LOOKING BACK ON 2022,
PLANTING SEEDS FOR 2023
“we are each other’s harvest: we are each other’s business:
we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
Dear CompassPoint Community,
In 1983, Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, wrote the above words in her poem titled after, and written for, her friend Paul Robeson.
The deeply beautiful simplicity of her words remind us of our connections to one another. They remind us of our duty to gather each other up as harvest times require, to recognize, engage, experience, and value one another as being each other’s business requires, to witness each other’s greatness as magnitude requires, and to safely come together as bonding requires.
The idea that “we are each other’s business” resonates deeply with a core principle of CompassPoint’s programs: building power by building community.
Like all of you, we continue to grapple with what it means to build community in a world changed by COVID. If social justice requires us to come together to learn, challenge each other, and build relationships, how do we create the space for that?
In 2022, we continued to experiment in answer to that question. We held our first (in over two years!) in-person gatherings, bringing leaders together for the launch of Next Generation Black Leaders and Self-Care for Black Women Train the Trainers. We also brought together folks from our HIVE Leadership Development program, rebuilding connections and building new ones in preparation for a new cohort of reproductive justice leaders launching this year.
For CompassPoint, the questions of how we build community by building power and how we build a Pro-Black organization have evolved hand in hand. Together with Next Generation Black Leaders and Self-Care for Black Women in Leadership Train the Trainers, our Pro-Black Learning Series gave us an opportunity to bring together Black leaders hungry for connection and eager to explore what developing a Pro-Black stance at their organizations could look like.
Our online public trainings were a consistent anchor for community building and learning, with many folks eager to explore offerings of our public trainings specifically for BIPOC leaders. More than 1500 leaders from 800 different organizations joined us in our public programs last year! Across our peer networks for HR and finance leaders and our Resource Mobilizer Circle, over 500 leaders participated in online gatherings and listservs built for peer learning and mutual support.
In times of marked isolation, coming together to share challenges and successes (with a healthy dose of truth-telling, humor, and wisdom thrown in) helps remind us that we’re bound to each other. For leaders and organizations committed to social justice, it’s especially true! The last three years have reaffirmed that liberation depends on recognizing our interdependence.
We’re grateful for the energy, time, resources, and care you’ve invested not just in your own growth, but in the learning and transformation of leaders who share our learning spaces with you. We’re excited to bring that spirit into 2023 to continue to grow together.
In solidarity and partnership,
The CompassPoint Team