“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”― C.G. Jung
Bring Your Whole Self
A Conversation with Lead Catalyst Mashona Council
In order to shift culture, you have to be willing to bring your whole self. As a leader, knowing yourself, your team, and the organization is an important role. What does it mean to bring your whole self? We asked Catalyst Mashona Council, a seasoned facilitator and project lead for the Wallace Foundation.
"Your whole self is being able to acknowledge and recognize what your strengths and weaknesses are and having a heightened sense of self-awareness that you bring into whatever space you're in, which then allows you to express your needs, joys and discomforts in order to be fully present".
Mashona has found being in the consulting space, particularly coming off of the COVID pandemic, has allowed more people to lean into bringing their full selves, with the understanding that the present is all we have. Regarding the current state we all are in, she stated, "We can't control it; all we can do is be present in it and be responsive. This is what is and how you find full joy in the here and now". It was this thinking that allowed Mashona to settle into who she is as both a leader and a lover of nature; live off the land her family owns in Orange, Virginia during the summer of 2020, and still bring her best self as the lead Catalyst with the Wallace Foundation.
This month, HTI finished the last of four convenings of the Youth Arts Initiative learning community, a multi-year initiative funded by The Wallace Foundation, which supported Boys and Girls Clubs and the field of youth development in general in providing high-quality arts programming.
In the words of a Wallace member "HTI got everything right" and Mashona is especially pleased that during the work they were able to help the Wallace team see themselves as a part of the community, not just the holder of the community, which brought out a heightened sense of awareness, intentionality, trust-building, modeling, and culture change.
Mashona's Key Takeaways/Reflections:
Having the resources to do the work and the value of the work and experiences as well as the understanding that it doesn't take a lot of resources to make a connection.
How real energy is, working on projects and with people you enjoy working with, her strength as a leader, and her willingness to step up differently when needed.
Self Care Practices
For Mashona, self-care is her awareness of what she needs in the moment, which may be a nap because she's feeling irritable or taking the dog out for a walk to get some sun. Knowing all the things that bring her joy and peace and knowing in the moment what she needs has helped her to bring her whole self to the work she loves.
What showing up looked like across the project
Showing Up -- In Motion
Mashona led the creation of this piece in partnership with Practicing Teaching Artists from each city. Each city's primary art form from each Club was highlighted and the performance was an example of a high quality culminating arts event.
CEO Dr. Folami takes on 30-Day Writing Challenge, Board of Education Resolution and More
Bringing My Whole Self
What a month it's been! It's hard to believe we're mid-year, summer is around the corner, and whew, what a ride it's been. I feel like I'm coming full circle and I'm on fire about lifting up my voice in ways that I've never done.
But first, let me introduce you to my 95-year old mother. Isn't she a beauty? I had an opportunity to spend some time with her in Virginia this month. Taking the time to visit, reflect, rest, and just be was everything I needed. If you know me, you know how important family and relationships are to me. I love the time I get to spend in community, professionally or personally.
Speaking of community, we are well on our way in Series #2 of Listening 4 Justice. This work is built on over 30 years of knowledge, reflection, and experience and has fully awakened me to the possibilities a committed group of individuals can make and how important it is that we each play a part in dismantling racism.
More than one colleagues recently challenged me to write for 30 days in a row. writing challenge. As I began the challenge, I discovered that there is a whole lot I have and want to express that I haven't shared. And my only hope is that my writing helps, informs, instructs and inspires others to self-love, invest in their communities and both healing and anti-racism work. As an influencer, it's important that I share my voice. What am I writing about? Anything that touches my heart and speaks to my soul like the recent Board of Education resolution. I am on fire about it! Please check out this article I wrote, Why the Ga DOE Ban the Truth Resolution, and learn more.
At HTI, we are committed to the HTI way and part of that is bringing our whole selves, to serve each other, our partners and ourselves.
Folami, CEO, HTI Catalysts
Our Equity Work Continues with YOU
Seeking Partners Interested in Bringing L4J to Their Organizations
Listening 4 Justice is centered on shared learning and understanding knowing that we each have a role to play towards racial equity and healing.
We are actively seeking organizations that want to
Take a proactive approach to racial equity and healing in a climate where change is needed and wanted.
Position themselves as corporate leaders in listening, learning, and leading for understanding.
Create safer environments for employees to learn, unlearn and build relationships along with a sense of belonging across differences.
Join our Youth Participatory Partnership with UP for Learning to connect youth and adult teams across the country in a range of work that can shift the narrative of curricular focus to empower youth to become actively involved in their school and local communities.
Resource to Help Our Children Bring Their Whole Self
Cultivate the Genius of Black Childrenin partnership with Black Child Development Institute (BCDI)-Atlanta presents this 5-PART ONLINE EDUCATION SERIES presented by Renowned Author & Speaker Dr. Debra R. Sullivan.Upcoming Sessions: Register here if interested
Wednesday, June 30, 2021: Parent & Teacher Efficacy
HTI Catalysts utilizes facilitated experiences to shift leaders and communities towards equity and shared visioning that impact change. Our three areas of focus include Advancing Equity, Youth Development, and Education Transformation.