We're Hiring:
Advancement Coordinator

Movement Strategy Center seeks an Advancement Coordinator to support our Advancement Department in the development of our impactful growth, fundraising, and communications strategy for the organization. 

Job Details
Movement Strategy Center – Oakland, CA
Remote Type: Fully Remote
Position Type: Full-time
Salary Range: $50,000–$65,000
Job Shift: Day

POSITION OVERVIEW

About Movement Strategy Center (MSC)

Movement Strategy Center is seeking an Advancement Coordinator to support our Advancement Department in the development of our impactful growth, fundraising and communications strategy for the organization. The success of this team relies on partnership and this role will require collaboration with and coordination of fellow Advancement Team members, including the Communications Director, Director of Institutional Giving, Director of Community Investment Initiatives and the Grants and Contracts Specialist, under the guidance and leadership of the Chief Advancement Officer.

This position reports to the Chief Advancement Officer and supports MSC’s goals to strengthen and expand the organization’s equitable philanthropic efforts to deepen and accelerate the transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world of resilience, regeneration, and interdependence.

Position Overview

Movement Strategy Center is seeking an Advancement Coordinator to support our Advancement Department in the development of our impactful growth, fundraising and communications strategy for the organization. The success of this team relies on partnership and this role will require collaboration with and coordination of fellow Advancement Team members, including the Communications Director, Director of Institutional Giving, Director of Community Investment Initiatives and the Grants and Contracts Specialist, under the guidance and leadership of the Chief Advancement Officer.

This position reports to the Chief Advancement Officer and supports MSC’s goals to strengthen and expand the organization’s equitable philanthropic efforts to deepen and accelerate the transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world of resilience, regeneration, and interdependence.

Core Responsibilities

The Advancement Coordinator is responsible for managing the day-to-day coordination, organization, and project management of the Advancement team, providing ongoing support to the Chief Advancement Officer while contributing to advancement strategy, communications support and overall fundraising and grantmaking functions and activities of the team. Your experience in being a strong and proactive liaison and project manager will be put to good use, as will your tech savvy, copy editing and organizational skills..

ADMINISTRATIVE WORK (50%)

  • Coordinate and schedule meetings / events

  • Keep organized notes / minutes of Advancement Team meetings and Chief Advancement Officer’s meetings as needed.

  • Project management, including deliverables / deadline tracking

  • Research / identification of relevant webinars, conferences, trainings, opportunities for Advancement team participation

  • Create key documents and maintain the organization of team Google Drive to ensure quick and easy access to info for entire team

COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT (30%)

  • Take the lead on all copy-editing/ proofreading

  • Support presentation and content creation for all internal and external communications including email blasts, newsletter, campaigns, webpage updates/creation, blogs and presentations

  • Liaise with HR, FSP Program Team and other relevant departments on staff wellness program and other projects requiring communications support/ content creation

  • Assist in research as needed

DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT (15%)

  • Provide support with creation of grant proposals, reports, and other grant solicitation materials

  • Manage grants portals and other online accounts

  • Maintain organized tracking of information for grant life cycle

  • Generate reports and documentation for team members as needed

  • Assist in research as needed

OTHER (5%)

  • Other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibility

This position does not supervise other employees.

Expected hours of work

Standard days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Travel

No significant travel expected.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Relevant work experience in project management, team coordination, and administrative support.

  • Dedication to social justice and Movement Strategy Center mission, vision, and values.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written

  • Acute attention to detail, proven data input accuracy, proactive and commitment to high standards.

  • Strong critical thinking and judgment.

  • Excellent note taking skills ability to extract key into conversations and summarize/recap succinctly.

  • Keen eye for visual presentation/ content.

  • Ability to nimbly adjust priorities, positively receive feedback, and manage multiple projects simultaneously while working collaboratively.

  • Ability to handle diverse challenges with a calm demeanor and positive outlook and be oriented towards excellence in service.

  • An orientation towards learning and development; willing to learn from mistakes, receive feedback, and give feedback to others.

  • Familiarity with Google Suite, Microsoft Office.

  • Ability/willingness to learn Fluxx, Airtable, CoSchedule, Canva, Mailchimp, Wordpress, and social media platforms (FB/IG).

Position Type and COMPENSATION

  • This is a 100% FTE, exempt position. Annual compensation $50,000- $65,000
  • MSCs 100% FTE benefits package includes:
  • 20 vacation days leave accrual per year (15 days in the first year of employment due to a mandatory 3 month waiting period before accrual begins)
  • 13 standard holidays, and 2 personal days per year (Personal days are designated as your birthday and hire date anniversary, and need to be used on these dates as required by CA time off laws)
  • 12 sick days leave accrual per year
  • 1-week paid MSC family and medical leave after one year of service (to be integrated with available state benefits); an additional week of paid leave for each additional year of service, up to 4 weeks.
  • Medical, vision, dental, life and disability insurance coverage for employees and their dependents (the enrollment eligible date is first of the month following 30 days of employment). Employee contribution is required and further details will be provided upon hire
  • Access to FSA and Commuter Benefits
  • Opportunity to participate in an employer sponsored 403b retirement plan

Movement Strategy Center is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. People of color and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Apply here.


We're Hiring:
Director of Community Investment Initiatives

Movement Strategy Center seeks a Director of Community Investment Initiatives with a strong customer service mentality and understanding of intermediary work with foundations to join our team. The Director will report to the Chief Advancement Officer and will be the lead staff for the administration of philanthropic re-granting partnership services.

Job Details
Movement Strategy Center – Oakland, CA

POSITION OVERVIEW

MSC seeks a Director of Community Investment Initiatives with a strong customer service mentality and understanding of intermediary work with foundations, to join our Advancement team. The Director will report to the Chief Advancement Officer and will be the lead staff for the administration of philanthropic re-granting partnership services.The Director will also offer high-quality, proactive, and responsive support to the philanthropic interests of MSCs current and prospective partners in this regard; partners include private philanthropic, corporate and individual supporters as well as community based organizations.

This is a full time and remote-based (US-only) role that has room for professional growth in an evolving organization.

ABOUT MOVEMENT STRATEGY CENTER

Founded in 2001, Movement Strategy Center over the last two decades has been a social and environmental justice incubator, serving as a movement hub for both housing visionaries and emergent networks, and providing core intermediary functions to advance ecosystem-wide impact: resourcing a robust and maturing ecosystem of leaders, networks, and projects, and offering core infrastructure support through fiscal sponsorship and philanthropic services.

In recent years, MSCs in-house incubation efforts have focused on cross-sector movement building to cultivate the power necessary to accelerate a just transition from a world of domination, extraction, and violence, where the few live at the expense of the many to a world of interdependence, liberation and resilience, where the many govern for the benefit of all. MSC centers Black, Indigenous, and people of color intergenerational systems leaders and networks that are committed to transformation and boldly leaning into the future and whose communities are most impacted by extraction, domination, and violence.

MSC understands that transformative movements change the way we think, our structures and systems, the way we live, and even who we are. We recognize that we are whole people, and whole communities, and because the issues and problems we face are interconnected, our systemic solutions and movements must be interconnected as well. The way we achieve our goals and with whom are just as important as our outcomes.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Design, create, manage and document robust philanthropic regranting and community investment initiatives
  • Lead donor education and engagement about best equitable practices in philanthropy and in areas of alignment with MSCs work.
  • Lead the development of strategies and appropriate systems and structures for new areas of philanthropic engagement, act as a thought partner to internal and external leaders and team members.
  • Act as the lead staff for the contracting phase of a service engagement, point of contact for MSCs legal and compliance teams during negotiations
  • Maintain awareness of the goals and strategies of MSCs established thematic programs, and exploring and nurturing synergies among and between the thematic programs, Advancement team, and the Executive team.
  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:

  • 4 7 years of experience working in philanthropy and/or grant making.
  • 3+ years of experience supporting donor advised funds, individual philanthropists or high-net-worth donors
  • Understands and values social justice, including racial and gender equity as an organizational operating principle and is committed to continued learning on issues related to race, gender, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Well-organized; a creative self-starter, capable of handling multiple tasks, establishing priorities, and meeting deadlines.
  • Passion for the organizations mission with a desire to be an ambassador
  • Proven leadership and team management skills
  • Expert written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and able to collaborate effectively
  • Comfort with remote work software and a tech-centric approach to work. We use Google Drive, Airtable, and Slack
  • Experience with database management
  • Experience with grant management and grant program design
  • Experience in or understanding of collaborative or participatory grant making is a plus.

POSITION TYPE & COMPENSATION 

  • Full-time, 100% FTE, exempt position.
  • Annual compensation is offered between $105,000 – $120,000
  • MSCs 100% FTE benefits package includes:
    • 20 days vacation leave per year (requires 90 day waiting period before accrual);
    • 13 standard holidays and 2 personal days per year;
    • 12 sick days per year;
    • 1 week paid MSC family and medical leave after one year of service; an additional week of paid leave for each additional year of service, up to 4 weeks;
    • Medical, vision, dental for employees and dependents (requires 30 day waiting period and a per paycheck employee contribution)
    • 100% employer sponsored basic life, short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage;
    • Access to a 403b retirement plan.
    • Access to FSA and Commuter Benefits.

Expected hours of work

Standard days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm PST. Daily schedule is flexible within the proximity of this time frame, and will be decided in consultation with the supervisor.

Travel

Travel is not expected to be more than 5-10%, proximity to a major airport is desirable.

Movement Strategy Center is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. People of color and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Apply here.


We're Hiring:
Operations Assistant

Movement Strategy Center seeks a methodical thinker to work with managers and other staff members to ensure that administrative tasks are completed and function efficiently.

Full Job Description

This is a hybrid position. Remote and On-Site

Core Responsibilities

Admin and Office Support (70%)

  • Coordinate distribution of incoming mail and external mailing and shipping when needed
  • Answer and direct phone calls/voicemails from the main MSC phoneline
  • Enter Org invoices into Bill.com for payment
  • Research, identify and vet potential vendors; build and manage vendor relationships and operations contracts
  • Monitor General Info Google Suite inbox
  • Manage document retention and filing system for organization
  • Order general office supplies, and coordinate supply requests
  • Coordinate with Historic Central Building Management on office maintenance and equipment requests
  • Ensure integrity and efficiency of office functions

Finance Support (20%)

  • Manage Daily Mail Log
  • Reconciling PEX cards of the Executive Director, Chief of Staff & Admin Ops Manager
  • Send out Donor Acknowledgement letters monthly

Misc Projects (10%)

  • Provide other office and administrative support as needed
  • Work on special projects as assigned

Supervisory Responsibility:

Currently does not supervise other employees.

Expected hours of work:

Standard days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Daily schedule is flexible within the proximity of this time frame, and will be decided in consultation with the supervisor.

Travel:

No significant travel is expected.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • A minimum of four years of experience in an administrative role;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written;
  • Ability to switch between detail-intensive data processing and relationship-based interaction with ease;
  • Ability to manage and make progress on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Excellent computer skills with a strong understanding of Google Suite and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Dedication to social justice;
  • An orientation towards learning and development; willing to learn from mistakes, receive feedback, and give feedback to others.

Position Type and COMPENSATION

  • This is a 100% FTE hourly non-exempt position.
  • 100% FTE. Gross hourly pay, depending on experience.
  • MSC’s 100% FTE benefits package includes:

o 20 days vacation leave per year;

o 12 standard holidays and 2 personal days per year;

o 12 sick days per year;

o 1 week paid MSC family and medical leave after one year of service; an additional week of paid leave for each additional year of service, up to 4 weeks;

o Medical, vision, dental for employees and dependents (requires a 30-day waiting period and a per paycheck employee contribution);

o 100% employer-sponsored basic life, short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage;

o Access to a 403b retirement plan.

o Access to FSA and Commuter Benefits.

Please include a cover letter with your application. Applications missing a cover letter will not be considered.

Movement Strategy Center is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. People of color and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From

Benefits:

  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Vision insurance

Schedule:

  • 8-hour shift

Application Question(s):

  • This job requires you to submit a cover letter. Please attach your cover letter as an attachment when applying to this role.

Experience:

  • demonstrated: 4 years (Preferred)

Work Location: Hybrid. One on-site location & Remote

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $60,000.00 – $70,000.00 per year

Apply here.


We're Hiring:
Executive Assistant

Movement Strategy Center is seeking a dynamic professional to provide administrative support to MSC’s Executive Director (ED), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and executive leadership team along with support for special projects that the ED focuses on to advance the organizational mission and work.

Full Job Description

Position Overview

Reporting to the Executive Director, the primary role of the Executive Assistant is to provide administrative support to MSC’s Executive Director (ED), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and executive leadership team along with support for special projects that the ED focuses on to advance organizational mission and work.

Core Responsibilities

Executive Assistance (50%)

  • Support for ED, COO and Board of Directors Committees
  • Manage calendars, scheduling & executing meetings from start to finish; selecting a date, inviting appropriate attendees, supporting agenda clarification and follow-ups and next steps
  • Serve as principal administrative contact for ED and COO; answer and route: phone calls/phone messages, mail and email messages, and handle wide-range information dissemination
  • Special projects & project management as needed (e.g. Organizational Development projects)
  • Partner with Chief Advancement Officer and Advancement team to support executive voice, communications, development and relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Support MSC Executive Teams’ partnerships cultivation including initiating meetings and responding to requests from key partners
  • Scheduling and implementing the logistics for Board of Director meetings including Committee meetings
  • Support preparation of ED presentations and content for executive team and staff meetings
  • Manage and reconcile expense accounts for ED and COO
  • Schedule and book travel accommodations for the ED and COO
  • Provide file management for the ED and COO
  • Other administrative duties as assigned

Agency-wide Administrative Support (35%)

  • Under the direction of the COO, work in collaboration with MSC’s administrative team members to support agency-wide logistics, operational needs and other administrative duties as may be assigned

Organizational Change Initiatives, Community Stewardship & Emergent Projects (15%)

  • Support organizational change management initiatives and special projects at the direction of the ED and COO
  • Support Organizational Culture and Community Stewardship activities such as coordinating staff meetings, leadership team meetings, board meetings, retreats, and community building activities that may interface between staff, board members, the larger community and stakeholders in MSC’s network
  • Provide project management support to emergent projects that may arise from the Board Executive Committee and Executive Leadership Team

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Expected hours of work

Standard days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily schedule is flexible within the proximity of this time frame, and will be decided in consultation with the supervisor.

Travel

No significant travel expected.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in working with and supporting non-profit social justice organizations and leaders focused on transformative change to make the world more equitable and just;
  • Minimum of five years demonstrated experience with executive assistant or special assistant to C-Suite roles, and/or equivalent positions;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written;
  • Ability to switch between detail-intensive data processing and relationship-based interaction with ease;
  • Ability to manage and make progress on multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Experience in supporting change management and organizational development;
  • Ability to handle diverse challenges with a calm demeanor and positive outlook with service excellence;
  • Ability to hold confidentiality and discretion re: sensitive information to support Executive Team’s work;
  • Highly skilled in managing competing priorities;
  • Highly motivated and proficient problem solver who anticipates needs and proactively creates solutions in a timely manner in a fast-paced, emergent environment;
  • An orientation towards learning and development; willing to learn from mistakes, receive feedback, and know how to properly give feedback to others;
  • Ability to communicate and take initiative in asking for help and clarity, and to propose solutions/options. Adaptability and comfort with emergence (i.e. ideas and systems not yet fully developed that responds to dynamic situations) — to partner and pinch hit on emergent projects that arise for the Executive and Leadership Teams;
  • Proficiency and excellent computer skills in utilizing Apple and Mac operating systems and products, as well as virtual communication and meeting platforms, database management systems, expense reconciliation systems and other software applications including Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Canva and other design platforms; and
  • Experience with online services such as Egnyte, Docusign, Paycom, Airtable and Asana is preferred but not required

Position Type and Compensation

  • Full-time, 100% FTE, exempt position. Annual compensation is offered between $70-90K
  • MSC’s 100% FTE benefits package includes:
  • 20 vacation days leave accrual per year (15 days in the first year of employment due to a mandatory 3 month waiting period before accrual begins)
  • 12 standard holidays, and 2 personal days per year (Personal days are designated as your birthday and hire date anniversary, and need to be used on these dates as required by CA time off laws)
  • 12 sick days leave accrual per year
  • 1-week paid MSC family and medical leave after one year of service (to be integrated with available state benefits); an additional week of paid leave for each additional year of service, up to 4 weeks
  • Medical, vision, dental, life and disability insurance coverage for employees and their dependents (the enrollment eligible date is first of the month following 30 days of employment)

Employee contribution is required and further details will be provided upon hire

  • Access to FSA and Commuter Benefits
  • Opportunity to participate in an employer sponsored 403b retirement plan

Please include a cover letter with your application.

Movement Strategy Center is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. People of color and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Type: Full-time, Hybrid

Based in Oakland, CA

Pay: $70,000.00 – $90,000.00 per year

Apply here.


The MSC Storytelling Series: Jacqui Patterson

In this installment we get to know researcher, advocate, and activist Jacqueline “Jacqui” Patterson founder and executive director of the Chisholm Legacy Project former director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; co-founder of Women of Color United; and proud board member of MSC.

“It wasn’t a coincidence, it wasn’t happenstance.” So says Jacqui Patterson — activist, founder of the Chisholm Legacy Project, and MSC board member — on how she made her way to Movement Strategy Center. 

She was introduced to MSC through Movement Generation but if it wasn’t that it would’ve been something else: “the universe … draws like-mission and like-spirited people together.” She knew from the beginning there was alignment in work and in mission and it became clearer as Patterson participated in MSC’s movement support work — the Transitions Labs, the facilitation of conversations and meetings, and the cultivation of projects. “There are so many points of resonance and alignment in everything that MSC does … Whether it is the heart of the people … Or the way that they facilitate conversations about collective organizing toward the world that we want, MSC has been an inspiration, a catalyst, and a facilitator of radical imagination and a radical love in action.”

Patterson hails from the southside of Chicago — a very urban place not far from the other, more suburban side of the tracks. Her neighborhood offered many of the great touchstones of city life — ice cream trucks, block parties, and community. But also some of the worst: there were gangs, the sound of gunshots weren’t uncommon, and concerns about her brother simply existing as a Black boy in America were pervasive. 

Her family blended two cultures — her mother came up to Chicago during the Great Migration from Dublin, Mississippi; her dad immigrated there from Jamaica. The result was an upbringing steeped in both Deep South and Jamaican influences: a culture of food (collard greens plus curried chicken) and music (rhythm and blues plus reggae). Patterson’s ancestry is in sub-Saharan Africa; her common history involves those ancestors being stolen from their homelands and brought to unceded territories in both the United States and Jamaica to become the enslaved labor behind the economy and the infrastructure of those respective lands. 

She says, “I am who I am out of that history and that story. And, I am who I am in celebration of the rich cultural heritage and in resistance to and in reparations from how the heritage and ties to nation and community were interrupted by colonialism. I do what I do to both celebrate and treasure that cultural heritage.”

There are so many points of resonance and alignment in everything that MSC does … Whether it is the heart of the people … Or the way that they facilitate conversations about collective organizing toward the world that we want, MSC has been an inspiration, a catalyst, and a facilitator of radical imagination and a radical love in action.

Her work reflects this. She is working to restore “linkages in some ways to the motherland,” and “address, redress, and correct the carnage and the aftermath of colonialism and where it has left our communities as a result of the systemic exploitation, extraction, and oppression.” The work centers on Black and BIPOC communities all over the world; and is in partnership with all “the aligned and the allied — anyone who is allied and aligned with the mission of Black liberation.”

For her, liberation ensures “that all people have self determination and have what they need to be whole and thriving.” And it starts with accountability — “my purpose is to be in service to the quest for self determination and liberation of Black frontline communities.” 

So much of that begins with being very “intentional about who is not even being thought of by those sitting at the table — much less are they even at the table.” In terms of climate justice, Patterson wants everyone to have a seat. Thus, a focus on chronically ignored Freedman’s Settlements — communities, many unincorporated, established by those “just emancipated from enslavement.” 

One, a community of only about 100 people outside Dallas, is Sanbranch, Texas. Stunningly, this unincorporated village adjacent to one of our country’s wealthiest cities has never had running water. Their well water was contaminated in the 1980s, and today, residents rely mainly on donated bottled water — not just for drinking, but for cooking and bathing. Stories like these are at the center of the Patterson-founded Chisholm Legacy Project — an organization that connects Black communities on the frontlines with the resources necessary to implement transformation. 

It isn’t easy work. And that’s why Patterson so valued the aforementioned Transitions Labs — these safe spaces offered community and reflection. A way to, at least metaphorically, refill your cup. These gatherings also made it clear that “all the work around social justice and systems change is intersectional.” A priceless opportunity “to explicitly be engaged with folks who are doing work from gender justice to education justice to general economic justice and so forth, and to really come together and talk about this notion of Just Transition and this ideal that we want as a society.” She acknowledges the concept “might sound utopian,” but for the frontliners in attendance that discussion and that space is “a necessity in order to survive and thrive as people.”

All the work around social justice and systems change is intersectional.

It can be hard for outsiders to understand what these retreats and workshops were like. Patterson describes them as a chance to step “away from the day to day, the list of deliverables … The nonprofit industrial complex.” Crucially, they offered an opportunity to discuss the roles and purpose of both the individuals and the organizations across various movements in “a space of ideating … Set up to accommodate all learning and being styles.” 

Attendees showed up with “a selfless sense of mission, so there was a level of trust and safety there.” And the work — deep conversation and reflection, “the practices: tai chi, somatics, embodiment … Various exercises that got you out of your head and into the culture” — fostered intimate connection. “We can go whole days, weeks, or months without thinking about that larger arc,” so the safe space to simply “think and be” was invaluable and unlike so many other gatherings and workshops.  

It was at one of these Transitions Labs in the Redwood Forest — “a generative environment” — that Patterson felt everything sort of gel: her work, her goals, her collaborations with MSC. The activity at hand involved focusing on “developing a seed of an idea and being with people who were like-minded, like-focused, and like-spirited who were also growing their own seeds.” The seed that “began to truly blossom” for Patterson that day — while laying on the floor with her peers and remembering the iconic book the Bridge Called My Back, a collection of radical writings by Black women — involved “work specifically focused on supporting the wellbeing of Black femmes.”

That “unformed dream” turned “into an action plan … That birthed the fourth element of focus of the Chisholm Legacy Project — the focus on Black femme support.” Patterson explained that she had observed the “level of weight on Black femmes in terms of holding so much, our families, our organizations, the movement, in the case of Alabama and Georgia — actual democracy. Yet so often you see our sisters in the struggle are so weighed down by that.” 

Sighting stress, premature deaths, and all the ways these weights can negatively manifest in the health of her peers inspired the project’s steadfast support of wellbeing. She believes this concept of “community care, organizational care, movement care — instead of just preaching self care to someone who is always going to put themselves last” is crucial to the future of the movement.   

Today, Patterson feels honored to continue to support MSC as a board member, calling the work “a blessing.” Likewise, she values “the opportunity to continue to be in relationship with the innovations team that is doing amazing work,” citing her participation as a founding member of the National Association of Climate Resilience Planners. She looks forward to “continuing to support Climate Innovation’s (soon to be renamed People’s Climate Innovation Center (PCIC)) team” and ensuring “that the communities that we work with — including the Black femme climate justice leaders — are able to connect with and be nurtured by the rich range of offerings that MSC has,” especially in terms of climate resilience planning and training and Black youth leadership development.

And, circling back to the Freedman’s Settlements and towns like Sandbranch, she looks forward to growing “the ways that MSC’s fiscal sponsorship and regranting programs can benefit some of the most marginalized Black communities in the United States.” She continued, “the hope is that MSC and the Chisholm Legacy Project can together support the self determination and liberation of these communities all over the nation.”

She also hopes that others — new friends of MSC, new members of the collective movement ecosystem — get the chance to experience something like MSC’s Transitions Labs. They so deeply and positively affected Patterson and she recalled — with a lot of laughter and a little bit of embarrassment — one opportunity where participants were invited to write letters of appreciation to each other. Other people maybe wrote one or two and I literally sat there and wrote super sappy love letters to everyone. I was just feeling literally just full of so much love for everyone who participated.” 


Women’s History Made Today

Movement Strategy Center Chats with Corrine Van Hook-Turner, Director at Climate Innovation (Soon to be People’s Climate Innovation Center)

“Consensus building is like arriving at a place that doesn’t compromise the guiding principles. It allows us to say — as long as it is not disrupting me, my work, who I am accountable to, and I can still see myself where we’ve arrived, even if it’s not how I would do something”

If we think about how capital flows across borders, no one bats an eye … But when we think about justice work and philanthropy, we have to beg for funds that belong to us. That is our money. Do not call us to tables without resourcing. We need to move toward that. We know it’s possible.