Rochester Center for Collaborative Leadership
A charity created by the Institute for Collaborative Leadership.
In 2019, ICL introduced the Rochester Center for Collaborative Leadership (originally named the Frederick Douglass Center for Collaborative Leadership) as a charitable operation. In 2022, we adopted our url as the organization’s nickname: RocLeads.
The Center’s Mission:
”… to support and strengthen the individual and collective capacity and impact of antiracism and anti-hate leaders – particularly those in civic, community and nonprofit roles that can contribute to building strong children and families in Rochester NY …”
Rochester is the hometown of Frederick Douglass, Susan B Anthony, and scores of important social justice leaders. ICL founder, Hank Rubin, grew up in the shadow of these leaders and legacies and saw that, despite their historic and ongoing leadership, Rochester continues to suffer unacceptably high rates of residential segregation and concentrated poverty with a city school district that ranks near the bottom abutting suburban districts that rank among the best in the nation. With the region’s talent and resources, our schools should be better, our rates of poverty should be lower, and our racial and ethnic tensions and inequalities should be long-remedied. The Leadership Center represents a decades-old commitment Hank made – during the racial protests of the 1960s – to return to his hometown to help it become a model of racial equity, building its capacity one-leader-at-a-time!
Programs & Services:
- Leadership: The Leadership Center actively partners with Rochester regional leaders associated with leadership development, human services, public housing, children and family welfare, education policy, reparations, racism, and poverty. (This video [hotlink] illustrates an early partnership of Black Lives Matter leaders and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra initiated by the Leadership Center.)
- DACC-Roc: Discovering & Aligning for Community Change-Rochester (DACC-Roc) is a regional resource of trained facilitators guiding leaders, stakeholders, and experts through a collective process of (a) discovering their best contributions and (b) aligning those contributions towards mutually desired community change.
- Leadership Academies: The Center’s Leadership Training Academies for youth, college students, and active community and nonprofit leaders have not yet been launched … watch for it!!
Discovering & Aligning for Community
(Discovering & Aligning for Community Change-Rochester) facilitates leaders, stakeholders, and experts through a collective process of discovering their best contributions and aligning them towards mutually desired community change.
The launch-phase of any public collaboration critically predicts its likelihood of success. Optimally, it should be facilitated to (1) clarify the shared goal/problem/question; (2) develop shared understanding of associated concerns, values, and visions; (3) facilitate each participant’s discovery of contributions they each may be capable of making; and (4) establish shared ownership and commitment to work collectively to achieve that shared goal. These foundational steps are at the core of the work of a number of group facilitation strategies. Future Search, an internationally tested decades-old strategy, is particularly designed to be both powerfully productive in achieving these outcomes and replicable for use within small and large-scale change initiatives.
WHAT & WHO
Each DACC-Roc engagement focuses on a significant task, challenge and/or problem that deeply engages all essential stakeholders from all segments of the targeted community in a 3 day planning conference (along with a number of organizing engagements preceding and following up on the conference to support its success). We’ve established DACC-Roc to support the design, launch and development of effective strategic alignment initiatives in communities, sectors and networks of leaders throughout the region. We’ve built a team of four (4) locally knowledgeable, credible, and skilled facilitators, each with productive public sector history, substantial group dynamics and leadership experience, and recent participation in Future Search’s international training program.
DACC-Roc, a backbone program of the Rochester Center for Collaborative Leadership, is dedicated to the vision and local legacy of Frederick Douglass and to the Center’s mission: “… to support and strengthen the individual and collective impact of antiracism and anti-hate leaders in the Rochester region, particularly those in civic, community and nonprofit roles that can contribute to building strong children and families.”
DACC-Roc is available now as a resource for civic, human service and community initiatives in the Rochester region.
Rosa Luciano, Sasha Mitchell, Rebekah Meyer, Hank Rubin
Rosa Luciano has been serving the community in multiple roles for more than 20 years in the fields of addictions, education, developmental disabilities, and now the corporate legal space in Rochester, NY. Her experience and leadership have been focused on program operations, finance, Human Resources, organizational development, compliance, coaching, and staff development. Rosa has led highly accomplished teams that demonstrate dedication to operational excellence in different non-for-profit agencies in the Rochester community.
Rosa has a Master of Science degree in Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College, as well as a bachelor of science in Women and Gender studies from the College at Brockport. In her spare time, Rosa is an avid reader, baker, and calligrapher. Rosa lives in the Maplewood neighborhood with her daughter Hailey and her son Noah.
Rebekah Meyer, MA is the Operations Manager for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) and has developed expertise in facilitation, project management, and supporting collaboration for large-scale community change. Prior to working with RMAPI, Rebekah’s career was in the nonprofit sector in Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, her work included time providing technical assistance to the city’s network of after-school programs, running a national scholarship program, and serving as the Director of Community Engagement and Volunteerism for an organization focused on disrupting the cycle of poverty for children and families. With RMAPI, Rebekah’s role includes ensuring the execution of working group deliverables, grants management, and coordination of internal and external stakeholders including service providers, employers, government agencies, and community members. Specific initiatives she has led include the development of RMAPI’s Employer Pledge, annual identification of and advocacy for a policy agenda, and RMAPI’s renewed focus on housing. RMAPI is a Collective Impact initiative aimed at reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency through sustainable employment and living wages, while also ensuring greater access to affordable basic needs. Rebekah has a Masters of Arts in Education Policy from George Washington University. She has two young children and is originally from Buffalo, New York.
Sashanna J. Mitchell
Sashanna J. Mitchell is a passionate and dedicated servant of the Rochester community. Currently she is self-employed as a leadership coach and consultant on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Born and raised in Rochester, NY she is a proud graduate of the Rochester City School District, as well as SUNY Brockport. Using her degree in African American Studies she set out to serve those in her community who are most in need; which according to the numbers are black and brown youth. Her experience includes a number of direct service roles with youth and families of color, working for various non-profits. Her most recent work however has shifted from youth and family services to the field of racial justice and equity. Recently working as the Coordinator for the Racial Equity & Justice Initiative, she was able to help convene community organizations and their leaders to help create more diverse and anti-racist organizations to help better serve the Rochester community.
Sashanna is currently based in Rochester, NY and lives with her husband Chaz.
Hank Rubin, PhD
Hank Rubin, PhD, grew up in Rochester with experience dating back to the summer of 1964; attending both Rochester and Brighton public schools. He retired as vice president of the Rochester Area Community Foundation; served as Associate State Superintendent of Education for Ohio, dean of education and professor of education and public sector leadership at universities in Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota. He is currently a Commissioner on the Rochester Housing Authority, bestselling author of Collaborative Leadership (Corwin Press), and founder of the Institute for Collaborative Leadership.
Hank lives in Rochester (Charlotte) along the Genesee River. His daughter, Amelia, is a teacher in Asheville NC and his son, Lane, is an architect in New York City.