Strengthening Emerging Social Justice Groups and the Intermediaries that Support Them

Strengthening Emerging Social Justice Groups and the Intermediaries that Support Them

by Natalie Bamdad

Every day, new social justice groups emerge led by youth, people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, immigrants and other groups outside of traditional spheres of power. They are bringing their leadership and much-needed vision to address long-existing struggles for equity in their communities.

 

Supporting these emerging groups - and integral to their important work - are intermediaries. Rather than becoming an independent nonprofit immediately, many new groups choose to be incubated by a separate 501c3 - or intermediary - such as a grantmaker or fiscal sponsor. These intermediaries often support a new group’s capacity to legally secure grant funding, develop strategy, and/or manage key back-office functions needed to do their work well. In providing these supports, intermediaries help create flexibility and extra capacity for emerging groups to refine and implement their strategy, and test various organizational structures, with support from a more established organization.

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Emergent Coaching: Becoming Nimble in Complex Times

In a recent article published in the Nonprofit Quarterly, we explored the question: how can coaching support individuals and groups to be nimble in complex times?


Organizations, networks, and individuals are using coaching in different ways to foster flexibility and agility in these unpredictable and contentious times. As coaches, we have noticed a trend: when coaching broadens to a critical mass within a group, it can help build the group’s capacity to navigate emergence and complexity. We wondered, what is it about coaching that supports this capacity?

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The World is Hurting

This past week's events have heightened a sense of despair and grief that has too long been close to the surface. We are holding space for this at MAG and want to extend this space to our partners, clients, friends, and colleagues. To do so, we share an excerpt from Warsan Shire's poem, "what they did yesterday afternoon," which we read at our staff meeting this week. 

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Creativity and cultivating intactness as ways forward through complexity

At MAG we believe that influencing complex systems requires embedding multiple ways of knowing, making space for inner work, and cultivating leaderful ecosystems. Below we share how art-based storytelling, the concept of “intactness,” and creative visualizations were integrated into the design of network gatherings in order to support connection and align cross movement leaders on conceptualizations of north stars.

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