Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 4: Racial Wealth Learning Simulation
The Building Movement Project (BMP) recently hosted a webinar designed to help listeners gain a deeper understanding of the root causes of hunger and the connections between racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth.
In an interview with simulation designer Marlysa D. Gamblin, Domestic Advisor for Policy and Programs, Specific Populations at Bread for the World we learned about Bread’s new Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation—an interactive tool that helps people talk about race and learn about the importance of racial equity. Simulation user Marla Karina Larrave, Associate Director for Grassroots Advocacy at National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, then shared her organization’s experience of applying the tool and the external and internal impacts of the application, as well as challenges and lessons learned along the way.
Below, please find the resources mentioned on the webinar:
Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 3: A Deeper Dive into Advocacy
Now, more than ever, direct service organizations are being called upon to advocate for individuals as well as for policy change. By integrating service and social change, organizations can continue to effectively provide needed services, while addressing the root causes that make services necessary. You may be wondering:
- What would integrating service and social change look like for your organization?
- What are some steps you can take, no matter where you are in the process, to more actively engage your constituents?
- How can you build on skills you and your staff already have to make a seamless transition to policy advocacy?
To address these, and many more questions, BMP hosted a webinar (part of our Tools to Engage webinar series) to lift up the work one organization is doing to integrate policy advocacy into the work they’re already doing. In an interview with project consultant Judi Sherman, Executive Director of SparkPoint Contra Costa, Betty Geishirt Cantrell, shared her organization’s experience of volunteering to engage in a “deeper dive” to assess their capacity to integrate policy advocacy into their current service provision and develop a plan for future action. Takeaways include an understanding of the factors helped make this “deeper dive” a success, how the process changed the organization, and how integrating service and social change might not be such a big leap after all.
Watch the recording here, and download a PDF of the slides.
Power and Constituent Engagement
This worksheet, which some may find helpful to use in tandem with the Sources of Power handout, allows individuals to assess where they personally have power within their organizational context, what power they have in relation to the clients/constituents their organization serves, and what might happen if clients/constituents had more of a say in the organizations.
Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: frameworks, needs, and opportunities
Evaluators have developed an impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools to support both coalitions/networks and their funders. The report explores these developments, and points to challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess the effectiveness and impact of coalitions/networks.
This review is for coalitions and networks that are considering embarking on evaluation. It begins with what makes coalitions and networks different from standalone organizations, and the implications for evaluation. It then reviews five selected evaluation frameworks, highlighting their advantages, limitations, and applicability. Finally, it offers a set of lessons and opportunities related to coalition/network evaluation based on real-life experiences, along with insights for funders on how best to support evaluation of the coalitions/networks they support.
Deeper Dive into Advocacy: A Case Study on a Service Provider’s Bold Shift to Social Action
Family Economic Security Partnership (FESP), SparkPoint Contra Costa, and the Building Movement Project engaged in a six month process to assess SparkPoint Contra Costa’s interest and capacity to engage in policy advocacy. The resulting case study presents how SparkPoint Contra Costa, a direct service organization, built on its strength as an advocate for individuals to begin advocating for policy and larger system issues. The information includes an overview of types of advocacy and tips and tools for other organizations interested in adding social change activities to their daily practice.
Tools to Engage Webinar Part 2: Barrett Foundation and the Common Good Action Project
This webinar, Barrett House and the Common Good Action Project is part 2 of the Tools to Engage Webinar series. Hear from Building Movement Project consultant Leah Steimel and Connie Chavez, Executive Director of the Barrett Foundation, about the Common Good Action Project in New Mexico and how the Barrett Foundation put lessons from the CGAP cohort into practice to break down silos and transform their Board. Also, learn more about BMP’s Tools to Engage website.
Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 1: Engage to Change
Maria Mottola, Executive Director of the New York Foundation and Julia Watt-Rosenfeld, Director of Community Organizing and Advocacy at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation join BMP staff for the first Tools to Engage Webinar to discuss the development and implementation of the “Engage to Change” guide.
Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation
The simulation an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.
In the simulation, participants learn how federal policies created structural inequalities—property ownership and education are just two among many areas affected—and how these policies increase hunger and poverty in communities of color. The simulation guides participants to an understanding of why racial equity is so important to ending hunger and poverty in the United States. Our hope is that participants, in becoming more aware of structural inequality, can support policies that undo and/or reduce disparities.
Since the simulation emphasizes the importance of racial equity, it can be a helpful companion tool for churches, organizations, agencies, schools, and communities that have begun working on race and want to learn more about the role that public policy has had, over time, in creating structural divides based on race.
SALTA Leadership Training
SALTA (Salud Ambiental Lideres Tomando Accion – Environmental Health, Leaders Taking Action) is a web-based, interactive leadership development curriculum that provides community leaders with skill-building training in community organizing, policy advocacy, building power, community health, environmental justice and effective communication.
SALTA is a key component to ensuring that EHC achieves our core mission. More than education, SALTA is integrated with EHC’s organizing and advocacy efforts to achieve environmental and social justice.
SALTA programs represent the organic educational efforts of the different campaigns, teams, leaders, and staff that make up EHC and were designed specifically for our leaders based on our local efforts. We began SALTA trainings in 1996, and now more than 2,000 individuals have been trained.
Developed and field tested by EHC staff and leaders during the past 15 years, SALTA uses a popular education approach that makes the training inclusive and accessible to all participants. Trainings are based on the knowledge, skills and real-world experiences of EHC staff, leaders and training participants.
Popular education, which has varying interpretations, is best defined by the practice where participants share their own understanding and feelings about a specific topic or issue and that understanding and feelings are considered valid. The idea of popular education (often described as “education for critical consciousness”) as a teaching methodology came from a Brazilian educator and writer named Paulo Freire, who was writing in the context of literacy education for poor and politically disempowered people in his country. It’s different from formal education (in schools, for example) and informal education (learning by living) in that it is a process which aims to empower people who feel marginalized socially and politically to take control of their own learning and to effect social change.
The SALTA sessions improve participants’ sense of belonging to a community as participants and stakeholders of their societies. They begin to see themselves as empowered members who can make change.
Engage to Change
Service organizations are meeting the immediate needs of their constituents and provide essential supports. At the same time, many of these groups recognize how larger policies and procedures can make their job harder and limit options and opportunities of their program participants. With increasing inequality, slashes in public budgets, and greater demand on their services, nonprofits are looking for new ways to do their work.
Several years ago, we were struck by the way some of our grantee partners were changing how they saw the people they serve, who are commonly seen as recipients or beneficiaries of the organization’s expertise and services. Instead, a growing number of groups worked with their program participants as partners in making change in their own lives, the organization, and in the surrounding community. We hosted a series of conversations with a dozen New York City nonprofit service delivery organizations to discuss the motivation, benefits, and challenges of embracing this way of engaging clients and community members.
Engage to Change comes out of these discussions and a mapping process to catalogue the varied modes of doing the work. Our conversations were facilitated by the Building Movement Project which has a decade of experience working with nonprofits, especially service providers, on how they can integrate social change practices into their everyday responsibilities. We drew on the design skills of the Center for Urban Pedagogy in order to have a compelling, visual way to explain the changes that are taking place. It offers service providers and funders concrete examples of why meaningful participant engagement makes a difference. We also provide a list of resources that can be helpful for those who want more information.
The set of strategies outlined here describes how some service organizations are integrating social change into their everyday work. Supporting the voice of their service recipients helps participants gain a sense of efficacy and gives organizations new ideas and power to make change.