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Highlander Maryland Identity Workshops

The Highlander Institute was created in Calvert County, Maryland in 2016 to mentor young leaders who demonstrate a passion for advocacy, change-making, community-building, and community service. Highlander programming serves that need with training, mentorship, and collaboration with youth leaders from across Maryland.

During a critical year of strategic growth at the end of 2019, I engaged the leadership team at Highlander to help create a strong, creative, collaborative vision around their goals in three areas:

1) leadership as an institution,

2) arts integration into all their programming, and

3) developing public art opportunities for their youth constituency

My three hands-on trainings were titled:

The Leadership Power of Highlander

(November 2019)

Weaving Creative Arts into our Highlander Curriculum

(December 2019);

Youth, Public Art, and the Power to Change

(February 2020).

Working with groups is spirit work. At Highlander, I was privileged to be in a room with people who like and respect each other, and who have a collective will for the good of their shared project.

Where the work happens is in the shaping of a collective vision from a host of different:

  1. personal attributes each person brings

  2. individual perceptions about the intention for the project

  3. individual biases

In the workshops individuals visualize, then verbalize, their vision. The goal is always to weave these single threads into a collective vision that everyone can get behind.

Participants left the three 90-minute workshops with a clear sense of each person’s strengths and commitments, and a commitment to working together at the intersection to create a strong program reflective of their collective vision.

This is work I truly love.


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