TAMARA LUCAS COPELAND
A Consultancy Built on Learning and Unlearning
ABOUT THE CONSULTANCY
Following over three decades in the non-profit world,
(or social profit, as I like to say)
I have moved from out front, day-to-day leadership and management to the background of consulting
with organizations ready for change.
My consultancy has one clear area of focus: Introducing leaders and staff to the invisibility of racial inequity and priming them to join the fight for racial justice.
After decades in the sector, I've learned a couple of things, particularly around revitalizing languishing organizations. If you think that I may be able to help you with an organizational challenge you're facing, let's talk.
I recently retired after more than twelve years as president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG). In that role, I was the organization’s major thought leader, helping to envision and implement work to meet the needs of the philanthropic sector and of the region. I developed the vision for and created WRAG’s nationally-acclaimed work on racial equity entitled Putting Racism on the Table.
I came to WRAG with extensive experience in nonprofit management, policy and children’s issues having led Voices for America’s Children, the National Health & Education Consortium, and the Infant Mortality Initiative of Southern Governors’ Association and the Southern Legislative Conference as well as having been Congressman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) Legislative Director.
In 2017, I was appointed as the Visiting Nielsen Fellow at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy to explore the role of philanthropy in addressing racial equity in the DC region and co-teach a graduate seminar on philanthropy and racial justice (2018-2021).
In 2018, my memoir, Daughters of the Dream: Eight Girls from Richmond who grew up in the Civil Rights Era was published by Inspire, an imprint of Adducent. Every month, I post a blog, by the same name, to explore some aspect, historical or current, of racial reality. In 2019, I was named a trustee of the Weissberg Foundation.
I am a walking aficionado, taking what I call urban hikes all over the region. I love to travel. I have visited all fifty states and countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For decades, you have lived in a world in which you have been oblivious to racial inequities. You thought you were supportive of racial justice, but the more you learn, you recognize that you have been a passive bystander. Now, you are ready to understand racial inequities and the fight for racial justice, but you don’t want to learn publicly. I will work with you, one-on-one, through a planned adult learning process to introduce you to what you have been unaware of, to help you learn and unlearn, and position you to be a change agent.
DEVELOPING THE RACIAL EQUITY KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR STAFF AND/OR BOARD
I utilize a variety of techniques to introduce board members to racial realities and prompt their desire for deeper training and organizational actions to move toward racial justice.
Amy Owen and I developed The Onion Dialogues. This training session is designed to explore race and racism in America from a Black and a White perspective. We have created an experience perfect for small organizations ready to learn. We focus on terms, concepts, history, the invisibility of racism, and a host of other factors in an effort to reveal racial inequity, encourage reflections on racial reality and position the participants to join the fight for racial justice. The sessions are lively, engaging and focused, always intended to call people into the fight for racial justice, never to call people out.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: CONFERENCES AND BOOK CLUB GATHERINGS
You really want to have that big name whose book is on the best sellers' list, but your organizational budget simply can't handle the fee? I am knowledgeable, engaging and offer a cost-effective approach to support your programming and plenary sessions. Topics range from grantmaking with an equity lens, to the importance of building empathy in the racial equity movement, to invisibility and complexity of racism in the workplace. I am happy to explore your topical needs.
Here is a sampling -- Partnering Leadership, Volunteer Fairfax, the Hulon Willis Association of the College of William and Mary, and Leadership Greater Washington.
DAUGHTERS OF THE DREAM
Daughters of the Dream is both a book and a blog.
Daughters of the Dream: Eight Girls from Richmond Who Grew Up in the Civil Rights is my book that captures the normalcy of life of eight Black girls who grew up in very turbulent times. I chronicle our lives and the times from Brown v. Board of Education to the election of Donald Trump. Daughters of the Dream was published in 2018 by Inspire, a division of Adducent.
Daughters of the Dream blog is my monthly reflection on topics as diverse as the role of a young girl in the boycott of movie theaters in 1960s Richmond, Virginia to the election of Richmond's first Black homecoming queen at a predominantly white high school to reparations and the actions necessary to get to racial healing. The blog is an exercise in truth-telling from the vantage point of one of the Daughters of the Dream.