February 17, 2017

In celebration of Black History Month, CompassPoint staff members, organized by our Operations Coordinator, Jasmine Hall, have been taking time this February to learn more about the lives of Black activists and artists with ties to our home base of Oakland. These individuals, some of whom we were familiar with and others who were new to us, have all contributed to building racial and social justice in the Oakland community and beyond. We've learned a lot and thought you, too, might be interested in learning more about these champions for equity. (Note: the bios have been excerpted from Wikipedia and websites associated with the individuals.)

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Lupe Poblano
September 22, 2016

How do some structures at nonprofit organizations make it harder for people of color to thrive and survive? In this open letter to other POC leaders, Project Director Lupe Poblano explores how patriarchal, white dominant structures that prioritize hierarchy and productivity fail to support community, connection, and the ability to bring our authentic selves to work. 

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September 6, 2016

In our blog this week, Project Coordinator Kad Smith explores the ways in which individuals can contribute to change by exercising influence, even without positional authority and the power and privilege that often go along with it. Do you agree with Kad?

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Lupe Poblano
August 10, 2016

What role should equity and allyship play in organizational change efforts? Project Director Lupe Poblano says they are the respective goal and means through which to achieve true change. Do you agree? Read Lupe's blog and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Peggy Duvette
July 11, 2016

In this guest blog, Peggy Duvette, Director of Social Impact at, offers nonprofits smart and practical guidance on how to best utilize free technology like software or cloud applications within your organization.

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Shannon Ellis
July 7, 2016

As a follow-up to the blog “What is a Theory of Change and How Can You Use It?” CompassPoint Project Director Shannon Ellis draws on her experience as a consultant in this strategy area to share which situations are conducive to a successful theory of change process and which aren’t.

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Marla Cornelius
June 23, 2016

In this twist on the old adage, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Marla Cornelius urges us to reframe how we label tasks. Rather than a task being something you either do or don’t want to do, she recommends looking at every task as inherently valuable in its own way.

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June 20, 2016

We're pleased to share with you this incomplete(!) round up of racial justice resources curated by CompassPoint staff members Amy Benson, Michelle Gislason, Maro Guevara, sujin lee, and Asha Mehta. We hope you find this list useful, invite you to add your favorite resources, and share it widely with your networks .

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Michelle Gislason
June 13, 2016

We need to break away from the traditional, Westernized story of the heroic leader toward a more expansive, sustainable, and community-oriented leadership approach. This is the premise of this piece by Senior Project Director Michelle Gislason, which takes readers on a journey starting with thoughts on our current political landscape and ending with how we can create change in our communities—with stops along the way to consider adaptive leadership, outdated power paradigms, and nonprofit leadership. Enjoy the ride!

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Emily Austin
May 3, 2016

In this guest blog, Emily Austin, Director of Advocacy Services at CALCASA, shares her perspectives on attending a staff retreat focused on a strengths-based leadership approach and how it can be used within her organization. 

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