A collective of leadership development organizations that work across the state have agreed to develop a shared curriculum focused on racial justice and equity.
The result stems from a year of conversations spurred on by the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and many other people of color and the subsequent unrest and increase in hate crimes across America. The collective, comprised of American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center, Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, ASU Leadership Institute, Greater Tucson Leadership, Public Allies Arizona, Scottsdale Leadership, State of Black Arizona, Tempe Leadership and Valley Leadership, came together to identify how they could impact inequities and provide better resources to individuals interested in leading in the community. The resulting curriculum will be integrated in different formats throughout each organization’s programming, starting in 2022.
The goal of this shared curriculum is to create common language for dialogue; providing knowledge around the need for more equity and inclusion practices and policies; providing shared analysis and concepts for examining and working toward racial justice; and tools for identifying how to apply a racial equity lens to one’s own leadership practice for structural or organizational change.“Our vision is to empower leaders to have honest conversations about the communities we live, work and play in, and how we as Arizonans can engage to make them stronger. As we began talking last summer, we saw an opportunity to create a shared space to explore how we can foster a paradigm shift for advancing racial justice and racial equity in Arizona,” said Teniqua Broughton, executive director of State of Black Arizona and the group’s facilitator.
“It is encouraging how our leadership network came together in a unanimous commitment to advance racial justice. These conversations are important, yet it is our collaborative’s commitment to action by advancing knowledge and tools for leaders to enact a more just and equitable society that is most promising,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. The ASU Lodestar Center runs the American Express Leadership Academy and Public Allies Arizona.
“We must have the courage to look, courage to learn, courage to speak, courage to listen and courage to change so that we can move toward a more inclusive Arizona,” said Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director Lee Ann Witt.
“Conversations about race and equity are happening around kitchen tables and throughout the workplace – and they also must happen when we talk about the future of our community. Through this partnership, we will give people the tools to apply that lens and, ultimately, create a more inclusive Arizona,” said Valley Leadership CEO Dave Brown.