Whole Measures

Whole Measures

Center for Whole Communities’ Whole Measures framework is a flexible framework for planning and evaluating that can be adapted to your community’s goals. When applied to a social or environmental change initiative, Whole Measures can serve as a foundation for a highly integrated, whole systems approach that effectively embraces a wide variety of values such as: social equity, biodiversity, human rights, ecosystem health, civic engagement, and economic vitality.

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Whole Measures is designed to:

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    Create Alignment: Help organizations align their program priorities, decision-making, resources, and activities with values and practices that contribute to healthy, whole communities.

  • Engage Dialogue: Elevate and inform dialogue within and across organizations on the relationship between healthy lands, healthy people, and healthy communities.
  • Support Collaboration: Create the foundation for more effective, reciprocal, and collaborative relationships, based upon a shared vision of success and common values.
  • Guide Program Evaluation: Support the development of program evaluation systems that allow organizations and communities to measure impacts qualitatively and quantitatively over time.
  • Measure Impact: Help organizations and change makers answer the question, “In what ways – positive or negative – do we affect the creation of whole communities? How can we measure those effects?”

For complete information about the Whole Measures including a downloadable guide visit the Whole Measures web site or download the guide.

Whole Measures for Community Food Systems

Whole Measures for Community Food Systems is the work of the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC, no longer in operation), a planning and evaluation tool developed in partnership with members of CWC and others adapting the Whole Measures framework to food systems. CWC now stewards this work and offers training and technical assistance in its use. You can download Whole Measures for Community Food Systems: Values-Based Planning and Evaluation, written by Jeanette Abi-Nader, Adrian Ayson, Keecha Harris, Hank Herrera, Darcel Eddins, Deb Habib, Jim Hanna, Chris Paterson, Karl Sutton, and Lydia Villanueva published in September 2009.

In addition, CFSC published Stories from the Field a report that documents how Whole Measures for Community Food Systems (WM CFS) USDA grant to pilot WM CFS in communities and schools across the U.S. Download PDF.

The Whole Measures Workshop

A Collaboration with Interaction Institute for Social Change

“Practical, immediately useful tools for value-based leadership and values-based community action.” – Rob Schultz, Executive Director of COVER Vermont, 2012 Whole Measures Alumnus

This workshop experience combines learning the groundbreaking content of Whole Measures with the skills of design, planning and facilitation, transformational leadership, and the practice of dialogue. The workshop is delivered for a broad cross section of leaders and we also offer a workshops with a focus on Community Food Systems using the Whole Measures CFS tool.

Whole Communities Fellowship

Welcome Whole Communities Fellows

Meet the 2019/2020 cohort of change-makers, artists and activists!

The Whole Communities Fellowship convenes and supports community leaders and activists whose work lives at the intersections of Justice and Environment – Land and People.  The Fellowship is a 12-month commitment that consists of: two in-person retreats, individual coaching, independent study and monthly virtual practice spaces. Our current fellowship is underway

The fellowship serves leaders who:

  • Are seeking to transform the world by dismantling the systems that perpetuate injustice.
  • Yearn to connect with land and cultivate practice-based approaches to transformative change work.
  • Believe that our shared work for justice and the environment requires inner change as well as outward change.
  • Welcome being part of a diverse, multi-sector, multiracial cohort
  • See themselves as active learners and seek to be in a learning community
  • See themselves as change agents working with large and small organizations, and/or working directly with communities.
  • Can commit to devoting the necessary time to be fully engaged in the fellowship

The Fellowship Experience includes:

  • Two in-person retreats with an incredible group of leaders that will build and strengthen relationships, and develop your leadership capacity using CWC’s Transformative Practices of Awareness, Story, Working with Difference and Dialogue
  • Personalized coaching with the CWC Team of Facilitators and Coaches
  • Collaborating and learning in a community of practice with your cohort both in-person and virtually
  • Introduction to, and  practice with the Whole Measures engagement framework for participatory planning and measurement
  • Access to CWC’s vibrant networks of alumnae/i and partners across the country.                                           

About Whole Communities’ Approach

Our Purpose: Center for Whole Communities exists to cultivate transformative leadership that weaves together and strengthens movements for justice and the environment.

We understand that the problems facing our planet and it’s people are inextricably interwoven and our movements must reflect that reality and encourage cross collaboration and partnership. With this in mind we will look to recruit individuals who are approaching change in diverse ways and who represent a diversity of sectors. Including but not limited to environmental justice, arts and cultural organizing, health, social work, youth leadership, conservation, environmental policy, urban planning, economic and social justice, policy and land sovereignty.

Identity and diversity: We are committed to a truly diverse cohort. We will prioritize self-identified people of color and indigenous leaders,Trans and gender non-conforming individuals, women identified and LGBTQ leaders. People of Color will make up at least 60% of the cohort.

Age: We value the opportunity for intergenerational exchange and learning and are seeking participants of all ages.

Geography: The 2019 WCF will include place-based retreats in the Northeast and Southwest regions of the United States. The cohort of  fellows will include strong representation from these regions as well as leaders from across the country. The relationship to, and history of land, place and culture in each of these places will be an emphasis of the fellowship curriculum.

Fellowship Cost: Through the generous support of Angell Foundation, Hidden Leaf Foundation and the incredible individuals who support our work each year, and the meaningful support of well resourced organizations in our network, we are able to offer this fellowship program to individuals free of charge.

Travel Costs: Participants are asked to cover travel expenses to retreats either personally or through their community and/or organization. There will be travel assistance available through our WCF Program Fund to help cover these costs as needed.

Time Commitment: The fellowship includes two 5 day in-person retreats. In addition to participating in both retreats, fellows will be expected to commit 5-10 hours a month for individual practice, coaching calls and virtual cohort practice spaces (group Zoom calls, peer to peer work, coaching, and preparatory work) organized by CWC.       

Resources


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Whole Measures for Urban Conservation

Whole Measures for Urban Conservation (WMUC), based on Center for Whole Communities’ Whole Measures, was produced in partnership with The Nature Conservancy as part of the launch of the North America Cities Network. Led by Center for Whole Communities, a team of Conservancy staff from the Cities Network developed the rubric and provided key input for the guidance portion of the document. WMUC includes four primary areas of measurement and is a reference point for leaders interested in prioritizing benefits to low-income communities and advancing justice and equity in their work. While this document serves as a primary appendix to the Field Guide to Conservation in Cities, it is designed as a stand-alone document that may be used and reproduced independently.

Whole Measures for Community Food Systems

Whole Measures for Community Food Systems is the work of the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC, no longer in operation), a planning and evaluation tool developed in partnership with members of CWC and others adapting the Whole Measures framework to food systems. CWC now stewards this work and offers training and technical assistance in its use.

In addition, CFSC published Stories from the Field a report that documents how Whole Measures for Community Food Systems (WM CFS) USDA grant to pilot WM CFS in communities and schools across the U.S. Download PDF.

Whole Measures (Original Version)

Center for Whole Communities’ Whole Measures framework is a flexible framework for planning and evaluating that can be adapted to your community’s goals. When applied to a social or environmental change initiative, Whole Measures can serve as a foundation for a highly integrated, whole systems approach that effectively embraces a wide variety of values such as: social equity, biodiversity, human rights, ecosystem health, civic engagement, and economic vitality.

Land Conservation and the Public Trust

On Land, Race, Power and Privilege: An Organizational Statement of Values

This statement is part of our ongoing process as an organization to identify and articulate our deepest-held values and to put forth in the world why we do the work that we do and how we might strive to do it better. With that in mind this is an evolving statement, as we ourselves evolve. It felt most pressing to us to begin with a statement on race, power and privilege for many of the reasons articulated below.

Retreats and Trainings

Retreats and Trainings


Image of CWC Retreat

Whole Thinking Leadership Retreats and Trainings

Whole Thinking Retreats are multi-day residential programs that bring together leaders in the environmental and social change fields to find common ground, shared purpose and collective courage in tackling the major issues of our day.

Participants in a Whole Thinking Retreat can expect to:

  • Re-think their work together, in terms of whole systems and in terms of addressing root causes as opposed to symptoms;
  • Initiate values-based inquiries to better understand and communicate the values that hold them together and, later, inform better strategies and tactics;
  • Engage in a safe and productive dialogue about the roles of race, class, power and privilege in their work, and how to address injustices;
  • Rejuvenate their strength and wisdom through nurturing, reflective and creative practices that open the door for more authentic relationships, deeper dialogue and new ways of leading.

Retreats are attended by leaders from a broad range of professions: urban and rural conservationists, environmental justice advocates, community development practitioners, food security advocates, farmers, ranchers, faith-based activists, business people, biologists, writers, educators, elected officials, and many others. We bring them together to encourage them to ask questions of themselves and each other. Through that process, we help them see their work and potential in a new light.

Whole Measures Workshop

A Collaboration with Interaction Institute for Social Change

“Practical, immediately useful tools for value-based leadership and values-based community action.” — Rob Schultz, Executive Director of COVER Vermont, 2012 Whole Measures Alumnus

This workshop experience combines learning the groundbreaking content of Whole Measures with the skills of design, planning and facilitation, transformational leadership, and the practice of dialogue. The workshop is delivered for a broad cross section of leaders and we also offer a workshops with a focus on Community Food Systems using the Whole Measures CFS tool.

About

Our Purpose:

Center for Whole Communities exists to cultivate transformative leadership that weaves together and strengthens movements for justice and the environment.

Delma Thomas-Jackson speaking at the Yale School of Forestry & Ecology
Delma Thomas-Jackson speaking at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Our leadership practices and frameworks build capacity at the individual, organizational, and community level to deepen awareness, embrace differences, and value relationships, making change possible.

Our Vision: A Healthy, Whole, Just Future for All Communities, Everywhere:

Center for Whole Communities believes that vibrant and equitable communities stem from healthy relationships to ourselves, each other, and where we live.

We envision a future where our movements for change are rooted in relationship, reciprocity, authenticity, and beauty.

We aspire to live at a pace that honors our shared humanity and aligns with the rhythms of nature.

We promote whole systems built on a foundation of justice, fairness, economic vitality, and accountability through strategies and governing structures that bring us closer together, not divide us.

We believe transformation begins in our hearts, minds, and actions, and comes from a place of joy and creativity.

It begins with you, and me – and it’s about all of us.

Our Theory of Change:

The social and ecological fragmentation that exists in America today is directly played out in our organizations, our communities, and our movements for change. Yet there is an enduring wholeness that exists alongside the challenges we face, revealing pathways across these divides.

We acknowledge the limitations of language as we attempt to honor the many aspects of difference and intersectionality we embody. We see the wholeness of our identities, and seek to heal the divisions we experience based on ongoing, systemic dynamics of power and privilege. While our work often leans into the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality, we actively engage with all other aspects of ourselves, including but not limited to faith, gender identity, ability, veteran status, and national origin.

Our Whole Thinking Practices – awareness, working with difference, dialogue, and story – form the foundation of our approach to leadership development, holistic design and facilitation, and collaborative partnerships. We bring an ecological mindset, valuing principles of interdependence, emergence, and adaptation that guide and inform our work across networks, sectors, and ideologies.

Whole Measures is our framework for program design and evaluation, engaging communities in imagining and defining success collaboratively. These participatory, practice-based approaches center equity, encourage creativity, are rooted in place, and support both personal and systemic change.

Center for Whole Communities is committed to creating conditions where people from all sectors and backgrounds can collectively acknowledge and honor differences, and can build authentic, collaborative relationships between institutions and the communities they seek to serve.

Cut the Check or Count Me Out: “Good Whites,” Diversity Diversions & A New Look at an Old Idea

graphic created by Delma Jackson III

“Negro leaders…are in a spot, trying to explain to the masses of Negroes what they have got out of integration. The leaders have benefited, but the people they are trying to lead haven’t got any benefit.”

-El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X)

I’m watching Atatiana Jefferson get gunned down in her own home by a police officer who was supposed to be doing a “welfare check” after a neighbor called a non-emergency line because Ms. Jefferson’s door was ajar. The officer crept into her backyard, peeped through a window, failed to announce himself as an officer while yelling to see her hands, then fired a single shot…killing her in front of her 8-year-old nephew. 

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