CC for Change
All three members of our cohort are leaders and founders of our organizations and lead initiatives that target underrepresented communities.
Saran Ouk is an Asian American woman who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. She is the Founder of conNEXTions, a nonprofit that serves underrepresented young adults who are women, people of color and people from low-income communities. Their mission is to guide underrepresented young adults to achieve their financial, educational and career goals through mentoring, networking and professional development.
Christina Outlay is an African- American woman, who grew up on the west side of Chicago, with a PhD in Management Information Systems. Dr. Outlay is the Founder of colorcoded, a nonprofit organization that serves youth of color and their mission is to fill the IT career pipeline with more women and people of color. Their primary goal is to increase the number of girls and minority and low income youth participating in computing through a combination of activities, group work, and interaction with mentors and (age-appropriate) advanced technical skill development through paid internships.
Kia Stearn, Founder and CEO at Positive Women for Change (PW4C). PW4C is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides peer to peer financial coaching and personal life skills to underserved populations. PW4C’s Current key focus is sole-parent households who face trauma or adversity that impacts the disarray of household finances. We assist our participants in meeting modest but critical financial goals also providing referrals to resources based on the modalities of experience to our participants in a safe, supportive, judgement-free environment. Kia Stearn has a certificate degree in nonprofit management (Madison College), Certificate Degree in Public Policy Advocacy, Wisconsin Women’s Policy Institute, (WWPI), As an Alumna of (WWPI) The public policy work that Kia did with a team of 12 women from different sectors has done has had widespread impact on real lives, throughout the State Kia is an alumna of WWPI and currently hones her skill on the Public Policy Committee at United Way of Dane County . Kia has Certification in financial coaching foundations, UW Madison, UW extension. Kia received Certificate of completion of specialized leadership training “leading with inclusivity” from YWomen Lead Cohort. Get to know CC for Change better
Please share about what sparked you all to submit your Amplify Madison proposal? What are some of the challenges you want to transform for yourselves and the Madison community?
We were excited to submit our Amplify Madison proposal together because all three of us are Founders of a newer nonprofit organization that serves the underserved communities. In addition, we wanted to collaborate with each other as each of our organization served different age groups and we hope to share resources with one another. Some of the challenges that all three of us are facing are obtaining funding as our organizations are newer and it’s challenging since funders want to see certain results or track records. We would like to see more collaboration within our community and hope that businesses, government agencies and nonprofits work with each other to fill the gaps in our community. We also would like to see more diverse people come to the table, especially those voices that are normally not being heard.
We will bring the knowledge gained from attending SOCAP and integrate it into our existing programming, emphasizing both leadership and social impact. Additionally, we can bring back materials, trainings, and key networking contacts to share with other organizations that would not otherwise have access to the information or the ability to attend the conference. We, ourselves, can also serve as direct resources to individuals and organizations and share the knowledge we’ve gained across multiple sectors including academia, philanthropy, nonprofits, businesses, business owners and key decision makers in Madison for implementing new ideas and new government funded programs through our mentoring/advising relationships.
Please share about your experience collaborating across organizations for your Amplify experience – What are you learning about the nature of collaboration?
Collaboration is key to a thriving community. As we mentioned before, businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations all need to collaborate for people in our community to be successful.
What is your team’s vision for Madison
What we envision is more collaboration between funders, nonprofit organizations, businesses and government. In addition, we envision more women and people of color to be represented as experts or resources in different aspect of social change rather than the same few people that we see everyday in the issues that we have in our community.
What has been your team’s experience in preparation to your professional development experience? What are some of the expectations you already have about the event, conference or other similar you are about to attend?
So far, in preparation for our professional development experience, we have looked over the agenda from last year’s conference and each of us will attend different sessions. This way, we can maximize the sessions and collaborate with each other to share the different information and resources that we gather from the sessions.
What has been your team’s experience during your professional development experience? What are some of the key knowledge, skills and learning you are bringing back to Madison?
Our professional development opportunity will be in October and we are excited to share what some of the key knowledge, skills and learning that we will be bringing back to Madison. We plan to work together to synthesize the relevant knowledge we acquire from SOCAP and apply it to the different age groups we target and tailor it accordingly for each demographic so that it provides progressive training for any individual or group that might move from one of our programs to the next. Tailoring the information in this manner also enables us to share with other organizations serving populations at different age levels. The SOCAP conference draws literally thousands of social entrepreneurs from across the globe. SOCAP also provides access to thought leaders and social impact investors across different markets, allowing the opportunity to identify connections both within our own social markets and for other developing organizations in Madison. This may also provide the opportunity to invite experts from other areas to visit us here in Madison, for events like the Wisconsin Leadership Conference, Racial Equity Summit, Madison Nonprofit Day and others.
What has been your team’s experience during your community engagement activities back in Madison? What are some of your key reflections and learning during this period?
Team reflection coming soon!