#CommunityFood: Innovations in Leadership Webinar Series


A three-part webinar series highlighting innovative organizations that are cultivating transformational leadership at three levels: internally within staff of the organization, structurally at the organizational level, and collectively in partnership with other organizations across communities and regions.

As Good Food champions and community-based organizations we are constantly innovating, challenging the status quo, creating alternative pathways towards equitable health, wealth, connection and capacity in our communities through food systems. Our work must be flexible, adaptive, entrepreneurial and collaborative in order to achieve the transformative systems change we’re working towards. While our programs are often characterized by this inventive spirit, we see that our organizations’ leadership structures are, more often than not, quite conventional – hierarchical, rigid, and even insular. How might we infuse the same innovative and community-driven spirit we bring to programming into our organizations to operationalize the social justice values we espouse, improve the quality of our work, and increase the quality of life of our hard-working staff?

As we look across the country, we see many organizations in our sector creating new approaches, adapting models, and shifting practices to build more equitable, resilient, and effective organizations that are better equipped and positioned to lead change in our communities and our world. In this summer’s #CommunityFood: Innovations in Leadership three-part webinar series, we will highlight some of these innovative organizations and how they are cultivating transformational leadership at three levels: internally within staff of the organization, structurally at the organizational level, and collectively in partnership with other organizations across communities and regions.

Each presentation will share the philosophy behind the organization’s approach, provide a practical overview of the leadership model they are implementing, and reveal lessons learned along the way, followed by a facilitated Q&A/discussion with the presenters.

Part 1: Cultivating Emerging Leadership from Within
Tuesday, August 21, 3-4:15pm EST
• Red Tomato
https://www.redtomato.org
• Michael Rozyne, Founder, and Laura Edwards-Orr, Executive Director

• Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
http://thundervalley.org
• Ernest Weston, Food Sovereignty Initiative Education Coordinator
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5983450311906287617

The first webinar in this series will feature two organizations committed to empowering staff and training up new leadership within their organizations: Red Tomato and Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Red Tomato’s core values around workplace democracy and fair trade were built into the organization’s culture and structure from the outset, and their practices around “continuous improvement” inform how they approach problem solving and personal interaction in the workplace. Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation applies its theory of change for building an ecosystem of opportunity through place-based regenerative design in both their community of the Pine Ridge Reservation as well as internally within the organization to build power among their staff and volunteers and set an example for Native and rural communities everywhere.

Part 2: Shifting Organizational Structures for Equity and Empowerment
Tuesday, September 4, 3-4:15pm EST
• La Semilla Food Center
https://www.lasemillafoodcenter.org/
• Krysten Aguilar, Co-Director, Administration and Policy

• The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance
http://www.indianaglink.com/youth/2018-nyfsa-board/
• Kelsey Ducheneaux, Youth Programs Coordinator and Natural Resource Director
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4724043305172677633

In the second webinar, we’ll hear from La Semilla Food Center and The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance, two organizations that have adopted alternative organizational governance models to better reflect their social justice values in their organizational practices. Through their Shared Leadership structure, La Semilla Food Center shares decision-making power across 4 co-directors, all of whom are women. The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance, created in 2014 to ensure a Youth voice in food and agricultural issues in Indian country, is led by an all-youth board of directors which creates and drives the organization’s work and maintains a voting seat on the Board of Directors for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, its fiscal sponsor.

Part 3: Collective Impact through Network and Systems Leadership
Tuesday, September 18, 3-4:15pm EST
• Farm to Institution New England
https://www.farmtoinstitution.org/
• Peter Allison, Executive Director and Hannah Leighton, Research and Evaluation Manager

• Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems
https://www.canr.msu.edu/foodsystems
• Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist

• Hawaii Good Food Alliance
• Tina Tamai, Coordinator
Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/709017167162617857

The third and final webinar will feature promising practices and success stories of collective leadership fostered through alliances, networks, and collaboratives. These organizations embrace and operationalize the fact that together they can achieve much more than they can possibly do alone. We’ll be joined by three cutting-edge networking organizations who link and interconnect food systems leaders and communities to advance good food for all: the Center for Regional Food Systems, Farm to Institution New England, and the Hawaii Good Food Alliance. The presenters will share insights, best practices, and lessons learned from their extensive experience weaving food systems networks in the US.

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