Fall 2016 Update

WOL Summer Retreat Recap

In July, the WOL Governance Work Group and Co-chairs met in St. Louis for a retreat focused on deepening participants' understanding of their roles and functions within WOL's structure, clarify WOL's leadership, governance, and decision-making framework, and refine the network's membership engagement, communications, and strategy.  Strategic priorities were identified, which included:  Rapid Response to Crises & Issues, Intersectional Demonstration Projects, Member Engagement, Organizational Learning & Impact, and Message Development & Storytelling. The group also developed implementation plans for each of the priorities and goals. 

Another outcome of the retreat was to change the name of the Governance Working Group to the Network Coordinating Team (NCT).  The new name better reflects the actual role / function of the group, which is to manage anything involving the Network's fiscal management, staffing oversight and general structure.  In addition, the Leadership Council's role was clarified as being focused on managing member engagement, building WOL's connections to and base of support among other actors in the field, and tracking opportunities, threats and trends in the work to inform WOL's broader strategy. 

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Retreat participants:  Back row from L:  Kevin Fong, Simran Noor, Allen Frimpong, Michael Rabbitt, Tony Neal, Rebeccah Bennett (facilitator), Al White 
Front row from L:  Carolyne Abdullah, Lila Cabbil, Maggie Potapchuk, Lecia Brooks

WOL Survey on Intersectionality

Issues surrounding race and racial injustice are being surfaced and discussed in a variety of contexts across the nation. Whether in regards to state violence and community/police relations, our current presidential election and the rise of hate speech, groups and rhetoric or the fight to protect  our finite natural resources like water and land; we can't deny that finding collective, aligned strategies for ending all levels of racism is more important than ever! 
Given the urgency of this moment, leadership of the WOL Network and the Community of Practice work group are engaging membership and close colleagues, friends and followers in launching an intersectional, open source campaign that centers the issues that the network and friends of the network are working on. We are committed to finding ways to elevate the damage inflicted by structural racism, implicit bias and racial trauma and seek opportunities for joint work and joint action toward racial equity, justice and healing. We are committed to having the work of the network to reflect the larger field.
We want to hear from youhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHMPWGR
Please note, we have extended the survey timeline by one week! Please do respond by Friday, September 30th and shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. This short survey will help capture both your thinking on what's most important for the network to address as well as the skills you and your organization may have to offer in joint action and joint work moving forward.

Introducing WOL's Rapid Response Protocol

Within Our Lifetime is developing a Rapid Response protocol, in collaboration with Movement Net Lab, to respond to crisis situations or watershed events that may arise around the country. The protocol will include guidelines on: a process to determine if and how we will respond; how WOL will consult with and inform our members; organizing calls to action; and providing support to directly impacted communities. We have determined that our Rapid Response contribution will encompass three areas - Technical Assistance, Resourcing, and Messaging. The Resource Working Group is in discussion with several foundations who are interested in funding this initiative.
We are requesting input on the draft protocol, especially from people who have experience working on the ground, so we can ensure alignment of our proposed offerings and the needs of the community.  We are also looking for a community to pilot our protocol. If you can devote two hours to reviewing the protocol and providing feedback, please contact Chris Messinger at chrismess1@gmail.com or complete this form.
Thanks to Chris Messinger, Lila Cabbil, Allen Frimpong, and Michael Scott for leading this effort!

Funding Survey - Get Involved!

In 2015, WOL developed a Racial Justice survey to gather baseline data on the state of funding for racial equity and healing organizations and to learn more about funding relationships so we can collectively determine strategies on working with foundations. The Resource Working Group engaged the  Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, who conducted cross-tabulations of the data. We will be sharing the data later this fall, and discussing with members during strategy sessions, as well as convening funders and activists for conversations to build relationships and develop equity principles for working together. 
The Funding Survey team is looking for people, especially those who have perspectives and experience working with philanthropy and interested in strategizing next steps.   Also for team members who have organizing skills, and/or messaging and communication skills. The time commitment would be monthly meetings along with committee work. Please contact Maggie Potapchuk at mpotapchuk@mpassociates.us or complete this form.

Implicit Bias Update

The WOL Implicit Bias campaign has now entered phase II, moving from awareness to action.  Members of our Implicit Bias Campaign Working Group are planning de-biasing strategies within each of their organizations.  Materials are being prepared to assist in moving from awareness to action. 
On September 8 and 15, WOL hosted webinars on implicit bias for the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a WOL member.  Rachel Godsil of The Perception Institute and WOL co-founder Dushaw Hockett of Spaces were the presenters.  The first webinar focused primarily on the science of implicit bias and its manifestations in health care and among health care providers.  The second webinar focused on de-biasing strategies.  Several hundred people participated in each webinar, and the feedback has been extremely positive. 
A webinar on implicit bias is being planned for NTL, also a WOL member.  Earlier webinars by Cheryl Staats of the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University and by Rachel Godsil are posted on the WOL website.  The Working Group continues to meet by conference call to explore ways to further promote de-biasing strategies and welcomes ideas from WOL members."

WOL Endorses the Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform

In August 2016, the Movement for Black Lives invited organizations to sign up to endorse their platform and to support their demands.   The WOL Leadership Council has formally endorsed the platform, and encourages our member organizations to endorse as well, or as individuals, if you haven't done so already. 
Please use the link below for additional information, including the full platform and demands.

Connect with WOL at the Facing Race Conference

Race Forward's bi-annual racial justice conference "Facing Race" is in Atlanta November 10-12 and WOL leaders and members will be there!   A unique collaborative space for racial justice movement making, Facing Race is the largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders. 
For further details on the conference, including information on how to register, please see the link below.   We hope to see you in Atlanta!

Join a Working Group

In January 2016, WOL established three working groups - Community of Practice, Communications, and Resource.  Over the past six months, the working groups developed their structure and goals for the coming year.  They invite you to join in! The time commitment is 5 hours a month, including semi-monthly conference calls.
The following working groups have specific needs at this time: 
The Communications Working Group welcomes assistance in selecting and implementing a new website.  We are also looking to expand our base so that we can form smaller action groups to be tech stewards for all virtual calls, set up the project management system, advance our social media presence, and to help set up tech trainings, so everyone knows know to use videoconferencing, google docs, program management platforms, etc.
The Resource Working Group is looking for people interested in strategizing on working with foundations, with the Racial Justice Funding Survey and convening funders and activists.  This team is also working to organize a rapid response infrastructure and provide training to projects in crowdfunding.
And as mentioned in earlier sections of this newsletter, there is also an opportunity to assist our Rapid Response or Funding Survey teams.  
To join one of these groups, please complete this form.

New Membership Map

And to close, do you know where our network members are located? Check out WOL's new Membership Map! Learn who is in your community and let's grow the map!