Independent Sector Threads: Oakland Style


Independent Sector and its regional convening partners held critical community conversations called “Threads” about the key trends, obstacles, and opportunities that will affect every organization and individual working toward the common good over the next 20 years. I had the privilege of attending the conversation in Oakland and summarizing it in 90 seconds for the Opening Plenary of the 2015 Independent Sector Annual Conference. In light of Oakland culture, I decided to deliver the summary as a rap:

In the style of California Love – (Oakland-based) 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre

In the citaaay, the city of Oakland
We kept it rockin!

Now let me talk to everybody ‘bout the Oakland meet
Diverse perspectives with a touch-of-heat
Talkin’ leadership, culture and financial health
Governance, operations, not enough shared wealth

We in that sunshine state with great diversity
The town where ya find Steph Curry keep droppin’ three
Big on tech, and sustainability
Gentrification, inequality

We all in a game where concerns are just short-term
Each impact needs a metric to confirm
Funders pressurin’ for early innovation
But can’t show failure in the nonprofit nation

We think young, in the cities by the Bay
Your project is the bomb if your project makin’ pay
Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way
We’re damn short-sighted in Californ-I-a

In the style of Nuthin’ But a G Thang – Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dog

One, two, three and to the fo’
Demographic changes are banging down the do’
Ready to make an entrance, so sit on up
(Cause you know we ‘bout to rip it up)
Board leadership first, so we can pop it like a bubble
The diversity’s pathetic, now we know we in trouble
It’s more than a gender thang, baby!
Gen’rations think we each crazy!
Minor’ties asking can you see me!
Inclusion demands voice and authority

But, uh, now the next topic at hand
Tech’s no panacea, I’mma let you understand
From an old G’s perspective
Before it’s a solution you gotta prove that it’s effective

We never think we could be wors’ning the gap,
Creating more crap, and taking rurals off of the map

Now you know, independence we must preserve
No subcontract should stifle our voice and duty to observe
And I.S. that’s what we expect of you
Courageous positions on each issue
‘cause when the problems are so big and getting biblical
We can’t just say that we ain’t political

It’s like this and like that and like this and uh