Planting the Seeds for the Transformation of our Workshops Program

March 4, 2019

Dear CompassPoint Community

We’re writing to let you know about some changes to our workshops program, what you can expect in 2019, and why we're excited about where we're headed with you. 

Over the last few years, we’ve been making strides to live more deeply into our commitment to be a leadership development practice that centers racial justice and practices liberation inside and out. Last year, we shared a new set of vision and values that are the beacon calling us to walk our talk more fully across our programs.

Change happens in both evolutionary and revolutionary ways and when it comes to the workshops offered through our public program, this is a year for us to hit pause on some core offerings so we can plant the seeds for deeper transformation.

We are starting our investment in this transformation with two core elements—managing people and money (or our supervision and finance classes)—that have been core to our offerings over the years. What is clear to us now is the ways in which these elements are often central to how we continue to replicate oppression in our organizations—and therefore also key to our potential for liberation.

We know how valuable these learning spaces are for the CompassPoint community and so we want to be transparent about what’s changing.

Here’s what you can expect this year

We’ll continue to offer many of the workshops you’ve come to regularly expect from us. However, the volume of classes—especially our supervision and finance classes—will be lower than in past years to create time and space for our team to start reimagining, revising, and updating these core offerings, which sit at the heart of many of our biggest questions about how we lead, make decisions, and build collective power. 

Why are we changing? What are we excited about?

We are building off of a strong workshops program, tended to by many caring hands over the years, that is ready for the next phase of its evolution. We're deeply committed to the workshops program, so don't worry, it's not going anywhere! Through a collective vision and strategy process in 2017, we affirmed our belief in the importance of a public workshops program that makes it possible for everyday leaders to access the often scarce resource of personal and professional development.

All too often, people are given positions with little or no opportunity to learn the job, grow into their potential, or align work practices with values.  This is especially true for leaders of color and other marginalized groups. The public program is a space that can connect people to transformative learning experiences and to each other as change agents. We believe in the importance of convening kindred spirits, of having a homebase here in Oakland, and of creating spaces for nonprofit leaders, social justice leaders, and activists and organizers working in movement networks to come together and learn in community. Investing in the next chapter of this evolution reflects our commitment to serve our community through this program.

These shifts represent the beginning of a longer arc of change over the next several years as we move into a deeper and fuller transformation of our workshops program. What’s pulling us forward is a vision for leadership based in equity, consent, and collaboration; where we cultivate an intentionally anti-racist learning space and center leaders of color and white allies.

We know that change can sometimes feel disorienting, but we hope you share our excitement about what’s next. We’re inspired by the possibilities of radically reimagining what it means to learn together with you—not just by making shifts to our content or “curriculum” but by embracing a full range of learning approaches that invite everyone’s full creativity, wisdom, and life experience into the room.

Resources and Staying Connected

We know that change doesn’t come without some discomfort and so we want to offer some resources that might be useful to you this year.

Check out our list of Training Program Referrals here. >

Don't forget about CompassPoint's Finance Professionals Network and Human Resources Network, where you can get a lot of great support around managing people and money from a thriving community:

Learn more about CompassPoint's peer networks here. > 

As always, the best place to stay up-to-date with upcoming CompassPoint workshops is by visiting our workshops page here. Because of the reduced number of classes, we suggest making registrations for a desired date at least one month in advance.

Make sure you’re also signed up for our newsletter here. >

Thank you for being a part of the CompassPoint Community and for continuing to grow together with us.

In solidarity and partnership,
The CompassPoint Team

Read More About Recent Changes at CompassPoint:


Recent Posts

Project Director Lupe Poblano challenges readers—white and people of color—to confront white dominant culture within your nonprofit as the best way to move your organization toward equity. Lupe also provides practical, real suggestions on steps you can take to initiate change.

How can an organization build equity in its compensation process through distributed leadership? This piece will share how CompassPoint empowered a peer-led group to provide review and oversight to a compensation process that was designed to build more equity into our system.

As we all find ourselves being pushed, challenged, and transformed by this moment in time, it should be no surprise that dominant culture habits may be creeping back into our work, our teams, and our organizations. 

Submit a comment