A Just, Caring, and Thriving World

Our Vision

A just, caring, and thriving world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible. 

LeaderShape is struggling to engage in this moment as much as everyone else because the possibility of our vision feels very far away right now. But it doesn’t mean we stop believing in it.

In good times, this vision feels hopeful and possible to achieve for the world. It’s a bright spot to look towards and remind us of how far we’ve come. In bleak times, it’s difficult to stay focused on this vision. But in bleak times, it’s more important to hold tight to that vision and dig deep into the work that must be done to achieve it.

We believe that a just world is one where behaviors, policies, practices, systems, relationships, and engagements are done from a place that is morally right and fair.

We believe that a caring world is one where we each display deep kindness and authentic, genuine concern for others and ourselves.

We believe that a thriving world is one where everyone has the chance to grow, develop, prosper, and flourish vigorously and with the most liberated access to all possibilities that exist.

We aren’t in that world, yet. But it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.  

We believe and know that Black Lives Matter. But the ways that we, as a nation and as a world are acting right now, it seems like those are just empty words.

A just, caring, and thriving world is one where black lives matter.

The racially motivated events of the past week have been examples of how our world is not just, caring, or thriving for people of color. While these events are not new examples of these injustices and systems of oppression, they are being brought to the forefront of everyone’s attention.

During our Institute program, we talk about integrity and the role it plays in our lives. We believe at this moment, integrity is at the core of the work we need to be doing individually and collectively. As a staff, we are asking ourselves these questions. And that’s where integrity comes in.

  • What are the values that create the world that you want to see?
  • How can you have better alignment to your values?
  • How do you practice them?
  • How do we dig into our values in a way that helps us know that when we go after a world where Black Lives ACTUALLY DO Matter, we all will thrive?

As an organization we believe in the power of people working in community to make change. We encourage each member of the LeaderShape community to use your voice, your actions, and your power to make change. We also recognize that for some in our community, you have been doing this all along. You’re tired and you’re weary. We hope that you find space for rest and healing. We hope that you are feeling the support of others to carry you through a difficult time.

We will continue to do all we can to use our voice as an organization to help people to grow in community with each other until the world is truly just, caring, and thriving for all people – not just some people. Until we get there, the work will continue with compassion, curiosity, kindness, integrity, and hope.

One thing that LeaderShape values is the ability to gather in community and learn together. We believe that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.  Since people cannot gather in person at this time, we want work to connect people to opportunities to learn, spaces to heal, and to have conversations that matter to make meaningful change. We’ll be posting more events and resources to our social media accounts in the coming weeks, but here are a few we’d like to share with you now:

  • White Supremacy and the Making of America – A Zoom Presentation (this Thursday, June 4). This will be facilitated by Roger Moreano, a LeaderShape Co-Lead facilitator.
  • White Accountability Virtual Groups: Free Zooms – White Accountability Groups (for 1st 300 to join): Tu 6/2 from 3-4:30pm ET & Fri June 5th from 5-6:30pm ET. To access Zoom link, please be sure to send an email to: wasracialjustice@gmail.com. This will be facilitated by Kathy Obear, Rachel Forester, and Craig Elliott, who is a LeaderShape Co-Lead facilitator.
  • Free Zoom: Ways to Convene White Accountability Groups in These Times, Wed June 3rd 5-6+pm ET (for those who are ready to explore ways to start and convene a group in your area/organization. 1st of several) To access Zoom link, please be sure to send an email to: wasracialjustice@gmail.com. This will be facilitated by Kathy Obear, Rachel Forester, and Craig Elliott, who is a LeaderShape Co-Lead facilitator. Feeling deep outrage at centuries of police terrorism and racial violence, supporting all who are effectively protesting, creating systemic change, and engaging other whites to create racial justice – AND, our work in these sessions is self-work: interrupting our racist attitudes and behaviors as well as those of other whites, recognizing and effectively shifting white supremacist culture in the moment in us & other whites and in practices/policies, and developing capacity and courage to effectively speak up and intervene to shift racism at the interpersonal and organizational levels as we truly partner with & follow the leadership of colleagues of color in creating true racial justice.
  • Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma – educational resources for the classroom and workspace.
  • 1619 Podcast – a 6-part long-form podcast on the history of slavery in America and how this history is still relevant today.
  • A Kids Book About Racism – If you have children in your life and want to start a conversation with them about racism, this book is a great resource.

If you have other resources that you’d like to share, please send them to us at lead@leadershape.org.

2019 Palmer Award Winner

What a joy it is to announce the recipient of this year’s Palmer Award! Please meet and congratulate TahLea Wright!IMG_0616 2

TahLea is a student at Moravian College (PA) and attended the 2018 national session of the Institute in Massachusetts. TahLea’s vision work in the year that has passed since she attended the Institute has focused primarily on empowering students, with special attention to young women of color, to step into leadership and advocacy.

TahLea has engaged in her work on the local level as a Summer Youth Program Coordinator in 2018 and 2019 through the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley with the responsibility of co-creating a leadership and service program for area high school students. In 2018, the focus of the program was Homelessness and Food Insecurity in the Lehigh Valley and TahLea engaged the participants in the program through interactive activities, guest speakers from local non-profit organizations, leadership exercises, and a service project. This program lead to the creation of the Youth Volunteer Council at her college. The mission of this council is to be the premier resource that coordinators and connects a diverse culture of youth to community service within the Greater Lehigh Valley. In 2019, the summer program included a World Café event, giving the students the opportunity to be in round table conversations with non-profit representatives from five different organizations. For a glimpse of how the program unfolded, take a look at a video that TahLea created about the week.

Through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Moravian College, TahLea had the opportunity to serve as a THRIVE Peer Mentor. Not only did she support her two mentees transition to college and through their first year of college, she was there for them when they applied to serve as mentors themselves. Good news – they were both selected!

IMG_10211Working on the goLEAD program has given TahLea valuable experience toward her longer-term goal of creating a national after school program pairing elementary and middle school students with high school and college student mentors. And her involvement as a THRIVE Peer Mentor has provided a direct line to young women of color, a community that TahLea cares deeply about. TahLea is also Vice President of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national all-inclusive service sorority, and was named the Outstanding Sophomore Leader of the Year through Omicon Delta Kappa.

Ultimately TahLea wants people to know that they can be successful, feel cared for and loved for who they are, and to believe that they can make a difference as leaders and advocates. We can’t wait to see what is next for TahLea and her vision work!


Palmer Award

Attention 2018 Institute graduates!

We are excited to announce that the Palmer Award application is live and ready for you.

The Palmer Award is provided each year to LeaderShape graduates who have participated in a national or campus-based session of the Institute during the previous year (2018). The award is given to recognize the achievements of those individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to bringing their vision to reality after attending their session. LSH-all-banners-LO-RES-9

The Palmer Award began as an endowment gift donated to the Alpha Tau Omega Foundation in 1991 by Dr. Edmund T. Palmer, Jr. This year the fund will provide a $800.00 award to a 2018 graduate of the Institute who has made great strides toward their vision.

Individuals eligible to apply for this award must have attended and completed a session of the Institute in 2018 and can apply for the award here.

Applications are due by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, October 6, 2019. 
Questions can be directed to Kristen at kbh@leadershape.org.