As the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon grows in NYC, spreads throughout the United States and across the globe, I wonder what kind of a world will be rebuilt post-corruption, greed, and injustice that sparked this movement. How will we lead new organizations? How will we govern cities, states and counties? As we work to break down what is not working, we must simultaneously work to build new systems, institutions and practices. I cannot think of a better time to launch a proactive initiative dedicated to developing new leadership paradigms by creating a community of practice.
Standing in Our Power (SiOP) is an intergenerational network of established and emerging Women of Color leaders who are committed to deep personal and social transformation. The purpose of the network is to co-create and embody new leadership models and cultures for our organizations and movements. Women of Color experience a unique intersection of oppressions; we believe that by healing from and transforming these oppressions, we can then serve as portals of liberation for our selves, our communities and our world.
SiOP will work to build sisterhood and solidarity, create spaces for women to share our struggles and solutions, while intentionally cultivating a community of practice; this practice consists of exploring and piloting new forms of leadership that are rooted in our cultures, lived experiences and collective vision. Women of Color leaders will be supported to lead from a place of being centered and grounded, to honor our intuition, and to build trusting partnerships with allies. While working to end racial, gender and class disparities, SiOP will foster the leadership development of women of color and spark cultural shifts in organizations and essentially, a paradigm shift in our movement.