Building Capacity for the Movement

 

This past March, we held two multi-day events to fortify the capacity and effectiveness for both our organization and collaborative partners. We are more committed than ever to increasing the political power of working-class people of color and immigrants to win racial, economic and environmental justice in Oakland and beyond. And, thanks to the generous support of the San Francisco Foundation, the East Bay Community Foundation and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund we were able to hold an overnight 3-day retreat with our partners for the first time. Together, we collectively took a deep dive into our vision and strategy for the next 10 years.

With a decade of electoral cycles and over 20 civic engagement campaigns collectively under our belts, new program areas in motion (including values-based leadership, movement technology projects and a fundraising canvass), and the growth and evolution of our many partner organizations, the retreat provided a space for more intense focus to reflect and plan what the next 10 years looks like for our vision, our collaborative work and our city. About 35 staff members from across our collaborative attended.

At the retreat we began the process of shifting our collaborative model from participation to ownership from our partners. With our top value deemed as being in a shared political space to move us into power, we saw a role of Oakland Rising to have more clear relationships and leadership development. By creating two new committees, we are collectively restructuring the collaborative to give more decision making power around campaigns and political strategy to our partners.

As an additional investment in our collaborative, we hosted a 2-day in-house training by The Management Center (TMC) for the management teams of our staff and our partners from March 5 to 6. TMC is a values-aligned nonprofit with years of experience helping social justice organizations to become more successful through strengthened approaches to management. Led by Jakada Imadi, Ella Baker Center’s former ED, the training helped to further deepen our partnerships and the alignment of our work by providing shared infrastructure, tools and orientation to management systems which will support us to become more effective in achieving our mission and vision.

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