The BMP Team Reflects on a Challenging Year

Dec
1
2020

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we need to be connected to each other, and to be committed to creating social change. During this unprecedented year, we at the Building Movement Project have been doing just that. We have been strengthening social change organizations, leaders, and movements through research, reports, trainings, and resources. On Giving Tuesday, we hope that you will make a donation to support our ongoing work.

Here’s a glimpse into our work in 2020:   

Continue reading below for reflections from the BMP team about the work we found meaningful in 2020. And, please make a donation so that BMP can continue to listen, learn, research, create, and train – all in service of strengthening movements for social change.

Anna Castro, Manager, SolidarityIs

Connecting with the Power Up Internship Program interns every week has been a source of joy and inspiration for me. They are invested in their communities receiving the dignity, respect, and resources they deserve and using all the tools available to them to fight for change. I’m proud that Building Movement Project is dedicated towards lifting up this next generation of activists and excited for what they will accomplish as nonprofit leaders.

Catherine Foley, Communications and Operations Associate

I think the most impactful, validating, and vital work that we have done this year has been around COVID-19 related issues. In particular, I am immensely proud to have worked on the On The Frontlines report, which highlights not only the effects of COVID-19 on nonprofits and the communities they serve, but the needs of leaders of color who are overburdened and exhausted in this moment (and have been for a long time). It was powerful and grounding to be able to speak with these leaders, hear their stories, confirm their experiences, and share their needs and demands for systemic and social change.

Deepa Iyer, Director of Movement Building

During this unrelenting year, I’m so glad to have found my community and political home at BMP. One of the projects that centered me is the report we published this fall on how nonprofits led by people of color are navigating COVID-19 and the uprisings against anti-Black racism. The report reminded me of the critical work happening on the frontlines in cities around the country. To read our findings and recommendations, please visit www.bit.ly/COVIDPOC

Frances Kunreuther, Co-Director

When the pandemic started, we realized that we needed to keep in touch with all the staff working at home. So, we began weekly half-hour staff calls to check-in on how everyone was faring. Some calls were funny, some were sad, and we gradually began knowing more about each other. That’s been a really nice outcome in these very challenging times.

Kitty Hu, Communications and Administration Intern

As a recently new addition to BMP, I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of a team that genuinely cares for one another. In the midst of a global pandemic and national reckoning over racial justice, I’ve felt incredibly energized by our work to center those most impacted and check in with nonprofit leaders of color. I have immense respect for the organizers and leaders that we’ve been in community with and am lucky to be learning from them through this work!

Olivia Peña, Networks and Learning Practice Coordinator

During this turbulent year, I’ve felt empowered by creating and facilitating spaces centered on making positive social change in the nonprofit sector. This year has proven to be as important as ever to have space to talk about racial equity and movement leadership, and also to have space to strategize actions to support equity and movements as well. Through managing cohorts, I have had the privilege to not only support peer learning in these important areas, but to also learn with and from the dedicated organizations in BMP’s ecosystem.

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Co-Director

In a year of unprecedented change, I was centered by having monthly zoom meetings with a group of practitioners around the country committed to equity within organizations. Deepening my connections with peers I used to just see at conferences certainly contributed to my ongoing learning. But this group also provided a needed sense of community where we could grapple with the uncertainty and pain that 2020 has brought.

Tessa Constantine, Research Analyst

This year more than ever, I’m so grateful to be a part of the important work going on at BMP. One of my proudest achievements from this year has been writing and publishing a report on race and leadership in the Milwaukee nonprofit sector, where I currently live. Experiencing the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement firsthand in the city while actively contributing to the conversation around race locally has been such a moving experience. In everything we do through this work, I always hope we make a positive impact in the sector. When doing this work in my home, this is especially true.

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