On a typical weekday, our Philly Fellows are working at their individual nonprofit placements, but twice each month we bring the entire cohort together for our two event series: Leadership Development Dinners and Professional Development Workshops. Last month, we were excited to host two events that focused on exploring opportunities in our fellows’ current roles and future careers. Here’s a quick recap of these events:
Professional Development Workshop- First up for our October events was a workshop led by Hillary Blecker from The Blue Door Group, along with Tchet Dereic Dorman of Pyramid Consulting Services, to facilitate a dialogue around diverse social identities in the workplace. The workshop focused on raising self-awareness about our own attitudes towards race and class and explored how we engage in intergroup cooperation. The facilitators helped the fellows to explore their own biases by utilizing transformational intergroup dialogue, which engaged everyone in a variety of interactive exercises to explore various social issues related to intergroup understanding. It was an intense four-hour session, but many of the fellows left the workshop still wanting to discuss more. We hope that the fellows will continue the conversations we started during this workshop throughout the year, as we know this type of dialogue can expand their capacity to be effective in their placements.
Leadership Development Dinner- Each month we invite a civic leader from the region to join the fellows for an informal dinner. These sessions are a chance for the fellows to meet and learn from some of the city’s most dynamic leaders in a wide variety of fields that relate to both their current and future jobs. Some speakers have come to speak with the Philly Fellows year after year, but our October speaker was new to this event series: David Thornburgh, President and CEO at the Committee of Seventy. The Committee of Seventy is a non-partisan good-government group that works to achieve clean and effective government, fair elections and informed citizens, so we were especially thrilled to have David speak given the excitement around the upcoming Election Day. David shared his diverse career path that has included leadership roles in both the public and private sectors and also discussed various options for graduate school studies and ideas around social innovation. As the fellows begin to think about what’s next after their Philly Fellows year, we know they’ll be contemplating the advice from all of our speakers who attend the dinner series.
We want to to thank our facilitators from The Blue Door Group, as well as to David Thornburgh from the Committee of Seventy. We know the conversations from both events will enhance the Philly Fellows capacity to serve in both in their current and future roles.