Narrative Change & Workforce Development Practitioner Reflections & Implications for the Field
Authors: Clair Minson, Principal
Sandra Grace LLC
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development partnered with Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Pivotal Ventures to support Clair Minson and Sandra Grace, LLC to gather narrative change makers and thought leaders in the workforce development ecosystem to understand the challenges associated with addressing anti-black narratives in workforce development and identifying solutions to address said challenges.
This primer is one step in a broader discussion needed about the role of narrative change in workforce development strategies and solutions. The work of equity and racial justice requires the elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce or fail to eliminate disproportionate group outcomes by group identity.
The primer encourages workforce development practitioners to start with the following steps:
- Hold up a mirror to their own institutional and organizational practices by naming and identifying harmful, anti-black narratives being used in their own organizations;
- Identify people and appropriate resources to support narrative shifts and narrative change in their work;
- Cast a vision for a workforce development system replete of harmful, anti-black narratives;
- Prioritize and center narrative change work in all of their workforce development efforts;
- Develop a clear and explicit narrative change strategy.
Kareemah Abdullah, Chief Program and Operating Officer
The Connection Between Community Power & Health
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development, with a grant from the California Endowment, is proud to have supported Pritpal S. Tamber to conduct his research on the connection between community power and health. This work was highlighted in Building Community Power To Dismantle Policy-Based Structural Inequity In Population Health, Policy Insight Community Health, Health Affairs VOL. 41, NO. 12: Equitable Social Supports & More, Policy Insight Building Community Power To Dismantle Policy-Based Structural Inequity In Population Health | Health Affairs .
Tamber puts forth the idea that socioecological conditions are fundamental to health, and that health strategies must include policies and system change that addresses these conditions.
A national economic justice organization, the Insight Center has worked for 50 years to build inclusion and equity for people of color, women, immigrants, and low-income families. Through research and advocacy, narrative change, and thought leadership, Insight aims to ensure that all people become, and remain, economically secure. We intentionally center race, gender, and place in the pursuit of progressive economic change.
Give a woman a fish and she eats for a day, teach a woman to fish and she eats for a lifetime, give her access to the stream and she seeds, feeds, and empowers generations!
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development is access to the stream to accelerate bold economic development solutions to ensure racial justice and gender equity for the good of all. The Insight Center is proud to have supported the development of: Building Community Power To Dismantle Policy-Based Structural Inequity In Population Health, Policy Insight Community Health, Health Affairs VOL. 41, NO. 12: Equitable Social Supports & More, Policy Insight.
Kareemah Abdullah, ICPS
The Insight Center Chief Program and Operating Officer
A message from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development board of directors:
The Board of Directors of Insight Center for Community Economic Development has accepted the resignation of its president, Anne Price as of November 30, 2022. We appreciate the commitment to racial and economic justice that Ms. Price brought to our organization and respect her passionate dedication to equity.
On December 1, 2022, the Board of Directors appointed Michael Browning to help with the national search for a permanent president, lead the internal operations of the organization, and to work with the board during this pivotal time.
Mr. Browning has a long and respected history in the nonprofit sector. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and was a National Leadership Fellow at Boston University School of Public Health Medical School Join Together Coalition Fellowship. He is the President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council/City of Los Angeles and serves on three boards: Black Women Rally for Action – Los County, South Central Prevention Coalition, and the San Fernando Valley NAACP.
While troubled by the recent allegations about the organization and leadership transitions, we are dedicated to evaluating and understanding any root causes that may have contributed to these changes.
For 50 years, the Insight Center has been unwavering in its commitment to economic justice and economic equity, and it remains steadfast in that mission. As a national economic justice organization, the Insight Center works to build inclusion and equity for people of color, women, immigrants, and low-income families. This is done through research and advocacy, narrative change and thought leadership. Our vision is that all people become, and remain, economically secure.
As we navigate the multifaceted paths towards economic justice and reflect on the most authentic ways to evolve in partnership with communities, we promise to keep you informed about, and involved in, the directions we take.
Black History Month Spotlight: From Enslaved to Entrepreneur
Born enslaved in Georgia, Bridget “Biddy” Mason walked more than 2,000 miles through rugged terrain to California where she eventually won her freedom in a landmark court case and became a celebrated philanthropist.
Mason was forced to travel West with Robert and Rebecca Smith, slaveholders who had joined the Mormon migration to Utah. The Smiths eventually took Mason and her three children to San Bernardino in California. While California was supposedly a “free state,” Smith continued to hold them captive. Mason and her children befriended free blacks who alerted the local sheriff when the Smiths made plans to take Biddy and her daughters to Texas with them. The sheriff took Mason and her family into protective custody under a writ of habeas corpus.
Judge Benjamin Hayes circumvented racist testimony laws that prevented blacks from testifying against whites by interviewing Mason in his chambers. There, she said that she did not want to go back to the South with the Smiths. As a result, in 1856, Hayes ruled that Mason and her children were “free forever.” Mason became a doctor’s assistant and ran a midwifing business. She accumulated a fortune worth about $7.5 million in today’s dollars, making her one of the richest women in Los Angeles. She established a homestead in what became downtown Los Angeles. Mason used her wealth to establish a daycare center for working parents and created an account at a store where families who lost their homes in flooding could get supplies. She also co-founded and financed the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church, which is still going strong. Known as Grandma Mason, she died in 1891 and is honored through the Biddy Mason monument in downtown Los Angeles.
“Guaranteed income has tremendous potential to create a more equitable economy, but only if programs target these resources to those who have been most marginalized by our economy. Pilots must, at the very least, be targeted by income. Elon Musk does not need a guaranteed income, a Black mother in San Francisco does.”
Family Needs Calculator
Today’s problems are the result of systemic policy failures—not personal responsibility. By analyzing what’s happening in California, one of the nation’s largest states, the Insight Center’s Family Needs Calculator provides a more accurate understanding of what’s needed to meet the basic needs of people throughout the US.
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