INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.

 



 

Rachael K. SharpRachael Sharp is the Director of Arts & Education of Creative Strategies for Change. Follow them on FacebookInstagram and YouTube and learn more at creativestrategiesforchange.com.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
Arts and dialogue bring knowledge and power to the work of equity and justice. This power is in the hands of the people; at Creative Strategies for Change (CSC) we facilitate processes to collectively access and mobilize it. Our programs include leadership and professional development, consulting, assessment, workshops, performances, and events.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
The CSC mission is to mobilize arts and education for social justice. The organization was founded by a group of artists and educators, from a wide range of disciplines, committed to social justice, racial equity, and healing across our many social divides. We are witness to the power of the CSC 3 model integrating (1) Social Justice Frameworks, (2) Arts Engagement, (3) and Restorative Practices.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
In our five year history, CSC has facilitated creative education, communication, and healing opportunities for thousands of constituents. As we strengthen relationships over time, our communities cultivate a shared foundation, framework, and terminology and we begin to see institutional change and cultural shifts toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, organizations, and communities.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
I am inspired by the women who encouraged me to do this work, Rujeko Dumbutshena and Tara Vellinga. I am inspired by my many teachers and mentors and constituents and colleagues and friends… and all of the people I love who are harmed by injustice in large ways and small, every day, due only to their identity (race, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, ability, age, the list goes on).

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Our far reaching vision is thriving, vibrant communities that are rich in arts, culturally responsive, socially just, and sustained by restorative systems. We want to see individuals and groups who have been marginalized engaging in their lives and communities with authentic and equitable access to opportunities, resources, power, and outcomes.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
At present, CSC needs knowledgeable and experienced leadership in terms of nonprofit administration and development / fundraising, as well as on our board of directors. We also need new sources of funding.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Our greatest challenge has been limited funding. We want to provide our programs to all who express genuine interest. Grants are extremely competitive and we are competing with organizations who have seasoned development directors and grant writers. Increased consistent individual and corporate donors would also make a big difference for us. Cultivating these relationships requires experienced staff and board members, connecting back to the answer above.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Collaborate! Connect with folks who are already doing work in the field. See the long view, and know that you may not know when and where the seeds will grow, but that doesn’t mean that planting them isn’t meaningful – plant them anyway. Do not sacrifice your health and wellness for your mission, it fuels resentment and we are less impactful if we are not taking care of ourselves.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Participate: Attend a CSC community event or bring CSC to your community, school, or organization. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected. You can also visit the website, join the newsletter or send an email csc@creativestrategiesforchange.com to inquire.

Donate: Contributions of any size really make a difference!

Join our Board of Directors: Contact Rachael@creativestrategiesforchange.com to learn more.

Volunteer: Find out more here.

Spread the word: Connect with us on social media and let folks know about our work.

 


Orapin Marketing + Public Relations is an award-winning communications agency that generates awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for mission-driven organizations. We amplify their voice and reach so they can increase their impact. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out to hello@orapinmarketing.com.