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Over the last several years, Tzedek Social Justice Fund embarked on a journey of learning, discovery, and relationship building. In 2018, Tzedek Social Justice Fund conducted a participatory community research process that engaged 29 community leaders and 11 trusted advisors working in Asheville’s social justice and philanthropy sectors. This process was designed to ground our work in the visionary brilliance that comes from lived experience and the wisdom gained by doing transformational work towards collective liberation. Tzedek has used this research to inform our strategic plan, programmatic offerings, organizational structure, and grantmaking.
A Path Forward
The learnings unearthed in this process were too rich to keep to ourselves. In our last gathering with trusted advisors, a collective hope emerged–that the insights collected in this process would be shared beyond Tzedek throughout the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors and to the wider Asheville community. The key themes and takeaways that emerged from this ongoing shared analysis carved out a path toward high-impact social change work and meaningful social transformation. These voices show us the way.
COMMUNITY RESEARCH FINDINGS
Tzedek has created four mini-reports to organize and optimize community research insights. We are ready to dig in deep and invite local philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, grassroots organizers, and community members to join us in this collective liberation conversation.
We’re also excited to share what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown from this research during our four-part webinar series: “BOLD PEOPLE/MAGIC DREAMS: Tzedek’s Community Research Findings. Here’s the basic breakdown:
Webinar 1. THE 6Ws OF COMMUNITY RESEARCH: USING COMMUNITY RESEARCH TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ORGANIZATION
- A transparent overview of Tzedek’s community research process detailing the Who, What, Where, When, and HoW
- Panel Discussion: Why should we conduct community-based research?
- Marsha Davis, Executive Director/Director of Organizational Strategy and Practice, Moderator
- Amy Mandel, Founder and Funder
- Beth Trigg, Researcher
- Tamiko Ambrose Murray, Board Member/Researcher
Webinar 2. “BE BOLD, BOLD, BOLD”: PRACTICING SOCIAL JUSTICE PHILANTHROPY
- Outline actionable liberatory philanthropy practices.
- Share how-to guidance for philanthropist/nonprofit leaders.
- Panel Discussion: Is it possible for a funder to be a co-conspirator in the journey toward liberation?
- Desiree Adaway, Board Chair, Moderator
- Althea Gonzalez, Board Member
- Amy Mandel, Funder and Founder
- Jennifer Langton, Director of Organizational Grantmaking
- Libby Kyles, Director of Community-Led Grantmaking
- Marsha Davis, Executive Director
Webinar 3. “PEOPLE INVESTED IN ME”: SUSTAINING IMPACTED LEADERSHIP, PRACTICING HEALING JUSTICE
- Share how community feedback led to the creation of the Brilliance and Impact Awards.
- Share insights on how to best support local community leaders.
- Panel Discussion: Why should philanthropy directly invest in individuals?
- Libby Kyles, Co-Moderator
- Marsha Davis, Co-Moderator
- Marta Alcala-Williams, Tzedek Brilliance Awardee
- Nicole Townsend-Green, Tzedek Brilliance Awardee
- Renee White, Tzedek Brilliance Awardee
- Sheneika Smith, Tzedek Brilliance Awardee
Webinar 4. “THERE’S A LOT OF MAGIC HERE!”: THE GIFTS AND CHALLENGES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVISM IN ASHEVILLE
- Share our path forward – where we are and where we are going.
- Engage local leaders in creating a vision of collective liberation for Asheville.
- Community Discussion: What’s next? – Collective Liberation Chats
- Libby Kyles
- Marsha Davis
As we continue to discover and embrace more regenerative, liberatory philanthropic practices, new lessons will be learned from our successes and shortcomings. Basically, the collective liberation conversation is just beginning. We hope you’ll join us in building this shared analysis.