In “Building Resilient Organizations: Toward Joy and Durable Power in a Time of Crisis,” Maurice Mitchell unpacks the interrelated tasks facing our movements today. He identifies internal issues that have roiled and sometimes broken organizations over the last few years while pointing to the “challenging terrain on which we struggle and grow.” The piece can contribute a lot to evaluating the ways we work—but it is not primarily a management guide. It is a call to clarify our ideology and strategy and use those to anchor all our decisions and practices. Nothing else will do if we are to move forward in this time of overlapping crises and distinct opportunities. Mitchell offers his article as a starting point. To feed and stimulate our collective reflection, Convergence and The Forge are presenting a series of responses.
The Forge brought together five longtime racial justice leaders — Sendolo Diaminah, Scot Nakagawa, Rinku Sen, Sean Thomas-Breitfield, and Lori Villarosa — to discuss why the paper resonates, the problems with relying on it to criticize organizational practices, and the path forward for racial justice work. This transcript is an edited, condensed, and combined version of two conversations. Tema Okun participated in one of the conversations but declined to be included in the published transcript.