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Launched in 2021, the Navigating Change initiative was developed by Aurora Commons and Change Elemental in partnership with the Ford Foundation’s Civic Engagement and Government program to explore how groups in the civic engagement field are building organizations that both advance and embody equitable democracy. The initiative convened nearly 200 civic engagement and democracy organizations who are already experimenting with ways to transform their organizations and their work, and who sought resourcing to deepen the mutual learning about what is working to advance change. Through this mutual learning, they aimed to build the relationships necessary for interdependent transformation that embodies an equitable, democratic future in the present moment and for the long haul.

In media projects, ten Content Fellows share their particular experiences and lessons learned with navigating changes they believe are necessary for equitable, democratic organizations who are embodying the future they’d like to see. Here we feature three pieces that uplift learnings about  what it takes to embrace and bridge conflicts within and across organizations to work together equitably, including differences that surface across race, gender, class, and generation. Engage with these offerings below.

Akosua Meyers, Center for Law and Social Policy – Trust as a Valued Commodity at Work and in Movementsnavigates organizational growth and transitions years, calling on others in social and economic justice organizations to invest in building trust as a core value.

Ashley Marshall, Forward Justice – Shared collaborative leadership through a lens of differing identities and navigating through these circumstances still allows for equitable decision-making, organizational experiences/practices, and cultural growth, while navigating conflict around identity in co-directorships. 

Maria Ibarra-Frayre, We the People Michigan – The Risk of Winning,” a long-form poem about growing into your power and holding generative tension within an organization from an immigrant BIPOC female perspective.

We invite you to check out other learnings from the content fellows on aligning operations with values and nurturing leadership and to learn more about the Navigating Change Initiative!

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