Leadership for Social Change

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Learning Objectives
Program Features
Anticipated Outcomes
Participant Expectations
About our Facilitator: Carmen Morgan
Download Program Info
Submit Your Application–due by July 15


Leadership for Social Change (LFSC) is a key part of Theatre Puget Sound’s overall commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In partnership with Carmen Morgan, Director of artEquity, TPS will launch a regional cohort of approximately 12 theatres who will create a dynamic, peer-learning community to develop and execute action plans to strengthen their organizational commitment around issues of equity.

The LFSC curriculum has a three-pronged approach that focuses on the following: 1) personal development and analysis building around identity, social location, language, privilege, and power dynamics, 2) organizational and institutional development to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion; and 3) collective impact on a regional level. All three components are integral in understanding and interrupting larger systemic and organizational barriers, as well as understanding privilege and how to be better allies. LFSC theatres will be encouraged to take on leadership roles within their region and broader field; be creative and innovative problem-solvers; boldly try out new ideas and initiatives; and share best practices and learnings with the broader community.

This intensive approach not only creates a climate within each individual theatre whereby institutional change is more likely to take hold but also adds significantly to the collective impact and regional and national momentum of equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts already taking place. LFSC participants develop and fine-tune action plans for their organizations while providing a structure of support and accountability for each other. Participants engage in skills-building opportunities through webinars and in-person convenings. Throughout the 12-month cohort, participants will work together addressing a wide range of issues and topics.

The first 12-month cohort will launch in September 2016. Theatres selected for the inaugural cohort will be made up of a diverse cross-section of theatre from the field.

The LFSC curriculum was created by Carmen Morgan, and the first cohort will be led by her.


Although LFSC only convenes a few times per year, it is nonetheless a significant time investment for participants. Personal, organizational, and regional change require sustained effort and attention, and the peer-learning structure of the LFSC provides a forum for shared accountability and benchmarking progress. What follows are some examples of what participants will accomplish together over the 12 months. By the end of their time, participants will have

  • attended as many of the convenings and webinars as possible, disseminating the learnings within their organizations;
  • strengthened their personal analysis of identity, social location, privilege, and unconscious bias;
  • dedicated time to skills building – core competencies, language, tools, and effective strategies;
  • undergone an organizational analysis to evaluate the inclusivity of their institution and the diversity of their board and staff;
  • learned how to create equity, diversity, and inclusion action plans for their organizations and put them into practice;
  • worked on projects related to regional equity, diversity, and inclusion issues;
  • taken collective action to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion at a regional level;
  • committed to being a leader for social change, removing structural barriers and equalizing power at the personal, organizational, and regional levels; and
  • determined useful ways for theatres who are ready for action to connect beyond LFSC to provide mutual support and accountability to each other.


Resource Networks:

  • Broad peer-learning community: LFSC members become a part of a regional network learning together, providing support, holding each other accountable, and leading in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Learning teams: Designed to foster creative opportunities, resource sharing, and collaboration that can be enhanced through deeper intimate relationships and trust building.

Webinars: Resource sharing and skills building are core components of LFSC. As such, participants will gain resources and skills in a variety of areas, both in person and through the strategic use of webinars.

LFSC Peer-Learning Sessions: An opportunity to assess and discuss regional trends, share lessons learned/best practices, and continue peer learning.

Intensive Skills-Building/Analysis-Building Sessions: While webinars, and peer-learning sessions will play an important role in the learning process, participants will also experience two intensive retreats and a community summit. These sessions will focus on personal, organizational, and regional analysis and capacity building. These intensive sessions will provide an opportunity for deeper learning through interactive processes and opportunities for practical application.


The progress of LFSC will be noted by some of the following outcomes:

  • Coordinated diversity and inclusion efforts among a diverse cross-section of theatres from the region.
  • New theatre-specific tools, resources, and documented best practices to support ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion regional initiatives.
  • Deep learning and capacity building for theatres leading equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Peer learning and support around regional, national, and issue-specific topics.
  • A growing network of theaters leading the charge for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts.


Leadership for Social Change recommends participation of at least two individuals from the organization throughout the 12-month training program. Each participant should expect to spend an average of 6 hours each month of meetings and preparation time between September 2016 and August 2017.

Attendance at the sessions below will be a required component of time commitment to this program.


The following timeline includes a rough schedule of LFSC activities. Specific dates will be added, and additional changes made, after the launch in August.

  • May 2016: Announce/Promote Opportunity & Solicit/Review Registration Submissions
  • June 8-9: Informational Meeting/Submission Info/Topic and Mini Workshop led by Carmen Morgan
  • June – July 15: Submissions Open – Please submit your Statement of Interest by completing the Google Form.
  • August 22: Participant Notification
  • September 22-25: Retreat #1 w/Carmen Morgan
  • November 2016: Cohort Peer Learning/Workshop Opportunity
  • January 2017: Cohort Peer Learning/Workshop Opportunity
  • February 2017: Cohort Peer Learning/Workshop Opportunity
  • March 2-5, 2017: Retreat #2 w/Carmen Morgan
  • May 2017: Group Progress Check-in/Peer Learning
  • June 2017: Facilitated Webinar w/Carmen Morgan
  • August 3-6, 2017: Non-Retreat w/ Carmen Morgan. Next Steps evaluation and Community Summit report out


Who should I submit as our two core participants? We ask that the core participants have the personal commitment and institutional support needed to make change at their organizations and beyond. We believe that someone with personal commitment prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion as central to their work both within and beyond their organization. We define institutional support as the capacity to affect significant organizational change, through either positional power or clearly defined organizational support. While everyone will come to the process from a different place in this work, we believe that a shared combination of personal commitment and institutional support empowers true progress.

Can one of our participants be a trustee? While we recognize the importance of the board in advancing change, the LFSC curriculum is designed for staff members. LFSC will provide participants with tools for engaging the board in this work. If there is a reason you want a trustee to participate, please contact Karen Lane with your thoughts.

I’m totally new to this conversation. Will I feel lost or excluded? We believe the work is strengthened by having a diversity of experience within the cohort, as this mirrors the diversity found at our organizations and in the field itself.

I’ve been doing equity, diversity, and inclusion work for many years. Is LFSC for me? While some of the analysis-building may be familiar to you, the LFSC is also an opportunity to develop the relationships necessary to advance the work at the personal, organizational, regional, and field-wide levels. We welcome the experience of those who have been doing equity, diversity, and inclusion work for many years, especially those from communities and organizations of color or other underrepresented communities. These voices are essential for the work of this initiative to have integrity.

What costs are associated with LFSC? There is a general participation fee of $350 per person. With support from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, and ArtsWA, TPS will be able to subsidize some participant fees up to $100, with priority consideration given to smaller-budget theatres, underrepresented individuals and organizations, or multiple team members.

I have questions that aren’t answered on this page. Where can I send my questions? Please direct all questions to creatingchange@tpsonline.org.


Carmen MorganCarmen is a national consultant leading conversations at the forefront of the field on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. She is the founder and director of artEquity, a national program that provides tools, resources, and training to support the intersections of art and activism.  She has provided leadership development, organizational planning and coaching for staff, executives, and boards for over 100 non-profit organizations.  She is on the faculty of Yale School of Drama where she addresses issues of identity, equity, and inclusion in the arts.

For the past eight years, she has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on structural and organizational equity. With her guidance, OSF has implemented innovative programming, policies, and new organizational structures to support ongoing inclusion efforts.  In addition, she serves as the consultant for Theatre Communications Group’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and programming, where she partnered with TCG to launch a national Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Institute for theatres. She has provided customized resources to theaters and arts organizations in the US and Canada, including Cal Shakes, Portland Center Stage, Steppenwolf, New York Foundation for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the Association for the Performing Arts Service Organization, League of American Orchestras, Opera America, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Theatre Puget Sound, and Center Theatre Group, to name a few.

For the past fifteen years, Carmen directed Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR), a nationally recognized social justice program co-sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Central American Resource Center, and the Martin Luther King Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to her work with the LDIR program, Carmen was the Associate Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international human rights organization, where she oversaw human rights work on the US/Mexico border; gay liberation and sovereignty education work in Hawai’i; and tenant rights and racial/economic justice work in California and Arizona.

Carmen is a founding member of the California Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), a former Human Services Commissioner, and is currently on the Board of Directors for Black Women for Wellness, a community-based organization serving women in South Los Angeles. She has presented at numerous national conferences including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, National Association for Multicultural Education, Grantmakers in Health, Grantmakers for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, The California Endowment, and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, to name a few.

Carmen’s work is rooted in popular education, community organizing, and a commitment to social justice. She remains dedicated to community building and activism, and has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years.


Theatre Puget Sound is grateful for grant support from the following: Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, ArtsWA4Culture, and National Endowment for the Arts.

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