Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute Awarded Grant to Strengthen Capacity of Staten Island Social Work Community to Tackle Challenges
NYU Silver’s Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Institute (ALHSI) has been awarded a one-year, $75,000 grant from the Staten Island Foundation to strengthen the capacity of Staten Island human services professionals to exercise leadership and make progress on big challenges within their own agencies and systems.
Under the grant, overseen by ALHSI Director and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant and ALHSI Co-Founder and Adjunct Assistant Professor Marc Manashil, NYU Silver will convene and facilitate an Adaptive Leadership Lab that will meet monthly over a nine-month period to identify and collectively address an adaptive challenge related to improving the efficacy and impact of the Staten Island-based human services agencies at which they work.
Approximately 20 lab participants will be recruited from among two constituencies. The first are College of Staten Island MSW graduates who completed ALHSI’s Adaptive Leadership in Human Services Fellowship between 2019-2022 and are already practicing what they have learned in the context of Staten Island human services organizations. The second are mid to senior-career human services professionals working on Staten Island, who may not bring a prior awareness of adaptive leadership ideas but have a comprehensive understanding of organizations and systems on Staten Island through years of direct on-the-ground experience.
“Aided by the tools of the adaptive framework and a supportive community of practice,” Dr. Lausell Bryant said, “the Lab will be a powerful opportunity to energize all those involved to exercise leadership within their organizational and systems contexts. Those efforts will reverberate throughout the organizations and systems where they work, bringing needed changes in policies and services and ultimately generating greater impact amongst the clients and communities that they serve.”
NYU Silver alum Jared Carroll, MSW ’17, the Founder and CEO of Play At The Core and a key member of the ALHSI team, will serve as program facilitator of the Lab along with alum Clareese Saunders, MSW/MPH ’18. Under their guidance, participants will learn key adaptive leadership concepts through a practice-oriented approach; collaboratively define and articulate a shared social justice-oriented adaptive challenge statement; consider how the challenge manifests within their individual organizational contexts; develop and refine a stakeholder analysis that explores the connections and contributions of key constituencies impacted by the challenge; and architect and implement a series of interventions at the individual organizational level to better understand and address the challenge.
“As members of an accountable community of practice and action,” said Professor Manashil, “participants will bring their change-making challenges to the group, receive consultation from fellow members, brainstorm new ideas and approaches, and report back on the results of their respective interventions and proposed next steps over the course of the Lab process. They will also identify concrete indicators of progress so that they can track the change they are affecting in their organizational contexts.”
After the lab concludes, participants will share their key learnings, answer questions, and outline potential next steps at a culminating community program. Dr. Lausell Bryant and Professor Manashil explained that those stories, key findings, and strategies employed during the Lab will be compiled in a “community playbook” and shared with the Staten Island human services professional community broadly, “with the goal of serving as a resource for sustained engagement with complex and systemic challenges in their work.”