C5: United Spider Webs, Equitable Collaboration, and Organizational Development

Area of Focus: Workforce Resilience and Leadership

There is a powerful African proverb that says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” But what does this actually look like in practice? Sector leaders are searching for effective strategies for organizational development, funding, and community justice. More than ever, leaders in the sector are understaffed and challenged by pay, an even heavier burden for smaller community-based organizations. Do past management styles hold value in today’s environment? What changes should leaders make?

A phenomenal cast of experts, ranging from leaders of a small community-based organization to a large state-based agency, will discuss sector-wide challenges that need to be addressed. Leaders want practical methods for diversity and inclusion development within their teams. They must also acknowledge all partnerships as equal to build a community that values safety, justice, and voice. Systemic change is always the call, but there are many power dynamics leaders must recognize in collaborations that can serve as a catalyst to change. The leaders in this workshop will share examples of the successful strategies their organizations have implemented as well as challenges they’ve experienced.

Learning Objectives

  • Inequities in partnerships and collaborations for CEOs
  • Effective strategies aligned with EDI to develop staff, managers and relationships
  • Effective funding strategies for smaller community-based organizations and the challenges they face to sustain
  • Benefits, strategies, and examples of connecting the “spider web”


Romero Davis
Senior Program Manager
Social Current

Crystal Bennett, LMSW
DEI Specialist, CEO

Joseph Alonzo
Cocoon House

Undraye Howard
Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Social Current

Marlena Torres
Children’s Home Society of Washington

Taneshia Miller
Ladies In Power

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