CEMI 2023 Learning Series

CEMI 2023 Learning Series

Shifting Power at the Table: A Virtual Learning Series

Shifting Power at the Table is a virtual Learning Series designed to equip community-based organizations across the state with foundational skills, knowledge, and frameworks to advance racial equity in cross-sector planning processes and shape climate-resilient, equitable workforce and economic development in their regions.


Through monthly virtual sessions, this public series is open both to CEMI grantees and other community groups interested in building their capacity to influence and access state and federal funding streams, with a focus on the new statewide Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) program. Session content will be designed around key components of the CERF planning process, but participants can apply lessons and tools to their engagement in other local and regional efforts. Attendees may join all sessions or choose to attend only the ones most relevant to their work. The Learning Series is presented by the Center in partnership with PolicyLink, UCSC Institute for Social Transformation and USC Equity Research Institute, with support from Estolano Advisors.

Session 1: Equitable Governance in Cross-Sector Collaboration
Wednesday, May 3rd from 2:30PM – 4:30PM PST

What does it look like when community and worker representatives share power with public sector and business groups in a formal collaborative? This session will introduce principles and core elements of collaborative governance models explicitly designed to center the leadership of communities historically excluded from planning processes. We’ll hear stories of cross-sector collaboration, including two of California’s Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) implementation projects, that reflect shared principles and promising practices for advancing racial equity in the design of a collaborative. Following a roundtable discussion with speakers, participants will apply tools and frameworks for inclusive decision-making, designating roles and responsibilities, and other governance elements to their own collaborative work.


Zahirah Mann, President and CEO of South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z)


Ayano Jeffers-Fabro, Project Manager with East Oakland Neighborhood Initiative (EONI), Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Project Partner

Session 2: Values-Based Data and Analysis
Thursday, June 1st from 1:00 – 3:00 PM PST

How can a values-based approach to data advance racial equity in local and regional planning? Through community-centered stories and case studies, participants learn how to shift the narrative on economic development by using equity-focused data analysis methods and tools. The session will introduce participants to CERF Regional Equity Profiles developed by the National Equity Atlas team to support community groups active in their regional planning processes. Following presentations, participants will have the opportunity to apply the data tools presented to their local and regional work.



Shaun Glaze, Research Lead and Director of the Black Brilliance Research Project



Carolina Sanchez, Co-Director of the Just San Bernardino Collaborative – Inland Empire Labor Council



Dr. Blythe K. George (Yurok), PhD in Sociology & Social Policy. Harvard University and Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California Merced



Eli Moore, Program Director, Community Power & Policy Partnerships of Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley



Edward-Michael Muña, Project Manager at USC Equity Research Institute and Seleeke Flingai, Senior Associate of the National Equity Atlas Team at PolicyLink

Session 3: Introduction to Antiracist Results Based Accountability
Monday, June 26th 2023 from 10:00AM – 12:00PM PST

How can a program, organization or multi-stakeholder collaborative design strategies and measure impact in the advancement of racial equity goals? Antiracist Results-Based Accountability (AR RBA) is an evaluative framework that connects root causes, to strategy design and intended impacts and holds enormous potential for systems change work. In this session, participants will explore the AR RBA framework. Presenters will introduce 7 Antiracist Impact Principles and practice a critical aspect of AR RBA, the learning loop for strategy development. They will also share stories and lessons learned from applying AR RBA to collaborative equitable economic development initiatives.


Erika Bernabei, Co-Lead of Equity & Results


Omar Stanton, Chief Impact Officer of PolicyLink

Session 4: CEMI Convening

July 24th-25th

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation hosted the first Community Economic Mobilization Initiative (CEMI) in-person event that convened all of CEMI’s funded partners. This event gave an opportunity to gain a better understanding of CEMI, CERF, and the solidarity economics framework put into action. Additionally, the event provided opportunity for our partners to network with one another. All convening’s goals were executed through a series of presentations and workshops. 

Session 5: Introduction to Power-Mapping Tool

Wednesday, August 30th from 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

We are working with community based groups and regions across the state to map regional economic development decision making ecosystems. This is designed as a process for building capacity and knowledge to help CBOs increase their influence in shaping economic development decision making. In this webinar, we will be introducing the concept of power-mapping, how it is being applied to understand the decision making processes that shape our economy and what it looks like at a regional level. If you are a CEMI-funded community partner, are already familiar with power mapping tools and are interested in working with us in this regional power-mapping process, please contact Azucena Beltran (azrbeltr@ucsc.edu).


Veronica Carrizales, Vice President of Policy & Public Affairs at California Calls


Cesar Lara, Director of Workforce Strategy at California Labor Federation


Francisco Rodriguez, Resident Leadership Academy Coordinator at Monterey Bay Central Labor Council

Coming Up

Beginning in summer 2023, Learning Series modules will shift focus to policy and planning topics including regional economic development, industry clusters and entrepreneurship, labor and workforce systems, community economic development, and climate-resilient infrastructure. Videos, live sessions, and other resources will contrast traditional approaches with equitable, high-road, and community-driven solutions. This webpage will be updated as new modules are added.

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