“How to support my sistas abroad?”
I struggle with that question almost as much as I struggle with how to support sistas in the States. 243 missing schoolgirls have ignited discussions about the role of education in liberation of women. 243 missing
schoolgirls have ignited conversations about the lack news coverage when black children go missing. 243 missing schoolgirls have ignited self examination by feminist and womanist who want to support women while delving into international politics.
As the United States sends 80 additional troops into Chad, arguably, in an effort to support the Nigerian government’s search for the girls, the debate the proper role of the United States (and its citizens) in international politics. I too wore a headwrap and spoke out about what was happening. I tweeted. I wrote facebook posts. I have talked about it on the radio.
Typically, I don’t engage in substantive discussions on Facebook. Ever since the demise of the unlike button, the amount of nonsense I’ve seen–and been unable to respond to–drives me nuts. Usually, I take the way easy out. I close the page and move to another corner of the internet. However, when the video of the young man in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana being arrested by a Jefferson Parish Sherriff deputy started to make its rounds on national media, the siren song of misguided foolishness turned into a chorus. I had to engage.
What made me particularly sensitive to the Facebook discussion was an article I’d read in Clutch magazine. I love Clutch, but the flippant tone of this article set me off.
“Breaux says he and Banegas were standing on Banegas’ front porch cracking jokes. The neighbor walked out of his house and warned the pair to watch their language. A verbal confrontation ensued, and the neighbor said he was calling the police.
“He threatens to call the police all the time about stuff in the backyard and stuff going on inside the house. Things like there’s too many cars in the driveway,” Breaux says
Oh Lawd, one of those neighbors.
But he really did call the police this time.”
I put on my fair housing hat. I wondered if this confrontation would have ensued if Jefferson Parish integrated.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted. We’re working on writing more regularly, but we wanted to give you a better idea of what we’ve been up to. So, since we’re a bit obsessed with 90’s hip hop: What’s the 411?:
Charmel left GCFHC, moved to North Carolina and took some time off…or so she said.
“That was the first time in a very long time that I was able to focus on doing legal work. It was great. I remembered how good it felt to be lawyer–a problem solver, but the drumbeat of public interest work keep calling me to the dance. I found myself doing volunteer immigration work with Catholic Charities. I missed my friends. I missed the Coast and I missed ‘the’ work.”
Then she came back!
“I get to focus on great issues like, voter education, housing and equity.
I live in a place where I get to work with the people I love. I also get a chance to amplify voice. I’m proud to serve on the board of the Justice and Accountability Center of
Louisiana. I’m really excited about the launch of Kelly Harris’ website Brassybrownnola.com and that I’m cohosting WBOK’s Good Morning Show. The most exciting part of my life right now is working to shift the conversation into solutions.”
Kate…brought a person into the world: …among other things, like buying a house and moving her mother to New Orleans from Maine. She’s attempting to strike an appropriate
increasingly more elusive as you age ‘work/life balance’ still but owes you lots of posts about a broad range of topics (think: the adventures of an exclusively breastfeeding mom doing legislative advocacy in the most progressive capital in the country Baton Rouge). She’s been thinking about lots of things that she wants to write about and had the best intentions, but who knew maternity leave isn’t the ideal opportunity to catch up on your blogging? So that’s a little of the 411. Look for more posts coming soon to fill you in on the rest.
The headline itself was innocuous, “Real estate ads around the country are becoming more politically correct“.
The featured text wasn’t as benign,
Tucked into the Home and Garden section, far away from the politics sections reporting on the 2014 New Orleans mayor’s race (a race with racial undertones woven throughout), was an article undermining the spirit and purpose of the civil rights legislation it mocked. Read More
This week I learned that my friend of and fellow NOI Black Roots fellow Dante Berry has become Vice President of Membership & Engagement at Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. This caused to me to return to some of my previously unpublished writings created after the trial of George Zimmerman (and Trayvon Martin). Dante’s work is inspiring. Hopefully this post will also spark conversation. This post was originally titled, “When was rioting even an option?”
Its been a few days now since the verdict in the Zimmerman trial and for the first time I’m able to write about this. Various contributors and supporters of TOK have been having conversations about what this verdict means. We’ve gone through a legal analysis of the trial and the laws. We’ve talked about anger and apathy. We shared fears about the safety of our sons and lamented the lack of conversations against similar threats to our daughters. I’ve been able to reflect on a few things but truthfully, I’m still processing this all.
I’m proud to see that people were outraged. Even if this trial wasn’t about race (which is heavily debatable), making this trial about race should make America realize the difficulties we have when starting, let alone to holding a coherent conversation around race. Our language is flawed, our analysis is weak and our feelings are hurt. When I refer to our, please note, I am not referring to Black people. I’m referring to Americans. White people hurt about the implications of race too. If you’ve grown up to believe that all you have to do is work hard and the world is open to you, then it hurts to hear that your race gives you an edge. It feels like it undercuts all the
work that you’ve done.
This post originally appeared on Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy’s blog.
This post is a collaboration between EPIP member Lora Smith, Communications Officer at Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in Winston-Salem, NC, and one of MRBF’s grantees, Charmel Gauden, an attorney and the former Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center (GCFHC). We asked them to share their thoughts on leadership in the 21st century.
In 2011 the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation hosted a trans-generational convening on the topic of Equity and Opportunity in the American South. We wanted to understand the needs of emerging nonprofit leaders in the South and what they saw on the horizon of their work. The conversation also included respected elders in the sector who helped ground the conversation in historical context and offered mentorship. We listened to the rich conversation and came away with beginning strategies to better support nextGen Southern leadership that we believe will help strengthen nonprofit infrastructure in the region as a whole. Hearing directly from young leaders within our grantee partner organizations was integrally important for our institutional learning and practice. Charmel Gauden was one of the participants. She shares what she hopes foundations learn about the needs of millennial leaders here.
– Lora Smith, Communications Officer, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
An Open Letter to Foundations from a Millennial Leader
Every generation is tagged with labels and these days my millennial peers and I are suffering from a media-induced identity crisis. According to one report we’re selfie-taking underachievers, while another paints us as selfless philanthropists motivated by the common good. More importantly, leaders in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector are trying to figure out how best to understand, engage and support my generation as we take on the next decades of work and move into executive leadership roles.
As a millennial and an emerging nonprofit leader working in the South, I am witnessing my generation define itself through new ways of working and new leadership styles that challenge traditional definitions of organizing, community and success.
We are living in a moment of opportunity for philanthropic leaders, donors and nonprofit executives to step forward and support a generation of leaders during a crucial stage in our development. An opportunity to influence and strengthen the leadership skills of millennials early in their careers like this won’t exist again.
Here are a few things I want to share about emerging nonprofit leaders and what we need:
I’ll admit it. I’ve done it. I’ve pretended to be a damsel in distress in order to get a mechanic to help me more. I’m not a grease monkey (Can I say that being an African American female?), but I know a little about cars. And you ain’t gonna illegally fix my shi–Sorry. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been known to walk away from a mechanic when I know that the price is too high (just google the part and subtract the labor to figure out how much they’re marking your price up).
Apparently doing your research when getting your car repaired pays off. Women who tell the mechanic they don’t know how much a repair will cost get charged a higher rate. according to research summarized in the article, “The Importance of Appearing Savvy”. Compared to whom, you might ask? Compared to men who tell the mechanic the same thing! The researchers speculated that the mechanics (who tend to be male) might think a man that doesn’t know the price was being strategic, while the woman didn’t really know.