Dear Friends of Nonprofit Leadership,
As we come to the end of 2021, much has changed, even though the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the realities of racial and economic inequalities remain with us. Both during times of challenge and celebration—we are thankful for you—our community of leaders, learners, and change-makers who are committed to expanding justice and serving others, personally and professionally.
This fall, we welcomed a new cohort of master of nonprofit leadership students—the 27th!--and safely returned to in-person learning after spending the prior 18 months online. It was wonderful to finally meet students in person who began the program in 2020 online and affirm the connections we had built virtually. The Nonprofit Leadership offices also moved from 1401 E. Jefferson into the second floor of Hunthausen Hall bringing us back onto the main part of Seattle University’s campus. Finally, we welcomed Amy Michael, adjunct faculty, into a larger role this year as she graciously stepped up to teach four classes to support faculty sabbaticals.
Our students and alumni continue to inspire us and demonstrate leadership in significant ways. In addition to the many professional promotions and new positions we share below, five current and recent graduate students were selected as 2021 ARNOVA Graduate Diversity Scholars & Leaders. ARNOVA is the national association of nonprofit scholars and researchers and these students received awards to attend the annual ARNOVA conference in November and engage in a day-long professional development workshop. Our alumni council has also been active and has a list of specific ways you can participate below.
In January, I will begin my research sabbatical and Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit will return to the Director position as she concludes her research sabbatical. You can read below about the recent research she published (along with one of our alums!) on how nonprofits engaged in advocacy around the 2020 U.S. Census. Stay tuned for more of her research to be published over the next year!
We hope that as the year winds down, you can make the time to rest, reflect, and enjoy valuable time with family and friends. We send you all good wishes for your holiday celebrations and a safe and happy beginning to the New Year!
Elizabeth Dale, PhD
Interim Director & Associate Professor
Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit has recently published the article "Tightrope of Advocacy: Critical Race Methods as a Lens on Nonprofit Mediation Between Fear and Trust in the U.S. Census" with Administrative Theory & Praxis.
Dr. Feit worked with Taylor Coats, MNPL '21, and Jack Brandon Philips of Tarleton State to gain greater insight into the role that community organized played in addressing a potential undercount in U.S. Census 2020. Staff of community organizations were asked to serve a crucial role during the 2020 census. In recent decades, the Bureau has considered community organizations, with their deep roots, knowledge, and trust among historically undercounted communities, to be ideal surrogates and trusted messengers that can mitigate mistrust among historically undercounted groups. The high stakes of every census were heightened in 2019 by the Trump administration very public attempt to add a citizenship question to the questionnaire, which threatened to discourage participation and hamper the count.
Their findings suggest more attention is needed to understand the role that staff of community organizations, particularly those who are representative, play in democratic practices like the census. Given rising expectations and stress on community organizations to address failures of the government and the market, and uneven support across the country, they also call for greater public and private investment in their work. Read the full article
Congratulations to Tess Honan (MNPL & GCFL '21), Taylor Coats (MNPL '21), Stephanie Velasco (MNPL '21), Mikala Lain (MNPL '22), and Christine Consolacion (MNPL '22)! These alums and current students were selected to participate in the 2021 ARNOVA Graduate Diversity Scholars & Leaders Professional Development Workshop. This program focuses on helping emerging scholars prepare to enter the field of nonprofit, philanthropic, and voluntary action studies.
"Without the support of the faculty in the MNPL program at Seattle U, I would have never been able to attend the ARNOVA conference. It was a great opportunity to meet other students of color from varying backgrounds who all share an interest in diversifying higher education. I went into the conference feeling a bit of imposter syndrome and not knowing if I had what it takes to one day pursue a PhD. Through the connections I made, the stories I heard, and the research I was able to access, I came out of the conference feeling empowered that I have a place in academia. I'm excited to use all of the knowledge and perspective I gained through this experience to continue serving my community and achieving my goals." - Mikala Lain, MNPL 2022
We are grateful for the time, talent, and energy of past and current Alumni Council members. It's amazing the progress the Council has made in the short few years it has existed. The current leadership team for the Alumni Council is Ann Barrington, MNPL '17; Nathan Box, MNPL '13; and Nicole Plastino, MNPL & GCFL '20. The council has created a new committee structure that moves ideas and actions forward in three areas: alumni engagement, recruitment and outreach, and scholarships. The Alumni Council has been working hard, and now they need your help!
If you are interested in any of the following, please send an email to Noreen Elbert. In the subject line, write “Alumni Council – I want to help!” and in the message let us know which of the following you’d like to do:
Thank you for considering how you can get involved. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Dr. Maureen Emerson Feit was selected to participate in the 2021 ARNOVA/Independent Sector Symposium for Public Policy and Nonprofits in September. The Symposium focused on nonprofit engagement in voting, equity, democratic participation, and election reform. In their commentary, Dr. Feit and her colleague Dr. Jack Brandon Philips will argue for an expanded understanding of the role that community organizations play in voter participation, centering the social capital and labor that staff of color contribute as they engage constituents in democratic processes and pushing the boundaries of the theory of nonprofits and civic engagement to actively engage the history of the U.S. as a racialized democracy.
Dr. Elizabeth Dale was quoted in two recent articles about MacKenzie Scott’s giving practices. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education featured an article about her giving to historically Black universities and colleges, specifically about unrestricted funds and accountability measures. Read the full article A second article in Bloomberg discussed her decision not to disclose specific organizations or an amount in a new round of giving in December 2021. Read the full article
Leilani Lewis, MNPL 2014, and Adjunct Faculty, and public art consultant on the Jackson Apartments Art Walk, was interviewed for “A wave of Black art rises in Seattle’s Central District” on Crosscut. Read the full article
Save the date for the next Nonprofit Leadership Connects Event! We will gather together on Monday, March 7. Time and place TBD. More details will be coming soon!