Dear Reader, What does the unknown hold for you? This is a question I’ve been reflecting on a lot as we move into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the long-overdue mainstream awakening to racism and the violent reactions to suppress it, each day seems full of consequential choices-- essential work, remote learning, vaccination, protesting, gathering… These conditions, in sharp relief now, mirror the disproportionate burden of risk held by some members of our society just to be in the world every day. This season, the theme of MIndOpen’s quarterly newsletter is our core value of Courage. We define this as moving into the unknown, driven by a purpose greater than one’s self. Sometimes it may be a dive, sometimes an imperceptible gesture, but it is forward. In MindOpen’s work with professionals and organizations, we witness and elicit this kind of courage in all of our projects. For all the schooling, training, and evidence we may have, it doesn’t mean much without risking the authentic human connection that has no roadmap. The Learn with Us section at the bottom of this newsletter shares tools for courageous leaps that our clients are finding helpful. Human language is by its nature imprecise and imperfect, yet It’s striking that the Latin root of the word “courage” is cor: heart. It follows that the word “encourage,” literally means “to bring forth courage.” A quick scan of my emails shows how frequently and casually I say “encourage” with no consideration of its root meaning. What could happen if that connection to bravery was made explicit just as frequently in communication? This year I turned 50 years old, not an age to be taken for granted, and it’s cliche, but I feel I don’t have time to waste in the choice of how I spend my time. I’m proud to share MindOpen’s first Year in Review Dashboard that highlights meaningful metrics in our mission of centering social justice as the guiding goal for organizational efforts. I’ve learned so much in taking the plunge into creating a business over these last four years, and that includes where I need to ask for help in order to show up with health and creativity for the hard work of confronting systemic injustice. Collaborating and connecting in our mission-based work has always been at our heart of MindOpen, but this year I’m investing in my own business coaching to strengthen MindOpen’s infrastructure and dive out of my comfort zone into structuring service packages and fees for sustainability. This will bring learning, growth, and probably a little discomfort, but that's what the community is for. We are in a time of powerful shifts in assumptions and possibilities. Thank you for being here with us at this moment. If you have the time, we would love to hear from you about how you have chosen to be courageous in the past year, and what plans you may have for the future.
Warmly, Elizabeth & the MindOpen Team
Getting Talent Back to Work Certificate Program
We are honored to be a featured advisor for the Getting Talent Back to Work Certificate program, a collaboration between the Center for Employment Opportunities and the Society for Human Resources Management Foundation. This brand new FREE certificate program equips HR professionals and other stakeholders with knowledge and skills to make their workplace inclusive of talent with conviction histories. The 10-hour long curriculum uses a combination of video modules, guided reflection activities, and quizzes to provide a high-quality self-directed learning experience. HR professionals will earn 10 professional development credits by completing the course. Please join us in congratulating our intern, Damonique Fermin, a graduating senior at Wagner College, for completing the certificate program! You can see her certificate pictured above. Check out the virtual toolkit and let us know what you think: Link
Learn with Us
The poem "Invitation to Brave Space” by Micky ScottBey Jones offers a powerful reminder for adult learning and professional development: safety is subjective, perfection is a myth, and the path to shared justice is through the community.
The unspoken assumptions in an organization's day-to-day life have a big impact on whether or not social justice goals remain lip service or become action. This book is a roadmap for leaders and teams ready to uncover the hidden barriers and opportunities in their nonprofit organization's culture.
Quality data disaggregated by race is essential for accountability and progress toward workplace racial equity. SurveyMonkey is offering free DEI survey templates assessing multiple dimensions of equity and inclusion, advised by BIPOC women-led The Justice Collective.