Introducing Leading for Change, a New Cohort Program for Leaders of Color

Sep 19, 2021

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is excited to launch Leading for Change, a new cohort program for Leaders of Color, in partnership with Five Frogs Inc. Five Frogs is a trusted nonprofit with a 13-year track record of developing Connecticut leaders. Their mission is to build a powerful movement of diverse, representative leaders with the competencies, mindset, drive and relationships necessary to create lasting, positive change for an equitable Connecticut.

This customized, rich opportunity to engage with peers is sponsored by FCCF and available to leaders free of charge.

This opportunity is limited to 10-12 participants and offers an opportunity for leaders to engage deeply with other Fairfield County based leaders, over an eight month period, and build their social capital. Participants will engage in eight 90-minute group coaching sessions, as well as three social networking events. Participants will expand their awareness and knowledge of self, language, skills, and capabilities to respond to social injustices and advance equity through coaching, peer-to-peer learning and iterative practice. In addition, the group will build authentic, meaningful relationships with each other to promote and leverage real collaboration, collective work and shared practice. This program is designed for leaders at varying stages in their leadership journey.

Approach & Structure

Five Frogs leadership coaching is a confidential, strengths-based approach to help leaders get results. Leaders benefit from being in productive, trusting relationships with the coach and their peers. Through active listening and powerful and pertinent questions, coaches help leaders find and explore personal values, open up possibilities when a decision or action needs to be made, see different perspectives in a situation, try out and reflect on new practices and set and achieve goals.

Key principles:

• Leaders will find answers in themselves
• During each session, two leaders share a challenge they are facing in their leadership for which they would like peer support
• Discussion is driven by the leaders, not assigned by the coach
• The group has ownership of their actions and how the time together with the coach is used

Over an eight-month period, leaders will engage in eight 90-minute group coaching sessions every 4 weeks as well as three social, networking events. The networking events will occur at the start, mid-point and conclusion of group coaching. The networking events are in person and subject to transitioning to virtual gatherings based on CDC guidelines.

Facilitator

Roosevelt Smith, of Roosevelt Smith Consulting, has been selected to facilitate sessions virtually. Inspiring – breathing life – into individuals, organizations and movements to be the change they want to see in the world! Roosevelt Smith is a seasoned consultant, facilitator, coach and administrator with proven success in supporting start-up, transition, and capacity building phases for nonprofit organizations. He has twenty-five years of rich and extensive experience leading organizations and providing consulting services and training to nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning, organizational assessment/development, board governance, retreat facilitation, executive transitions and leadership development.

Roosevelt’s work has included large, small and volunteer-run nonprofit organizations in a wide array of mission areas such as youth development, housing, human services, human rights/social justice, environmental justice, food justice and arts. Prior to starting his independent consultant practice Roosevelt served for fifteen years as the Executive Director of two nonprofit youth development organizations in Boston, MA. Combined these organizations were responsible for assisting hundreds of Boston youth to graduate high school, attend college, and with becoming productive citizens.

As a consultant, Roosevelt believes in partnership, meeting people and organizations where they are and facilitating processes that surface possibilities while leveraging existing strengths. He utilizes a dynamic, interactive facilitation tool-bag that promotes energizing experiences, respects existing wisdom within organizations, promotes consensus and concrete, breakthrough results being achieved. Roosevelt attended New York University as a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar. He earned Certificates from the Harvard University Executive Education Program, the Association for Fundraising Professionals (Boston Chapter) and the Boston University, Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Intended Outcomes

The group experience is dynamic and powerful, leading to new individual discoveries and transformation.

Leaders will expand their awareness and knowledge of self, language, skills, and capabilities to respond to social injustices and advance equity through coaching, peer-to-peer learning and iterative practice.

Participants will build deeper, authentic relationships with each other to promote and leverage real collaboration, collective work and shared practice.

Leaders will play an active role in, and/or lead advancing equity initiatives, shaping efforts, and influencing discussions throughout their various spheres of influence.

Leaders will also:

• Experiment, learn and grow in a confidential space
• Support problem solving among the group
• Develop new ways of thinking and acting
• Support the identification of obstacles and opportunities, with an emphasis on progressive action
• Explore ideas, feelings, tensions with the hopes of illuminating the key issues, or moving an idea further


APPLICATION DUE DATE:
Friday, October 15, 2021

PEER COHORT DATES: 
November 16, 2021
December 14, 2021
January 18, 2022
February 15, 2022
March 15, 2022
April 19, 2022
May 17, 2022
June 14, 2022
All cohort meetings run virtually, from 3-4:30 pm ET.

NETWORKING EVENT DATES: 
November 3, 2021
February 10, 2022
June 14, 2022 (last day of coaching session)
The socials will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm ET.

Click here to submit your application to the Fall 2021 cohort.