The WKKF Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership is an innovative fellowship for local leaders to connect, grow and lead transformational change on behalf of children, families and communities. The 18-month fellowship brings together 80 inspiring and diverse leaders from the Kellogg Foundation’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans.
As part of the program, each fellow has the opportunity to choose an accountability partner from a different priority place to walk beside them over the 18-month fellowship. At this year’s gathering in Battle Creek, Michigan, we spoke to several accountability partners at the start of their journeys together. See how the fellows are serving each other and consider how an accountability partner could benefit you and your work.
Lorena Aguayo-Márquez and Virginia Necochea
Lorena and Virginia connected over their shared commitment to the protection of Mother Earth. Early on they discovered that they also share cultural practices. They see each other as key helpers in ensuring that their visions are translated into action.
While each of these incredible women strive to hold others accountable in their work, they also recognize the need for personal accountability, especially from a place of mutual respect and trust. It’s not just about getting all the work done, but also making sure that each other’s inner worlds are cared for.
Tomika Bell and Devon Wilson
Tomika and Devon were inspired by each other’s passion for creating equitable food systems, seeing themselves in one another’s work. Both are looking forward to sharing strategies, approaches and lessons, while helping each other stay centered and reminding one another of the why behind their missions.
Each sees accountability as a support system that enables them to make progress towards their goals, and are eager to learn from each other’s challenges and how they have transformed them into opportunities.
Chauncey Spears and Natane Lim
For Chauncey and Natane, their first conversations exemplified the power of art in connecting people. Their shared love of hip-hop and celebrating the art form’s 50th anniversary bonded them, and their shared dedication to challenging the status quo solidified their partnership.
In their relationship, they are looking forward to helping each other stay engaged in this journey, acknowledging that the work of racial justice, racial healing and equity requires partnerships like these to prevent burnout and isolation.
Kierre Rimmer and Victoria Dominguez
Over the course of the gathering, Kierre and Victoria found that their paths kept crossing. Upon deeper investigation, they discovered that their personal definitions of accountability were also aligned.
Each is looking forward to creating a safe space that facilitates vulnerability and allows each other to bring their full selves to the table. And while they work to encourage each other, they also will build trust with one another, enough to be honest about areas of growth and improvement.