One of the most important aspects of creating transformative change is making sure that those most impacted by problems are meaningfully involved in the development and implementation of solutions.
And while centering those most impacted by a problem might seem like common sense, impacted-communities and people are often the last folks to be consulted by would-be problem solvers. Fortunately, that’s starting to change, but as more and more philanthropists and nonprofit leaders wake up to the need for authentic engagement with impacted-communities, they’re running into a new problem.
How do you engage people with lived-experience in change? How do traditional decision makers meaningfully share power?
I feel very fortunate to have been a part of an organization that’s been focused on answering that question for more than a decade. As the former Director of Youth Programs at The Mockingbird Society, I saw firsthand the incredible change that can happen when young people from across Washington state have the opportunity to meaningfully shape the foster care and homelessness systems for themselves and for those who will come after them.