Wow. What a difference a few months make.
This past winter, I hit the ground running by taking our draft #NYCEDU vision, mission, and values on the road.
All of New York City’s young people are equipped with the skills, resources, and community supports needed to flourish as happy, healthy, and impactful citizens of the world.
We power systems change that is community-led, comprehensive, co-creative, equity-centered, human-centered, well-capitalized, and courageous. We call these the 7Cs of collective impact.
We lead with love, build in public, own our impact, embrace emergence, and act on principle.
We power systems change by weaving a community of youth leaders and adult allies, sharing information across silos, generating resources for collective solutions, developing leaders, and establishing avenues for systems change.
I got the opportunity to check in with our biggest supporters as well as potential new volunteers, members, and partners. The response was affirming and inspiring, as people from all over the city, from all different backgrounds and of all different ages responded with enthusiasm and agreement!
Now I feel that we have greater clarity than we ever have before at #NYCEDU, and that clarity is what’s letting us move forward with conviction in our direction.
It took 2.5 years to get here, which is much longer than I first anticipated back when I decided to step into the founder role, but I honestly don’t think it could have gone any foster. I embarked on this journey with a promise to respect the work that communities across the city have already been doing, to build relationships of trust and reciprocity, and to start with the grassroots, always making sure that its people most impacted by inequity, particularly our young people, guiding #NYCEDU’s development. All that takes time.
I have a LOT of people to thank for getting us to this point. I did my best to capture where my thanks go in this document, an annotated map of how our vision, mission, and values have evolved over the past year.
Looking forward, the work looks different from what I’ve been used to. The biggest work priorities are to build a board, establish our finances, and weave our initial network of partners and members. As a leader it means that I must learn to love nonprofit financial and legal governance, that I need to hit the ground running on funding, and that I must distribute leadership. I’ve been admiring the leadership structures of organizations like Crisp, Enspiral, Discourse, Sociocracy for All, and Prime Produce as well as wanting to learn more about leadership structures of indigenous peoples and gift economies because now it’s time to build that within the heart of New York City.
Here’s to the summer and the upcoming school year. We have a lot to do.