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Seattle Learning Circle June 29, 2010This is a featured page

On June 29th, about 45 people came together to discuss Unpacking Gatekeeping. We met at the Plymouth Housing Services
The teamfacilitating this session included:
Amy Fitzgerald, Plymouth Housing Services
Evelyn Allen, Catholic Housing Services
Irene Woo, Solid Ground
D'Artgagnan Caliman, Casey Family Foundation
Margo Adair, Tools for Change
Karma Ruder, Center for Ethical Leadership


Leadership and Race: Unpacking Gatekeeping

Topic/Question: Structuring hiring practices to embody racial justice.

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Mollie Curran, Julie McFarland, Linda Rasmussen, Maggie Milcarek, Sylvia Fuerstenberg, Alia Peterson

Key discussion points raised:
· Drop off at various levels
· Hiring/board recruitment/promotions
· Interviewing practices and hw to personally accountable
· How to build political will and commitment
· What does it mean to center hiring on racial justice. How to attract people.
· What does intention look like for recruitment.
· Pre-requisites: POC, experience, money, leadership development, creating welcome tokenism as a barrier, changing value for assets

Strategies/tools for change:
· Linked-In, Facebook
· Internships – college network
· changing value for assets
· Churches/community centers with jobs
· Community-based dialogue
· Vocational placement programs within
· Where do we find resources of time, training
· Develop a network/list-serve of people committed to social network sites
· Employee referral programs with money
· Social networking site
· Desire for training resources/action steps
· Orientation training
· Creating mentorships/linkage/partnership
· A will and desire to develop competence

Action steps/planning:
None.



Topic/Question: Gatekeeping and “competency” – surfacing assumptions that keep it in place.

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Margo Adair, Scott Pinegar, Julia Sterkovsky

Key discussion points raised:
· Do they want info?
· When decision is final?
· Systems set up standards
· Getting beyond trying find the “perfect fit”
· Open budgets in culture open to challenge
· Taboo to raise questions of power

Strategies/tools for change:
· Tried to create a culture where people can ask questions and challenge
· Importance of transparency
· Continuously churn through questions that surface gatekeeping that maintains status quo, e.g.: “Am I inspiring a culture open to challenges and accountability”

Action steps/planning:
· What’s open and what isn’t
· If anything won’t open, why?
· What am I afraid of?
· Job descriptions listing (?), with a (?) the (?) on process of what competency is
· Looking at who you identify with; looking for different perspectives rather looking for people who will agree with you



Topic/Question: For funders – what evidence shows that an entity is, in fact, culturally competent?

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Dan Leahy, Josephine Tamayo-Murray, Jim Yearby, Bill Block, Heidi Schillinger, Theressa Lenear

Key discussion points raised:
· Is diversity training mandatory for all
· Are race and culture values in service plan
· Are there people of color represents at all levels
· Bilingual and multi-lingual staff
· What struggles in the organization going through – what conversations are going on and what changes are being made
· What has the leadership done to create a safe place where one needed changes and learning can take place
· Measuring whether the agency is going through a real process or a sham process. Can you define stages? Are there indicators of the stage.
· There is a difference between institutions and individuals. Individuals/stable institutions rely on policies and leadership.

Strategies/tools for change:
· Provide impact to fundees for RFPs
· Funders group increases emphasis on cultural competence

Action steps/planning:
· Having institutions go through process
· Ask MEDC and state commissions what it looks like


Topic/Question: How to make offerings more inclusive.

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Joanne Conger, Janice Eng, Skye Schell, Jackie Jainga Hyllseth

Key discussion points raised:
· Don’t go with assumptions
· Reflect populations
· Converse on structural racism
· Finding partnership

Strategies/tools for change:
· Back door approach – coffee meetings
· Really listening to what the individual (sic)
· Acknowledging
· Build trust

Action steps/planning:
· Contact white allies/Kyla
· Consult with professionals
· Engage Board of Director


Topic/Question: Best practices in approaching gatekeeping

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Emijah Smith, Heidi Schillinger, Sherelle Owens, Aaron Hartwell

Key discussion points raised:
· Benefits
· Fear
· Power relationship
· Marginalization
· Principles – personal
· Define gate-keeping

Strategies/tools for change:
· Try to find a way to approach person to refer a “great” workshop that generates good questions and dialogue
· Speaking directly to the situation
· Way (weigh?) out pro and con, be prepared for reaction, good or bad

Action steps/planning:
· Try it!
· Build allies


Topic/Question: How to remain humble in service.

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Tanya McGee, John Deacon, ?

Key discussion points raised:
· What are our intentions in service
· How do we maintain connection to root causes of barriers/seeing the person
· ? ? ? at ? own ? privilege

Strategies/tools for change:
· Setting time and space for dialogue about change
· Having a conversation as opposed to following a script
· Find ways to know the whole person you are serving, i.e., possible visiting their homes and communities

Action steps/planning:
· Go to trainings with diverse communities
· Visit homes of children
· Secondary trauma trainings
· Engage with communities to learn their lens


Topic/Question: How to reach out and expand who is involved in the conversations about race and leadership and gatekeeping.

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Rachel Rosenman, Lillian Hochstein, Roger Erskine, Caitlin Esworthy, Margaret Boddie

Key discussion points raised:
· What are the consequences of not having these conversations?
· How are the top and bottom of the organization connected – can you really deliver on your values?
· How do you motivate people to participate in the conversation?
· Hand-picking people who share these values

Strategies/tools for change:
· Bring questions for the outside to motivate the conversations – “Our funding sources want to know…”
· Bring in an outside person to help organization reflect on the needs of the organization and help folks reflect on these issues – find the motivational niche that will captivate your intended audience


Action steps/planning:
None

Topic/Question: How do we design services that address the “whole person” giving race/culture its proper place?

Who’s Here (Name/Agency): Irene – Solid Ground; Kay – Sr. Services; Gretchen – Sr. Services; Karma – Center for Ethical Leadership; Evelyn – Discussion Leader (Catholic Housing Services)

Key discussion points raised:

· Clients should be made comfortable and relaxed beginning at point of entrance.
· An organization could look at all of its programs in each department and determine demographical makeup of service recipients and adjust services to service recipient’s racial/cultural makeup.
· Organizations could be more open to asking “how do we meet the needs of our service recipients” rather than forcing them to conform to the organization’s structure.
· It really comes down to staff training:
o How do we approach service delivery?
o How can we change our service delivery model so that it is not so mechanical?
· Important to look at people on a one-on-one bases and work to create relationships and mutual respect.
· Important to build trust and to create time for their stories and to share their gifts.
· Learn to listen to the stress levels.
· Seek out “cultural guides” to help us learn.

Strategies/tools for change: (See above)
Action steps/planning:


Additional notes from the debrief :

Topic: How do you address gate keeping in the disciplinary process:

Design jobs to succeed – be clear about expectations
Improving performance - support success
Open process – have transparency
Creating fairness and trust in management
Consistent implementation

Topic: How do ethnic based non-profits address being co-opted by mainstream organizations?

What gets funded?
Collaborations as co-opting.
Institutional gate keeping
Funders’ use of language to distort/alter/measure “evidence” of cultural competence



nataliallc
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