Shirley Chisholm once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” As the founder of a social change agency, I have often found myself not only bringing the chair, but the table too, to conversations and spaces in which I advocate for the nonprofits we serve.
Strategist and storyteller Erica Payne is a fearless advocate for economic justice. Known to “poke the bear,” as creator of some of the most powerful issue campaigns of the last decade, Erica has built a thought leadership platform that provides a trail of bread crumbs for how women can leverage their ideas and expertise to create meaningful change.
In this episode, Race Forward Senior Strategist, Rinku Sen, looks at the world through the eyes of an activist and journalist, sharing her observations and convictions about the challenges facing women of color, in advancing their respective agendas. As a racial justice expert, Rinku beautifully touches on the importance of support and what is needed for women to excel in leadership roles.
Answering the question “what will it take for women to occupy the spaces and places where we are normally silenced,” Marianne Schnall shares her insights gathered from over two decades of progressive thought leadership on feminism. During her interview, Marianne advocates for the reclamation of the term “power” and encourages women to consider how “power with” and “power to,” rather than “power over,” can be used to spark change.
Ana Oliveira offers practical advice, and the wisdom of a sage, about thought leadership for women that are working in the nonprofit sector. Her profound understanding of the sector, and candid insights about how women can best professionally support women and the secret for raising money as leaders, makes this a “must listen” interview.
A few years ago I attended a fundraiser hosted by a board member of a local nonprofit. I attended the gathering because the passion and mission shared by the board member really made me feel like it was something I would want to be a part of. There were about 30 people in attendance; the majority of us had no connection to the organization and were there to learn more about their work.
Last night I was on a crowded Metro-North train in New York City heading home. I was seated in a four seat section of the train and was directly across from a male commuter. Without realizing what I was doing, I jammed myself into the corner of my seat, taking up as little space as possible, assuming that he and whoever occupied the seat next to me would need all of the space.
I’ve been thinking about the evolution of our agency. Over the years we’ve continued to identify areas where we can add value to our clients, while also challenging ourselves to do increasingly great work. There have also been those occasions that we were so head down doing the work, that we completely missed what was in front of us, and had to play catch up.