Equity & Democracy
The GSLC was allocated an initial pilot fund to further the purposes of the University’s Guskin Center for Democracy and the Common Good. After consideration of various approaches, the GSLC faculty decided to fund exciting work of current students given the wide range of sectors, locations and causes represented by our learning community. In mid-November we posted the call for proposals for initiatives that engaged community-based partners in dialogue and creative activities to bridge divides and further social, economic, racial and/or environmental justice.
An initial four seed grants have now been awarded and we look forward to the work and the outcomes. We will plan for a way in Summer, after all projects are completed, to share these exciting projects and the learning from them. Also, as part of this effort, Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew, an alumna with extensive nonprofit experience in funding community partnership, will serve as a mentor for the four recipients at strategic moments in their projects’ work.
Let’s introduce the four projects…
Marcella Smith Fellows and Talkbacks Toolkit
Renee Bradford (Cohort 17)
This project brings together a cross-section of five young leaders in an intergenerational virtual retreat to receive training on generative storytelling and participatory action. A subsequent series of ‘talkback’ sessions will be organized to help develop their skills in engaging in important conversations about racial equity and justice. Participants are located in different states and will come from an existing intergenerational network, Redeem the Ten. The Guskin Funds would be used to develop the Talkbacks Toolkit and social media placements.
Cultivating Conscious Communication
LauraLynn Jansen (Cohort 19)
This project develops empathetic listening and communication skills coupled with familiarity of Relational Cultural Theory among a group of 10 diverse mentors involved with HerShe, an organization that works with foster girls in Los Angeles County and Las Vegas, Nevada. The goal will be to cultivate awareness of implicit bias and building connection across age and social circumstance. Participants will primarily be located in Nevada. The Guskin Funds would be used to secure curriculum materials and cover costs of technology support and the facilitator.
Cooperative Education for the Good of the Whole
Mary Sutton (Cohort 17)
This project supports the work of Collective REMAKE, a Los Angeles-based co-operative nonprofit working with formerly incarcerated individuals. In particular, the focus will be on the development of participatory open evaluation processes, using Appreciative Inquiry and Co-operative Inquiry methods within a broad stakeholder network, and to assist 30-40 impacted participants to assess the value of and their growth in co-operative education and development workshops. Mary Sutton, the PhDLC student grant recipient, just just had an article published in the NonProfit Quarterly about Collective REMAKE (https://nonprofitquarterly.org/using-cooperatives-to-empower-formerly-incarcerated-people-an-l-a-story/). The Guskin Funds will also be used to support her participation in a Co-operative Inquiry project, and it will support technical assistance for web and editing.
Disabilities Dialogue for Understanding
Nicole White (Cohort 17)
This project, in partnership with Special Olympics Hamilton County (Ohio), brings together community partners (recreation and fitness partners) into a series of dialogues with families raising young children with disabilities as a way to increase understanding to aid in community programming. As a result of the meetings, the intention is to develop a “Guide for Creating Inclusive Community Programs.” The Guskin Funds would go to fund the meetings and to produce and distribute the materials for the guidebook.