Director, Nonprofit Leadership
From Transaction to Transformation: New Models of Leadership & Capacity Building in Community Organizations
This research project is designed to address the question: Which theories and approaches to leadership development are effective as community-based organizations (CBOs) transition away from transactional and towards transformational capacity building? To answer this question, I will conduct a participatory, qualitative study of two fellowship programs developed in partnership with Rainier Valley Corps (RVC) and designed elevate the leadership of people of color working in community organizations in King County, Washington.
This project engages and extends on fundamental questions of pluralism and solidarity embedded in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Working for social justice means grappling with the intellectual and moral challenges of pluralism, and the Catholic intellectual tradition can teach us about how to "grapple nonviolently with pluralism and intercultural interaction" (Hollenbach, 2010). Current approaches to capacity building for CBOs impose a singular (often corporate) model of management and ignore the multiplicity of needs and strengths in the communities that CBOs serve. This study will explore alternative models of leadership development and capacity building that center questions of inequality, poverty and the meaning of justice, and that are experimenting with ways to embed dignity and solidarity into organizations that are aiming to serve communities deeply impacted by injustices.