Despite the unpredictability of our times, we have a lot of power to shape our future. One of the best ways we can help shape our communities’ destiny is to continue building culturally responsive leadership that pursues holistic justice.
To our supporters, we see you! We see you doubling down on your support. You demonstrate your commitment to the work by consistently showing up and supporting our communities’ leadership.
Our first virtual Turn-up event was a huge success, thanks to you all, and we have more reflection on the event below. We also have an exciting fellows-related announcement: we have added to our Community Impact Fellows Cohort. Meet (virtually) our new fellow Mandie Rice below.
Not only do we get a chance to witness our fellows’ leadership flourish, but we also get to see them transform their host organizations and the sector. Check out some reflections from the Turn-up event fellow panelists on their host organizations’ work.
For insight into the impactful work our partners and fellows are doing in our communities, read our recent annual report at this link.
Our first virtual Turn-up event a success!
The event featured Community Impact & Green Pathways Fellows panel
At our first virtual Turn-up event on Thursday, September 24, 2020, fellow panelists Naima, Shiku, Tracey, Sharon, and Zaya, reflected on their leadership journey and offered timely insight into how we can prevent burnout among BIPOC leaders.
These emerging leaders demonstrated a willingness to adapt as leaders and a commitment to their leadership, their communities, and the organizations they serve.
They are indeed leaders to believe in.
Many thanks to Totem Star artist and singer-songwriter Grae Violett, who shared their beautiful music with us at the event. It’s a tough time, incredibly tough for artists in our communities and organizations supporting them. Check out Totem Star’s website to learn more about Grae’s work and to support Totem Star artists.
Like us, we hope the fellows’ timely testimonials inspire you in these difficult times and serve as a reminder that our collective work does indeed make a difference. We can’t wait to see all the great things these emerging leaders will do in the world.
Wondering how you can affect the positive change you want to see in the world in these challenging times? If you haven’t had the chance to donate at the Turn-up event, it’s never too late to invest in leaders of color.
Donate at this link to help further the mission of building capacity in our communities. Donations will go directly to our fellows’ leadership development and their community-based organizations.
Meet our newest Community Impact Fellow
Mandie Rice (she/her) Development Manager-RVC Fellow at Seattle Music Partners
Mandie is a first-generation Filipina American originally from the golden coast of California. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Sign Language/English Interpreting from North Central University (Minneapolis, MN) and a Master of Science degree in Business Management from Boston University.
She credits her personal growth and cultural competency to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community who graciously shared their language with her. As she continues to work in the nonprofit sector, Mandie is excited to be a part of fundraising work rooted in social justice and racial equity.
In her spare time, you can find Mandie curled up with a book or exploring a new hiking trail with her husband.
Check out Green Pathways Fellowship Fall Update
Last fall, we launched our Green Pathways Fellowship Program, which creates a pathway for future leaders of color in the green sector, while providing them with living wage, entry-level positions in the environmental justice movement.
For the successes, lessons learned, and ways you can support leaders of color in the environmental sector, check out the Green Pathways Fellowship Fall Update at this link.
More from Turn-up event fellow panelists
Fellows reflected on their host organizations’ work & offered advice for leaders of color
At the Turn-up event, the fellows reflected on what issues they are passionate about that their org is tackling or that they want to highlight. Below are some of their reflections.
Multicultural Community Coalition (MCC) Addresses Disaster Gentrification in Local Communities of Color
Community Impact Fellow Shiku Wainaina explained her host organization Multicultural Community Coalition (MCC) has recently been working on addressing the displacement of local communities of color. “Disaster gentrification happens when there is a crisis, whether it is a pandemic or other crisis, and people get pushed out because the economy tanks and they can’t keep the properties they are on… MCC has been working on policy work on the ground, organizing to increase awareness of these issues, and challenging our elected officials to address displacement.”
“How can we make sure we are protecting our communities?” Shiku asked. “It’s hard to find economic growth when communities aren’t able to own the lands which they occupy because they will always be at risk of displacement.”
Totem Star Advocates & Creates Paid Opportunities for Artists
Tracey Wong, a Community Impact Fellow based at Totem Star, is an artist herself and discussed the work Totem Star does. “Artists are underpaid, undervalued, and there is also a lack of funding for the arts in general. This just isn’t sustainable. As an artist, I did a lot of things for free, so much that I’d get burned-out over and over again. And it’s frustrating because artists put in a lot of hours, years, and decades in their craft and there is so much vulnerability, so much giving, and when you keep putting out more and more, and you’re still finding it hard just to survive–it kind of breaks your heart.”
“What Totem Star is doing about this is that we’re just being about it,” Tracey explained. “We are about paying our artists. We are about actively creating opportunities where artists can be paid. We are working with partners who are about that, too.”
The Nature Conservancy Works Towards Integrating Equity Lenses in Their Conservation Work
Green Pathways Fellow Zaya Tumurkhuyag pointed out that her host organization, The Nature Conservancy, like many other conservation organizations, was founded and led by white, mostly male, conservationists. “In the past few years, Nature Conservancy started integrating equity lenses in all aspects of our work and has since been prioritizing working with indigenous communities.”
Zaya noted that Nature Conservancy’s pursuit of the Green Pathways fellowship gives them another opportunity to include diverse voices in their work. “For me, if we are tackling issues around land, it’s really important to connect the work to indigenous people. This hasn’t been a priority for conservation before, and now Nature Conservancy and other organizations are prioritizing the idea that it’s important to hear and listen to indigenous communities.”
Green Pathways Fellow Sharon Huerta on Conservation Through Equity and Justice Lenses
Sharon Huerta, a Green Pathways fellow, discussed her journey in the environmental sector and how she discovered the work. “My lenses weren’t always on equity and justice. Going through my undergraduate education, and usually being the only woman of color in a lot of my fieldwork, started my reflection that this isn’t representative of what I see within my community, and it isn’t wholesome and doesn’t engage all of the issues that do go into conservation… And I started looking at conversation through equity lenses.”
“Conservation, more than anything else, involves people,” Sharon continued. “The people that live on the land. The people who make decisions about what we do with that land.”
Community Impact Fellow Naima Shaltu on Burnout & Leaders of Color
Burnout is too common in nonprofits and compounds the many intersecting issues that weigh down on our leaders.
Community Impact Fellow Naima Shaltu shared ways leaders of color can empower themselves. “In many of our cultures, we are told to steer away from self-care, and we are told we have to take on the whole world.”
Naima recommended therapy, mentorship, and self-advocacy for leaders in community-based organizations.
“You don’t need to take it all on,” she emphasized. “You are not alone. There are people out there who want to help and support you navigate whatever it is that you are going through.”
Be a Changemaker
RVC Changemakers are folks who believe that leadership development and capacity building in communities of color should be spearheaded by the individuals working within these communities. By committing to giving $80 or more a month, you will be making a pivotal impact in communities of color in the Greater Seattle area.
Changemakers will get a shoutout in our annual report, be invited to our special events, be invited to further engage in other ways, such as through volunteering, lunch and learns, or maybe even mentoring. Our Changemakers will also just be lavished with so much appreciation for their commitment to social justice at the grassroots level!
Job Opportunities In Our Network
- WA Nonprofits is hiring a Director of Community Engagement
- Communities Rise is hiring an Attorney
- Kandelia is hiring for multiple positions
- The Capacity Collective is hiring a Program Analyst
- Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is hiring a Communications Officer
- Nature Conservancy is hiring for multiple positions
- The Management Center is hiring for a Vice President, Content & Communications
- Progress Alliance of Washington is hiring for an Executive Director
- Casa Latina is hiring for multiple positions
- Solid Ground is hiring for multiple positions
- United Way of King County is hiring for multiple positions
Community Events & Other Resources
- October 10, 2020: El Centro de la Raza – 2020 Building the Beloved Community Gala
- October 23, 2020: Somali Family Safety Task Force Virtual Fundraiser
- Communities Rise is offering COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Register at the link below: https://bit.ly/2CezVtH
- United Way of King County, Food Lifeline, the City of Seattle, and Metro Access are offering home delivery of emergency food boxes across Seattle, North King County, and East King County during COVID-19. To order a food box, fill out this online form, or call Toll-Free at 833-540-0800, Mondays to Fridays from 11am-4pm.
- Free testing is available in King County regardless of immigration status. Find a testing site near you at the link below: https://bit.ly/3faKlcA
RVC Stuff To Read
Community Care During the Pandemic: We Are in This Together, written by RVC
What my work at Got Green taught me about environmental justice, Written by Shaylea Pilarski, RVC Green Pathways Fellow
Reflection on Ramadan During Quarantine, by Anbar Mahar Sheikh, RVC Capacity Building Lead
How do we support ourselves and our communities during COVID-19?, written by Tracey Wong, 2019-2021 RVC Community Impact Fellow
We need to retain and invest in our staff during this crisis, Written by Ananda Valenzuela, Interim Executive Director of RVC
RVC Fellow has renewed sense to build and connect communities through music education after enduring hardship, written by RVC
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