One of the envision sessions at NCG’s annual conference focused on building leaderful communities within our organizations and cultures that prioritize belonging, foster retention and weave new connections that strengthen all of us for the difficult work of repair and re-imagining. We practiced building belonging through living it ourselves in the session, invoking creativity and multiple ways of knowing, including crafting found poetry through speakers' words.
In this moment, where there is both possibility and energy for belonging and hurdles that trip us up, change brings both opportunity and challenge. Collectively, we sowed some seeds in that gallery, seeds of healing, liberation, and belonging.
Although my time as a Multicultural Fellow with San Francisco Foundation is coming to an end, I'm grateful to wrap up this foray into philanthropy with what I enjoy most - through storytelling as medicine and poetry as a way to envision a new world where we can thrive for generations to come. This session was just what I needed to process Mia Birdsong's opening invitation for a joyful, just future. As the lessons have unfolded, this session has offered me a warm reminder to recommit to holding space for self-reflection, trust in all the many ways of knowing we have, and embrace what centering our collective humanity can be.
Please see below for my found poem created during the session, using the ten words that resonated with me:
I do not dream of labor
I dream for my people
in my dreams, I practice remembrance
of what justice is
of what justice can be
of justice in the name of love.
And I let the feelings guide my purpose
and strengthen my sense of trust
in what a shared vision of a
world for us to be
can set us free.
May this be a reminder of healing in progress with people along the process. Thank you to all the participants who chose to be in the sacred container with me.
2023 Annual Conference Session
This reflection is a response to NCG's Annual conference session The Future of Us: Mapping the Path towards Cultures of Belonging.
- Dimple Abichandani, Fellow, National Center for Family Philanthropy; Steering Committee Member, Trust Based Philanthropy Project; and Board Member, Solidaire
- Jessa Brie Moreno, Studio Pathways
- Mariah Rankine-Landers, Studio Pathways
- Lupe Poblano, KLP Coaching & Consulting
- Caitlin Brune, Senior Fellow, Northern California Grantmakers
- Viridiana (Viry) Romero, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Northern California Grantmakers
- Kate Seely, Senior Director of Leadership, Culture, and Community, Northern California Grantmakers