Newsletter March 2017
Farewell to Akonadi- and to Oakland
Using Feedback to Strengthen Our Work
Lateefah Simon in Conversation with Gloria Steinem
Strengthening Our Movement in Times of Resistance
By: Gina Acebo, Deputy Director
Recently, Akonadi Foundation convened our Arc Toward Justice Fund grantees to discuss how we can deepen the movement to achieve racial justice in Oakland and beyond during this time of re-imagining and resistance. The discussion that ensued was rich, inspiring, and meaningful, and the insights are worth sharing.
Farewell to Akonadi – and to Oakland
By: Sheena Johnson
Like many of you, this moment of change has compelled me to reflect deeply on my path and purpose. I have come to understand that lasting structural change begins and ends with ourselves. We must mirror in our personal lives the world we want to help build. With this realization, I sadly came to understand that my 10 years of loving and living in Oakland is coming to a close, and I am looking for opportunities to move closer to my family on the East Coast. As I transition out of my role as program officer here at Akonadi this spring, I am overcome by such a profound feeling of love for the strong activist and grassroots organizing communities here in Oakland.
Using Feedback to Strengthen our Work
By: Iris Garcia, Grants Manager
As a racial justice foundation, we continually look for ways to incorporate our values of accountability and transparency into our work. One tool that we recently used to gather feedback from our partners was a grantee and applicant survey. Last September, Akonadi surveyed 228 organizations that had applied for and/or received funding since 2015. The survey’s intent was to complement our other learning tools and encourage grantees and applicants to offer anonymous feedback. We collected responses from 59 organizations; this input has helped us understand how grantees and applicants perceive us.
- We asked open-ended questions about what we are doing well and what we could improve.
- We asked whether grantees and applicants felt respected by Akonadi and whether they were satisfied with our communications about funding opportunities.
- We also used the survey as a tool to help us understand our impact in Oakland and to strategize for the future.
We found grantees’ and applicants’ positive responses to our work invigorating, and we were particularly grateful for survey respondents’ constructive feedback. Among the important point our constituents made:
Lateefah Simon in conversation with Gloria Steinem
‘THERE IS NO WAY ON EARTH THAT YOU CAN BE A FEMINIST WITHOUT BEING ANTI-RACIST’
– GLORIA STEINEM
On March 6th, Akonadi Foundation President Lateefah Simon sat in conversation with Gloria Steinem – author, activist and luminary of the Women’s Rights Movement. This conversation focused on Gloria’s reflections on a life of activism and a call to action in this political time. The event was held in the Mission’s historical Brava Theatre to kick off the SF Women’s Building Speaker Series.
‘I don’t live in the past. I’m thinking about the next day & the day after. I live in the future for what would be & could be’ -Gloria Steinem