If Donald Sterling had the opportunity to become a LDIR, what would be different? LDIR participants learn to understand the way their positions in society shape how they interact with others and, in turn, how others interact with them. As a LDIR, Sterling would have had a chance to think about, discuss and understand the way his life was shaped by being able to afford to own a NBA team, being able to walk through the world without being negatively impacted by his race, and being able to benefit from his gender. This type of deeply personal reflection could have opened Sterling up to understanding the ways our different experiences–and intersecting identities–impact us. Sterling could have reflected on and changed his interactions with friends, colleagues, and the Clippers team with a critical awareness of how he has had a different level of access to resources.
Besides growing awareness, LDIR would have helped Sterling to build the skills needed to create equitable professional and social environments for those around him. LDIR would have helped Sterling understand that action is necessary for change. Sterling could have been a powerful ally, advocating for change that was informed by Clippers team members, women colleagues, LGBTQ peers and more. If Sterling were a LDIR, we would have a different NBA.
If every team owner in the NBA were to become a LDIR, the league would be stronger. When you understand that leadership requires self-awareness, you are positioned to create major shifts. Employees, players, and fans could have stronger investments in teams and the league, knowing that the leaders in the NBA understand the impacts of their power and are invested in building strong teams and relationships across difference. There is so much to be gained from having LDIRs at all levels, not the least of which is healthier work places and personal relationships. If all team owners were LDIRs, maybe no team would ever feel compelled to warm up hiding their logo.
After 23 years, the LDIR program is changing its name! Yes, we are. We’re changing our name from Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations to Leadership Development in Intergroup Relations. A subtle change, we know, but intergroup better emphasizes our commitment to working on issues beyond race and ethnicity. We are committed to an approach that values addressing the many ways that people identify as human beings – and have experienced injustice. Addressing intergroup relations also allows us to better express the way that collaboration actually happens in our communities. The “I” in LDIR may have changed, but our mission to equip individuals and organizations with awareness, skills, and the action steps necessary to foster inclusion and equity, remains the same.
In addition to our name change, we have also changed the way we do our work. Many of you know that for over 20 years we have been known for our signature six-month training programs. They were intensive, requiring a commitment of time that was not always feasible for those who wanted the skills and learning experiences that we offer. After much thought and a year of field testing, we are embracing a new training format and taking a new approach. We now have a public calendar, accessible to all on our website, that allows for easy registration for our one-day and half-day sessions. We have taken the themes and issues that have been at the core of our training and have made them more accessible for an expanding audience.
Lastly, if you haven’t noticed, we have refreshed the look and feel of our website. Check us out. So, in 2014 LDIR has a new name, a new approach, but our same commitment and values. Spread the word!
It can be difficult to take care of ourselves while we work towards change. Wellness needs to be reclaimed and as people working to create change we need to understand that our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being is intrinsically connected to the sustainability of our communities and movements. We must hold spaces for healing, building accountable and authentic relationships, facing conflict and resolution, and transforming ways we work together. We must integrate collective models of wellness into our work cultures so that we can maintain wellness both within and outside our change work. It is with this in mind that we offer this Wellness Resource Guide as a tool to help mainstream wellness into our movements and our lives.
What are the roots of your leadership? Are you prioritizing creating change in your work as a leader? Take a look at “Characteristics of Social Change Leader”, to learn what it looks like to lead while centering social change.
The distinctions between authority, power and influence can be unclear. Having clarity on the differences between them can help us understand our working relationships better. How does authority impact how I interact with a co-worker? What does power look like on my team? How does influence play a role in our decision making? Understanding how authority, power and influence inform our interactions strengthens our ability to work well together. To learn more download, “Who Has the Power?”
“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world. To form beloved community we do not surrender ties to precious origins. We deepen those bondings by connecting them with an anti-racist struggle … ” – bell hooks, in Killing Rage: Ending Racism
The LDIR team is excited to welcome Antoinette Reyes as our new Community-based Program Coordinator!
Antoinette comes to the LDIR program with significant and varied experience. Most recently as a Researcher with PowerPAC, Antoinette conducted research to examine whether health and human services stimulus funds were being equitably distributed in communities of color. Before her work with PowerPAC, Antoinette was a Program Coordinator for Asian Paciﬁc Health Care Venture where she developed and facilitated activities, provided case management, and provided advocacy and leadership tools for youth. She is also the co-founder of Equal Action, a multi-issue organization founded on anti-racist principles, which works to organize queer youth in the ﬁght for social justice. Antoinette is an alumna of UCLA with a B.S. in Physiological Science and minors in Asian American Studies and Philosophy.