Capital IDEA was the recipient of a grant which funded the organization's research, design and development of our most innovative programming to date. The concept design and proposal required all of my of my talents and grit to create a proposal that would support the project seeing the light of day. Our products created a system approach to engaging, enrolling and retaining opportunity youth. The funding was secured- now the execution was critical across multiple stakeholders. GCD assisted me by providing a customized project management tool, advised phasing and monitoring oversight to assure fluid execution. This was invaluable! We are working to change the life of Houston's most disadvantaged youth. It was not an option for us to fail! GCD provided Capital IDEA the "how" guidance necessary for our project to stay on pace and achieve the checkpoints of production.
I had the pleasure of informally meeting a few of GCD staff members because we attended some of the same events. The network of those committed to reconciliation and digging their hands into the dirt is very small. GCD staff also attended by annual conference- The People’s Gathering. My nature allows me to make friends with anyone and so as a result of constantly seeing the same face, I introduced myself. In 2018, I was inducted as the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize laureate. This honor took me to Oslo, Norway whereby I attended the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. GCD is a unique organization. There’s something magical among the bunch. I’ve only experienced their services on a pro-bono basis but I believe the quality of service I received was just as delightful and professional if I were a fee remitting client. Without the exchange of funds or contractual agreement they’ve provided me: content & research used in my life’s work (racial reconciliation), supported my fundraising endeavors, and provided consulting advice regarding the structure of my organizations (hybrid) as I work to raise money, invest in community and consider international ventures to support peace and racial reconciliation abroad. GCD is a valuable community resource and asset. I enjoy the staff's energy and they have a seat at my conference table and kitchen table.
Enigma LLC, is a firm of many services and our clients span the continuum (e.g. legislators, corporations, religious sector and beyond). Our services are requested nationwide. Our national presence requires we maintain a database in order to leverage the local insight of subcontractors about nuanced dynamics as we work to respond to the contracted requests & needs of our clients. For example, Enigma was contracted as the event planner for the 2014 national conference for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) held in Dallas, Texas. Enigma hired GCD in order to leverage local connections to: execute subcontracting with minority owned companies able to fulfill the volume of the request, identify youth and community members who could be present to articulate local marginalized communities’ needs in order to enable NBCSL’s development of a comprehensive agenda, and coordinate a youth summit in order to promote civic engagement. GCD executed with fidelity and will undoubtedly is an organization we will continue to work with in order to assure an authentic pulse on local community needs.
Stop 6 is a proud and bold community. It is home to many of Fort Worth’s firsts among the Black population. The first black: homeowner, school teacher, judge and attorney to name a few. However, this community has also been severely neglected by the wider metroplex as it pertains to investment in resources and services over the years. This historical neglect has created barriers to maintaining a vibrant economy and neighborhood. I am an educator and administrator by trade and a community advocate by birthright & rearing. Thus, working with Nikka and her team was fluid. The community-at-large and my office experienced their consultation as well aligned to our shared beliefs and values. Each iteration of the community revitalization plan was clearly reflective of the community’s voice and was robustly supported by analyses which demonstrated the benefits to the community and metroplex as a whole. The plan produced snagged a national award from American Planning Association and we also used this plan in our successful fundraising efforts from national foundations. This is the ideal team for the field of practice, government but most importantly for the communities who have been forgotten and/or neglected.
I had the pleasure of working with Nikka during her appointment with Seattle Public Schools. She came to our district to facilitate our district wide transformation plan in order to eliminate race as the predictor of 1) academic outcomes, 2) behavior (disproportionate discipline) and 3) unfavorable regard of school climate & culture. Not only did her efforts contribute to our organizational re-design but she built trusting relationships with our community, families and staff in order to facilitate an approach rooted in shared responsibility and invigorated our process with a “together we can” energy. Without a doubt, Nikka is a skilled analyst, strategist, project manager and organizational architect. However, what makes her distinct from others is her deep & genuine commitment to collaboration, the manner by which she ignites “buy-in” from stakeholders by understanding their motivations and needs, and most importantly her unwavering devotion to remediating inequities.