Consulting includes coaching an individual staff person over a period of time, developing a series of workshops or a one off training customized to address your needs.

I like to begin with a conversation about your work and to hear from you what would be most helpful. I’ll share with you my skill sets and we will decide together if there is alignment and if so, come up with a plan.

The areas in which I have engaged as a consultant and trainer are oral history, project design and implementation, fundraising and community organizing as well as coaching. One of my strengths is that I’ve done this work over many years and approach our work together with deep respect and understanding of the beauty and the challenges of social justice work.

Below is a brief description of my approach and examples of workshops and presentations by subject area that I’ve developed over the past couple of years.

Project Design and Implementation: Whether your project is based on a brilliant idea for an oral history project, or your organization is responding to a pressing need for an organizing campaign, it is critical to identify your goal and map out how you are going to move forward towards it. Included in project design are the following general considerations. Note that depending upon what type of project you have in mind additional elements will be will be required. ):

  • What is your goal
  • What and who informs this goal as essential
  • Out of all the things you wish to accomplish, how do you set priorities
  • Who will benefit from this work
  • How will they benefit
  • Are the folks who will benefit involved in planning the work
  • What is your strategy/approach to this work
  • Why does this work matter
  • What will change as the result of your project/campaign/efforts
  • Who is your audience/who do you hope to communicate
  • What is the most effective way to reach them
  • What tools and resources do you need to accomplish it
  • What is your budget
  • What is your fundraising strategy
  • What is your timeframe
  • What are your challenges and how will you overcome them

Oral History Workshops, Trainings and Presentations: As an oral historian who came into this work from community organizing, my focus has been to design and carry out projects that support the participation of narrators within and beyond the interview.

After engaging in this work I’ve landed on thinking of participation as being on a spectrum which may include participation, collaboration, shared authority and co-creation, at various phases of a project. Borrowing from oral history, community organizing and participatory action research I aspire to find ways to build a participatory oral history research methodology, and am excited about exploring those possibilities. Below are a few examples of my recent oral history workshops:

  • Participatory Oral History Research, workshops conducted for the Oral History MA program, Columbia University, New York.
  • Lessons from The Picture the Homeless Oral History Project: The Importance of Representation, for the Art of Resistance Artists Forum, The New School for Social Research, New York.
  • Stigma, Stereotypes and Struggle: Homeless Leadership in the NYC Social Justice Movement, featuring lessons from the Picture the Homeless Oral History Project for the Critical Heritage Studies Association. London
  • Oral History Research, Participatory Action Research and Community Organizing, class presentation/training at the New School for Social Research. New York
  • Oral History as a Tool for Social Justice, for the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab at Princeton University. Princeton, N.J.
  • Oral History for Social Justice, a four part series for the Maskwacis Cultural College, Alberta, Treaty 6 – scheduled for the Fall 2021.

Development/Fundraising: Folks in progressive social justice organizations are often adverse to thinking about money. Sometimes the organization either doesn’t have a development staffer, or if they do, that person doesn’t always have hands on experience in the work of the organization.

Writing effective grant proposals and individual donor appeals is something that I had to learn in order to raise funds about work that I cared about.

I have worked as a freelance development staffer for grass roots organizations and have conducted trainings and workshops about fundraising. As an executive director I was point person for grant writing and grants management, individual donor appeals and special events.

I have a solid track record of success raising funds in the areas of community organizing and social service programming as well as oral history. I am available to consult with your organization in the following areas:

  • Creating a fundraising plan specific to your project or organization
  • Demystifying fundraising for staff, board and members
  • Integrating fundraising into your program work
  • Building your capacity to be effective at communicating your work (this isn’t only important for fundraising!)
  • Training and coaching in grant writing, individual donor work and implementing a fundraising plan
  • Grant writing, grants management, reporting and generating individual donor appeals
  • Building relationships with funders

Community Organizing Workshops and Coaching:

It is crucial to approach consulting with respect for the knowledge and effort of folks doing the work. This work is generally under resourced and overwhelming as are the conditions which give rise to the need for this work in the first place.

Sometimes we just need to check in for affirmation, and brainstorming. Dealing with the harm and trauma caused by the range of systems of oppression community members deal with sometimes leaves little time to check in and get that support.

This is particularly true if our work seeks to be transformative.

My approach is to listen to you and brainstorm options. After listening and learning from you about your work and your dreams, if we decide to move forward together, I will customize trainings for you or who you think would benefit from them. Maybe coaching is preferred. As a former Executive Director and community organizer my goal is to have your back and to support you to build strong organizations and movements.

Below are some examples of community organizing trainings that I’ve done recently:

  • Outreach
  • Issue Identification
  • Meeting with a Target
  • Campaign Development
  • Understanding how power and privilege show up within an organization
  • Integrating community organizing and social services
  • Representation: ensuring that directly impacted community members are representing their organization
  • Participatory Action Research

Please reach out if you’d like to discuss a workshop or coaching, and if you’d like references from groups that I have worked with.