Fr. Greg Boyle was born in Los Angeles, one of eight children. As a youth, Fr. Greg and several of his siblings worked side by side with their father in the family-owned dairy in Los Angeles County. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972, he pursued Jesuit studies and was ordained a priest in 1984. He was appointed as Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992, and then served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison, before returning to Los Angeles and Dolores Mission.
Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), a program created in 1988 by Fr. Greg at Dolores Mission parish to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth.
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched the first business, Homeboy Bakery, with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the Bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, thus prompting JFF to become an independent non-profit organization, Homeboy Industries, in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, and Homegirl Café.
A true native son, Fr. Greg has devoted his life’s work to making L.A. a better place. He will speak to his colleagues in social change about the shared experience of living a life of service in Los Angeles.
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. Born and raised in the Pico-Union district of L.A., he grew up in a deeply religious Mexican American household amidst an extended family structure. Alfaro’s relatives and neighbors became the subject of his early writing and continue to inform his work in theater and the nonprofit community.
Alfaro is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre at USC, and previously spent ten years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship in 1997, and the 1988 National Hispanic Playwriting Competition Prize. His writing is collected in numerous anthologies. In 2010, his play Oedipus El Rey, a Chicano retelling of Oedipus Rex, had its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.
Alfaro will close our time together with a non-religious call-and-response ceremony in tribute to L.A.’s nonprofit workers, complete with testimonials and tambourines!
Deputy Director, Assistant Director, COO…whatever the title, everyone knows that you are the #2 person at your organization. What are the benefits and challenges of being #2? How do you make the job your own? Do you aspire to be a CEO some day, or are you glad that you’re not the one who has to take the board chair’s calls on the weekend? If you do think about being in charge some day, how do you make that happen? To be the best in your current role, or to prepare for the next, what are your professional development needs?
The Big Elephant: Succession Planning and Executive Transition
Denise Fairchild, formerly of Community Development Technologies
Barbara Hope Langdon, formerly of House of Ruth
Steve LePore, formerly of My Friend’s Place
Succession planning. We may avoid talking about it, but it’s the big elephant in the room. What prompts you, as an executive leader, to think about moving on? How do you decide it’s time to leave, and when you do, who do you first say it out loud to? When and how do you share the news with your board and staff? What authority, if any, do you compromise in the process? How much time might elapse between your announcement and your departure? Should you be part of the search process to identify your successor, or not? Should you become a board member or advisor to your organization after your departure? Three leaders who have left agencies share their experiences and advice.
When does a project you launched begin to belong to other people? How do you share? When do you know it’s time to let go? What do you risk in the process? How do you transition from mom and pop shop to established institution? Should the work succeed you, or should it retire when you do? This is a session for founders of organizations – emerging or established – to compare notes on the art of growing with the work you started.
Generational Approaches to Leadership
Letitia Fernandez Ivins, Emerging Arts Leaders & Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Carolyn Laub, Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Alva Moreno, YWCA of Greater Los Angeles
Is it true that Boomers schedule too many staff meetings, and Millennials want to do nothing but Tweet? Do Gen Xers value work/life balance, or are they just not committed enough? What do these generational groups have in common when it comes to leadership, and how do they differ? What assumptions does each group make of the others? And what about all this talk of executive transition? Do Gen X or the Millennials want to assume the leadership of organizations now led by Boomers? Are Boomers ready to let the Millennials or Gen Xers reshape their organizations?
The internet has radically enhanced our ability to broadcast our message, mobilize quickly or, often, to provide anonymity to clients who may not be ready yet to seek “high touch” services. But there’s a downside that comes with social media, too. With staff texting rather than talking to each other in the office, and with everyone Blackberrying during meetings, are we becoming less civil? What happens when an employee vents about a coworker on Facebook, but is unable to confront the individual to resolve an issue in the workplace? Is creative discourse enhanced or diminished by the short-hand of e-communication? How can we harness the best of what technology offers while holding on to what is important in human interaction?
Being the one who decides where the buck stops in an organizational budget can be alienating and painful, because real lives are on the line. Unfortunately, being human resources director in chief comes with the territory of being an executive leader. Economic shortfalls or strategic reorganizing can mean letting go of dedicated workers who have pre-existing medical conditions, or who are the sole supporters of dependents. As a leader, how do you handle these decisions with compassion and grace? And how do you cope with the inevitable emotional impact on yourself?
What makes a great city? How do healthy cities adapt to change? The urban infrastructure of Los Angeles was built to address certain needs, and now we face others. Old churches converted to cultural centers. Empty warehouses repurposed as schools, (and school repurposed as empty warehouses.) When we built libraries, did we imagine that they would come to serve the homeless? When we built prisons, did we imagine where the people coming out of them would go? How do we reimagine the institutions we’ve built? And how do we imagine, found and build a new set of institutions to take care of things that have never been taken care of properly?
What kind of insights can a seasoned leader lend to an emerging leader? What happens when an emerging leader shares the spirit of invention with a seasoned leader? The benefits of mentoring are typically seen as one-way, benefiting the mentee. These benefits are real, as seasoned leaders can shine light on the uncharted path, helping emerging leaders to see around corners or to build momentum for a steep climb ahead. But mentoring can also provide a boost to the mentors themselves, as emerging leaders share the contagious energy that comes with a start-up and find an opportunity to reflect on all that they have learned during their careers. What should emerging and seasoned leaders each look for in a potential mentor relationship? How does mentoring differ from coaching?
When was the last time you read a poem out loud, then talked about how it applies to your life with other like-minded souls? Can you slow down to listen? Are you ready to be heard? Participants in this session will have an introductory experience of what happens in the Courage to Lead program, a retreat-based leadership and renewal program for California nonprofit executive leaders. This session will provide an opportunity for you to reflect on things that matter in your own life and work, and learn how to listen deeply to yourself and others. This session is an introduction to the full Courage to Lead program, a series of five two-day retreats that take place over the course of one year.
Some nonprofits have very effectively achieved their missions by "going upstream" to make change at the policy level. When do you know that this is a route that you should take? How can it be done well, so that precious resources are not wasted on efforts that might not yield much benefit? What are lessons that can be learned at the local, regional and statewide level? Where are the traps to be avoided?
Can a nonprofit leader and a funder actually have an honest relationship? How do you kindle a conversation that goes beyond the grant application? Is it possible to nurture an exchange that values both parties as peers? What do nonprofit leaders fear most in their exchanges with funders? What do funders dread in their interaction with nonprofit leaders? What myths and stereotypes do we each harbor about the other? What assets do we each bring to the table? What might be gained by focusing on these questions in a concerted way?
Public/Private Partnerships: What’s the Secret Ingredient?
Aileen Adams, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Partnerships, City of Los Angeles
Torie Osborn, California Alliance
Bruce Saito, Los Angeles Conservation Corps
It’s often observed that philanthropy sees government as a mass of bureaucratic red tape, that government sees philanthropy as an ATM machine, and that both sides see nonprofits at their beck and call. Is it possible to get past these stereotypes to construct productive partnerships? If so, what do they look like? How do they work? And who calls the shots?
There’s a lot of talk about succession planning these days, but not everyone wants to – or should — leave their jobs. In fact, many organizations benefit from the stewardship of long-term leaders, who bring continuity of vision and purpose to their enterprises. How do leaders who’ve been in their posts more than a decade keep it fresh? Instead of changing jobs, is it possible to change the job? How do you remain flexible and adaptable? How do you make space for new leaders in your organization while still lending your own experience and wisdom?
Hot button issues pop up all over the nonprofit sector: race, immigration, education, or how to bring prosperity back to a neighborhood. But the nonprofit sector is not a monolith with a single party line, nor are the communities it represents, and so there are often disagreements about strategies and outcomes. Discord may ultimately strengthen the work, but sometimes these conflicts can be painful and destructive. Have you ever been faced with the dilemma that your position is contrary to “the party line”? What if your views are unpopular among some of your own constituency or colleagues?
Academic achievement, economic development, creativity in problem solving, fostering tolerance and civility, making safer neighborhoods, building community – whose province are these? Despite our tendency to compartmentalize the world, the arts and social services may have more in common than meets the eye. Are there things that social services can do that the arts can’t? Are there things the arts can do that social services can’t? Are there goals that the arts and social services can better achieve together? Join us for a discussion about shared vision, values, challenges and overlapping strategies, and brainstorm about how we might better articulate and advance a common mission.
Volunteers can be an enormous boon for nonprofits, allowing them to extend their reach without breaking the budget, but working with volunteers can present challenges. Especially in today’s economy, when out-of-work professionals are available to provide pro-bono assistance, what are the expectations on both sides of the volunteer contract? Does the possibility of a volunteer work force suggest a new kind of nonprofit/forprofit hybrid operating model? Do the benefits of obtaining volunteer workers outweigh the costs of managing them? How do volunteers and paid staff work together harmoniously?
What’s working to engage and mobilize youth in Los Angeles? How can organizers bridge the generational divide between young people and the adults who surround them — their parents, grandparents, teachers, law enforcement, immigration or medical officials? How do race and economic difference figure into the work? What kinds of forums are most effective? From Facebook to flash mobs to old-fashioned one-on-ones, how are we making space for young voices to be heard?
A nutritious and delicious cooking demonstration by Dr. Elisa. Getting a healthy meal on the table for your family can be a tall order for anyone, but especially for the over-worked leader who’s running late and hasn’t had time to go to the store. Pediatrician by day, gourmet cook by night, Dr. Elisa’s cooking tips will help you please your kids, satisfy your cravings and keep you all healthy and fit.
Join Linda Yudin for an Afro-Brazilian dance class, exploring orixa dances and their connection to nature’s elements and learn the latest Bahian Carnival moves of samba afro and samba reggae. If you can walk, you can dance the Afro-Braziian way and create axé- the yoruba concept of positive energy and vibration.
All levels of movers welcomed!
This workshop offers a combination of tai chi and creative writing as an outlet for healing and expression. The movements of tai chi work in conjunction with the energy highways (meridians) that run throughout the human body, helping to open, smooth out and make even the flow of the body’s energies. Afterward, the creative writing offers a space for participants’ genius to emerge through play. Surprise yourself, and learn healing techniques that you can apply in your daily life.
Being a nonprofit leader is a difficult job in the best of times, but the challenges are exponentially greater when the leader is also a caregiver at home. How does a leader lobby in Washington DC when his elderly mother has to get to her doctor’s appointments in L.A.? How does an executive director manage a multi-million dollar organization while also single parenting and caring for a child with special needs? We often aren’t aware of the taxing circumstances leaders may be coping with in their personal lives. Share strategies to thrive professionally while responding to complex needs on the homefront.
Apart from finances, what do you need to think about when you contemplate retirement? How do you know when you are ready? What do you need to do to prepare your staff and your organization? When is the right time to announce it? What about the fears — who are you, without that job title and business card? What are creative ways to stay engaged without working full-time?
It’s 10:00 p.m. and you are still writing that grant proposal. Your life partner is mad at you (again) because you can’t go away on a planned vacation. Your daughter’s upset because you missed the school concert. You know you need to exercise more, but who has the time? There is no doubt that life in the nonprofit sector is stressful, intense and unrelenting. The issues we deal with are so pressing that it can seem impossible to leave them behind for a moment, let alone a weekend. But the experience of effective leaders shows that taking time to care for one’s self is of paramount importance. A worker who is maxed out is actually less productive, and the nonprofit sector cannot afford to burn out its workforce. Come talk about strategies to prioritize and care for yourself without lessening your commitment to your work.
An end of the day gentle stretch and physical alignment class with Heidi Duckler.
“The less we say about it the better
Let’s make it up as we go along.
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong- nothing”
Music for release, meditation, celebration, mourning, thanksgiving – when we come together for reflection and devotion, music often expresses what our words can not. Transcending the limits of language, and uniting us around common experience that crosses the borders of geography, politics and faith, music builds community in unexpected ways. Come and hear these master musicians from diverse backgrounds play for us, and talk with each other about the sounds that unite them.
Wherever people gather – in the fields, at work, in protest, at weddings, funerals and anniversaries – there’s music. As call to action or release at the end of the day, in the pub, on the back porch or in the village square, music brings us together and redefines the space we share. Come and hear four master musicians and instrument builders demonstrate their craft, jam with each other and talk with us about how and where they learned, who they play for now, and what role music plays in their communities.
Kosaka will share his experiences from his 800 year old home where calligraphy and Zen archery were his daily practices. On the Veranda is a cultural means to understand the space between man and nature. Participants will be given a traditional ink and brush to write a three thousand year old Han Dynasty ideograms.
Sue Ann Robinson, book artist
Make your own unique personal book and enjoy creating a space for your thoughts, memories, and plans. Learn some basic bookbinding techniques, and then, let your imagination soar into the artists’ book realm. Papers and materials provided, including Japanese paper marbling.
We’ll begin by looking at an example of memoir writing and discuss its notable qualities. We’ll engage in a writing exercise to focus on the senses as a way of conveying an experience. Then we’ll apply this to stories from your own lives. Time permitting, those who wish to will read aloud from their work in the session.
Take a walk to Homeboy Industries, just one block north of The California Endowment, and meet with senior Homeboy staff to learn about how social enterprise really works. How much of Homeboy’s budget comes from earned revenue from its multiple businesses – Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy Maintenance and Homeboy Merchandise? How much is subsidized with grants and contributions? What qualifies as unrelated business income? What’s taxable? What’s the difference between for-profit and non-profit? How does an organization’s mission shape the start-up, growth and long-term business plan of a social enterprise?
This tour will provide an overview of the food delivery systems in Los Angeles and a window into “food deserts,” communities that lack fresh meat and produce. We will start with a walking tour of the region’s wholesale produce markets, the staging ground for fresh food distribution throughout Los Angeles. We will then visit several residential neighborhoods, including Vernon Central, examining the barriers and market imperfections that are preventing local residents from accessing these foods. You will hear firsthand the perspectives of community leaders and policymakers who are trying to address this situation and stop at some new supermarkets and alternative food retailers, such as carnicerias.
Aaron Paley will lead a tour of downtown Los Angeles’ public spaces, semi-public areas, and private areas for public use. Using the City’s history and development as background, Paley sketches the challenges Angelenos face in finding or forming public spaces in a city devoted to private property, tourism and corporate control. This tour will involve walking, DASH buses, Metro trains and other forms of transportation throughout the downtown area.
Tour the streets of our neighborhood, despite what the media often portrays this is the story of real people, building community and creating homes. Learn about the successes and struggles that policies and policing have had on our neighborhood and what community members and advocates are doing to tell the stories of the rich lives that people are living and the constant struggles that exist everyday.
Don’t see the topic you want to talk about on the agenda? Sign up at registration for an open room. Your name and the title of your discussion will be posted on the electronic display outside the designated room at the appropriate time, and a master list of all Open Space sessions will be posted at the registration table. Open Space sessions will run for 90 minutes each. A three hour block can accommodate two Open Space sessions back to back.
Robin Kramer, Civic Activist
Bill Watanabe, Little Tokyo Service Center
Cristina Regalado, The California Wellness Foundation
Three esteemed colleagues – from public sector, nonprofit and philanthropy, respectively – will offer brief summaries of their insights and impressions of the retreat proceedings. What have they heard? What will they take away? What parting wisdom do they have for us?
Join us to celebrate the recipients of the 2009 Durfee Sabbatical Awards and the 2010/2011 Stanton Fellowships. Sabbatical Fellows to be honored include: Oscar de La O, Bienestar; Madeline Janis, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy; Ralph Lippman, California Community Economic Development Association; Johng Ho Song, Koreatown Youth and Community Center; Connie Watson, People Who Care; and Jan Williamson, 18th Street Arts Center. Stanton Fellows to be honored include: Anita Landecker, ExEd; Wendy Lazarus, The Children’s Partnership; Steve LePore, 1in6; Margie Martinez, Community Health Alliance of Pasadena; Jonathan Parfrey, Green LA Institute; and Robert Sainz, City of Los Angeles Community Development Department.
Hard to believe, but the Durfee Foundation turns 50 this year! Please join us for cake (made by Homeboy Bakery) and champagne to celebrate.