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I’m much more interested in how we create strategic intention, a strategic sense of vision in what it is we’re trying to move towards, and a strategic sense of principles about how we want to be with each other.
adrienne maree brown
If you’ve been following us lately, you know that we are taking a pause for the cause to reflect on our organizational culture, develop a collective analysis, deeply embody our values, and build more responsive and impactful grants and programs. For more about what led us to take a pause and how we’re using this time, check out this post and this one.
In October, we launched the data gathering phase of a community-centered research process with a meeting of trusted advisors.
Who are our trusted advisors?
Local community leaders making change happen in Asheville. People with experience that speak to our focal areas. Past fellows. Trainers and consultants we’ve collaborated with. Grantees.
But beyond their role and relationship to our organization, trusted advisors are truth-tellers and experts whose brilliance comes from living and doing transformational work towards collective liberation in Asheville.
Here are some of the questions posed in the trusted advisor meeting:
- Why do you do the work that you do in the world?
- What kinds of support, resources, relationships, and opportunities have helped/would help you and other leaders manifest your vision?
- What unique gifts and strengths are present in your local community?
- What are the primary challenges you currently encounter that limit the community impact you dream of?
- What would help you and other leaders to sustain your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health long-term as you do this work?
People told shared wisdom, outlined visions, and beautiful stories.
Trusted advisors will continue to participate in the process of community research to dismantle the traditional power dynamic that exists between researchers and participants in analyzing and making meaning of emerging themes.
This month, we’re also launching the interview phase of our research to gather the expertise of additional social justice leaders from Asheville, Tzedek Fellow alums, social justice philanthropists, and community partners.
As the research process unfolds, we will share emerging themes and patterns. Stay tuned.