Happy Summer! I hope this letter finds you living your best lives both personally and professionally. Undoubtedly, we have processed a lot over the past several months from: mass shootings, to the Dobbs decision re: reproductive healthcare, to the war in Ukraine. I hope you’re practicing radical self-care, however that may look for you, to heal your heart, soul and body to keep moving forward. Remember, you have to be whole to do the work.
Much has transpired since my December 2021 letter. Here are some behind-the-scenes accomplishments — and what you can expect from us in the near future.
This past spring, in partnership with our Board, we refreshed our 2020-2025 strategic plan to reflect 1) learnings from the past year, and 2) current realities, e.g., impact of COVID. In many conversations with Five Frogs’ leaders, several themes arose:
1. Our language needs to be simple and relatable; key concepts are not universally clear or understood. For example, we believed the term “social impact leader” was understood by most and that our leaders identified with the term, but the reality is that many simply do not.
2. Our programs need to be more inclusive, changing the perception that our programs are for educated professionals from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Truth is, our programs are designed for all leaders – emerging and seasoned alike with or without a college degree.
As a result of the refresh, we updated our mission and vision and developed new value statements that will not only guide our organization into the future but also conveys “our soul.” We would love to hear your feedback: Do these statements resonate with you?
Our Commitment to Our Community
As an anti-racist organization, we endeavor to be accessible and inclusive, building a movement of diverse leaders with varied lived experiences. Over the next few months, we will:
• Revise all public-facing materials using a DEIB lens to ensure leaders from all corners of Connecticut know that Five Frogs is a hub of support for them and you. Learning is a humbling process that’s all about the journey, not the destination. We are committed to listening to understand, learning (and in some cases unlearning), acting on the learnings and course correcting as needed.
• Replace term “Network” with “Community.” Our Community includes all of you – individuals who have experienced, delivered and/or advanced our leadership programs and/or mission and are actively working towards creating leaders who are well versed in, and committed to, social equity in Connecticut.
• Conduct more 1:1’s, small group convenings and socials across the state. Relationships are at the heart of the work and more work is needed to engage our vibrant Community and foster relationships. Now that we have staff in place, we will devote resources to energizing our base that will allow us to deepen our relationship with you and for members to deepen their relationships with each other.
You are our greatest inspiration! Thank you for your commitment to a more just world. Have a wonderful rest of the summer and hopefully, we’ll see you at a Five Frogs opportunity soon.
2013 LDR Alum