Giving Compass' Take:

• Kavitha Mediratta, writing for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, discusses the necessity for collaboration and connection when trying to achieve large-scale transformational social change. 

• How can philanthropists help invest in and prioritize social change movements? 

• Here are nine ways to take action for social change in 2019. 

At the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity (AFRE), are closing out the first year of our fellowship program, in which 29 diverse leaders from the United States and South Africa gathered to deepen their work to address structural racism. It has been a remarkable experience, as well as challenging and humbling. The lessons we’ve learned will help us provide a more powerful experience for our future fellows and may be useful to others seeking to support social change leaders.

While many people are focused on the work activists are doing, particularly when it comes to funding and evaluating successes, few are thinking about how to help them connect, learn, and collaborate with others who are similarly motivated, but are working for change in different ways and in different communities and contexts. Such partnerships can help create the insights, skills, and conditions for broad and lasting progress.

Moving forward required a willingness to face conflict and differences squarely, and learn from them. As social justice activist and lawyer Bryan Stevenson, says—we need to get into “proximity” with things that make us uncomfortable and perspectives that are difficult to hear. We weren’t perfect at it, but when we succeeded at stepping in, real learning resulted. We took away four main lessons from the experience, and they have changed every aspect of our work:

  • Focus on Vision
  •  Look Out for Blind Spots
  • Reach Beyond the Usual Suspects
  • Listen and Learn From Difference

Read the full article about connecting social change leaders by Kavitha Mediratta at Stanford Social Innovation Review