As we mentioned last month, Bay Path College hosted an event on Wednesday the 10th on the roles that various generations can play in nonprofit leadership. The keynote speaker was Frances Kunreuther, whose Building Movement Project works to strengthen non-profits as sites of democratic practice and as catalysts for social change movements. We’ll add a link to the podcast of the program once it becomes available.
One of the best quotes of the morning came from panel member Maria Tarajano Rodman, currently the associate executive director for Program and Community Development within the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium. She was speaking about her earlier experience as executive director of another non-profit, where she was often the only young Latina in meetings otherwise composed of older white males. They would ask her to provide “the woman’s perspective”, “the young person’s perspective”, or “the Latino community’s perspective” on various issues, but over time she realized that she could not speak for any of those communities, but only for herself. She came to envision her role as “creating conditions to allow people to speak in their own voice”.
The Springfield Institute shares her perspective. Through events like our community focus groups, we seek to provide a platform through which individuals can share their own stories, worries, and aspirations. Too often, people are ignored as others claim to speak for them, or no one speaks for them at all.