Alliance Announces New Fellowship Program Names First Fellows
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Alliance Announces New Fellowship Program
Names First Fellows
On October 5, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, a unique national organization of and for nonprofit capacity builders across the U.S., named the first two Fellows for its new Fellowship Program.
“It is clear that we need changemaking work more than ever,” says Susan Ragusa, one of the Alliance’s Fellow Program Coordinators. “It is also clear that we need more changemakers, especially changemakers of color.”
Enter the Alliance’s new Fellowship Program, launched by Ragusa and Julia Burns, this summer. The innovative program pairs emerging capacity builders of color with seasoned professionals in the field to help nurture the next generation of changemakers.
Two Denver-area emerging capacity builders of color were selected for the inaugural year’s program: Jice Johnson of Black Business Initiative and Juliette Lee of the Chinook Fund.
Each has been partnered with two experienced capacity builders who will serve as mentors. Alliance Fellows and Mentors will work together through the year in relationships of reciprocal learning to advance community commitment toward a more equitable society and to enrich the field of nonprofit capacity building.
Jice Johnson is a US Army veteran and mother of three. For the last 15 years, she’s been dedicated to creating a prosperous Black community despite the systems built to work against Black people. “I’ve not only learned about business, economic history, and culture,” she says, “but how to incorporate those pieces together in a way that aligns the Black community’s economic needs with supporting policy.”
At work, Johnson is creating and supporting holistic solutions by working with community members, government, private partners, and organizations to deliver strong business acumen training, mentorship programs, and cooperative and traditional pathways to access capital to increase patronage in Black-owned businesses. “I am using all my knowledge to provide the Black community with the tools needed to end the racial wage gap and build intergenerational legacy,” she says.
Through her participation in the Fellows program, Johnson is looking to develop stronger advocacy, facilitation, and coaching skills to expand her capacity-building efforts. She is also looking for guidance on scaling her organization and developing systems that will help them expand their impact.
Alliance members Philip Arca, of arca & associates in Oakland, CA, and Anne Yurasek, of Fio Partners in Chester, CT are partnering as mentors with Johnson.
Juliette Lee is Program Director at the Chinook Fund where she leads a community leadership program in social justice and philanthropy called The Giving Project that brings diverse individuals together to learn more about race, class, and power in society, raise funds for grassroots social change work, and allocate those funds through a consensus decision making process.
“I work at the intersection of resource development, anti-oppression, community engagement, and leadership development,” says Lee. “I’m focused on increasing our society's collective capacity to name and dismantle white supremacy culture in our giving, volunteering, and organizing. In my work, I support community discussions that are explicit about anti-blackness and native genocide as the foundations of exploitative wealth building in our society; these discussions frame community accountability around our commitments to black liberation and native sovereignty.”
During her fellowship year with the Alliance, Lee hopes to develop new conflict resilience skills and better practices for establishing cultural practices for diverse groups around listening and relationship repair. “I'd also like to expand the important trust- and community-building work of developing meaningful partnerships with native leaders in the region to support more thoughtful representation of diverse First Nations voices in our work.”
Alliance members Judy Levine, of Cause Effective in New York, NY and Suzanne Tan of Insightful Transitions in El Cerrito, CA, are partnering as mentors with Lee.
The immersive Fellowship experience, with its rich diversity of work, programming, and people, will help Johnson and Lee gain knowledge and practical advice from Alliance practitioners.
“The overarching goal of this program is Alliance Fellows and Mentors working together in relationships of reciprocal learning and inspiration,” says Julia Burns, Alliance’s Fellow Program Coordinator. “Emerging capacity builders of color will develop tools, skills, and expertise to lead transformational change. In the process, Fellows will encourage and challenge their Mentors with new ideas and perspectives for advancing community commitment toward a more equitable society.”
Johnson and Lee will share their learnings as they present their project and reflect on the program at next year’s 2021 conference slated for Denver, Colorado. “The vision for each group of Fellows is to remain engaged with future Fellows to grow generations of diverse capacity-building professionals for the decades of changemaking work ahead,” notes Burns.
Read the full release here.