Setting/resetting your group’s container is one of the most important things you can do, but folks often want to skip this step because they worry more about what needs to get done instead of what it means to be in community with each other. You cannot call people in and up if you are not committed to defining how your group will be with each other. Taking the time to reset the container is time well spent.

By developing community commitments that honor what every person brings to the table, group members come to see equal value in their different identities and experiences. Through this activity, participants craft community agreements then explore the cultural, political and personal barriers to living up to them. Through this process, they 1) co-create a space that enables the surfacing of issues and identities that may be used for self-protection or to silence others and 2) develop shared commitment to how they will engage. This session should be facilitated the first time a group gathers as it lays the foundation for future learning and experiences. It should be revisited each time a group reconvenes.


  • To create community agreements that support a liberated zone, learning and growth

  • To explore barriers to maintaining the community agreements and include the lived experience of structural racism using an intersectional/gender lens

  • To develop shared commitment to sustaining a liberated space through reflection and body movement


  • Participants create their unique community agreements and develop shared commitment to sustaining it

  • They recognize common social, political and personal barriers to creating a liberated space that are rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism

  • They understand how generative conflict can support maintenance of a liberated space

Description: Most of the work we are called to undertake in our communities is not linear or transactional. It’s incredibly complex, so the approach to leadership we cultivate must meet that complexity. Many of us have been through leadership development programs that address our leadership challenges like new year's resolutions: There’s something getting in the way of your leadership so here is a time management tool, here is a list of your strengths, here is a book or a list of things you need to stop doing. The expectation is that you come out of the training and everything is supposed to be different.

But improving our leadership is complicated - it is rooted in our strengths and our fears. So we have to take the time to dig into all of this. The Immunity to Change process recognizes the complexities of what is getting in the way of our leadership and helps cultivate participants’ sense that no matter how complex the challenge - personal, organizational, or societal -, it can be confronted, and we do not have to seek out the most linear solution.

Purpose: To learn about and practice using Immunity to Change as a process for deeply exploring challenges to our leadership commitments and practice deeply exploring challenges to our community’s commitments.


  • Introduce participants to the concept of Immunity to Change and how it connects to Vertical Development and our Transformative Organizing journey

  • Provide familiarity with the tool

establishing homegirls

Coming Soon!

Description: During a closing Power 50 retreat, women in that year’s cohort (Arleen, Roxana, Julie and their dope colleagues from OneAmerica) took others through their organization’s journey to center the leadership of women of color. The conversation raised this question: What happens when YOU become The Man? What does it look like to continue the transformation journey once you’re in charge and colleagues see you as a source of oppression? How do you stay accountable to goals and values that center transformation and liberation when you’ve also got an organization to run and hard decisions to make? This session is designed to explore these questions using the Wise Counsel tool where participants take turns giving and receiving guidance. It was conducted virtually but can be facilitated at an in-person gathering. It also targeted multiple cohorts of Power 50 but could be conducted for one cohort.

Purpose: To create space to think interdependently and strategically about how to continue the transformation process once you have more positional power


  • Participants deepen their connections within and across cohorts.

  • They understand the value of and have practiced the Wise Counsel tool.

  • They have greater awareness of the challenges facing WoC as they step into positional power.

  • They have strategies for continuing the process of leadership transformation while moving into positional power.

Description: Organizers have achieved countless wins utilizing traditional organizing methods (such as the Alinksy), but if we dig into these approaches we can see that they are often rooted in the very oppressive structures that we are actually working to dismantle. Using the trope of the “welfare queen” to provoke critical thought and for illustration, this session takes participants through an evocative process of exploring untrue narratives about women of color as well as transformative organizing as a means for gaining power to address all injustice.


  • To highlight false narratives that undermine our sense of power

  • To unpack two modes of organizing

  • To showcase the power of women of color in movement building


  • Participants acquire new knowledge about narrative making and organizing practices

  • They are challenged and affirmed in their beliefs about their ability to be effective organizers

  • They identify opportunities for creating change in how we build transformational organizing.

vision stands

Coming Soon!

Description: Making sure that participants develop a deep sense of interdependence is one of the major goals of the program. So far, we have focused on several aspects that are key to interdependence - developing a shared set of community commitments, learning each other's strengths and challenges, and creating a shared analysis of what disorganizes us and how our liberation is intertwined. One key aspect of interdependence, though, is learning how to be in principled struggle with each other. How can we build a practice together around disagreeing—arguing even—without cancelling each other? What does it look like to call each other in and up when we are straying from purpose?


  • To build understanding and develop a practice for leaning into conflict and calling each other in and up.


  • We understand the concept of principled struggle and the tools we’re developing to engage in it

  • We leave with new tools around understanding how we show up in conflict

  • We practice techniques for leaning into conflict with each other

  • We re-root in our commitments to each other and our community

Description: This session was designed for a virtual space but can also be used for in-person gatherings.


  • To build participants’ confidence

  • To helping them create that expand the Power 50 liberated zone into every space beyond the program


  • Participants revisit and refine their vision and systems change goals

  • They apply new learnings to form clear, doable strategies for creating liberated zones wherever they go

  • They have a stronger sense of how to move strategically and purposefully toward a goal (boss moves)

Description: Purpose is our role—our unique contribution—in the group project of building a world where everyone can thrive. Clarity of purpose is what allows us to advance towards a vision that seems impossible. There are three different ways that you can use this practice: 1) as a stand alone session to uncover an individual's purpose, 2) as a tool to begin nurturing a practice of interdependence with a group, and 3) as a practice to reground us in purpose and push back on what disorganized us. Pair this practice with the activity How They Disorganize Us.


  • To root WOC in their purpose

  • To lift up and foster interdependence


  • Participants understand the meaning of purpose in general, and more specifically, their own purpose

  • They understand the significance of interdependence

  • They recognize the relationship between purpose and interdependence

Description: This activity is facilitated at or toward the end of a program and is used to reflect on their collective journey and on the learnings, tools and practices they can continually draw on in their leadership work.


  • To have women name the grounding practices they will carry with them out of our shared Power 50 space.


  • Women recognize the valuable skills and tools they have gained for returning them to their purpose and vision.

  • They understand the culture of our shared practices.

Description: This centering practice helps to ground participants in knowledge that they have a legacy of wisdom, strength, creativity, resilience and many other attributes from which they can recognize their own greatness.


  • To model a commitment to protecting space and time for centering practice

  • To draw on ancestors as a tool for discerning greatness


  • Participants learn a practice of mindfulness drawn from our ancestors’ gifts

  • They have more awareness of their body and breath and receive loving kindness

Description: How do social and political systems impact our communities? What is power? What are its different forms and how can we hold power differently as formerly incarcerated women of color and/or those directly impacted by the carceral state. This session explores these questions and politicizes the personal by helping participants reflect on their sphere of influence to put transformative organizing into their practice. This session on their developing shared political analysis. (See


  • To apply previous transformative organizing concepts to their working contexts.


  • Participants are able to think and operate from a deeper sense of interdependence.

  • They also increase their shared political analysis.

  • They expand their ability to imagine strategically and lead their communities in implementing transformational alternatives.

Description: This is a fun, mind- & possibilities-expanding activity that was facilitated as a virtual dinner party for participants (see the invitation). It can also be done in-person. A message to the women: You should take it seriously, but don’t forget to play!

Purpose: To kick it as a cohort and practice strategic imagination.


  • Participants reconnect to have Fun and Food with Fam

  • They practice mind and possibilities-expanding imagination rooted in our visions

  • They practice interdependence