ICYMI: A Growing Movement of Sabbaticals for BIPOC Leaders

"A major shift is happening in which BIPOC leaders are reclaiming rest, and a newly established philanthropic fund seeks to support it," said Nineequa Blanding for Nonprofit Quarterly. "In Washington state, the BIPOC-ED Coalition—a multicultural, cross-sector collective of nonprofit leaders working to promote community wellness and restoration—has committed $1.37M to fund sabbaticals for BIPOC leaders. Recognizing that rest is essential for healing and social justice, the coalition established a fund, resourced by philanthropic partners, to launch the Sabbatical Leadership Program. This effort enables nonprofit leaders of color to take a break from work and create room for self-care—on their own terms."

"The need for rest isn’t limited to Washington state—it’s a nationwide issue that needs to be addressed. Given this, the BIPOC-ED Coalition’s work raises the question: What if every state established a coalition that organizes to create avenues for rest, particularly in communities most harmed by systemic oppression? What if these coalitions were fully funded and backed the collective vision of BIPOC leaders who are drawing from lived experience and are attuned to the reality that communities need to build solutions that inspire healing?"

"The BIPOC-ED Coalition certainly offers a model for how executive directors can organize to create opportunities for rest and how philanthropy can work in solidarity to fund these efforts."

"Having to earn self-care is a common narrative in our western culture. Yet, when we prioritize taking care of ourselves—through rest, therapy, and movement, we can serve others better. An empty well doesn’t provide water for anyone."

"The well-being of executive directors is reason enough to support sabbaticals. Physically and emotionally rested executive directors are able to show up as their best selves for their staff, their community, and their families. And, just like an individual person, an organization will be better able to support its community when the people within it are healthy and strong."

Read the full piece here.