client loved comedies. So, a distraction was to turn on a comedy show and it’s like, great. Do that and it got her out of her sadness. It pulled her out of that space. 00:12:55.350 –> 00:13:04.980 Debra Jenkins: Another thing to do is to write it down. What are the thoughts you’re having? You could write them down because then you can start seeing if these thoughts have patterns to them. And if they do have patterns to them, you want to watch those patterns to see if it’s something that you’re going to need to discuss with your coach or need to discuss with your therapist. So, keeping a record of that is very good. 00:13:18.900 –> 00:13:21.240 Debra Jenkins: Another thing to consider is the opportunity to schedule the rumination. So, if you’re going to have those thoughts and you can’t get focused, then use an egg timer. I always tell people to use an egg timer. I have a lot of people struggling because they’re not used to working from home at all. And then they have all of these distractions around them; laundry dishes, all these things, (that) they would never see if they went into the office. So, I tell them (to) spend the majority of the hour on the work from your job. But give yourself 15 minutes of that out and set the egg timer and then focus on those other things. Because if they don’t plan it, what’s going to happen is as they’re working, they’re going to get distracted, they’re going to be like, “I’ve got to get up and get this done”. 00:14:21.480 –> 00:14:36.720 Debra Jenkins: They’re going to be like, I’ve got to help the kids with homeschool. You know, they’re thinking about all the different things they have to do. And so, when you plan it out and plan in time for downtime, where you’re not responsible to do anything but just to breathe or just to relax, that’s a great way to help with distraction. To be able to schedule some distraction in there, purposefully. 00:14:51.720 –> 00:14:55.140 Debra Jenkins: I’ve got five minutes. My mind can go wherever it wants to go five minutes. Timer went off time to get back. So, it’s not that it works for everybody, you know, but there are different strategies that could work for different people. But that’s one that works really well, is scheduling it. Another thing is to connect to someone else. Make a phone call to someone, talk through what you’re experiencing. Sometimes that best friend is great to be able to have that conversation with. If you need to call your coach, call your coach. I’ve had people go, “I need to talk to you”, well you know that that happens. I can’t do anything else, because I’ve gotta respond to this. 00:15:39.510 –> 00:15:49.470 Debra Jenkins: That is really helpful for people to distract them from their current thinking because now they could talk about other things, or that person can guide them into other topics of conversation. 105 00:15:52.890 –> 00:16:02.550 Debra Jenkins: That’s another way to do it. Also having visuals around. Have something that can turn your thinking to something else. Pictures of a great time you had. So if you’re frustrated because you’re inside a lot and you happen to be in a person who nature helps them think their best. And you can’t get out to it, say you’re in an apartment or something. And there’s nothing natural around there. 00:16:28.050 –> 00:16:29.130 Debra Jenkins: So what I would say for that person, is that they actually have those natural looking pictures around whether you print them off the computer or whatever or you have some photographs from a time you took a hike or something. Put that around you because then you’re able to look at the nature and not only the nature, but yourself in it. And so, you can visualize yourself being present in there. That’s an important thing to do too. 00:16:55.770 –> 00:17:01.590 Mazarine Treyz: I love all of these tools you’re giving us in this moment to help us come back to center. 00:17:01.890 –> 00:17:03.930 Debra Jenkins: Yeah. It’s hard. It’s really hard. 00:17:04.620 –> 00:17:10.710 Mazarine Treyz: It is, and you’re so good. Also, I follow you on LinkedIn and I hope everybody who’s listening will follow you on LinkedIn as well. You share so many resources every week for people on how they can feel better and what you’re thinking about and what you’re working on, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing. On this podcast, we wanted to talk about mental health for a long time and I’m really glad you’re the first person we’re having just diving into that just a little bit. 00:17:35.220 Programs Dr. Debra offers Mazarine Treyz: I appreciate you so much and I don’t want to over-clinicize what’s happening right now, I’m just, I think for a lot of folks that are used to operating at a very high level or even people that are dealing with illness right now, and seeing family members get sick or die. It’s just really hard to keep it together. So I hope people listening know that what they’re going through is normal and if they are Black women who would like a coach in learning how to process now, what is going on in addition to the therapist, that they can come to you at ShareFlame.com. 00:18:26.100 –> 00:18:30.030 Debra Jenkins: Absolutely. In fact, on ShareFlame.com I have an opportunity for them to have a discovery session so they could click on there and schedule, but they can fill out a questionnaire that basically supplies me with information so I know how to support them in that conversation. And we can determine the type of fit we are together to see if I can really support them best, or if I have a resource or a reference for them to go to instead. 00:18:58.650 –> 00:19:07.830 Debra Jenkins: I have a program and it’s called WOCHNLEAD but I don’t have it listed on there on purpose because after that discovery session I determine who should be in WOCHNLEAD and who should not. WOCHNLEAD is WOC, which is women of color. There’s an H thrown in there, that’s for healing. The N is for navigation. The L is for leadership. Then the E is for exploration. Then Affirmation and Development. And what I do is I walk them through those acronyms. 00:19:32.190 –> 00:19:41.430 Debra Jenkins: After I do some assessments. I walk them through acronyms that we can apply all of those things to their life. So it looks different for every woman. But they go through all of that process, they go through the healing. They go through learning how to navigate and for women of color that’s really important because a lot of them work in environments that don’t nurture them as women of color, they don’t nurture the souls of women of color, they leave them isolated. 00:20:05.160 –> 00:20:17.250 Debra Jenkins: And they’re having to go through what they’re going through without supportive other people, even virtually, things like that are happening. Rarely are people doing check ins, saying, “how are you”, “how is your day going?”, because this is probably impacting you way more than me. 00:20:25.680 –> 00:20:33.420 Debra Jenkins: “What can we do to support you?”. “What can we do to serve you?”. That’s not really happening. But at the same time, it’s not happening for many reasons. One is because when we talk about trauma and trauma impacting bodies, it doesn’t just impact bodies of people of color or women of color, black women. It also impacts white bodies. It just does it differently. 00:20:53.700 Trauma in the body Debra Jenkins: And in this heightened environment, Resmaa Menakem wrote My Grandma’s Hands. It’s a beautiful book where he talks about how trauma resides in the body, and I’m going to talk about that too, hopefully today. But, trauma resides in the body, more than anything else. 00:21:17.310 –> 00:21:29.820 Debra Jenkins: So, I know that clinically, especially with talk therapy and psychotherapy, there’s a focus on the frontal lobe and the executive functioning of the brain. However, cognitive work isn’t really where if it lands, it doesn’t really land there it lands more in the body. When trauma occurs and so what’s not happening for women of color and their environment is somebody (being) there to be able to help them process that. One of the things that Share The Flame does is we work with corporate women. Women in academia to support them. For example, I’m working with women of color who are going through a tenure process, no one else like them, is there in the institution or on their Tenure Committee. 00:22:11.910 –> 00:22:25.080 Debra Jenkins: To help them to be able to talk through things, the frustrations of the day, Instead of going and saying what you want to say to that person, you can call me and say what you feel like saying to them, and say it to me. The same thing with corporate America because women are feeling isolated because the majority of executives are men. 00:22:34.470 –> 00:22:48.810 Debra Jenkins: Even if there are Black men in the environment doesn’t mean they’re going to identify with that Black woman. So they’re able to call me, we’re able to have conversations again so that they can feel as if somebody has their back, somebody is there to support them. 00:22:51.750 –> 00:22:59.010 Debra Jenkins: That program has been very successful for women of color, they have found it to be very helpful specifically black women too, in their environments, whether they’re working remotely or if they’re working within an office setting. 00:23:06.570 –> 00:23:20.010 Mazarine Treyz: You know, I really appreciate you bringing up Resmaa’s book My GrandMother’s Hands- because I have yet to read it and I’m really looking forward to it. I did listen to an interview with him called Listen to The Rage Listen to The Silence from the On Being podcast which we will list in the resources for this talk today, and one of the things he said was, when you’re in a group of people that are all not like you, you can just get so full of rage, because your experience isn’t being centered or valued or even validated. 00:23:47.430 Healing in the Corporate World Debra Jenkins: Exactly, exactly. Or its being exoticized, otherized, exploited, tokenized. All those things are happening in that space, and that’s a lot to put on a person and they also have to come ready to do the work. It’s very difficult. And then sometimes people’s questions are so intrusive. 00:24:18.870 –> 00:24:26.640 Debra Jenkins: Oh, your hair. Oh, you sound so articulate, just like I wasn’t hired for my articulation. But the very fact that stands out for people in a room. And here’s the thing to tie this into Resmaa’s book he talks about white bodies, white supremacy bodies and black bodies and blue bodies. Those are police officers. So he’s saying that blue bodies and white bodies kind of think the same. 00:25:00.810 –> 00:25:17.460 Debra Jenkins: When a black person walks in the room with all white bodies, the white bodies have an expectation of subservience of the person of color. If you’re a strong black woman coming into the room. they don’t know how to handle that. That becomes very intimidating and no matter what you do, it’s going to be interpreted as aggression. 00:25:27.750 –> 00:25:34.020 Debra Jenkins: You’ll seem like you can say something very direct, just to the point. And they’re like, “oh, so cold” and it’s hard to prepare to come in. But one of the things I say to women of color is: You have to create your environment there. You have to create your environment at your job, you have to create it at home, but you definitely need to create it there. I tell people that my office if people came to my office at my day job where I’m a professor. People always say how warm it is and how comforting it is and how soothing it is. But what they don’t know is that its that way purposefully. I have affirmations around my space. The lighting is purposeful. I do that so that I can kind of cocoon myself and nurture myself. So, when I leave that space. I leave as a butterfly going into these meetings. 00:26:36.270 –> 00:26:51.270 Debra Jenkins: I come into the meetings empowered because I’ve given myself my time to myself. It’s real important for them, although some offices are very open like you have some corporate offices where everybody’s in a cubicle. Then find some way to be able to relieve your thoughts. If you have a journal there in your drawer. One person said, “oils calmed me down, but I can’t take them into work because of the sensitivity of other people who can’t have smells”. I told them to take a napkin, to take a handkerchief actually, and to put some oil on the handkerchief, (and) stick it in her drawer. 00:27:23.850 –> 00:27:32.820 Debra Jenkins: That way, she can open her drawer take her handkerchief put it to her face and be able to inhale and smell that scent that helps to calm her. So there’s various strategies you can use that won’t necessarily impact other people in your environment and you’re still getting your needs met. Your affirmations, you know, you can put them strategically in your space but finding ways to nurture yourself and your day is essential and for each person that’s different, but that’s something that I help women to work on. 00:28:01.440 –> 00:28:16.980 Mazarine Treyz: I love that Debi. To go back to the Listen to The Rage Listen to The Silence piece a little bit; I experienced rage myself when I was a minority in Korea for a year and I never understood where that came from. And now I do. And I’m just so grateful to you for recommending him to me, to help me understand this idea of coming from this dominant culture, having my experience centered as a white woman my entire life. And then going there feeling completely marginalized even though they still have white supremacy there too. 00:28:39.690 –> 00:28:43.230 Mazarine Treyz: Yes, capitalism, all that stuff. Seeing the silence of people just not acknowledging my experience in my culture, I can imagine growing up here every day as a Black person having that silencing be very tough to deal with. 00:29:02.520 Fitting in Self Care Debra Jenkins: And not only the silencing but the silencing is happening in the job, on the job. You can also experience racial trauma by how people treat you. Literally there’s some people that deliberately target Black women on the job and mistreat them deliberately to make them feel uncomfortable. And that’s not even including the gaslighting and the micro aggressions that they can experience as well. 00:29:35.760 –> 00:29:50.760 Debra Jenkins: That’s a lot. And then when you’re on your way home, wondering if you’re going to get stopped by the police. Will you make it home? It’s a question that we ask ourselves, are we going to make it home. And then once you get home, you have all of that of your whole day (then) you get home and then it’s like, now I have to give to my family. 00:30:02.490 –> 00:30:14.700 Debra Jenkins: How do I do all of that? How do I make myself available to my family? When do I get to restore myself? So I tried to give them strategies for being able to while they’re in the car on the way home. To nurture themselves so that when they get into their home, they’re able to give and support. Also being transparent with your children, teaching them how to do self-care and I call it radical individual and collective self-care. 00:30:34.170 You Need a Village Debra Jenkins: You need a village. I have a village of women who are my friends. They’re from various cultures, not all of them are just within the African American culture, but they are women that will sustain me, hold me up, support me. They are my tribe and I call them that, because of the fact that not taking the word from Native Americans, because Africans have tribes too. 00:31:02.940 –> 00:31:16.080 Debra Jenkins: Recognizing the connection of a community, the importance of women being able to have their own village. That’s essential. In fact, WOCHN Lead is also a part of that where sometimes a group of women will come to me all at once and they’re friends already so we don’t have to do any trust building or anything like that, and they come to me and they work through the WOCHN Lead process as a group together, but they’re able to support each other. They have tools now to be able to support each other in their jobs, what they’re doing. 00:31:46.650 –> 00:31:53.910 Debra Jenkins: Being able to have the hard conversations and be able to support, sometimes they go and get one another’s children to help each other out. They’re doing all of these creative things and not to say that, and I don’t want the stereotype of the single Black mom because that’s not all of them are not that at all, but the very fact they have a village to support them in addition to their partner or in addition to the family members, they have this kinship bond is what we call it. It’s a cousin-matty’s-daddy-sister’s people. 00:32:17.040 –> 00:32:20.880 Debra Jenkins: They’re not your relative, you did a DNA test. Nope, not your cousin. But they are your cousin, because they’re that close to you, you need a group of cousin cousin-matty’s-daddy-sister’s people. then you need to have an elder community. I have a community of elders who are women who are older, who have gone through things that I’m going through now who can give me their testimonies and their stories and allow their stories to penetrate my spirit so that I can move forward. I can keep going because I know that they’re in their 80s or they’re in their late 70s, but yet they’re able to encourage me 00:32:57.810 ] Having Children in Your Life Debra Jenkins: So making sure that you have that. Also, children in your life. Because they are a trip. That is where some of the best laughter comes. I remember going to see my grandbaby once and I had driven all the way because they live more north than I do. And I’m driving, I’m exhausted. I get there. And so, I sit down on the couch and my grandbaby comes, and she kicks her shoes off and she’s like, “whoo. Whoo, I tired”. I was like, “Are you tired?”. “Yes, I’m tired” okay, we’ll just sit here like this for a minute. 00:33:42.030 –> 00:33:46.200 Debra Jenkins: I just busted out laughing. I was like, “this is so cute”. So that just having them in your life can bring so much joy and I have women in my group who don’t have children. I tell them go volunteer somewhere with children. Go volunteer somewhere where you can give of yourself. Because sometimes if you’re so focused on you. You never get out of you. 00:34:09.360 –> 00:34:28.890 Debra Jenkins: Everything seems larger because you know it’s, “oh my world, my life”, but when you have a chance to focus on giving to someone else, your problems look this big once you start seeing what other people are going through. So being involved in your community is big. 00:34:30.480 Children’s Book Mazarine Treyz: If I could interrupt you for five seconds: Speaking of kids. I didn’t mention to people that you have a children’s book. I would love to tell people about! 00:34:47.040 I Love My Kind of Brown Debra Jenkins: Okay, so this is the children’s book and it’s called. I Love My Kind of Brown. This book came about during a time when Disney decided to make a brown skin Little Mermaid. That didn’t go too well. Socially that didn’t go too well. And a lot of young African American little girls were experiencing trauma behind that. They were concerned about their color, friends were saying things. I shared this story with another person in a podcast, but I will share it with you because I think it’s very fitting here. 00:35:41.790 –> 00:35:50.280 Racial healing – for Parents Debra Jenkins: But I tell African American parents; this is a part of racial healing. Racial healing has many steps to it, but one of the steps is: know your history. That’s really essential. So little children shouldn’t be going to preschool without knowing they’re African American if they’re African American. They need to know that. 00:36:02.550 –> 00:36:15.660 Debra Jenkins: My daughter was four, and she was playing with someone else. And she came in the house. She couldn’t even… she’s four she couldn’t pronounce it, but she slams the door open and she says, “I’m African American”. 241 00:36:16.920 –> 00:36:17.610 Debra Jenkins: And I was like, “Okay. Yes, you are. Why you so angry?”. I’m thinking, “what is going on here?” She had a doll (and was) dragging her doll in the house, and then she slams her bedroom door. I go in there after. And I’m like, “are you okay, Christina?”. And she’s like, and I’ll show you a picture of Christina cuz she was the illustrator of the book actually now, but she said, “Jessica said that my doll is dirty and that she didn’t want to touch my doll because my doll was dirty” and she said, “but my doll looks like me and I’m an African American and I like me and I like my doll”, you know, just basically affirming that and it’s so important that young children have that affirmation, especially around skin color. So, this book creatively teaches them about affirming their skin color, but also while learning secondary and primary colors so it’s a book from the heart. So, I’m going to show you this picture here. 00:37:28.200 –> 00:37:31.830 Debra Jenkins: This is me and Christina 27 years ago. 00:37:32.010 –> 00:37:32.970 Mazarine Treyz: Oh look at her! 00:37:35.220 –> 00:37:38.040 Debra Jenkins: This was at the time of the African American experience. And then this is Christina now. It just really is an awesome book that really shares that experience for them. And it’s all based around my nickname as a child, which is sugar puddin’. 00:38:05.160 –> 00:38:07.410 Debra Jenkins: The whole series is called Sugar Puddin’s People. I’m starting to write the second one now and by November we should have everything all done and ready to go so that 00:38:17.790 –> 00:38:19.890 Mazarine Treyz: Wow. I love that. So, we started talking about resiliency, but I don’t want to give short shrift to racial trauma, which we were also going to talk about just a little 00:38:31.290 –> 00:38:35.340 Debra Jenkins: And they go hand in hand because resiliency is a part of responding to racial trauma. 00:38:40.890 –> 00:38:45.930. What is Racial Trauma? Mazarine Treyz: So, for people who don’t know what that is. I think we do have a lot of people who don’t know, I didn’t know. Dr Erlanger Turner defined racial trauma as: experiencing psychological symptoms such as anxiety, hypervigilance to threat, or lack of hopelessness for your future as a result of repeated exposure to racism or discrimination. Is there anything you’d like to add to that definition? 264 00:39:08.850 –> 00:39:09.540 Debra Jenkins: Yes, I would, I would like to add the portion about triggers because that’s not mentioned in there and triggers are something that women of color experience all the time because of their day to day lived experiences, since they were children, that are brought to their current adulthood lives. Even if they had a racialized experience as a child, for example, when I was in the sixth grade yeah, that’s when I was bussed out to a school that was predominantly white. Because instead of giving our schools textbooks and materials they decided to just stop our school at a certain age and bus us all out. 00:39:56.130 –> 00:40:11.190 Debra Jenkins: Which caused a lot of trauma, because we had to wake up two hours earlier, we were sleepy. We’re tired by the time we got there, because they had to drive way out far beyond our neighborhoods. And then we had to do the same thing coming back home. And then when you get home. You got your homework; you’ve got all this stuff to do. It was a very traumatic experience also because when we got there, they didn’t want us there. So they had signs. They were like, “we don’t want you here. Go back home”. 00:40:27.690 –> 00:40:39.120 Debra Jenkins: Just really traumatic times. One teacher thought I had made up all my homework, that I had lied about it because she said, “there’s no way you could turn in something this good”. And so those were the kinds of racialized experiences I had there. You go to high school, you have the same kind of racialized experiences. Then you’re entering the workforce when you’re a teenager, and you start having experiences with people you’re working with. When I was doing that Roots came out. So that was a whole national conversation and being mistreated on the job because people didn’t want to believe that it was real and that slavery was real. 00:41:15.780 –> 00:41:24.030 Debra Jenkins: And saying, “I hope you don’t think you’re going to get off, just because of a movie about slaves”, you know, things like that. Just a bunch of mistreatment and things like that. So, you add those to what’s happening today with police brutality and murder happening. Not everybody’s watching it, though. You know, sometimes it’s just a dinner table conversation. With COVID a lot of people are all inside spending a lot of time together. So maybe one relative saw it but nobody else saw it, but yet that one relative shared share the information with someone else. 00:41:54.600 –> 00:42:06.840 Debra Jenkins: They’re sharing it with someone else. And it’s being shared. Then when they go on social media, they’re seeing, you know, additional information. It’s re-traumatizing them for sure. But the important thing is the tools. The good thing about having everybody closed in together is that they haven’t gone out, so they can hug each other. They can really encourage each other through this, have conversations. I’ve heard a lot of families talk about they’ve had the hardest conversations, they’ve ever had. 00:42:34.200 –> 00:42:45.780 Racialized categories and development Debra Jenkins: They’ve argued over many different things, but it all depends again on the family because racial identity development plays a role in the kind of conversations your family will have. When we’re born, we’re born being provided with a racialized I category. So they give that to you before you leave the hospital, it’s on your birth certificate, but that doesn’t say how you’ve come into your whiteness, for you, or how I came into my blackness, for me. Or where my parents were developmentally in their blackness. None of that is identified on there. It’s just white, Caucasian and at my time, it was negro. 00:43:25.740 –> 00:43:26.820 Debra Jenkins: Whew…transition from that. There are some families and some individuals who are racially as Black people in a space of conformity, where they really believe that white people do everything right. That’s why they have what they have is because of how they act or how they dress or how they speak. And so, they try to emulate that thinking, “if I do this, I will have what they have”. But they realized that doesn’t work all the time, but sometimes it does work extremely well for them as a survival strategy. And the reason why is because white people feel safer with people who act and look more like them. And what I mean by that is if you dress like them. If you speak like them. If whatever you’re doing, makes them feel very comfortable in the space, you’re maintaining white comfort at the expense of your own black identity development. Then there’s dissonance. 00:44:24.630 –> 00:44:31.620. Dissonance, Immersion, Emersion, Internalization & Integrative Awareness Debra Jenkins: Dissonance is where the person isn’t sure if they’ve experienced a racialized experience. It’s like Carlton on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and he was arrested for driving a Mercedes and he kept saying, “well, they must have pulled me over for a reason, it must have been because I was driving too slow”. And he said that his dad and his dads like “I used to think that too son”. He was trying to tell him, “no, it’s because you’re black”. So that’s dissonance. And then there’s immersion where the person realizes now, there’s some social injustice, but their response to it is a little more frustrated because of the fact they’re realizing: “What is going on, and “it’s okay with the world that this is going on?!”. 00:45:16.740 –> 00:45:29.940 Debra Jenkins: They basically are in a space of, “you know what, not only am I upset about this, but I only want to be around my people. I don’t even want to be around anybody else but my people”. So, when they go to work. They don’t like white people. They just don’t want to be around them. Then there are those in emersion where they realize this is power privilege and inequity. This is a system. This is strategic. I filled out a bank application, Susie did too and got the loan, my credits better than Susie’s we’re at the same bank, how come Susie got the loan and I didn’t? They’re starting to piece those things together. 00:45:56.280 –> 00:45:59.430 Debra Jenkins: And so, they’re trying to find answers for that. But they’re still frustrated. Then there’s internalization and this is a great space because this space, you start not only thinking about yourself, like myself as a black woman, but I start thinking about myself as a black woman. My class status. I start taking into consideration all of the areas of social capital, all of me that is me and the intersections of that and how that plays out in a day in a week and a month, a year. 00:46:27.810 –> 00:46:44.100 Debra Jenkins: And then the last one is integrative awareness, where you are building up relationships with people in other groups. You are secure in your identity, you’re clear about who you are, you’re clear about not sacrificing yourself, not allowing people to tokenize you, otherize you, victimize you to humanize you none of that is being allowed because you’re clear on who you are, and at the same time you’re able to make strides for change. Systemic Change. 00:46:54.990 –> 00:47:10.320 Debra Jenkins: You’re actually working to dismantle racism, but you’re doing it in alignment with other people from other groups. So, depending on where all that fits also plays a role in how people respond to triggers. So if you can imagine, a person in conformity is going to not respond the same way as a person who is in immersion like, “I’m tired of white people”, they’re going to respond to them like “I don’t think so”. I feel sorry for white women who are doing these maladaptive behaviors today. I don’t want to call them what everybody else is calling them: Karen’s. I’m just saying, I don’t want to give you a title and name. I just want to say that behavior is not okay because you don’t know developmentally who you’re coming up against. 00:47:48.240 –> 00:47:52.140 Debra Jenkins: You’re coming up against somebody in conformity, you might get away with that. If you come up with somebody in integrative awareness, you might get away with that because they’re like, “I don’t have time for this”. Or, in my own experience. I’ll tell you this really fast. I was in a post office. And that’s when I had long braids years ago and this white woman, I can feel a tug on my hair and I turned around and she’s touching my hair like she had it. She didn’t pull it out, but she’s holding in exploring in there and I turned to her and I touched her hair. This is her response: she says to me, “what are you doing?” and I said, “well I’m touching your hair”. She goes “who gave you permission to touch my hair?” And I said, “but you just touched my hair and you didn’t have permission to touch my hair” and she said, “well, I was complimenting you”. And I said, “well, I’m complimenting you”. And I said, “it looks like neither one of us likes the compliment”. So, in integrative awareness, I can respond to that kind of person. 00:49:00.930 –> 00:49:07.560 Debra Jenkins: Because I have strategies and tools. But when a person’s in immersion. They might turn around a pop her “just don’t be touching my hair”. You just don’t know who you’re going to run up against. So, my advice to women who are not women of color. Just mind your business, don’t do that. Step back in mind your business, because you don’t know who you will get that day. Then my advice to women of color for their experiences is to recognize your identity development, know your history. Know what your triggers are and work with those. Work with people in your family so that you can rehearse the counter narrative to the behavior that may come up for you based on your identity development. 00:49:49.440 –> 00:49:54.420 Mazarine Treyz: Wow, that is so powerful. Thank you so, so much. We are out of time, unfortunately. But I’m very, very grateful to you, and I feel like everything you just said in the last 10 minutes could be like the subject of a whole webinar, or course. I feel like there’s so much to unpack there and I really want to keep going. And I’m sorry we’re out of time. I guess we’re just going to have to have you back on for another session. 00:50:15.600 –> 00:50:16.590 Debra Jenkins: I would love to. 00:50:17.430 –> 00:50:29.400 Mazarine Treyz: Well, thank you for blessing us with your wisdom and your research knowledge and your experience with other women and coaching them. So, where can people get in touch with you, Debi, if they want to learn more. 00:50:29.790 –> 00:50:40.890 Debra Jenkins: I would say go to my website at www.shareflame.com and if you go to my services page, it shows various ways you can get in touch with me. Resources for the show: Dr Debra (Debi) Jenkins, PhD website, Share the Flame Resmaa Menakem interview: Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence On Being podcast Resmaa Menakem book: My Grandmother’s Hands Franchon Franchees HealingYourAlmond.com ASUS independent study
28 minutes | 5 months ago
Name It Podcast: NEW Episode: Gloria Coleman explains how to tame chaos in crisis
“Succession planning is a way to tame the chaos”. –Gloria Coleman PODCAST KEY: 00:13:28 – What is the one thing that’s holding people back from greatness right now in their organizations? 00:14:26 – How we could ensure the future of our nonprofits? What could we do differently? 00:19:44 – The actual cost of losing a fundraiser or keeping them 00:23:18 – What is transactional HR and why should you move beyond it? 00:24:30 – Why NOW is the right time to do succession planning or business continuity planning Who do you make responsible for the succession planning? 00:35:34 – How to get in touch with Gloria Coleman and start the succession planning process 00:38:46 – 5 questions to ask yourself Mazarine Treyz: Hey everybody, welcome to the name it Podcast. I’m your host mazarine treyz and today I have the pleasure and privilege of introducing Gloria Coleman of highspades.consulting and I had the pleasure of working with her last year, I feel like your leadership just went so well in that circumstance, and I can’t thank you enough for what you taught me and what you shared with me. And so, Gloria, I have been a little bit vague, but who are you and why would people come to you? Gloria Coleman: Well, thank you. Thank you for the introduction. I actually enjoy working on that project with you. I am the founder of high spades consulting started here in Portland, Oregon. I’ve worked in healthcare retail automotive. I’ve done everything to either help you grow your employees or let them go. So everything when it comes to succession planning on getting organizations restructured, and I would say that’s the biggest thing is that people want to manage their human capital, because they understand that assets. The human part of any business the assets capital. The app is the ones that bring in those fundraising dollars that will make or break an organization, so that’s that’s what people come to me for either the HR training or they want to grow their employees. Mazarine Treyz: You help people with right sizing their organizations and finding out what needs to happen to keep them going. Despite loss of human capital. Gloria Coleman: Yes, despite loss and it really starts out with understanding where their HR where their HR strategy is, and a lot of businesses don’t have Gloria Coleman: What I want to say they don’t have like organizational developers that look at the business strategy and say okay, how does our human capital. How are, how are people going to get us there. Might not be with the current set of individuals anything those the current set might not have the training to lead where that organization is going. You think about nonprofits. You know, most of them want to grow, who is saying, Do we have the right leadership, maybe this five years from now 10 years from now? Gloria Coleman: Who can really step in and do we have any type of confidence because there’s a big financial impact of just not having the right leadership. 00:13:28.620 What is the one thing that’s holding people back from greatness right now in their organizations? Gloria Coleman: honestly, it’s this, it’s the leadership. It’s the leadership. I mean, we’re when you have great leaders that are looking at the whole life. You’re I think about what’s holding people back people lead by example and when they don’t see leaders doing the things that they said that they are going to do. Following through and being transparent, that’s the biggest thing nobody, you’re not going to be able to build that organizational culture when you don’t have that leadership structure and some of them are still very Hierarchical they’re not matrix. They’re not flat. So when it comes to even speaking out in seeing things. If it’s not coming from the leadership coming down. There’s not a lot of people that that are feel comfortable with managing up In speaking and just calling things for what they are. 00:14:26.700 So how could we ensure the future of our nonprofits? What could we do differently? Gloria Coleman: That’s the biggest thing I would say to start off doing their from the is making it a mandate of the board. The board is for nonprofits, um, they have that responsibility financially. Ensure that those CEOs or the Executive Officers are not just meeting their fundraising goals, but I’m keeping up like keeping everybody. I’m not everybody happy, but it has to start with the board, the board has to tie it to some type of performance. Of that CEO or that executive director, because they are not exempt from performance management. And so I think that having a performance management or even talent. A good talent system in place Where they can use the right technology. They have the dashboards, where you can come back and say, you know, 2% of your bonus- 10% of your bonus or pay is based on say, having a succession plan or ensuring that you have the right successor, and we’re going to hold you accountable for that. That’s where it really starts because if you are an executive director that isn’t the best that board has to have a reason to they have to have some type of proof and data to get rid of that person. You don’t want employment law since you don’t want where you’re being as friend. 00:15:45 Why aren’t people doing succession planning? Gloria Coleman: Honestly, it takes time. It takes time. It’s part of like a I mean, not just the annual like strategy, but it’s on its ongoing and nobody wants to talk about retirement or leaving A lot of what I want to call these both their knowledge workers if you’re in one of these, I would say high level positions but any key position within the organization is critical. So much knowledge that can be given to you in transition to the next person. Nobody wants to think about planning for one Gloria leaves this role, I’m going to have to get my role to mastery, um, you know, and I, you know, I’m not leave for two years, but a lot of people don’t think about How good that can help row people. It’s not just about replacement is also about the growth in somebody else that you’re mentoring or sponsor within your organization to take some type of lateral position. Or even horizontal temporarily taken on a project to speak with their interest level is it does. It takes time and nobody can provide that constructive that can have a real system of This is working. This isn’t working. Where can we grow and develop it costs money. It does it cost money, good training program. You don’t want to just train Our internal talent for them to leave and go elsewhere. And so that’s why it’s that constant conversation. 00:17:19.830 –> 00:17:24.540 Gloria Coleman: Sometimes leaders don’t want to be told the truth. I think that’s a fallacy that you know organizations have that they have these people that are high performing, you might think everybody who is high performing is ready for promotion and not everybody within an organization is ready for promotion and they might not even want the promotion 10 does not having the right people in the right sequence ID for the organization, but not good for your roles. 00:17:45.030 –> 00:17:51.150 Mazarine Treyz: You know, Gloria. I’m so glad you brought that up because that’s one of the things that I feel like leaders feel like they don’t have time to have that conversation with people, but it’s a drum I’ve been banging for many years about Finding someone’s strengths with the strengthsfinder, ask them, What do you really like to do, what do you not like to do, and as Peter Drury said in our fundraising career conference in 2018, The conversation he has with people. As soon as they’re hired as he sits them down and he says, Where do you really want to be in five years, and how can I help you get there? Gloria Coleman: And that’s powerful. That’s powerful. I mean, The communication when they say along the line of everything, where things happen and don’t work out a lot of it is communicate, it’s the not being transparent in just being transparent with organizational goals like if we have a goal to get to, I don’t know, reach a million dollars in the next year tha tYou want that synergy throughout the organization. you don’t even want the people that are not in what I want to say like the C level positions, though, if they have a customer facing in internally. Going might be losing people they don’t even because it just for morale at that level, until, until they actually know and understand that what they’re doing is tied to an initiative. We’re tied to a program Will start to feel like I’m actually creating some value. What I’m doing me not think about employees that just sometimes job abandoned. And don’t show up, you know, or people who leave companies and taking intellectual property and start their own company, it can be taken a good chunk of your people. Those, those are things that you won’t make those goals when when you don’t have people aligning and understanding that I’m doing this because I’m creating value because I want to help us meet that goal. Like, it should not. It shouldn’t be a secret. Now, I do believe that there’s things that can be talked about. But we’re organization is going to be creating next year that that’s your community internally and sharing of knowledge that should just come out of magic. 00:19:44.790 Mazarine Treyz: I agree with you. And I think what a lot of leaders don’t realize is the actual cost of losing a fundraiser or keeping them and so according to Penelope Burks donor centered leadership research. If you have turnover in your fundraising department for three years running it costs 117% of what that person makes every year To replace them. So if they make 50,000 and you do the math. It can cost upwards of $600,000 If your nonprofit has consistent turnover. So if you’re not asking these questions. They seem like fluffy nice questions, but they’re really actually quite important to save your nonprofit money. And then the benefit if you have someone stay for three years. According to Penelope Burks donor centered leadership book is over $500,000 that’s not including the donor relationships and everything like that. So, The benefits are there and the drawbacks are severe. If you do not pay attention to succession planning. So, um, why is it. Last on the list for people. I mean, how do you carve out the time for it. 00:20:49.680 Gloria Coleman: Well, let me just start off by saying the money you talking about it. It’s chump change, but that’s it. Who cares if it’s half a million, we have that! But really putting putting those dollars into fixing some of it. It’s just not having that HR that internal by true HR structure that’s more strategic that can Help guide and make those decisions and say hey person left, this is really what it’s costing us or would it potentially could Just replace a new employee. Like, I think they said the percentage like 10 about 16% when you are just in the interview, like people want those meetings and taking time I’m in your question. Like why Last on the list. I think because it’s I would honestly say they don’t have the right HR leadership, I think, at times, because that’s where HR comes in, he has to work for the business, but we’re also for doing the right thing and really having a good HR program to drive. Gloria Coleman: To session performance reviews talent reviews. I mean, the onboarding employees, the right way do an exit interviews. So then you can collect that data and information that is what I think these Organizations are looking to their HR leaders to help guide them like we have facts and data like what we’re doing is not is not new. It’s really having somebody to drive and say, I’m coming in as a business partner to help drive it. In this what you need in this is the metrics and data I how I can support you with HR should be one of the first, let him take this is some standard Templates. This is what this person is doing and how much they should be getting paid, is why they left because we found this out the right investigations, so I mean, and that’s at all levels of the organization. I think that’s really why they’re not carving out the time because there’s nobody internally to drive. Mazarine Treyz: Yeah, a lot of small nonprofits don’t have an HR person they try to outsource it, but it’s really difficult to make the case. It’s like succession planning seems like the cherry on top. 00:22:52.770 –> 00:23:00.540 Mazarine Treyz: But if we have a turnover rate in our nonprofits of six to 12 months in Canada for fundraisers and 12 to 18 months in the US for fundraisers this problem isn’t going to go away. And we’ve just told you how much it’s going to cost to solve it. If you don’t do this and I, unlike the drain for the 300, you know, the three years in the $600,000 succession planning and cost considerably less than that. 00:23:18.360 Gloria Coleman: It truly it truly does. And I think the outsourcing that the that they do, which is great, but he’s still looking at what what I call transactional type of HR, but we’re just going to be hiring get a policy in place. You know, give this person their last paycheck type of thing. I mean those real strategic HR and doing it. HR does take time. You need somebody I honest sometimes for like either embedded in the organization or even working with like the operational Director really partner and bridge that gap when you’re not there as an internal HR company that that’s being outsourced don’t really understand the organizational culture. You don’t you you hear about it, but you don’t. So in and you can’t really manage by stage that you have to manage by having the right data. And that means getting everybody up to the confidence levels that they need to be the singles roles that they’re in. Mazarine Treyz: Mm hmm. So I completely agree with you. Gloria and I really feel so grateful that you’re sharing this today. This is a problem that people don’t realize they have. It’s not just about fundraising and it’s not just about HR. It’s about honestly it’s about the long term ramifications of having no policy in place. I mean, especially during covid 19 many people are being forced to retire. Or people are downsizing unexpectedly. So why is it especially important now to do succession planning. Why is this is the right time to do succession planning or business continuity planning? Gloria Coleman: With Covid-19 I think it’s made people realize that we all need to have a business continuity plan in place. If you don’t even want to call it succession planning is really about business continuity is like, what do we mean in case this into my mind is like a natural like global crisis crisis that a lot of people didn’t plan for so just remain operational. Who needs to be there. And you’re right, the people, these people are retiring. How do you take somebody that has 20 years of knowledge. Now, how does it happen maybe a are, you know, God forbid, but maybe you have fallen victim, hospitalized and you don’t have a plan in place just starting off with some business continuity, not even Going to replace who but I think good organizations you really start thinking that out. It’s just about. It’s about advanced planning. Planning for the worst. Like if you don’t make your numbers this year. How are you going to sustain your organization. And that’s what when I think about COVID-19, Why it’s really important. Not all these words, not everybody in a person workforce is going to come back and be and I want everybody to come back. I think this is great time. Well, look at the workforce plan like you know you had to let go, I don’t know 25 people. Do you really want all of these people to come back. So who is essential. Always keep actually coming back. And how are those key people that are coming back or how are they going to be compensated. I don’t think employees want to come back To do the job of two to three pools still at the same. Hey, I mean, there has to be level Of fitness. I mean, so there’s employees that are looking at this is perfect time of the month employment. Do I even want to go back to the job during COVID. I mean, there’s a risk. Risk to Just to lose in that knowledge into intelligent, especially if they’re not using the right technology and other personal laptops now and storing everything on their desktop. You might not even get access to those things that you eat, so it’s going to take the more time business back up and running. And that’s just The matter. I mean, a big I’m a big advocate of, you know, using HR. HR systems out, you kind of information systems or even technology systems. But having just continuous process improvement in all areas of the business. To run operationally, you want to be able to have access to that data whether they’re in the office or not in the office, but make sure that it belongs to that company and not on somebody’s desk, they can easily delete. And that’s happened before. I’ve, I’ve run into that where you you come back, you’re recreating the wheel, because that last person was upset love unexpectedly, and they were the only ones who had Access to something that you need. So now here you are starting from scratch that takes even more time. Mazarine Treyz: I’ve seen it. You know, I’ve seen it in organizations that decide to fire a fundraiser on a whim, or they decide to lay someone off without any notice and the fundraiser just gets upset and takes all their toys and goes home. You need to have structures to have that be less of a likelihood. If you care about the future of your organization. Gloria Coleman: Know in in that invite to save the leap. I think making swift decisions. Sometimes that’s another thing we’re organizations makes with decisions without thinking if I let go of Gloria right now would do I would do I lose what what kind of vulnerabilities, like what How much does it impact us and I think taking that step back and say, Is it, you know, she going to sue because we’re not doing it the right way. I mean, yes, Oregon is at will state, but not all states or I will just Add a little doesn’t mean that I can’t know say claim discrimination or that I was treated unfairly. So really do gotta get out even when you’re letting go with people, for good reason. And that’s because training plans and performance really comes in place, letting go of the fundraising director, because they’re not fitting the culture, you still need to kind of look at, okay, well, If they’re meeting the mark and all these other areas, maybe you do need maybe and now we’re going to get this person some training and Probationary period or whatever you want to call it. We have been a reason to let them go because either they met them or they didn’t meet Mark and then you have data to cover cover what I was what I call him like hrs that’s that’s a risk. Mazarine Treyz: It is risk. Gloria Coleman: Of not doing it the right way and not having the right policies in place. Why do people not speak up and say something when the future planning isn’t happening? Gloria Coleman: I think it’s fear. I think the biggest thing is is fear and not being empowered to speak up. To what I want to say like this old way of thinking that managers and you WHEN DO YOU EVER, call your manager out when you have those real one on one constructive conversations always coming down. So unless you have I would say like this credibility and already trust throughout the organization that when we’re in meetings we can call out what we think is wrong. Employee surveys, like those engagement service level there’s nothing in smaller organizations. They can tell you a lot They can just for taking the time to do the survey and even getting the results back and having people realize that We did the survey. We got some results and be based on this. We’re going to do something about it. I think it sounds so when people don’t speak up because I said this before, three months ago, six months ago, a year ago and nothing has changed. Why am I speaking up again as an employee. Why would I speak up. Nobody wanted anything with that information. And I think that’s one of those things too, like, no, they have to really care. I mean, the Organization really has to care and spend more time gauging that what I want to call it the organizational polls. What is, what is the pulse pulse of our of our culture. Do people even like being here. Mazarine Treyz: Right. You know what, that’s the thing. I had a situation with a client, where you know her boss was a Pleaser and I was coaching her and her boss would never tell her. Give her honest concrete advice on what to do. And she was feeling very rudderless and not sure how to win and her job. And so, I realized I had to coach the boss. But then he didn’t want to be coached and so he didn’t know about fundraising. He didn’t want to know about it. And it was a shame because they waste a lot of they waste an entire year. And, you know, she was able to fundraise but it was not as successful as it could have been with his active participation and You know that’s something that would come out in succession planning. What are the metrics for his job. What are the metrics for her job. How do we make sure that these are being met. It’s not just going to be about what does he personally feel like doing as the CEO or executive director. He Is responsible for fundraising. It is not optional. Gloria Coleman: No, no. I mean, I think having those kind of conversations with nonprofits. It’s the board and mean. And I think the board has that power and they really do have that due dilligence To basically then enforce. Somebody has to be the enforcer. Because if not, then things aren’t going to get done. I mean, we’re all bound by some type of governance and I think that’s one of the things Some of the organizations don’t do is have some type of governing body where they’re, you know, the CEO or these high level people aren’t just the end all be all know, the board has that right and authority to say this is what it is. It’s okay to have some kind of conflict, but you need to comply. Who do you make responsible for the succession planning? Gloria Coleman: In a nonprofit organization. It is an executive director is the executive director indoor the CEO. They are the ones that are responsible in When you add would you put this on the list of everything else that they’re responsible for if they don’t know how to do it. That’s when you bring in your HR people. That’s when you even have a team. Gloria Coleman: Of people collaborate to do it and create these communities of practice where this is something we’re all tasked with doing Leadership Development out any company, whether it’s nonprofit or not is the responsibility of of the managers of the managers of those directors of the board to enforce and make sure that it’s being done. Gloria Coleman: Like it’s optional. And I think that’s what we keep doing it. Keep making it optional. It’s not optional. Gloria Coleman: It’s all yeah Gloria Coleman: It’s no different than having a mission and a vision in some type of, you know, you know, Gloria Coleman: Regular operational expenses like nobody wants to stay status quo into in order to actually grow, you have to put this in your annual have to keep it a top of mind, as far as vision and whether that’s quarterly or biannually, it has to be accounted for. Any parting thoughts? Gloria Coleman: Succession planning, I see it as a way to tame the chaos. I mean, I think that’s The biggest thing is about taming chaos, where this person has got a role in it like people growing. I mean, every most people do want to grow. And so when you don’t think that there’s a career for you somewhere. That hope or when you think that measuring has gotten this position, and how does she get it in risk culture and morale. I mean, I, I might be one of those people that are getting the training, going to the conferences, develop and then take my talents or a whole nother company where you’re like, oh, I was already preparing this person. And now we invested on know we helped her get her MBA, all of those things. I mean, next week, we’re not having a conversation on like this is a place that I really, really want to be when I really In that instance It’s going to be chaotic sometimes. Sometimes people don’t think about the chaos and just having a bench good companies have a bench and can always An external person that come in and understand the culture. And this is why you should grow, you can grow your employees that don’t want to be here in five ways to let them go find ways Are there to see that don’t Possibly have skills that would be better used somewhere else. So I think that’s the biggest thing is, nobody wants to be at a stalemate as a as an individual or as an organization, and that’s why it’s, I will say it’s definitely important. And it takes on the chaos tamer 00:35:34.650 –> 00:35:43.440 Mazarine Treyz: Well, in this time of so much on instability and uncertainty. I feel like if we want to have more of a measure of control of our organizations and think about the future of our organization succession planning. Thinking about scenarios. A, B, and C scenario planning can be extremely valuable. So, Gloria. That’s what you do. How do people get in touch with you? Gloria Coleman: They get my say my website. It’s WWW.highspades.consulting I have on there where people can Book a free consultation with me and we go over, like what are the Points where you really want to focus on a lot to do. And so what we do. I mean it from there. I mean, I help people prioritize. You can tackle it all and you can’t tackle. Gloria Coleman: Every position, but at least one an audit to see where you’re at some type of assessment Earth, and then I’d make recommendations. That’s all I can do as a as an external party and as a business partner make recommendations will prioritize we put some costs into the metrics and we see how it goes from there and we do constant reassessment and evaluation to see what’s working and not working. Mazarine Treyz: I love that. I love that Gloria, thank you so, so much. I feel like you have a wealth of knowledge that nonprofits are desperately in need of right now, nonprofit leaders, especially if the word succession planning makes you scratch your head, Call Gloria up! Gloria Coleman: For the nation’s termination as she thought a termination is all about employee transitions. I mean, no matter if it’s if they’re leaving or internal i mean it’s it’s really employee transitions me, you want it. You want it done in a smooth way as possible. It doesn’t always happen you know it doesn’t always have to be chaotic and that’s what I tell people it doesn’t have to be chaotic, we can plan for this. And I think scenario planning is fun having those sessions of planning, like, you know, for the worst. And for the best, those are those are fine, because as soon as it happened you like, hey, I already have something I’ve already met mentally will better when we’re a little bit more prepared and organized Mazarine Treyz: So you can do this work, virtually doesn’t. You don’t have to be in person. Gloria Coleman: Oh, definitely virtual. Yes, yes. Mazarine Treyz: Great, good to know that no matter when it is whether we’re in quarantimes or out of quarantimes you can be there. Gloria Coleman: More and more consultants are getting there, and I’m one of those ones that I’m an early adapter where I want you to see all the work that I’m delivering behind the scenes and have dashboards that you can check to see if things are at and even where I can help hold the team accountable with the like what I would call like Agile project management. 00:38:46.650 –> 00:38:56.910 Mazarine Treyz: That’s fantastic Gloria. It sounds like you’re really taking a business mindset and able to apply it to nonprofits. So I’d like to leave people with the last few questions. Ask yourself, Why are we not having conversations with employees to prime them to move to the next stage of their careers? Why are we not internally cultivating leaders? Why are we not auditing people’s jobs? What are the risks of not auditing people? What could impact us getting to our goals and what are our vulnerabilities? Gloria can help you answer all of those questions. Gloria Coleman: I sure can. Mazarine Treyz: Yay. Well, I can’t wait to hear more your presentation if it will learn a lot more in depth about succession planning there. Thank you again so much Gloria. BIO – Gloria Coleman PMP, PSM, PHR, SHRM-SCP Gloria is the founder of High Spades Consulting LLC, which is a consulting business focused on transforming organization systems and aligning them to be more streamlined in their workflow processes. Having worked across various industries, she has gained extensive organizational development experience and skills to propel her in a fast-paced world. Her professional stamina lies across the fields of HR Consulting, Project Management, Healthcare Consulting, and Educational Consulting. With over a decade’s involvement in her career path, she has also earned a proven track record of excellence in Strategic Planning, Process Optimization, Risk Management, Enterprise Implementations, Succession Planning, amongst others. Gloria’s experience and knowledge have brought great delight to numerous businesses across multiple industries. As a professional, she is also dedicated to seeing these clients become informed. She creates designs that pragmatically, incrementally, and safely introduce knowledge, change, and project methodologies to best suit any establishment. Gloria is goal-oriented, professional, driven, resourceful, and passionate about innovation. She strives to be a valuable consultant who provides detailed solutions and contributions that bring goals to fruition.
52 minutes | 5 months ago
NAME IT! Podcast: How Nonprofits are Winning during COVID with Twitch.tv -Interview with Aly Sweetman
I am doing some new episodes of Name It, and here’s the first one. This is a bit of a departure from just talking about equity. Why? Because right now we need to ALSO name that nothing will ever be the same again. And we need to start to get used to what is next for us in fundraising. In that spirit, here’s the first episode of Season 2 of Name It. Aly Sweetman, Twitch Charity manager, talks about the incredible wins nonprofits are having on Twitch during COVID-19 and during the protests for Black lives. The bad news is- No more gala. The Good news is- No more gala. We are going to talk about what to do INSTEAD of your big gala. Have you ever heard of…Twitch.tv? There are a lot of people who don’t know what it is. Others think it’s just for gamers. Nonprofits are doing TONS with Twitch right now. It has seen a 100% increase of people using its platform since COVID started. Let’s name the new reality for what it is. A chance for us to get creative within constraints. We can’t be with our folks in person. Can we instead… take them on a virtual nature walk? Stream live and sit around and chat? If you like this episode and want to learn how to make twitch work for you, Ally will be speaking at my online conference in August. Stay Tuned! Here is an article by Aly Sweetman about how to reach out to twitch influencers How St Judes pivoted their offline event to online with Twitch A job description to hire an influencer fundraising program director About Aly Sweetman: I found my passion for influencer fundraising through video games and Twitch while in college. I connected with charities and started pitching live streaming. I explained that my group would like to fundraise for them, but we preferred interactive live tools to do so. My first success was the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP signed-up on Tiltify in 2016 and has seen much success since. Since joining Twitch, I have helped to shape the team and Twitch’s charity strategies along with its guiding principles to support the philanthropic endeavors for both the company and Twitch’s community. I have spoken at professional charity conferences around the world, explaining the magic of influencer fundraising and how charities can engage and succeed in this new innovative fundraising era. I was instrumental with bringing-to-life projects such as Twitch Stream Aid and Twitch Unity campaigns. And supporting organizations like No Kid Hungry, Wounded Warrior Project, and Movember to actualize their vision in the influencer fundraising sphere. In addition to my experience with supporting Twitch’s internal projects and supporting charities’ program launches, I have guided celebrities joining Twitch as they navigate charity fundraising and the best practices involved. Outside of my role at Twitch, I’ve consulted with influencers and their talent agencies on how they may utilize their additional revenue stream platforms like Patreon, OnlyFans, Instagram, and other streaming services to fundraise or execute on a social good impact moment. My passion is corporate social responsibility, celebrity social good impact, influencer fundraising, diversity advocacy, and everything in between. I am strategic when developing strategies, and I’m a creative problem-solver. I support the efforts in creating moments that are unique and exciting for influencers, celebrities, or brands, their fanbase, and style.
3 minutes | 6 months ago
PODCAST RELAUNCH: New Direction!
Hi! It’s been a minute. We’re doing a podcast relaunch and a new direction. We’re still going to be talking about racial justice and equity, but we will also be talking about succession planning, how to merge, shut down your organization, as well as racial trauma, and doing online fundraising with platforms like Twitch. We’re going to branch out into what people don’t see in the sector- structures in our minds as well as external structures. We’ll look at what holds nonprofits back, and how we can be TRULY great right now with the constraints we have. In the next few months we’ll be giving you exclusive sneak peeks into the game-changing online event we’re putting together. SO psyched to have you join us! To do more to help BIPOC right now: If you are angry, sad, numb, scared right now- you are not alone. We had curfews (including in my town, Portland), and violent looting fueled by white supremacists (not peaceful protesters) all over the country. this is not just about george floyd. this is not just about breonna taylor or ahmad auberry. it’s about systemic racism and the people and systems that uphold it. If you think I should not be talking about racism on my newsletter- HELLO from Captain Obvious: nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything is connected. The tragedies, murders, and injustices that have taken place ABSOLUTELY affect us in nonprofits, and our communities who are experiencing immense grief, trauma, and anger. Here’s what I am doing. -Volunteering to teach BIPOC women who are running for office right now how to do online fundraising with EMERGE Oregon –Using my podcast to stand against racism in the nonprofit sector. –Continuing to learn from more BIPOC. (Are you coming to Desiree Adaways’ webinar on whiteness at work on June 11th?) –Voting and signing petitions to create change. -Donating- here are a few places to donate: NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill, cousin of the late PBS reporter Gween Ifill, is their President and Director-Counsel https://www.naacpldf.org/about-us/ VoteSaveAmerica Adopt a swing state and help mobilize voters, donate, etc. https://votesaveamerica.com/ ACLU The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees. https://www.aclu.org/ Reclaim Our Vote A non-partisan phone bank, post carding and text-banking campaign created by the Center For Common Ground, focuses on contacting voters of color in voter-suppression states to help them register and vote. https://actionnetwork.org/forms/reclaim-our-vote-signup– –Using my platform to speak up against racism. –Sharing BIPOC words, works, and wisdom often and make sure that my events represent all people. –Participating in open dialogue and conversation and seeing the ways I have been harmful and actively doing better. –Offering free support for BIPOC who want it right now. –Continuing to audit who I associate with and take a stand for IDEA. (If an event has no speakers of color, I refer them to folks I know and don’t speak there.) –Investing in BIPOC to educate my students. Even though I am doing all this, I know it is not enough. What else do you think I should do? I am still learning. If you are a white person, what are YOU doing now? Mazarine
62 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Radical Truthtelling Panel with Women of Color in Philanthropy
Listen, Subscribe and Rate to our new podcast episode, here If you listen to this episode today, you will learn about: 1. What triggers you and creates barriers? What keeps you going? 2. It is often said that those closest to the problem are closest to the solutions: What do you wish you can change in building a race, gender, class equity culture in nonprofits? 3. It is reported that 1 out of 3 nonprofit workers experienced sexual harassment in the United Nations, shares “One woman who holds a high position in the Secretariat said, “The backlash for reporting abuse and misconduct within the diplomatic world or UN system is enormous, and can quickly end a career for a victim.” – Why do you think sexual harassment, silencing, and bullying is so pervasive in nonprofits, NGOs, charities, and foundations? 4. What advice would you have for women of color getting into this work? And what are some resources available that you recommend for the protection and prevention of sexual harassment, bullying and marginalization? 5. What can professional associations and nonprofit leadership whom are dominated and led by white men and white women – how can their hiring practices in HR do better to support and advance women of color? 6. What are some wins? What are some nonprofits would you suggest people give to this holiday season? Whitney Wade: I’d suggest supporting the Chicago Foundation for Women and their mission to end violence, support economic opportunity, and provide access to healthcare for women, especially women and girls of color. Jannies Le: I’d like to ask listeners to donate to Anduhyaun Inc. an Indigenous women and children shelter serving those who are fleeing violence in Toronto. Indigenous women are 6 times more likely than their counterparts to be killed and 8 times more likely to be a victims of violence. As part of an immigrant family who with priviledge get to live on their land while they are continuously facing the consequences of generational genocide and oppression I think its an important cause to support, specifically on Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday. A win for me recently is the fact that there are amazing women like you all doing work in your every day and being a part of this podcast reinforces that for me. Thanks again, Jannies Helen Choi: I always center where I donate to causes related to lifting and empowering vulnerable and unwed women and children in Korean communities and domestic violence shelters. It’s a real bleeding heart spot for me. I do it by online donation and getting a hand written thank you letter by the charity always gives me a big smile knowing that I can support the good work of local and global nonprofits. Nayeon Kim: “I am biased as someone who received support from United Way Greater Toronto and currently work there. Our work touches so many people’s lives and inspires me everyday.” As for wins and advice, I would say, lean in towards your colleagues. Learn about their stories. We recently hosted a book reading internally with one of our colleagues, Samra Habib, who wrote We Have Always Been Here. It is a Queer Muslim Memoir that captures Samra’s experience. That was one of the best experiences we put together for our internal staff and created a safe space for others to learn in and share. Here are our wonderful panelists: Dr Cheryl Hall Dr. Cheryl Hall-Russell, President & Chief Cultural Consultant, BW3: After a number of years in the corporate sector, including a stint in Europe, Dr. Hall-Russell worked in the non- profit sector for over 20 years leading multiple complex local and statewide organizations. Her years as an executive, experiencing and observing the oppressive impact of race and gender intersectionality, led her back to graduate school in 2013. Obtaining her doctorate in Education with focus on intersectional Leadership and Administration, Dr. Hall-Russell honed her qualitative research skills. She launched BW3 and excels as a DEI consultant, speaker, and facilitator. She specializes in cultural audits to prepare companies for the adoption of inclusionary practices. She works with foundations on special research projects and consults with nonprofits on planning, program evaluation and community engagement. In 2018 she launched the COLORfull Leadership Series, a series of lectures and workshops on women, race and leadership. bw3culture.com “Cultural Consultants for Executive Leadership” Whitney Wade Whitney Wade: Whitney Wade is a talent acquisition and equity/inclusion professional at a foundation in Chicago. She has also spent time at three consulting firms (one philanthropy advising, two executive search), and started her career in nonprofit fundraising and development. Whitney is also a member of the South Side Giving Circle sponsored by the Chicago Foundation for Women. You can find her @lifesizewhitney on Twitter. Jannies Lee Jannies Le: Jannies is a passionate non-profit professional with a wide range of experiences. She is currently the Program Director and Acting Executive Director at Anduhyaun Inc, an Emergency Shelter and Second Stage Housing Facility for Indigenous women and children fleeing violence. In the past few years Jannies has been the Chair on United Way of Peel Region’s GenNext committee and Volunteer MBC’s Fundraising and Event committee. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from York University and an Event and Meeting Management Certificate from George Brown College. Her passion is in women’s advocacy, community building, investing in youth, and poverty awareness. She is currently on parental leave with her 4 month old daughter. Nayeon Kim Nayeon Kim: Nayeon [na-yeon/ pronoun: she/her] is a proud young, racialized, immigrant woman to call Toronto home. Over the past decade, Nayeon has dedicated her professional and personal life to building social inclusion and fighting poverty. At United Way Greater Toronto, Nayeon has led strategic partnerships with over 400 corporations to raise awareness of poverty, unlock financial support and unleash private sector resources to create positive change in our community. Currently, as Senior Philanthropy Officer, Nayeon works with major gift donors and foundations to raise funds to help families and individuals living in poverty in the GTA. She has also served on United Way’s internal Diversity & Inclusion committee dedicated to building an inclusive workplace culture. In 2018, she was awarded the AFP Outstanding New Fundraising Professional Award. In 2017, Nayeon was selected for the AFP Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy for championing diversity in fundraising and for her efforts in leading inclusive, community-focused campaigns. Nayeon was the first generation in her family to pursue post-secondary education and is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s International Relations and Peace & Conflict Studies program. Outside of work, you will find Nayeon in her neighbourhood advocating for better community or volunteering to build opportunities for youth, indigenous people, women, and newcomers in Canada. She currently serves on the Board of the Regent Park Film Festival as well as Regent Park’s Social Development Plan Safety Network. She loves exploring the world, watching soul-enriching documentaries, and stumbling across unexpected local farmers markets. Resources: Check out Helen Choi’s website: http://IAmHelenChoi.com For this episode, I am inspired and fueled by a series of survey reports (below) that highlights the lived experiences of first generation immigrant and women of color working in the trenches of nonprofit and philanthropy. Did you know that on average 70% of employees at NGOs are women, but 70% of the leaders are men? -Kumi Nadoo, Amnesty Secretary General Association of Fundraising Professionals latest diversity and inclusion impact report https://afpglobal.org/news/diversity-inclusion-and-foundation-diversity-fellowship-impact-report Race to Lead study http://racetolead.org/ Leaders of Color Speak Out https://www.philanthropy.com/interactives/20190709_LeadersOfColor ProInspire Report: Awake to Woke to Work in Building a Race Equity Culture https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56b910ccb6aa60c971d5f98a/t/5adf3de1352f530132863c37/1524579817415/ProInspire-Equity-in-Center-publication.pdf One in Three United Nations Workers have been sexually harassed in the last two years https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/16/one-in-three-un-workers-say-they-have-been-sexually-harassed-in-past-two-years The Revolution Will Not be Funded beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/peoplesgrocery/pages/109/attachments/original/1376330859/RevolutionNotFunded.pdf?1376330859 Ontario Nonprofit Network https://theonn.ca/our-network/ New York Times Article, November 19, 2019 – Philanthropists Bench Women of Color, MVP’s of Social Change, And We All Lose Out https://www-nytimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/opinion/philanthropy-black-women.amp.html Your misunderstanding of intersectionality is hurting black women https://www.thenopebook.com/activism/intersectionality-black-women/ If you listen, you’ll find some ways to help stop unconscious bias in your organization and make things more equitable and just for everyone. Why do we NAME IT? Because (thanks to Mimosa Kabir for this picture!) “Changing the world means changing the story, the names, and the language with which we describe it. Calling things by their true names cuts through the lies that excuse, disguise, avoid, or encourage inaction, indifference, obliviousness in the face of injustice and violence.” -Rebecca Solnit We reference some aspects of white supremacy culture in the interview- including: perfectionism, defensiveness, sense of urgency, paternalism, power hoarding, fear of open conflict, and right to comfort More Resources: Seeing White (Podcast) Healing from Internalized Whiteness Free Webinar on Everyday Feminism
38 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Intersectional Theology, interview with Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan Shaw
We are so excited today to interview Rev Dr Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Rev Susan Shaw about intersectional theology. Here are the questions we asked: – Can you tell me about yourself and why you got into what you do and why you care? – How did you come together to write the book Intersectional Theology? – What is Intersectional Theology? – Why is Intersectional Theology relevant in today’s climate? And how can it translate to the not-for-profit sector, especially for major Christian charities? – Is allyship required and how can one be an ally? – What advice would you have for white ‘conservative ministry leaders? – What advice would you give for white ‘liberal’ ministry leaders? – In the spirit of the work of MLK Jr., can intersectional theology be a lens and a tool for reconciliation today? About Rev Dr Grace Ji-Sun Kim is a Korean-American theologian and professor. She is best known for books and articles on the social and religious experiences of Korean women immigrants to North America. Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She immigrated with her family to London, Ontario in 1975. She earned a B.Sc. in Psychology from Victoria University at the University of Toronto, a Master of Divinity degree from Knox College, University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. She has written over 17 books. Learn more about her on her Wikipedia page. Rev Dr. Susan M. Shaw is a professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University. She holds an MA and PhD in Religious Education from Southern Seminary and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Women Studies and English from Oregon State University. She is an ordained Baptist minister who makes her congregational home in the United Church of Christ. Prior to joining the OSU faculty in 1996 she taught religion at two private liberal arts colleges. She is author of Reflective Faith: A Theological Toolbox for Women and God Speaks to Us, Too: Southern Baptist Women on Church, Home, and Society, and co-author of two introductory textbooks, Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings and Women Worldwide: Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Women, and Girls Rock! 50 Years of Women Making Music. She is currently executive editor of a forthcoming 4-volume encyclopedia of women’s lives and Co-Editor of Intersectional Theology. She regularly blogs with Ms.Magazine and Global Baptist News.
43 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Critical Consciousness & Ethical Nonprofit Storytelling with Jarell Skinner-Roy
We were lucky to get the chance to sit down with Jarell Skinner-Roy, who wrote a powerful article on dismantling white supremacy in nonprofits. 1) Jarell, what is your background in the nonprofit sector? 2) In your YNPN Twin Cities article, you ask people in nonprofit organizations to know and explicitly acknowledge the history, existence, and pervasiveness of white supremacy. What does that look like? 3) I’ve written a few grants, and it seemed like everything had to be in grantspeak to get the funders to fund it. What’s wrong with using terms like “at-risk”? Why shouldn’t we use deficit-based narratives and language? 4) What happens when we over-use negative statistics? 5) What is ethical nonprofit story-telling? How can we commit more fully to ethical storytelling? 6) Why is it important to look at who wields power and influence in your organization, and who doesn’t? 7) What was the response to your article that you got? What can you do now? Continue to find ways to engage across difference Enough with the deficit based narrative and language White supremacy is not inevitable, it can be dismantled. What is YOUR commitment to help? Resources: Jarell Skinner-Roy is here: LinkedIn and On Twitter: @jskinnerroy From the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan the SALT Model on Critical Consciousness Here’s his original article at YNPN (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) Twin Cities: Dismantling White Supremacy in Nonprofits: a starting point Mission Mirroring: What it is? For the Wild Podcast Episode: John A Powell on Institutions of Othering and Radical Belonging if you’d like to learn more about white supremacy, take a listen to our interview with Desiree Adaway or check out interview with Kishshana Palmer on racism in the nonprofit sector
54 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Interview with Desiree Adaway-How white supremacy manifests inside our organizations
We interviewed Desiree Adaway of Adaway Group, she does consulting, training and coaching focusing on equity inclusion and justice. Go to DesireeAdaway.com to learn more. You can always find her on social media, her handle for everything is @desireeadaway We asked: What are the 3 pillars of white supremacy? Why should nonprofit folks care about white supremacy? what is liberatory consciousness? What are brave spaces versus safe spaces? In your webinar you talk about why crafting an “appropriate” workplace identity is code for “dominant culture identity” – what could we do instead to shift this expectation? In a quote from your work, you ask, “How do you have relationships that are transformational, not transactional?” For those white people in positions of power who see no problem with the current system- is there anything we can do if we can’t afford to lose our job/want to stay in the organization? What does it mean to be an anti-oppressive organization, and how will we put our mission/values into action? When you are the only one at work: Whether the only gay person, the only person of color, the only person of a different class than others- this is probably some of the stuff you think about. How can I get leaders to understand what they are doing is not supporting me? When your leader says “I don’t see color” it’s insulting because people of color have to see color every day. The person who says this, they are saying. “I don’t see power dynamics.” Why are you not being encouraged to bring your culture to work, or seen as a leader automatically? According to the ProInspire report, people of color are educated. And they are interested in nonprofit ED and CEO roles. So, why do we only see a 10% of people of color as a CEO or Board chair? Well, it’s the system of white supremacy. White supremacy doesn’t mean I am calling you a racist. It means we’re engaging in a systemic analysis of what is going on. This work is not optional. It is critical for your organization to stay relevant in the future- you need to have leaders that value equity-look boldly at race at work, having difficult conversations, building transformational not transactional relationships, and seeing the structures of white supremacy at work. As Desiree Adaway says, we are afraid to call the thing the thing! Don’t be afraid to bring up race, class, gender at work! Planning and action come from Analysis, not just because you read a book! Make the next best decision from your analysis- not just trying something random to see what works. So, you want your org to exist in 5 years? You need to pay attention to this. What’s the difference between diversity culture and equity culture? Desiree Adaway says, “Diversity is when you invite me to your party, inclusion is when you let me bring my music, my food, my games to your party. Bring your whole self to work and everywhere you go.” This chart is from: Source: Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (2005) “Building a Multi-Ethnic, Inclusive & Antiracist Organization-Tools for Liberation Packet for Anti-Racist Activists, Allies, & Critical Thinkers” How can you leverage your privilege to do something inside your organization? What are you willing to give up to create a more equitable and just organization? Here’s the ProInspire report –How to Center Equity in Your Organization The ProInspire report says, “Building a Race Equity Culture requires intention and effort, and sometimes stirs doubt and discomfort. Holding a vision of the future can sustain you in the challenging times. What does a true Race Equity Culture look like, and what benefits will accrue to your staff, systems, stakeholders, and community served? When your organization has fully committed itself to a Race Equity Culture, the associated values become part of the organization’s DNA. It moves beyond special initiatives, task force groups, and check-the-box approaches into full integration of race equity in every aspect of its operations and programs. Here are some goals to shoot for inside your organization. Leadership ranks hold a critical mass of people of color, whose perspectives are shifting how the organization fulfills its mission and reinforcing the organization’s commitment to race equity. Internal change around race equity is embraced. Staff members are supported in managing and integrating the changes, and the organization demonstrates courage to advance external outcomes. Staff, stakeholders, and leaders are confident and skilled at talking about race and racism and its implications for the organization and for society. Cultural norms and practices exist that promote positive and culturally responsible interpersonal relationships among staff. Individuals are encouraged to share their perspectives and experiences. Programs are culturally responsive and explicit about race, racism, and race equity. External communications reflect the culture of the communities served. Communities are treated not merely as recipients of the organization’s services, but rather as stakeholders, leaders, and assets to the work. Expenditures on services, vendors, and consultants reflect organizational values and a commitment to race equity. Continuous improvement in race equity work is prioritized by requesting feedback from staff and the community. Evaluation efforts incorporate the disaggregation of data in order to surface and understand how every program, service, or benefit impacts every beneficiary We have bold goals for this work. If enough race equity champions are willing and ready to engage their organizations in the transformational work of building a Race Equity Culture, we will reach the tipping point where this work shifts from an optional exercise or a short-term experiment without results, to a core, critical function of the social sector. By building a Race Equity Culture within organizations and across the social sector, we can begin to dismantle structural racism. Only then will we truly live up to our missions to serve the common good. We’re ready for this work; are you?
1 minutes | a year ago
Name It! Podcast: Where are the Asian Fundraisers?
In this latest edition of the Name It! podcast, we talk with fundraisers Melody Song and Helen Choi about the Women’s Impact Initiative Summit in Arizona, lessons learned, and questions we still have. Listen to more episodes at http://wildwomanfundraising.com/podcast Check out Helen Choi’s website: http://iamhelenchoi.com And check out Melody Song’s website: http://dogoodhere.org
70 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Creating Inclusive Workplaces Interview with Tanya M. Odom
Today we are interviewing Tanya M. Odom about creating inclusive workplaces. We asked her these questions: 1. Tanya, what is the Research on unconscious bias? 2. Why do mission driven organizations have unique challenges with unconscious bias? 3. What is systemic analysis and why is it so important? 4. What are Microaggressions? 5. What is […]
48 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: What is Hegemonic Masculinity, and why should you care?
Listen to Show 1 here: Why women have a harder time getting nonprofit leadership roles And stay tuned for episode 3! Show 2: What is Hegemonic Masculinity, and Why Should You Care? Masculinities and Femininities in the Workplace III. Connell’s masculinities and hegemonic masculinity A. Connell’s theory of masculinities, asymmetric power difference between men and […]
37 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Why women have a harder time getting leadership roles
In this interview with Aaron Levine, who has a master’s in sociology from Portland State University, we discuss what hegemonic masculinity is- and how it manifests in our nonprofits. Watch here: Part one in a series of 3. Show 1: Introduction, Gender Structure and the Workplace Start out with: Here’s what we know for […]
38 minutes | a year ago
NAME IT! Podcast: How to use your voice to do good -Interview with Erin Donley
Erin Donley is a nonfiction book ghostwriter and the author of “Don’t Tell Me to Calm Down.” She is known for her ability to dig for the truth, reveal what’s hidden, and teach communication strategies that are both healthy and effective. Order her book Don’t Tell Me to Calm Down here We address: – What […]
25 minutes | 2 years ago
NAME IT! Podcast: Interview with Jewelles Smith
Welcome to the NAME IT! podcast Today we’re going to talk about disability accessibility in the sector with disability activist Jewelles Smith. This is a movement. Join us! You can listen right here On Stitcher On TuneIn On Google Play On iTunes On Spotify
35 minutes | 2 years ago
NAMEIT! Podcast: Interview with the NeedMor Fund and Mary Sobecki
In this interview with Mary Sobecki, executive director of the NeedMor Fund, we talk about why involving people in the community in grantmaking decisions is important. Chris Hedges writes, “When we cannot tell ourselves the truth about our past, we become trapped in it. This is especially true about race in America. Our undiscovered […]
29 minutes | 2 years ago
NAME IT! Podcast: White Fragility
In the nonprofit sector lately, Helen and Mazarine have seen some glaring examples of white fragility. So, we decided to do an episode on what this is, and how we can do better. Are you wondering what white fragility is? how it shows up? listen up for some quick tips on what it is, how […]
49 minutes | 2 years ago
NAME IT! Podcast Episode 4: Interview with Kishshana Palmer: Racism and the Nonprofit Sector
We are so psyched to speak with Kishshana Palmer, CEO of Kishshana & Co. and Chief Growth Officer of The Future Project. She and Helen Choi talk about the pay gap, the leadership gap, women of color and the advancement challenges they face, and the recent race to lead study. In this interview we go […]
41 minutes | 2 years ago
NAME IT! Podcast -Episode 3: Feminism in the Sector: Interview with Vanessa Chase
There is a lot to say about feminism in the sector, and what AFP in particular can do better for women! Vanessa Chase, founder of The Storytelling Nonprofit and #FundraisingIsFemale, shares a few tips with us! Here are some of the articles we mention: Feminist Nonprofit Leadership: Feminism is awesome! We have so many women […]
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