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Leading with Love, for Liberation, and in Joy: A Leadership Series from Vital Village Networks

Updated: Nov 15

November 14, 2022

By Corin Bauman, Network Equity Coordinator, Vital Village Networks


Contributions and edits by Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Renee Boynton-Jarrett, Founding Director, and Saghi Malekanian, Communication & Operations Associate


 

What if we made room for all of our humanity, all of our feelings, in our collective work?

(from Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts address on Liberating our Joy, October 18, 2022)


What if we moved not just at the speed of trust, but also at the pace of urgency which courage requires?

(from Chera Reid closing conversation at the Data Equity Symposium, October 17, 2022)


What if we entered our collective work through a lens of love, and the lens of being, at first, a learner?

(from Dr. Kevin Simon address on Laying the Foundation for a Lasting Legacy, October 19, 2022)


These questions were just some of the ways the presenters and speakers at this year’s National Community Leadership Summit invited attendees to engage with the summit theme of Crafting our Legacy: Collective Action for Love, Liberation, and Joy.


Vital Village Networks will be publishing a series of leadership articles featuring continued engagement, learning, and action being carried forward from this year’s Summit. To kick-off the series, Vital Village Staff member Corin Bauman, shares brief highlights from this year’s event under the themes of Joy, Liberation and Love and includes reflection questions for readers to consider and explore with their communities, coalitions, and colleagues.


Joy

Summit Day 1 kicked off with the opening plenary session on Liberating Our Joy, featuring keynote speaker Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts. Lewis-Giggetts discussed her most recent work Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration and encouraged us to become “students of joy,” to learn what joy feels like in our bodies, to be able to “call joy up” when we need it, and to “know that joy is our birthright.”


How might you cultivate more joy in your work / life?


Image credit: Corrina Keeling, Love Letters for Everybody, from NCLS 2022 Keynote address Liberating our Joy by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts

Suggested Related Summit Session Recordings*

  • Keynote Address: Liberating Our Joy - Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts

  • Children Need Roots and Wings: Transformative Education for Liberation - Tafshier Cosby, YaSheka Taylor, & Tanya Nixon-Silberg (Education Track)

*Select session recordings are available on the Hopin platform for Summit Registrants until Nov. 19th


Liberation

Liberation was a lens through which leaders at the pre-Summit Data Equity Symposium explored topics on decolonizing research and evaluation and advancing metrics for racism. Transforming data stewardship practices, recognizing that “what we measure, we make visible,” and adding a focus in research on measuring the tools and processes by which racism operates, were just some of the actions discussed by members of the Data Equity Symposium roundtable, Advancing Metrics of Racism, Inequality and Social & Cultural Strength (Speakers: Clemens Noelke, Scientist, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy [ICYFP]; Kim Gallon, Founder and Executive Director COVID Black; Stephanie M. Curenton Executive Director, BU Center for the Ecology of Early Development, Associate Professor).


What are you making visible through your research and evaluation practices?


Image credit: Corrina Keeling, Love Letters for Everybody, from NCLS 2022 Data Equity Symposium roundtable Advancing Metrics of Racism, Inequality and Social & Cultural Strength (Speakers: Clemens Noelke, Kim Gallon, & Stephanie M. Curenton)

Suggested Related Summit Session Recordings*

  • Town Hall: Liberating Black Fatherhood and Birth Justice - Omari Maynard & Bruce McIntyre

  • Community Engagement in Food Systems Work - Tevin Gray, Erica Hall, Nakia Sims, & Kaitlyn Walsh (Food Systems Track)

  • Restoring Our Communities and Relationships with Dignity - Eric Anderson & Hasshan Batts (Justice Track)

*Select session recordings are available on the Hopin platform for Summit Registrants until Nov. 19th. The Data Equity Symposium does not have recordings.


Love

Stories of “Love” as a pillar of crafting our legacy were shared across the Summit and were bright spots for showcasing how love can be embodied in our collective work. Keynote speaker Tamika D. Mallory in her discussion, Building Just Movements Together, emphasized that while the work of our coalitions is vital, there is a critical need for connectivity and community in sustaining our movements, to recognize that “relationships cultivate compassion.”


How can we develop leadership practices which make space for building and sustaining connectivity and community in our work?


Image credit: Corrina Keeling, Love Letters for Everybody, from NCLS 2022 Keynote Discussion Building Just Movements Together by Tamika D. Mallory

​Suggested Related Summit Session Recordings*

  • Keynote Discussion: Building Just Movements Together - Tamika D. Mallory

  • Closing Plenary: Laying the Foundation for a Lasting Legacy - Kevin Simon

  • The Cost of Freedom: Writing A New Birth Equity Story - Joyce Clark, Jessica Roach & Dorian Wingard (Health Track)

*Select session recordings are available on the Hopin platform for Summit Registrants until Nov. 19th



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