#CommunityLeaders: Donna Odom

Strategic Community Partners was born with a vision of catering to mission-driven clientele through partnering strategy with community and cultural context. As the national demand for our work has grown, our team has reflected on the quality and strength of all of our innovative partners and leaders that have been collaborated with us along the way! Our #CommunityLeaders initiative is a space created within social media, uplifting influencers of change, as well as encouraging more meaningful dialogue across social media channels.

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I continue to do this work because the inequities and injustices in our society persist and the need for education, involvement, and transformation endures.

Why do you do what you do? What continually motivates you to stay in this work?

I originally founded the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society because I realized there was no organization researching and documenting the history of African Americans in our area. In 2010, after our involvement with the Race Exhibit Initiative, we saw there was a role for us in promoting racial equity and racial healing. I continue to do this work because the inequities and injustices in our society persist and the need for education, involvement, and transformation endures.

What factors allow you to succeed in your role?

My passion for what I do and the dedication and support of our volunteers and board members allow me to succeed in my role.

What does being a strong community partner mean to you? How do you live that out through your work?

It means staying atune to the needs of the community and using your resources and abilities to work towards meeting those needs. Obviously, we can't do everything for everyone, so it's important to identify where you can best serve with what you have to offer. I have tried to utilize the knowledge and skills I've developed over the years in the areas of management, planning and development, research, and education to build and grow our organization.

 

Biography

Donna Odom is founder and Executive Director of the Society for History and Racial Equity. She holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and an M.A. from Loyola University, Chicago. Ms. Odom’s background includes several years teaching in community college and high school. She was Director of Cooperative Education for the eight city colleges of Chicago and Manager of the Business Access Center at Chicago City-Wide College before returning to Kalamazoo in 1993. She retired as Coordinator of Educational Programs from the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in 2010. Ms. Odom was a member of the steering committee for the Southwest Michigan RACE Exhibit Initiative, is a board member of the Historical Society of Michigan, the Kalamazoo County Historical Society and past board member of the Michigan Oral History Association and the Friends of WMUK Advisory Committee at Western Michigan University.

 

#CommunityLeaders: Jeffrey Key

Strategic Community Partners was born with a vision of catering to mission-driven clientele through partnering strategy with community and cultural context. As the national demand for our work has grown, our team has reflected on the quality and strength of all of our innovative partners and leaders that have been collaborated with us along the way! Our #CommunityLeaders initiative is a space created within social media, uplifting influencers of change, as well as encouraging more meaningful dialogue across social media channels.

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I think being a strong community partner is centered around being collaborative and supportive of the work of others whenever possible.

Why do you do what you do?  What continually motivates you to stay in this work?

I continue to work in the nonprofit sector because of the reward of clearly seeing the local impact of the work that I do on a day-to-day basis.  Because of the constant interaction with students, families, and other community members who participate in programs and provide feedback and become supporters or volunteers themselves, you have a constant reminder of why that work is important and the difference it makes in the community.  Most days, my best moments are getting feedback from people who've benefited from a program I've helped support or hearing an update from a student I've worked with in the past about how their experience in a program has helped them be more successful or more prepared for their next step in higher education or professional life.

 

What factors allow you to succeed in your role?

Being a part of teams with committed coworkers and board members has been incredibly important in allowing me to be successful in my role.  As with any organization, the nonprofits I've been a part of have experienced periods of uncertainty and challenge; because of the mission-drive nature of the work, it's still important to try and continue to deliver services to community members who depend on your work every day.  Being able to call on coworkers to assist with projects, come up with solutions to unexpected challenges, or get support and motivation after a particularly tough day has been crucial for my success.

I've also been fortunate enough to work with many supervisors and mentors who have given me the space, resources, and support to continually look for opportunities to learn new skills and take advantage of external professional development opportunities.  The knowledge and skills I've been able to bring back from talking to new contacts at different organizations allowed me to offer new solutions to make my own agency more efficient and effective.

 

What does being a strong community partner mean to you?  How do you live that out through your work?

I think being a strong community partner is centered around being collaborative and supportive of the work of others whenever possible.  Even in situations where you may be doing similar work to other people, by helping to make them better or offering information about resources and opportunities, you are ultimately helping yourself and other people will take notice of that.  In my work, I try to demonstrate that value by being intentional about providing help to others whenever possible, even if in short-sighted terms, they may appear to be a rival in terms of applying for grant funding or doing similar community-based work.  In my coaching work with students in the Braven program, I try to highlight one of their core values, which is "Go Together, Go Further"; being a strong partner means realizing that by helping others, you are helping yourself and the larger community.

 

Biography

Jeff Key is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and currently lives in New Brunswick. He attended Princeton University and is also a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law.  For the past 12 years, he has worked with educational non-profits focused on providing resources for college access and high-quality academic programming to students across New Jersey.  He is currently the Director of Operations for Project U.S.E., a nonprofit that provides experiential education programs such as boat building, urban gardening, and wilderness courses to young adults throughout New Jersey.  

He is a proud AmeriCorps alumni and currently volunteers as a leadership coach for Braven, a nonprofit providing high-quality leadership coaching and professional development for first generation college students to increase the pool of diverse leaders in the workplace.  He is also involved with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) providing support to chapters nationwide as a NationBuilder Integration Coordinator and Network Engagement Associate, and as an active board member for the New Jersey chapter (YNPN-NJ).  In his free time, he enjoys attending concerts, playing sports, trivia, karaoke, and taking road trips.  

International Women's Day 2018

At Strategic Community Partners, we are committed to empowering and celebrating women--women on our team; women we partner with; women we serve; women in general. Today, on International Women's Day, we asked a few members of our team to reflect on their experience engaging in mission-driven work at a women-led organization. 

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Chanel Hampton, Founder and President

Mission-driven work is my life’s calling--I’ve known that since I was a child when, at the age of seven, I boldly declared I would be a civil rights attorney. Fast forward 12 years to when I was a senior at the University of Michigan and was on my way to law school. Working for a social justice and advocacy organization, the American Friends Service Committee, as a free legal advocate for those incarcerated in Michigan prisons, I decided I did not want to study in law school, but rather wanted to prevent cases by engaging with youth and helping them understand and walk in their greatness. This was deeply personal to me, as it was also a preventive strategy to ensure my community, and so many other marginalized communities, weren’t getting caught in the system. My family and my mother ingrained mission-driven values in my DNA--and I’ve been fighting the good fight ever since.

As for the intersection of gender and work--if you’d asked me before starting my company what the most salient part of my identity was, I would have told you: my race. Three years ago, I launched Strategic Community Partners (formerly Hampton Consulting)--and since then, my answer to that same question is: my gender. For all of it’s glory, I am a woman. Our power, our resilience, our passion...I am a proud woman. Furthermore, I am the proud, humble, and grateful Founder and President of Strategic Community Partners--a national organization committed to collaborating with mission-driven organizations to lead strategy and provide capacity-building. For me, this experience has been a wonderful professional whirlwind and a powerful experience in my personal life. For our amazing SCP team and our partners, I do not take it lightly what I represent and who I represent. For my team and partners to be able to see a strong Black woman leading an organization that has rapidly grown and has a strong brand and reputation, I look at this an opportunity to pay homage to those whose shoulders I stand upon, as well as continue to build a legacy of phenomenal women. We each have pieces of our identity that are core to who we are and why we do what we do. Being a Black woman is core to who I am; and through this wonderful, deep, rich identity, I am blessed to lead in this work and do this work each day.

 

 

Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day -- Press For Progress -- deeply resonates with me. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report last year found that gender parity in income, employment, education, health, and political engagement is still more than 200 years away. Especially now, I am humbled and honored to work at a mission-driven organization so deeply committed to promoting gender inclusion and equity. At Strategic Community Partners we proudly lift up and support women leaders, both within our organization and throughout the greater community.

 

My commitment to relentlessly #PressForProgress on this issue will remain unwavering throughout all that I do. This dedication is further bolstered by the knowledge that I am working in concert with the phenomenal women of SCP, the women leaders who we partner with and serve, and women in this work who I have yet to even meet. I am hopeful that the greater social movement in pursuit of gender parity only continues to grow, until all women have access to and are empowered to pursue their dreams.

 

Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator

Today, there are so many black women in mainstream media that young black girls can look up to. That makes me so happy because growing up, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have a Michelle Obama, a Viola Davis, or an Ava DuVernay. That being said, representation truly matters, and I aim to represent people of color -- especially women of color -- through film. I am blessed to be doing this work at such an amazing women-led company that caters to mission-driven clientele, helping them achieve their goals by pairing strategy with community and cultural context. Being the Media Coordinator at Strategic Community Partners has already opened so many doors for me, both career-wise and on a creatively. As a black woman, I love being able to capture the diverse voices of our core staff and our partners, and to meet so many inspiring women doing mission-driven work to better their communities. It’s beyond inspiring to work at a company like SCP that uplifts women, diverse voices and stories, and serves as the representation that I wish I had growing up as a woman of color.   

Women's History Month

Strategic Community Partners is proud to be a women-led organization and is committed to empowering and celebrating the women on our staff. As Women’s History Month begins, we asked a few members of our team to reflect on their identities in this work.

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Chanel Hampton, Founder and President
If you would have asked me what the most salient part of my identity was four years ago, I would have said my race. After launching Strategic Community Partners nearly three years ago and since then, I will hands down say that my gender is the most salient part of my identity. Furthermore, as a woman of color, I do not take it lightly and am constantly reminded of my power, my resilience, and how far we have to go as a society. It means the world to me that my students, my younger relatives, and beyond can see a woman in power--because for far too long, this wasn’t the case; and even today, we still often see limited female leadership. It is also critical to me that I foster an organizational culture which uplifts, empowers, and celebrates women. I am both proud and humbled to be the founder and president of an organization that is known not only in my hometown of Detroit and home state of Michigan, yet in our nation’s capital (where our second Strategic Community Partners office is located), and across the country.

Maya Angelou put it perfectly:
"Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”

 

Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships
For 2018, the National Women’s History Month theme is “Nevertheless, she persisted: Honoring women who fight all forms of discrimination against women.” As many of us in this work know, this refers to remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when, despite his objection, Sen. Elizabeth Warren continued to read a letter from civil rights leader Coretta Scott King condemning then-Sen. Jeff Sessions as the Senate debated Sessions' nomination to become U.S. Attorney General. This brief comment -- “Nevertheless, she persisted.” -- sparked a movement celebrating the tenacity and determination of women throughout history and across the world.

As I reflect on this theme, I am especially proud to be working at a woman-owned and women-led organization; at an company where women are intentionally developed and supported; and at an organization where my voice as a woman and as a professional is deeply respected. At Strategic Community Partners, we have lived out our commitment to inclusivity, representation, and excellence in building a team of phenomenal women leaders. I am honored to work among, and be one, of these women.

 

Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator
I knew I wanted to change the world and make an impact in my community at a young age. It is important to me to be doing mission-driven work as a woman - a black woman - and to be a catalyst for change and equality.

In film and media, the industry is largely dominated by white men. So, being able to work in an organization that consists of women doing the same work that I am committed to doing is nothing short of inspirational. Working at a women-led organization not only gives me hope that more women are taking on leadership roles in their organizations and communities, but also reminds me that we are working endlessly to have a seat at the table in order for our voices to be heard. To me, that is what Women’s History Month means. It is a reflection of those who came before us, those in the present, and those who will come after us that have, are, and will do the work necessary to ensure equity and inclusivity in our society. As a filmmaker, videographer, and the Media Coordinator for Strategic Community Partners, I aim to leave my mark on the world through film, telling stories of social justice, human rights, and the experiences of people of color. In that, I advocate for more women, especially women of color, to be included in the industry. Our stories matter, and I aim to tell them not just during Women’s History Month, but even after as well.

Doing The Work

Our Special Projects Coordinator, Tori Lee, joined the Strategic Community Partners team in a short-term capacity last fall. We knew she’d be heading off to the Peace Corps this spring. We also knew she was a talented and passionate mission-driven leader--we had to have her on the team! We are so grateful for her contributions to our team over the past five months. 

Please join us in wishing her the best of luck and read her reflections on her experience at Strategic Community Partners.

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After graduating from college with a degree in International Relations, I assumed that I would be galavanting across the world, doing incredible and engaging work, just as I had done throughout my undergraduate career. I never quite expected to find myself working for a mission-driven organization based just a few hours north of my hometown. The truth is, though, that there is a lot to do here in our own backyard! While in school, my textbooks often showed faces of global poverty and social injustice in other countries while neglecting to highlight the fact that the United States is also experiencing those very same challenges.

It’s a hard truth to face, but a truth, nonetheless. Our students are not all experiencing equitable access to quality education, for example. While that can seem like an overwhelming, frustrating and even impossible challenge for one person to solve, the biggest lesson that I learned in my time here  is that you don’t have to go at it alone. Amazing and innovative organizations, like Strategic Community Partners, are in communities everyday working to uplift voices and catalyze change. Inch by inch, these leaders work to ensure that students are emotionally taken care of, parents are uplifted and empowered to support their children, and that teachers are invigorated and inspired in order to impact students. These leaders give their all every day and they gave me the belief that my voice can generate change.

Not long ago, I felt that I didn’t have enough relevant experience to really make a difference in my field. I’ve since realized, however, that showing up and simply doing the work will always be meaningful. I’ve learned to trust in my skills and abilities and to value what makes me unique in this work. For example, I’ve always been someone who’s enjoyed planning (literally anything-I love a good to-do list!). I’ve been able to utilize those skills to help support a career fair that impacted over 2,000 high school freshmen as well as lead a talent collective that supported city-wide education recommendations in Detroit. Doing the work means just that: getting it done.

Although I never expected to be here, I am incredibly grateful for all that I have had the opportunity to engage in and learn from while on the Strategic Community Partners team. No matter where I go in this world, I’ll never forget the lessons I’ve learned through some of the hardest-working individuals that I’ve met. As this amazing Black- and women-led organization continues to thrive, I am honored to say that I am committed to always doing the work alongside them. 

What does it mean to do mission-driven work?

Today is World Day of Social Justice! At Strategic Community Partners, we are passionate about mission-driven work as an act of justice and working towards justice--not just today, but everyday. Some of our core team members share their reflections on what it means to do mission-driven work.

  Chanel Hampton, Founder and President

Chanel Hampton, Founder and President

Mission-driven work isn't a 9-5; it's a way of life, a deeply rooted belief in what is, should be, and what it will take to get there. At Strategic Community Partners (SCP), we work with organizations whose missions align with education, equity, and justice. I launched SCP three years ago, yet have always been committed to this work--both in my "professional role," yet also as an actively engaged citizen and beyond. This picture was taken days after Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson. I had just moved back to Detroit and immediately flew back down to St. Louis, taking members of my team and marching alongside my former students (who had graduated) and their families. --hundreds of us met at a church, we all couldn't fit in, so I waited in the parking lot with hundreds of people. We were beginning to march. It was a sobering reminder of what is, should be (and shouldn't be), and what it will take. We have a long way to go. I am blessed to be able to do this work, lead an organization committed to this work, and build a team and surround myself with people who are equally committed.

  Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships  

Alaina Dague, Manager, Partnerships 

At Strategic Community Partners, our commitment to mission-driven work echoes throughout all that we do. I am continually impressed by our team’s professional and personal commitment to our work with organizations who work in spaces of education, equity, and justice, and am deeply grateful to be surrounded by such an incredible team. As I reflect on the World Day of Social Justice, I know that I do this work for our kids, our youth. I am, and will always be, so thankful for the family, teachers, and other adults who supported me throughout my educational experiences and development. They offered advice and compassion, advocated on my behalf, and did so, so much more. As a middle school teacher, I worked hard to offer that same love and support to my students. Although I’m no longer in the classroom, I wake up every day deeply committed to continuing our work on behalf of kids like me, my former students, and for all of our youth.

  Tori Lee, Special Projects Coordinator

Tori Lee, Special Projects Coordinator

I live my activism daily though my work at SCP and my interactions with others.  I believe deeply in the value of working with mission-driven organizations and individuals that seek to uplift communities and catalyze change. So often, mission-driven work means showing up and doing the hard work that seems overwhelming or impossible but I’ve been so inspired by the passionate and innovative partners of SCP. Everyday, these leaders show up and push for change and better outcomes for students, teachers, marginalized communities and others through their hard work and dedication to different causes. At SCP, we celebrate World Day of Social Justice every time we use strategy to help further our partners’ goals, every time we host a large community-based event and impact thousands of students lives, and every time we help raise the voices of our community members. It’s an honor to be a part of mission-driven work with such a passionate group of individuals with such varied personal experiences here at SCP and to have the relationships to the high-caliber thinkers and doers in the SCP network.  

  Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator

Tirrea Billings, Media Coordinator

Storytelling is my passion. Film is the medium. Working with organizations like SCP has allowed me to engage as a leader in the movement through a creative lens. My company, For The Culture Films, caters to telling stories about social justice, human rights, and the experiences of people of color. SCP’s mission of working with mission-driven organizations that align with education, equity, and justice perfectly balances with the work I do as a filmmaker and social justice leader. World Day of Social Justice is a reflection and reminder of why I do what I do. I do it for my people, my community, and ultimately, for the culture.

#CommunityLeaders: Richard Grundy

Strategic Community Partners was born with a vision of catering to mission-driven clientele through partnering strategy with community and cultural context. As the national demand for our work has grown, our team has reflected on the quality and strength of all of our innovative partners and leaders that have been collaborated with us along the way! Our #CommunityLeaders initiative is a space created within social media, uplifting influencers of change, as well as encouraging more meaningful dialogue across social media channels.

 

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“I do what I do every day because I truly believe our greatest resource in Michigan is our young people.”
— Richard Grundy

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you to stay in this work?

I do what I do every day because I truly believe our greatest resource in Michigan is our young people. We see people creating amazing solutions, companies, and things every day. I want to do my part to make sure our young people are aware and capable so they can create. I'm lucky in that I work directly with our students, so I see first hand the progress they are making and skills they are learning from our programs. The thing is, these students are just getting started and we want to make sure we are there to assist to where we can. Just like a good book, you're not going to close it before the end, you're going to see it through.

What factors allow you to succeed in your role?

Two things come to mind when I think about why we’ve been able to accomplish what we have. For one, we’re very dedicated to connecting our youth to opportunities that will help them become the capable leaders that we know they can be. With limited resources, that means thinking outside the box in how we develop programs that will impact their future while always paying attention to their present needs and addressing them. The second thing that ties into the first is the relationships with individuals and organizations that we’ve partnered with. We’ve been fortunate to develop great relationships with organizations like Strategic Community Partners, Emerging Training Institute, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and Ford Motor Company Fund to name a few. Through these partnerships, we’ve been able to not only receive resources needed for our programming but also guidance and experience which has been vital for our young organization.

What does being a strong community partner mean to you? How do you live that out through your work?

To me, being a strong community partner means being an asset that’s able to collaborate with other partners to achieve an agreed upon goal. It also means being able to identify, assist, and connect other assets when needed. I keep this in mind every time I’m contacted to help with a program or provide my expertise. Just as others have helped with JOURNi's growth and initiatives, I make sure that we're assisting and pouring back into others. This is also apparent every time we identify a specific need our students have that we don’t have a background or expertise in. We don't look the other way, we look to locate the resource needed to give our students the best shot at winning.

Biography

Richard, a native Detroiter is the cofounder and CEO of JOURNi. JOURNi is a non-profit focused on decentralizing tech education for Detroiters. Through partnerships with workforce development agencies, schools, community organizations and foundations, JOURNi has been able to train close to 200 youth in web-development and entrepreneurship skills vital to closing the digital divide in Detroit. Prior to moving back to Detroit to start JOURNi, Richard worked as an agile project manager to deliver web and mobile development projects.

January Reflections

One month in, this year has been nothing short of exciting and affirming of the work we are committed to here at Strategic Community Partners! Earlier this month, we announced our new name, as well as the opening of our second office in Washington, D.C. The past couple days, our Founder and President, Chanel Hampton, and two members of our core team spent time in D.C. meeting with new colleagues and partners--all passionate leaders committed to ensuring equity, justice, and excellence across the board in D.C. The need for strategic work paired with community and cultural context is just as clear in D.C. as it is in Detroit--and despite the notion that we are experiencing such drastically different environments and challenges from city to city, we were reminded that the same issues exist, largely, across our country. This is why we are committed to this work not only in Detroit, yet in D.C. and nationally.

Amidst meetings with various partners and colleagues, we also had the chance to celebrate with close friends and colleagues in D.C. An informal, intimate dinner celebration was perfect--ideas were exchanged, new connections were made, and SCP was celebrated! In mission-driven work, it is often so easy to run from meeting to meeting, project to project; we believe that relationships and celebration must be part of this work, too. We cannot thank our D.C. friends and colleagues enough for your support and celebration of these milestones--and many more to come!

Here's to a year filled with milestones, strong partnerships, and great company along the way!

 Thankful for all of our friends and colleagues who joined us to celebrate the national launch of Strategic Community Partners! 

Thankful for all of our friends and colleagues who joined us to celebrate the national launch of Strategic Community Partners! 

A New Year and Exciting News!

I launched Hampton Consulting in 2015 with a vision of catering to mission-driven clientele; pairing strategy with community and cultural context to help clients achieve their short- and long-term goals. Over the past two years, Hampton Consulting has had the opportunity to contribute to substantial impact, learn, and grow with our partners. As an organization, we have grown and exceeded all goals set forth; 2017 was a testament to the power of a vision and the need for the work we are committed to.

Today, we celebrate another milestone in our organization—with a new name and additional national expansion. We are still the same organization; Detroit will always be home. As a result of our work over the past two-and-a-half years, we have found an even greater demand. Furthermore, we want a brand that communicates who we are and what we do. We aren’t consultants, we are Strategic Community Partners. We are equally humbled, honored, and thrilled to announce the opening of our second office in Washington, D.C.

We deeply value our partnerships with those who have allowed us to help them live out their missions over the past two-and-a-half years, and we look forward to continuing to do this work with and alongside them for years to come. We are also eager to grow and further expand the reach of powerful missions across the country. 

Be sure to follow us on our channels (Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn) and visit our website—this month is an exciting time and we appreciate your support!

Here’s to a mission-driven 2018, even stronger partnerships, and a growing impact!

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Chanel Hampton                 Founder and President     Strategic Community Partners  

 

2017: A Year of Powerful Impact with Mission-Driven Partners

As we celebrate another year and take some time to rejuvenate, it’s humbling to reflect on all that 2017 brought us as we partnered with mission-driven organizations in Detroit, across Michigan, and nationally.

We thank our partners and communities for allowing us to collaborate, serve, and lead with you in 2017—and beyond. We also thank those who have engaged with us and supported in a myriad of ways.

These reflections and highlights from 2017 wouldn’t be possible without a vast local and national community committed to mission-driven work—thank you!

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Chanel Hampton     Founder and President

 
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In 2016, the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Educator Talent brought us on board to build a campaign to celebrate educators—based on the Michigan Equity Plan—which came to be known as the #proudMIeducator campaign. With a social media campaign across platforms, as well as a monthly video feature of an educator from every region of the State, we uplifted the great work of teachers. Recognizing the power of educators’ voices, we also launched a monthly blog. We designed a three-phase campaign, with each phase co-existing with the prior. July 2017 marked one full year of the campaign—and it continues!

 

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Through the first quarter of 2017, we partnered with The Skillman Foundation to host Teacher Listening Sessions. These sessions allowed us to get a better pulse on what teachers want and need. An impact report was prepared that was included in knowledge downloads with leadership across the city, business community, and education landscape—leading with teacher voices.

Throughout 2017, we partnered with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) to design and launch the inaugural CBMA Detroit Advisory Board; design and host quarterly partner and staff deep-dive days; launch the national inaugural Building Beloved Community Leadership Fellowship; host the first-ever regional Rumble Young Man, Rumble! in Detroit; partner to further High School Excellence with brilliant educators at Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men (located in Detroit) on the FD Promise, CBMA Literacy Corps, and CollegeSpring PSAT Preparation; as well as overall strategic planning and reporting with the national Strategy and Innovation Team. The impact of CBMA in Detroit, as well as nationally is undeniable—we are deeply grateful to partner with them!

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In July, we moved into our new offices at Bamboo Detroit. We are proud to say we’ve been with Bamboo since 2016, yet as they have grown, so have we! The new 4th floor suites of Bamboo Detroit are home to our Hampton Consulting Detroit office. Visit Bamboo today for a tour—or check out their social media platforms to learn about networking and professional development opportunities.

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We’ve had a blast partnering with New Paradigm for Education (NPFE) this year. We built out a strategic recruitment plan in partnership with NPFE’s Superintendent and district leadership with a goal of getting NPFE’s schools fully staffed for the 2017-2018 academic year and beyond. NPFE began the school year fully staffed, including a waitlist of qualified candidates for several roles. In addition to leading recruitment, we’ve also launched partnerships and an overall talent continuum for the district.

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Since 2015, we’ve been working with the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives at the University of Michigan and a cohort of 300 brilliant high school students via Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)—Michigan’s largest college access program. This fall, OAMI hosted a Matriculation Ceremony for GEAR UP students who are attending the University of Michigan. These young brilliant minds are trailblazers and we are so proud of them completing their first semester of college!

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United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Vice President of Education, Tammie Jones, had a powerful vision for opportunities and access that every student in Detroit should experience—including large-scale, college and career readiness fairs. We partnered with United Way to design a fair continuum for not only high school students, yet middle schoolers. 2017 marked the first year and two of three fairs that will be hosted annually. In May, United Way partnered with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Downtown Detroit Partnership, and the Mayor’s Youth Workforce Sub-Committee to host the Career Connections Fair. The fair engaged 687 youth attendees, resulted in over 300 job offers, and engaged over 80 partners and facilitators, 115 volunteers, and 65 employers. In November, we focused on high school freshmen via the Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair. This fair engaged more than 1,800 freshman students from across 25 high schools from Detroit Public Schools Community District. Students were able to engage in 15 workshops hosted by 18 facilitators, 52 career exploration booths staffed by 175 partners, a social-media lab, professional headshot station, and on-site high school and college advising sessions.

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The work we do at Hampton Consulting wouldn’t be possible without our great team members; people make an organization, and we are fortunate to have amazing people! In June, we welcomed Alaina Dague as our Senior Consultant. In September, Tori Lee joined us as our Special Projects Coordinator. We were also thrilled to welcome Jeniqua Davis as our Executive Assistant in October. This dream team has made our work possible and continues to progress and grow our organization’s impact—we cannot thank them enough!

Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair hosts nearly 2,000 youth!

Earlier this month, Hampton Consulting had the honor and privilege of continuing to partner with United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) to host the Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair (Find Your Future) as part of their Education team’s efforts to ensure college and career readiness for Detroit youth. Find Your Future engaged nearly 2,000 freshmen students from 25 high schools across Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Find Your Future provided a space for high school freshman to plan for life, make connections, and build career awareness.  Diverse and robust programming included 15 workshops, from building healthy relationships; to defining success in high school and creating an aligned plan; to applying and paying for college; to launching a strong career immediately after high school.

In addition, 52 companies, organizations, and government and civil service entities hosted unique career exploration spaces that ranged from engineering to the arts. Ten college and university partners also joined us for the day to share post-secondary educational opportunities for students.

As one student eagerly expressed, “I can’t believe all of this is for us! We [standing with two friends] went to the session on college [applying and paying for college]. It was really helpful…I wish everyone our age could get this information. Today was great!   

The energy was simply incredible. As one partner shared, “I’ve never had the opportunity to connect with this many students!” We are thrilled to have contributed to such a powerful and important day.

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The United Way for Southeastern Michigan's mission is to mobilize the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways. Within their education work, the College and Career Pathways Team leads a Linked Learning model in partnership with schools across Detroit. United Way enlisted Hampton Consulting to partner with the College and Career Pathways Team to create a continuum of fairs directly intersecting with their education work across Linked Learning schools.

The Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair was the second of three fairs in an annual continuum. Hampton Consulting led collaborative design efforts, including focus groups with high school freshman, to create a vision and detailed programming for these events. Ongoing planning, youth recruitment, as well as all facilitator and partner engagement for this fair were led by our team.

Want to learn more? Here are some additional great blogs--from both our partner in this work, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and one of our fair career exploration partners, DTE.

The Power of Language in Youth Advocacy

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Last week, we had the privilege and opportunity to join forces with the Community Foundation for Southeast to host On the Table, a community dialogue about what we hope to see for our youth, with our office partners and dear friends at Bamboo Detroit.  And we didn’t do this alone--we were part of a greater collective of over 400 organizations and community leaders hosting these conversations across seven counties in Southeast Michigan.

Forty community members and youth advocates joined us for lunch at On the Table. What brought them here? We asked this question as they walked into the cafe--asking each attendee to share this in one word on a whiteboard. Kids...Equity...Love...Hope...Community. Some were retired educators; others were working in our schools with youth today. Non-profit leaders, foundation staff, and corporate professionals committed to responsibly contributing to education...they were all around the table.

One of these people was Mary--a community advocate who has been in this work for decades. Mary engaged us in a powerful exercise that asked us not what we want to see for youth, but to speak as if we are ten years in the future.  She encouraged us to claim and affirm what we see in the year 2027 for youth across our region. There was an instant shift in body language, tone, the air of the room. It was one of hope, one of conviction, one of belief. Participants spoke of collaboration and equity, a region where all children are thriving, happy, and healthy. Some even shared that they hadn’t considered reaching this place, yet speaking as if it is, put them in a different space--and that is what our youth need, a community that believes in them and acts accordingly.

We wanted to be sure our participants walked away with tangible action--and we want to share this with you, as well. We identified some of these in advance and community members who join us shared, as well:

  • What is the area you want to focus on to serve our youth? If you had $1,000 handed to you today, what would you do to get started or continue that work? The Awesome Foundation wants to know! Click here to learn more about this organization and to apply today.
  • Vote! Our legislation and policies that we have a voting right in impact our community, our youth, and our lives as a whole. Don’t stand by idly.
    • In Michigan, you can register to vote by mail and in person by submitting a completed State of Michigan Voter Registration Application (Form ED-121) to your city or township clerk.
    • Vote on Thursday November 7th! The following elections will be taking place for Michigan:
      • Michigan House of Representatives District 1 (General)
      • Michigan House of Representatives District 109 (General)
      • Detroit (General)
      • Flint (Recall)
      • Jackson (Recall)

County and municipal elections are taking place across Michigan as well. Find more information about your ballot here.

  • Click here to learn more and stay engaged with On the Table.

We are deeply grateful for those who joined us at On the Table, for those who joined other On the Tables last week, and for all who are doing work in service of our youth in our region each day.


How Are You Using Convenings to Meet Your Q4 Goals?

A commitment to and partnership with community and community-based organizations are part of our DNA here at Hampton Consulting. Any and all who are in community-driven work (whether an educator, a non-profit program manager, or the CEO of a foundation) or connected to community in any way know what a busy time of year we are in right now! The school year is here, we are in the last quarter of the year (time is flying and there is so much to be done!), planning for fiscal year 2018 is here, and more.

 

Through all of this,  we are knee-deep here at Hampton Consulting in planning a number of convenings in Detroit as well as other parts of the country.  A question to ponder: Are convenings in your fourth quarter plan? What about your 2018 calendar of engagement?

  • Convening power is priceless and its value is infinite. Not just anyone can convene a collective. It’s even tougher to convene and make progress toward a given goal—versus just getting together for conversation and debate or purely surface level entertainment. If you have convening power, how are you using it to reach your goals? If you do not have convening power, who are you collaborating with and leveraging to make this happen?
  • Convenings can accomplish more in 4 hours or a couple days than in a month. There is something about creating a space for people to be present, focus, and physically come together that leads to a 15-minute conversation with that person you’ve been playing phone tag with for weeks or aren’t scheduled to meet with for another month. A 15-minute conversation in a place of convening can get more accomplished than a 4-hour meeting in the midst of a day full of other stuff. Can you think of a conference or convening you’ve been at where you accomplished more in that time than you felt you had in a month...or a quarter? How do you make this happen on a consistent basis?

  • What happens after convening is just as important, if not more, than what actually happens at the convening. Depending on the type of convening and your vision/goals for the space, the follow-up, next steps, and future benchmark touchpoints may be even more important. Do you need a convening catalyst to launch a major project or initiative? To re-spark productivity or collaboration? To what end should this convening be and how do you continue the momentum from this space?

As you think through the power of convenings and how you are hosting or engaging in these spaces to further your purpose and goals, consider Hampton Consulting as a capacity-building partner--whether in a design capacity, as an execution leader, or both. We’d love to connect and partner with your mission-driven organization!

 

Client Feature: New Paradigm for Education

  Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

We are proud to be working with New Paradigm for Education (NPFE) to staff their district for the 2017-2018 school year, as well as build and grow additional talent infrastructure and partnerships. NPFE operates seven school campuses throughout the City of Detroit and specializes in maximizing student learning potential through proven educational practices. Their schools offer a new educational paradigm evident by increased student achievement, fiscal responsibility, and community support.

As part of this effort, Hampton Consulting has engaged and recruited nearly 1,000 candidates by:  

  • Developing a strategic recruitment plan
  • Engaging several partners and creating pipelines of educators

  • Meeting 1:1 with over 100 potential candidates

  • Coordinating a hiring fair that engaged all principals and leadership across the district, including a “one-stop shop” interview experience for candidates (first and second interviews, as well as conditional contract signings for qualified candidates)

  • Utilizing a variety of strategic recruitment platforms, including various online job boards, social media, direct contacts, and more, resulting in applications from throughout Michigan and as far away as New York and Florida

  Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

As districts and schools wrap-up recruitment, we wanted to share some recruitment tips that have been invaluable:

  1. While innovation is great, strong execution is key.

  2. Leverage your network--this includes your greatest assets: your existing staff.

  3. Cast your net wide. One strategy will not get you fully staffed, yet multiple strategies being simultaneously executed strongly, will.

In our last week of the hiring season for the 2017-2018 academic year, consider joining NPFE! If you’d like to join the NPFE team, we do have a few classroom roles still available! Email adague@npfeschools with your resume and a copy of your Michigan Teaching Certificate to apply today!  

  Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

Photo courtesy of New Paradigm for Education. 

Hampton Consulting is one of the Midwest's premier consulting firms specifically catering to mission-driven clientele. We offer our clients best-in-class consultation and execution services, specifically by offering expertise in the following areas:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Education (PreK-12 and Higher Education)

  • Leadership Development and Performance Management

  • Operations Optimization

  • Recruitment (with additional expertise in Diversity Recruitment)

Hampton Consulting is thrilled to announce our newest addition to our staff!

Hampton Consulting is thrilled to announce our newest addition to our staff! Join us in welcoming Senior Consultant, Alaina Dague, to the Hampton Consulting team!

Alaina recently completed a national public policy fellowship. In this role, she coordinated the Proud Michigan Educator campaign—a state initiative to acknowledge, celebrate, and elevate the work of Michigan teachers—as well as additional policy work on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), focusing on parent and community engagement. Prior to her fellowship, Alaina taught middle school English here in Detroit for several years. “I feel especially privileged to have been able to loop throughout middle school with my students. This experience—being in the classroom every day with my students—reinforced my commitment to ensuring that all youth have access and opportunity.” While teaching, Alaina was recognized for her contributions to student growth with the Michigan Association of Public School Academics’ Quantum Leap Award. “This award was and is a testament to the work of my students throughout the school year—as holistic, intelligent, amazing students.”

Alaina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Alma College and also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. In addition, she serves as Vice Chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network-Detroit, is a member of the Executive Team of the Detroit Young Professionals, and is active in the Junior League of Detroit. 

More Than 300 Detroit Youth Hired at Career Connections Fair!

Hampton Consulting deeply believes in holistically and unapologetically serving our youth. For these reasons and beyond, we were honored to serve as an integral partner with United Way for Southeastern MichiganGrow Detroit's Young TalentDetroit Employment Solutions Corporation, and Mayor Duggan's Youth Subcommittee  to host the Career Connections Fair on Friday May 12, 2017.

The excitement began early Friday morning with volunteers and students arriving early--even a couple hours earlier for some of our youth--their parents were that excited! Engaging throughout the day, we had students, partners, employers, and  speaking to all that was brought to the table for our youth. Over 300 youth walked away with jobs from the Career Connections Fair! Our youth were prepared to succeed on the job--having tools to budget their money, balance their time, and rock their first day on the job (and beyond)! From a strong and authentic elevator pitch to being confident to leveraging social media in all the right ways--our youth (and even parents who attended with their youth) walked away that much more prepared to get the job! Furthermore, hundreds of youth walked away with questions, curiosity, and further interest in career pathways, more information about colleges and universities, as well as resources to support them along the way! This holistic effort, while tedious and intense, was all worth it--seeing our youth, partners, and employers!

Over the past week, we've run into youth and parents who attended, as well as partners and employers--they are still raving about the power and impact of the Career Connections Fair. Over the summer, hundreds of youth will continue to reap the benefits of the fair--serving as amazing employees with companies, organizations, and even school districts throughout the City of Detroit. 

A heartfelt thank you to each of our workshop facilitators, partners, and employers. Youth, congratulations on being hired and a round of applause for your engagement in your development as a young professional! 

Building Your Dream Team

Building Your Dream Team

Eighteen months ago, I left an extremely lucrative and fulfilling career to venture out on my own to launch Hampton Consulting, a mission-driven consulting firm. While the initial success of my company was driven by me*, it quickly became clear that the continued success of my company would be dependent on a team. Here are five things I have learned over the past year and a half about building your dream team. 

Detroit Young Professionals Features Hampton Consulting Founder and President

In December 2015, Detroit Young Professionals (DYP) featured our Founder and President, Chanel Hampton, celebrating her return home to Detroit and her launch of Hampton Consulting. A year later, DYP wanted to reconnect with Chanel to see how Hampton Consulting is doing, advice, and learned lessons. Founder and President Chanel Hampton sat down and connected with DYP to share. Check it out