Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
[EPISODE] Youth Leadership and Whole Self To Work
Our panel of youths and a program coordinator explains how to engage young people in organizational decision making, using technology development as the vehicle.
Whole Self To Work
What does it mean for marginalized folks to bring their whole selves to work? Why does it matter for your org when people of color feel they can’t be fully themselves in your office?
Our panel answers these and offers subtle but powerful strategies to dismantle barriers. They’re Raj Aggarwal and Vanice Dunn, both from Provoc.
Tony introduces his guests and explains their backgrounds so far in their young careers. Sarah and Lucky explain why they came to the conference and their goal with getting youth more involved. Lalee explain what happens at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and how they let the younger members take the reins on projects with a little bit of structure and support. Sarah says that it’s important to have youth lead at the same level as adults. When youth know they have a voice and are comfortable they can prosper.
The guests discuss the purpose of the Golden Gate Parks project, which works to get affordable ways for youths of color to come to these parks and participate in all kinds of activities. They then talk about the process of fundraising and how they obtained grants to fund different parts of the project. Sarah and Lucky talk about the decision making power that they had in their programs and the different things they learned from having that responsibility. They also say that while it’s great having positions of leadership, it took hard work to learn the different tools that they needed to be successful. Their message to small and mid-sized non-profits is that they should always include youth voice, whether it’s relevant to the non-profit’s goals or not. They also suggest that with the right structure, there should even be a place for youth members on the board of trustees.
Tony introduces his second round of guests who are Raj Aggarwal and Vanice Dunn, both from Provoc. Vanice talks about her position at Provoc and explains the importance of creating spaces for marginalized individuals so that they can bring their whole self to work. She also talks about what it’s like for people of color who can’t bring their whole self to work or are put in lesser positions compared to the white majority. She highlights the fact that companies should be prioritizing racial equity and how it can benefit them. Raj then talks about his role as Director of Equity at Provoc and his goal on dismantling inequality and structural racism within nonprofits. As he does this work he says it’s helped him address his own ideas on race while trying to make a difference.
Raj speaks about the work and the goals of Provoc. He also talks about the advantages that white people have in the nonprofit and overall world. He says that now in the Trump era that people are more aware of the problems, but there is still a lot of ground to be made. Raj talks about his learning process as head of the company. He also analyzes the importance about addressing things like age and gender when talking about equity. Tony and Raj then discusses the importance of lived experience over traditional education and how that can help level the playing field in many ways. Raj says the most important thing is making sure that your workspace is a comfortable place where people want to work with you.