As P.S. 314 prepares for the dawn of another season, we look forward to an exciting road ahead. For us, that means thinking about how the next phase of our journey will unfold, and about how we define our impact.

As we prepare for our fourth year of service, we are taking a closer look at the roles that we play in helping our client partners execute a broader vision of success by achieving a more equitable society.

This spring, I am excited to participate in the  Association of Fundraising Professional’s (AFP) 2019 Fundraising Day . I plan to provide AFP conference attendees with direct insight into the  Journey in Entrepreneurship, from Birth to Infancy and Beyond and on  How to be Intentional and Equitable in Expanding Your Organization’s Board, and Why It Matters .

There are many stages of business for any enterprise. The first is birth – the moment that you decide to take a risk on yourself and build something new. Establishing a new venture means that you have given yourself a job, one that requires more than just eight hours per day of your time. It requires you to manage your time, emotions, relationships and finances, as well as the current and future needs of the business. 

Succeeding as the owner and operator of your business requires a dual mindset: one focused on your needs, and a preeminent one that caters to the needs of your business. In it's first year, your goal for your new company is similar to that of a mother of a newborn – to give birth and to nurture it to ensure its survival. 

Thirty percent of new companies fail in the first year, and those that progress to the infancy stage often face cash flow, focus and other challenges that threaten their survival. By the second year, you may be an army of one. At this point, your role is to inspire others in the years ahead, those you value for their loyalty and commitment to your vision. These are the years of focus. 

Your focus on your journey is critical, as is leveraging the power of your board to expand partnerships and to improve your business. As you continue to explore the integral role that you play in all of the stages of your business development, envision your sphere of influence and the ways in which you can create change. I am happy to shine a spotlight on the work of P.S 314’s client partners who are doing the same.
In this issue, you will read about our client partner, the National Guild of Community Arts Education , and of its leadership development efforts that reflect the principles of equity and social justice. The Guild works to break down barriers and to build pathways for leaders of color in the arts. Its work strategically utilizes leadership development and training as a lever for building a diverse population of arts professionals that reflects the communities it serves. 

You will also learn about our recent collaboration with the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) , which is committed to promoting opportunity, diversity and inclusion within the arts as well. During its 30-year existence, IABD has come to represent a community of administrators, artists, dance companies and directors, educators, scholars, students and teachers, all of whom make up the global diversity of black dance.Finally, you will read about Imara Jones , who is making a tremendous impact on the societal discourse by working to connect with and elevate marginalized communities.

In our partnerships with social change agents, we define our impact by the continuation of learning and ongoing service in the communities where change is most needed. In a recent New York Times article entitled “I Dance Because I Can ” our client partner, choreographer and dancer Alice Sheppard states,“As people invested in nuance and complexity, we owe it to ourselves and the creators of the work to educate ourselves in the traditions and legacies of the community.”Building partnerships with inspirational changemakers and helping them to bring out the best of their work enables us to achieve our vision. 

Our work includes client partners of all sizes; we work with organizations, companies and individuals ranging from start-ups to those who have been in existence for decades. No matter their scope or tenure, we aim to strengthen their infrastructure and to enhance their operations with the goal of greater sustainability, revenue, and longevity. This critical reinforcement equips our clients with the tools that they need to focus on their enhanced vision of achieving social justice. 

We also define our impact by the consultants with whom we work, whose collective experience in thought leadership, strategic communications and development inspires us to  do more . Doing more is analogous to attaining the freedom that Alice Sheppard suggests, operating without being defined by perceived limitations. 

As you traverse through the many stages of operating your business, consider how you can achieve boundless impact. I encourage you to envision your role, and then be inspired to  do more

Sean A. Watkins is a communications consultant, master storyteller, writer, and owner of Watkins Agency of Joy, LLC .  A staunch believer in a better world, he possesses nearly a decade of experience across the nonprofit and social justice movement spheres. As a consultant, Mr. Watkins implements holistic strategies to help organizations and groups bring their visions to life and to engage audiences online.  As a facilitator and public speaker, he taps into the energy of any audience, connecting story and purpose to inspire action.

The former campaign manager for The Solutions Project, a clean energy nonprofit and media campaign cofounded by actor Mark Ruffalo, Mr. Watkins has worked with leaders and organizations to support their ability to harness the power of story and social media to establish their digital footprints. In 2017, he was recognized by Grist as one of “50 innovators with fresh, forward-thinking solutions to some of humanity’s biggest challenges.” 
Susan John works with words, helping others distill their ideas and refine their voices . She focuses on writing, editing, and coaching, specializing in the intersection of ideals and language. Ms. John works with clients on a wide range of output, including speeches, presentations, statements, proposals, and manuscripts, as well as content for articles, films, and podcasts. Collaborators include artists and new enterprises defining their vision; established organizations rearticulating their mission, history, and new endeavors; and social justice collectives crafting manifestos. 

Ms. John can converse in four languages and dance in two. She is trained in conflict resolution/mediation and has received fellowships for writing and nonviolent activism. Ms. John has 15 years of nonprofit arts experience, including the management of performance and educational residencies in the US and abroad.

As a writer, coach and collaborator, Susan John shares insight into her love of language and provides communications tips that can improve writing skills.
Yolanda F. Johnson is a devoted fundraiser who has successfully raised millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations.   A trailblazer on the New York City fundraising landscape, Ms. Johnson’s specialty areas include securing funds for religious institutions, fine and performing arts organizations, youth development organizations, and organizations that support those with disabilities. She was recently distinguished as the first African-American president-elect in the history of Women in Development, New York, one of the New York metro area’s premier professional fundraising organizations.

Ms. Johnson serves as a board member of several renowned organizations. Her extensive background as a successful performing artist and public speaker has given her a unique, creative perspective on the communications and presentation aspects of organizational and fundraising development. 

As the first African-American leader of Women in Development, New York and a professional performer, Yolanda offers a unique perspective on how she defines impact on the fundraising stage.
Marquis Smalls is an educator, consultant, leader, strategist, and award-winning writer-director-producer from Brooklyn, New York . A graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and The Pennsylvania State University, he has dedicated his life to helping others achieve their goals and attain success. As a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship recipient for screenwriting and a filmmaker whose work was featured on popular networks HBO and STARZ, Mr. Smalls consistently strives to create outstanding work and to be a part of winning teams. 

A thought leader and a dedicated problem solver, Mr. Smalls brings over 20 years of creative experience to bear on his work as he strives to make America and the world a better place. 

The film industry, while full of glamor and glitz, can also be formidable. As you pursue a career in this field, it is important to plan well for the journey ahead. This short guide will help you to avoid the pitfalls that most content creators face on the path to success.
P.S. 314 is pleased to partner with the National Guild for Community Arts Education, an organization that exists to enable those with limited resources to rich their full creative potential . The Guild is proud to develop a cadre of leaders who can strengthen organizations, advance arts education and enrich communities. In February, the P.S 314 collective hosted a vision session to explore paths for expanding the Guild’s impact through leadership development. We look forward to the next stage of our collaboration.
We are also proud to partner with the International Association of Blacks in Dance, which preserves and promotes the impact and influence of people of African ancestry or origin through advocacy, education, resource development and training. In January, we partnered with IABD and their sponsor, National Arts Strategies, as their 2019 annual conference faculty of record. We designed and facilitated a day of learning for their community of emerging and established leaders in black dance. Throughout the year, we will continue to provide professional development support through our diverse consultant collective.
P.S. 314 welcomes Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Imara Jones to our collective. Ms. Jones is a political journalist, news program host and economic policy specialist whose impactful work focuses on the information needs of historically marginalized communities, particularly, millennials of color, the LGBTQ community, and women. The collective is excited to partner with Ms. Jones to expand her vision of equity and social justice.