Colorado Transformative Leaders for Change (TLC) Fellowship

Currently, we co-design and facilitate the Colorado Transformative Leaders for Change (TLC) Fellowship. This year-long transformative leadership development program in Colorado is for social justice leaders of color. Seven progressive organizations in Colorado that build power with low-income people and communities of color came together to create this new statewide transformative leadership development program for leaders of color. TLC supports their leadership development, builds a powerful and interdependent network, and ensures the state ecosystem is transformed to sustain leaders of color and advance racial justice. Among the seven leaders was SiOP member, Neha Mahajan, who experienced the impact of our work. We are proud of Neha’s leadership and organizing with her peers and partners in philanthropy, which led to the Transformative Leaders for Change Fellowship (TLC).

Consulting Projects and Services

Standing in Our Power offers a range of coaching and consulting services, and also partners with movement leaders, philanthropic institutions and governmental agencies to co-design and facilitate transformational leadership programs for trans and cisgender women of color, and gender nonconforming people of color.  For instance, we have worked with the New York City Capacity Building Collaborative to provide an Empowerment Workshop Series for their grantees, and we’ve worked with Access Strategies Fund to provide a healing retreat for their women of color grantee leaders.

Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health (BMIRH) within the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)

In 2017-18, we partnered with the NYC DOHMH on an Institutional Transformation process. Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to deepen and expand our transformational model from the individual level to the institutional level. Our work is with the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health (BMIRH) within the NYC DOHMH specifically, and the institutional transformation process seeks to infuse a sexual and reproductive justice framework throughout the bureau. The theory, strategy, and practice of Reproductive Justice were created in 1994 by African American women who were looking for a way to articulate the needs of communities of color that face multiple forms of sexual and reproductive oppression. They recognized the need for an intersectional analysis defined by the human rights framework— based on the practice of self-help— that would be inclusive and applicable to everyone. We are excited about this opportunity because it allows us to support a governmental agency to transform its policies and practices and culture to be in alignment with the vision, values and voices of community leaders, namely women of color.

For nearly 20 years, I have engaged in movement building work. As a queer leader of color, I can honestly say the Transformative Leadership for Change fellowship in Colorado (facilitated by SiOP) is the first space where I’ve experienced collective healing and liberation. I’ve been pushed to exercise vulnerability and share my story as a path towards deepening trust and building solidarity with leaders of colors in my community. While many other executive leadership development programs focus on skills, SiOP understands that the challenges facing leaders of color are complex and require a commitment to healing from internalized oppression to build the power we need to win!

Crystal MiddlestadtExecutive Director, Chinook Fund