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maven L E A D E R S H IP C OL LECTIVE

THIS IS WHAT LEADERSHIP LOOKS LIKE Maven fosters growth of LGBTQ+ leaders

MAVEN MOVES

Yoga, Music, Mindfulness

SEE US ON YOUTUBE Hear stories of impact and social change

maven rising A community convening and a celebration of excellence

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mavens Maven invests in talented queer and trans people of color and allies to build more resilient communities that thrive in crisis, tragedy, and transition. We equip leaders to prioritize meaningful diversity and belonging as a critical tool for redefining how best to achieve more equitable and sustainable organizations. Below are Mavens who have completed our professional development programs and are now catalyzing change in their social impact ventures.

Andres Acosta - He | Him Viesha Andrews - She | Her Tiffany Brave - She | Her Dylan Brooks - He | Him Linda Cheung - She | Her Robert Colom - He | Him Christopher J. Cuevas - They | Them Carlitos Diaz - He | Him Daniel J. Downer - He | Him Elizabeth Fernandez - She | Her Yasmin Flasterstein - She | Her Juan Francisco Hidalgo - He | Him Rowan Johnson - He | Him Tremaine Jones - He | Him Angela Locarno - She | Her Hector Machado - He | They Adrian Madriz - He | Him Kyle Maharlika - He | Him Ana Mantica - She | Her Nicolas Meade - They | Them JoĂŠl Junior Morales - He | Him Kim Murphy - She | Her Gabriella Rodriguez - She | Her Patrick Rodriguez - He | Him Asa Roberts Shaw - Asa Jasmen Rogers - She | Her Michael Roman - He | Him Kunya Rowley - He | Him Adam Ropizar - He | Him Alex Rosales - He | Him Anthony Sis - They | Them Stephan St. Louis - He | Him Meg Sunga - She | Her Octavia Yearwood - She | Her 00

TIFFANY BRAVE

KYLE MAHARLIKA

ROBERT COLOM

ROWAN JOHNSON


LETTER FROM THE CO-FOUNDERS

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Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”—JAMES BALDWIN

hen we survey our landscape there are many threats—housing insecurity, climate change, food insecurity and inequitable access to healthcare. Mavens are on the frontlines of developing the solutions to make it easier to thrive in our communities. Our signature program, Maven Leadership Cohort, radically redefines leadership to include people with the lived experiences to the problems they’re actively working to solve—people who have had to navigate a world that wasn't set up for them to succeed, yet, still, here they are bringing their rich perspectives for the betterment of their organizations. Each day, our Mavens create solutions to what seem like intractable issues for more than 200,000 of our neighbors through their leadership in reducing economic fragility, inspiring civic engagement, championing health equity, and ensuring access to the arts and public education. When we created Maven Leadership Collective four years ago, we didn’t allow ourselves to imagine the fullness of what has been achieved. We just knew that we were committed to closing the wide gaps that inhibit queer and trans people of color in leadership roles in the nonprofit, government and private sectors. Our award-winning approach was simple: invest consistently in queer and trans social impact leaders of color and their allies. Since we started, Maven has worked with more than 1,000 nonprofit, public, and private sector leaders. Alongside our leadership training, we provide in-depth consultations with organizations and institutions to reimagine and create more equitable workplaces that are productive, profitable, sustainable and deliver high impact. From one-on-one sessions, group workshops, conference appearances and partnerships, we’re teaming up with organizations willing to do the work in South Florida, Central Florida and across the country. We honor our growth and the sweat that went into getting to where we are now, but we must acknowledge that of course we encountered those who doubted the necessity of our very existence. Those who asked, “Why center queer and trans social impact leaders of color and allies in professional development initiatives?”

Our baseline is that an equitable workplace should be the default. For many queer and trans people of color, that is not their experience. We see them. We hear them. We invest in them. And we let organizations know all they’re missing out on when they don’t see them, hear them and invest in them. The way institutions develop programs, deliver services, formulate policy, and allocate resources suffer when it’s not inclusive. Maven places those who traditionally operate outside of so-called talent pipelines or resource networks at the center of these incomplete sustainability efforts. And as Dr. Maya Angelou counseled us, “When we know better, we do better.” Why would we continue to overlook and underestimate the extraordinary talent of queer and trans people of color who keep our neighborhoods, institutions, and social networks thriving? In this impact report, it is our pleasure to share with you the triumphs, the innovation, and the work still yet to be done. We invite you to find a space in our movement for robust action—either as a Maven, donor, client, or community partner. We welcome your investment of ideas, talent, resources, and network. It is time to jettison incrementalism in favor of bold moonshots; substitute rhetoric for action; and surrender excuses for accountability.

With Gratitude,

Corey Davis Co-founder & Executive Director

Daniel Anzueto Co-founder & Board Chair W W W. M AV E N L E A D E R S H I P . O R G

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ANDRES ACOSTA

ADAM ROPIZAR

YASMIN FLASTERSTEIN

GABRIELLA RODRIGUEZ ANTHONY SIS

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this is what

leadership looks like Maven Leadership Collective fosters the growth of LGBTQ leaders and allies and through this work found it’s not the pipeline that’s broken—it’s the system.

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hen you look at Florida’s talent pool recovery from mental health challenges, trauma, grief, of leaders—queer and trans leaders substance use issues, or other obstacles to wellness. In of color and allies are very much creating her own organization, Flaterstein said she was present and visible. The issue is committed not to repeat the mistakes she saw in whitenot a “pipeline problem,” a favorite and facile excuse led and high wealth nonprofit circles. from organizations to explain away the absence of true “I think organizations say they help those that are most diversity and inclusion. vulnerable, but instead they mean they help those that are Maven Leadership Collective fosters the growth of easiest for them to help,” she said. LGBTQ+ leaders and allies and, through this work and And her experience with the lack of institutional direct conversations with Mavens, found it’s not the support to grow within a nonprofit led her to create a pipeline that’s broken—it’s the system, but Mavens are model that allows for co-leadership and empowerment, disrupting that system in Florida and beyond. something she said she helped refine during her time in “I felt silenced when I brought up ideas,” said Yasmin the Maven Leadership Cohort. Flasterstein, co-founder of Peer Support Space, of her “It’s extra important that we support with practical time at a traditional nonprofit. resources and building people up, otherwise queer people Some of her ideas that were shot down included of color will always be doing the ground work and there creating a mental health support group won’t ever be enough queer people of for LGBTQ+ folks and an advocacy color in leadership because they’ll get initiative to raise mental health burned out in the journey there,” said awareness in the Black community. Flasterstein. Flasterstein said she never felt she Approximately 7% of foundation giving was given the space to grow and create, to the LGBTQ community is dedicated so she did what many LGBTQ+ leaders to people of color; only 11% is earmarked of Mavens reported of color in the nonprofit and social for professional development. And even feeling better in their impact space do—she left. when leadership development is present ability to achieve Flasterstein co-created Peer Support within organizations, which individuals self-imposed goals. Space in Orlando, a grassroots are chosen for these opportunities skew organization led by and for those in white, male and cisgender.

100%

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JASMEN ROGERS

TREMAINE JONES

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I would’ve never had the confidence and communication skills to do this without my Maven experience.”—SURVEY FEEDBACK

Jasmen Rogers, founder of Folding Chair Consulting, who is building political power across the state of Florida, said taking part in the Maven leadership training cemented for her that there are better ways to lead that don’t recreate the same oppressive and exclusionary systems. “Part of what Maven taught me about leadership in how I lead and how I expect to be led is making space for everyone to have access to whatever you’re creating,” she said. That means providing childcare should be default, having to use microphones isn’t optional based on two people in the front row saying they can hear you, folks who don’t speak English are provided translators— that accessibility is the default not the exception or a special request box.

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of Mavens agree that involvement in the Maven Cohort Leadership helped them to amplify their social impact in the community.

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“We have nothing to lose by saying that if we want to be in community with people we have to figure out how to be better together,” said Rogers. For Tremaine Jones, his continued path to leadership growth in the Maven program meant having the type of mentorship he always yearned for, one that reflects who he is—something he said he rarely saw—queer and Black. “I feel there are not enough opportunities for Black queer and trans people in leadership to connect with each other where we can gather and talk and build each other up and vent about racism, homophobia and the transphobia that makes it hard to do the work we do,” he said. He said that support and the Maven network is invaluable. “It’s beautiful to be around queer Black and brown folk where we can connect and celebrate each other and the awesome and amazing work that we do—that’s something I wish I had more of. I seriously can experience that monthly, not just once a year at Maven Rising,” he said referring to the annual signature event that brings together queer and trans leaders of color and their allies. “It helps me to keep moving when there are days that are really hard.”


HIV/AIDS: CLOSING THE GAP I

Bringing access to prevention, services and care to communities often overlooked. n Florida, more than 115,000 people are living with HIV/AIDs and several cities in the state including Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando rank among the top in the nation with new HIV infections. Mavens in Central Florida are tackling the gaps that exist around prevention, education and access to services in communities that are too often overlooked and under-resourced. Daniel J. Downer, director of Bros in Convo Initiative, focused on meeting people where they are in the Orlando/ Kissimmee area by having accessible conversations about HIV/AIDs and holistic wellness over dinners. The initiative prioritizes Black gay, bisexual, queer and same-gender loving men in Central Florida and the structural inequalities they face in the health system. “We really talked about the importance of knowing status, living with HIV and accessing care,” said Downer who found out he was living with HIV in 2012. He said education is such an effective part of prevention, yet he simply did not see that outreach happening in Central Florida—especially to young Black men like himself. In the past three years, the Bros in Convo Initiative provided sex education to 3,500 men and directly connected 400 men to HIV preventative care or treatment in the Orlando area. “Creating space for a pre-care program isn't being done in our communities and we're building that out more,” said Downer. For Latinx women, those direct conversations around HIV prevention can be hard to come by, said Gabriella Rodriguez, co-chair for the Central Florida HIV Planning Council. Part of her work centers the experiences of Latinx women.

“As a Latinx Puerto Rican woman we’re making a lot of traction with women,” she said. “We recently held a town hall and it was a very raw conversation and it was Latinx women normalizing the conversation.” Rodriguez became involved with community education when she worked as an HIV tester for four years going out in a mobile testing site to supermarkets, barber shops and shopping plazas in predominantly Latinx neighborhoods She said while getting the message out is one factor, making sure that message is received means the outreach and resources have to reflect the communities you’re in. “It’s all about normalizing the conversation and you have to see yourself in the messaging,” said Rodriguez. Education is also an important factor for understanding what it means to live with HIV/AIDS once someone is diagnosed. A significant gap for people living with HIV/AIDS is thoughtful and responsive case management that encourages individuals to be engaged in their own care.

Andres Acosta, coordinator of the Central Florida HIV Planning Council, said in the absence or lack of access to individualized case management, there are still opportunities to empower people living with HIV/AIDs to advocate for themselves and to hold the health and social systems that are supposed to serve them accountable. “[The] biggest challenge is to bridge the gap in knowledge between those sitting around the table and those [getting services],” said Acosta, who said he knows first-hand how difficult it can be. From accessing the network of resources available to people living with HIV/AIDS, communicating with healthcare providers to understanding local and federal policies that affect care, Acosta said direct trainings for people living with HIV/ AIDS arms them with an understanding of how these systems are supposed to work for them and also gives them the tools to challenge when systems fail them. “It empowers them to go into any setting and say, ‘I know what the regulations are, this is what I’m entitled to,’” he said.

94%

DANIEL J. DOWNER

of Mavens stated that their professional network was larger as a result of the Cohort.

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THE F WORD:

funding Fund us and watch us work.

Historically, Black and brown-led organizations are underfunded compared to white-led non-profits. And while LGBTQ issues have seen an increase in funding over time—what happens when LGBTQ-focused work is led by people of color? Research indicates that access to funding sources is an obstacle to career advancement for people of color in the non-profit sector. In this conversation series we talk with three Mavens about their experiences and insights on funding.

GIVE DECISION MAKING POWER TO THE PEOPLE Christopher J. Cuevas, Program Officer for Laughing Gull Foundation

CHRISTOPHER J. CUEVAS

“I had the pleasure of working as a fellow for a trans specific funding program before this job. They said, ‘This was a trans organization run by trans people for trans communities’ and it was a participatory grantmaking that is rooted in trans justice. That opened my eyes to what philanthropy can be. Participatory grantmaking is a relatively new model which for many mainstream organizations is a jarring concept. It requires foundations to have a system of trust and to give up the power that comes with the decision-making process and giving it back to the community they say they’re serving. Most institutions are frankly very white. They may have people of color in their ranks, but the lead executive jobs and their boards are predominantly white folks. For me as a trans person going into this space with other trans people knowing there’s a huge gap for trans people and people of color in philanthropy, this was a really inspiring experience that carries into my work now.”

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Participatory grantmaking is a relatively new model which for many ‘mainstream’ organizations is a jarring concept.”

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ON CROWDFUNDING AND RELYING ON US MEG SUNGA

Meg Sunga, founder and host of In Re:trospeqt, a bi-weekly interview style podcast for queer and trans people of color (QTPOC). “I’m constantly working toward social change in the way I know how to do it which is the storytelling piece. This is how I know I’m doing good in this work and providing space and representation and the opportunity to dig into shared experiences, especially being someone who is queer and a person of color. One of my good friends told me about IFundWomen, it’s like an IndieGogo by women and for women. They do crowdfunding, grants and coaching and I was like, ‘Holy shit, I think this is what I need.’ They gave me all the tips, coaching and tricks to build it out. All of the work I did from my Maven pitch presentation, I basically put that on my page. During Pride Month I also had a listening launch party with about 40 people in what I called my ‘coming out listening party’ and I got the bulk of my start-up money on that two-hour Zoom call and funding page. It really is the ‘we’re all we got model.’ When it came to funding it was realizing that my show was important—it’s intentional and specifically featuring queer and trans people of color. I haven’t gotten very large donors yet, but this was my start.”

AFTER THE PULSE TRAGEDY, FUNDING DRIES UP Joél Junior Morales, Director of Operations for The LBGT+ Center Orlando “I’m queer, Puerto Rican and proud of it. Working in a nonprofit like ours it’s always been hard to get funding. Most of our funding is small and local. Some large foundations when we look at them when we’re building out our programs—as an LGBT and person of color-led program— they won’t even touch us. We’re based in Orlando and after Pulse our community created a fund to support LGBTQ people of color. It’s called the Contigo Fund. We were able to invest $2 million back into the community, but most of that was one-time contributions from foundations. It’s very telling that it took for a tragedy like Pulse to get that sort of financial support, but the further we get away from that day it’s sad that a lot of the big funders have turned their backs on us for organizations to continue doing the work and to finish building the infrastructure to build on the work. At my center, we’re small, but mighty. We’re a staff of seven full-time and two part-time. We host 35 different groups including groups for seniors, youth and gender

JOÉL JUNIOR MORALES

identity, but imagine how much more we could do with the proper funding. Funders are not looking at the grassroots and they’re missing out on the people on the ground. So much more can happen with just a little help.”

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maven

risıng A community convening and a celebration of excellence.

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elievers. Thinkers. Educators. Philanthropists. Doers. Artists. Healers. Every year, Maven Leadership Collective harnesses the power of community in a day-long event that brings social impact leaders together to learn, connect, support and elevate bold solutions and ideas centered around building healthy communities. Maven Rising launched in 2018 as Maven Leadership Collective’s signature event. Every year since, in intimate learning labs and panel discussions, leaders from across the state—grassroots to large nonprofits and the private sector—collaborate in this one-day event to re-imagine what it means to create truly inclusive landscapes across sectors for communities to not only survive, but thrive. Participants tackle topics like funding, building capacity, civic engagement, storytelling and wellness. Hosted at the stunning New World Center in Miami Beach, home to the New World Symphony, informal magic abounds in the hallways and recharge

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rooms where people further connect and build lasting relationships over shared interests. “Maven Rising creates a space where everyone feels like they belong.” said Ana Mantica, who led a Maven learning session on impactful story-telling. “You check your assumptions, preconceived notions, misconceptions and stories we tell ourselves about others and ourselves at the door.” And when the day-long convening ends, more than 150 people make their way to the rooftop garden as the sun sets in Miami Beach. Miami-based visual and performing artists perform and set up thoughtful and striking installations while the house band Guitars Over Guns, made up of local youth, set the soundtrack with live music. Over panoramic views where the ocean meets the sky, Maven Leadership Collective honors the existing Maven community, the new incoming cohort of Mavens and rejoice in the possibilities realized and yet-to-be realized of queer and trans leadership and allies.


ABOVE: Marte Siebehar & Holly Woodbury, nonprofit

strategists and Maven instructors; Marte specializes in strategic planning & board development, her firm Cultured Innovations partnered with Maven to provide a national arts foundation with a DEI plan; Holly leads development workshops at Maven Rising. RIGHT: Jasmen Rogers, Maven, leading a workshop

on the Census. She led Maven’s 2020 Census initiative #seeUScensus.

100%

of participants will recommend future Maven programming to others.

LEFT: Inclusive Spaces. Corey Davis,

Shekeria Brown, VP, Corporate Social Responsibility, JP Morgan Chase; Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Esq. Executive Director, Venture Café Miami; Kristine Inayng, Review Specialist, Florida Foster Care Review; Alia Mahmoud Director, Radical Partners; Beppy Landrum Owen, Partner, Akerman LLP; Octavia Yearwood, artist & Maven at closing panel. BELOW: Michelle Kucharczyk, VP

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Business Development, New World Center, “Hosting Maven Rising honors our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging and provided safe space for important conversation and education.”

LEFT: Kunya Rowley, Maven; founder & artistic director Hued Songs,

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concert series that promotes Black culture; performing commissioned piece, Manifest, an expression of music, dance, and spoken word created for Maven at NWS. Artists and audience members collaborated to reveal stories of belonging that amplify the intersections of queerness, color, and gender. W W W. M AV E N L E A D E R S H I P . O R G

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Overall, [Maven Rising] was a great event. I’m definitely interested in returning and engaging. I met a ton of amazing people in the community.”—SURVEY FEEDBACK

ABOVE: Guitars Over Guns Alumni Band performs at

celebration of excellence in diversity & belonging.

4.8 stars on a scale of 5 ABOVE: Linda Cheung, Maven, Power of

One opening session—three Mavens speak— One action, one moment, one community. Cheung spoke to the impact of climate change in South Florida. LEFT: 150 attended. Graduates of the Maven

Leadership Cohort; fans given as grad gift.

89%

maven of participants will return to Maven Rising in the future.

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BELOW: Rowan Johnson, Maven, formed Diversity Employee

Resource Group (ERG) at a leading global entertainment company, leading a workshop on the journey.

ABOVE: Attendee writing on civic engagement board; People asked

to respond to “My Hope for My Community is…” 10

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holding

space Centering holistic well-being in social impact work.

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aring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” wrote ancestor and Black lesbian poet, essayist June Jordan. Self-care is now a popular buzzword, but what does it mean to actually engage in self-care and build it up as practice as part of the work we do—not separate to, but integral to the work. At Maven Leadership Collective, Maven Moves encourages social impact leaders to take scheduling time for wellness, meditation, yoga and breathwork just as seriously as one would a conference call with funders. It is just as—if not even more important. The vital work that happens from the family of Maven cohorts and supporters is not possible or long-lasting if the people doing the work are not okay. Maven Moves is a free body positive yoga series that invites everyone who participates to connect with their inner selves, to quiet

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their ever busy to-do list and to simply take a moment to honor their bodies and rest. Maven Vibes, another wellness initiative, focuses solely on breathwork and guided meditations. Accessibility is one of the primary tenets of the work at Maven and there is a recognition that all institutions are informed by society at large. That means general yoga and wellness practice spaces often exclude or are violent to Black and Brown queer and trans identifying folks, folks with disabilities, folks who aren’t a “modelsized” figure and the various intersections of these lived truths. Like with all things Maven embarks on, Maven Moves and Maven Vibes is a space to tear down barriers and uplift our people and their well-being.

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Beppy Landrum Owen, Partner, Akerman LLP at closing panel of Maven Rising 2019.

Shekeria Brown, VP, JPMorgan Chase; Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Executive Director, Venture Café Miami; Corey Davis; Daniel Anzueto, Maven Co-founders.

partnering for impact Strategic collaborations increase access to funding and new audiences.

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aven Leadership Collective as the name indicates is a collective—the work the organization does is only possible because of a cooperative unit of individuals and organizations who support, invest and ultimately build together. Early on in Maven’s journey, JP Morgan Chase so believed in the value of meaningful diversity and radically redefining leadership that their initial investment allowed

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Kareem Tabsch, Co-director of O Cinema at screening of “Paris is Burning.”

Maven to establish its roots in South Florida and, attract ongoing support, that enabled Maven to grow to serve Central Florida communities. The firm’s philanthropic giving goal is to “break down barriers to opportunity and create an economy that works for more people,” a central tenet that Maven Leadership Collective practices. As Maven works on dismantling structural inequalities to advance opportunities for queer

Our teamwork [with Maven] produced elevated results, ending with a thrilled client who is eager to work with us again— just as I am eager to hire Maven again at the first opportunity.”

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—MARTE SIEBENHAR, FOUNDER OF CULTURED INNOVATIONS


and trans people of color to thrive with support from authentic allies, collaborations have been key. Akerman LLP, a national law firm with more than 700 attorneys, provides legal support to Maven and also contributes to the Maven leadership program by hosting workshops and working with Maven cohorts on developing their ideas with a sound legal infrastructure. “Working with Maven aligns squarely within the stated goals of Akerman’s philanthropic and pro bono initiatives,” said Beppy Landrum Owen, one of the firm’s attorneys. “As our Chairman and CEO says, ‘We at Akerman are called upon to use the tools we have to help bend the moral arc of our legal system towards justice.’ Maven has given our law firm an opportunity to do that work and frankly we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.” In the local South Florida innovation eco-system, Venture Café Miami is a valuable Maven partner that is committed to bringing equity and diversity to innovation. Venture Café, an incubation hub that allows for connection and intentional networking, puts their commitment to practice and has hired at least one Maven Leadership Cohort member to join their team. It is also through Venture Café that Maven Leadership Collective struck a connection with a funder, HSBC Investment Banking Company. Kristien Turner with HSBC said Maven Leadership Collective is “authentic, inclusive, values-driven leadership. Through our involvement with Maven Leadership Collective, HSBC is proud to support the development of future skills of community advocates and entrepreneurs to create a more prosperous and equitable society.” Maven also has a presence in Miami’s art scene. Throughout history art has served as a form of resistance, a reflection of the times and a catalyst for change. O Cinema Miami, a dynamic independent film and art space, partnered with Maven to fold insightful discussions around race and equity into community “talk-backs” after the premiere of various films that touch on the themes of race, sexuality and class. Kareem Tabsch, co-director of O Cinema said Maven’s co-founders, Corey Davis and Danny Anzueto, are always the first people he calls when he wants to use a film as a springboard to frame a conversation on identity, community, and accountability. “They have led some of the most compelling and important discussions we have had and undoubtedly some of the most memorable programs we've presented,” said Tabsch. “Our community is so fortunate to have them.”

SHIFTING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Maven Leadership Collective designs and facilitates teaching and learning sessions that help organizations of all sizes build with an equity-focused framework. Maven’s performance improvement specialists provide organizational assessments and create customized action plans/targeted strategies around a wide-range of services including strategic planning, board development, project management, program development, talent development, program evaluation/ ROI and initiative and content design. Research after research after research has shown diversity and inclusion yields positive benefits for workplaces— from higher productivity, enhanced creativity to reduction in staff turnover—yet fostering the type of environment that produces these results has remained challenging for many companies, nonprofits and government agencies. At Maven Leadership Collective, through intentional and collaborative interactive learning we provide the tools needed to construct and inspire a workplace committed to implementing authentic equity and inclusion across all systems. Some of our clients include Bank of America, YoungArts Foundation (Miami, FL), Penny Lane (Los Angeles, CA ) and Out Boulder County (Boulder, CO).

For more information on Maven Leadership Collective’s Coaching and Consulting visit our site.

Maven co-founders before 100+ Penny Lane employees.

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our donors Maven Leadership Collective’s impact is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the following donors. To support our work, please visit our site.

Special thanks to our Founding Donors: Naomi Crawford | Gail & Gary Davis | Liebe & Seth Gadinsky 14

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Š 2020 Maven Leadership Collective. All rights reserved.

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