Thursday, November 9, 2017
Rest and self-care are buzzwords proponents of wellness use to encourage balance in a busy life. If you are the leader of a grassroots nonprofit with a monumental mission, a million dollar budget, and hundreds of staff and volunteers, how do you create space and time for renewal? As the youngest recipient of the Durfee Sabbatical Fellowship, Gloria Walton will discuss her rather unconventional leadership story and quest for self.
Gloria Walton is president & CEO of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a South LA-based community organization widely recognized as a leader in the development of cutting-edge strategies to ensure that everyone—regardless of race, socio-economic standing, gender, origin or orientation—has an equal voice in the democratic process.
Under Walton’s leadership, SCOPE has played a pivotal role in several significant campaigns, including serving as an anchor organization in winning statewide alliance efforts to pass California’s Proposition 30 (which increased taxes for upper income earners and restored $6 billion in education funding, temporarily ending budget cuts to education for the first time in years); and Proposition 47 (which reformed the three strikes law by reducing non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and put the cost savings into rehabilitation, social programs, and mental health services). Walton also led the organizing effort for SCOPE’s green jobs programs that couple entry level positions with job training to create career pathways into good, green jobs targeted for workers in low-income neighborhoods.
In 2016 Walton received the NAACP-LA’s Empowerment Award, the LA League of Conservation Voters Environmental Justice Champion Award, and the Center for Community Change’s Champion in Community Organizing Award. She was a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Fund for Leadership Advancement grant award and was named one of Liberty Hill Foundation’s Leaders to Watch in 2011.
Walton currently serves on the board of directors of California Calls, the coordinating committee of the Black Worker Center, and is a founding advisory board member of a national collaborative known as BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity).
Additionally, Walton holds a Governor-appointed seat on the SB 246 Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program Technical Advisory Council and sits on the Office of Planning and Research Advanced Energy Communities Project Technical Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Safeguarding California Climate Justice Work Group convened by the Resources Legacy Fund.
Walton has authored multiple pieces for the Huffington Post, The Nation, and online blogs for the Center for Community Change, Equal Voice for America’s Families, and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, covering topics ranging from environmental racism and clean energy jobs to voter engagement and racial justice.
Ms. Walton's Athenaeum presentation is part of the "Behind the Veil: Women, Race, Leadership, and Social Change in the Nonprofit Sector” (“BTV”) speaker series. BTV explores leadership models and perspectives by harnessing the power of first person narrative and storytelling by nonprofit CEOs on the front lines of social change.
Poet and CMC professor emeritus Ricardo Quinones will be joined by actors and live music in a reading and discussion of his narrative and lyrical poems.
Following his first volume of poems, Through the Years (2010), and its successor, Roberta and Other Poems (2011), Ricardo Quinones, professor emeritus of literature at CMC, published A Sorting of the Ways: New and Selected Poems (2011). The newer collection both draws from his earlier volumes and adds to them.
Redacting the poems will be Todd Mandel and Lisa Robins. Mandel is a former actor and former CMC advancement officer. Robins, who has enjoyed a lifelong career in theater, TV, and film, is a member of the Actors Studio and has recently received stellar reviews for her solo show, “The Blessing of a Broken Heart." Accompanying Mandel and Robins in the the reading will be rock and jazz icon, Don Preston, who is best known for his keyboard and ground-breaking synthesizer solos with Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention as well as countless film soundtracks including Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.