Category Archives: Jackson Leadership Fellows

Jackson Fellow promotes key Jackson legislative legacy

Andrew Lewis Andrew Lewis, one of the 2016 Jackson Leadership Fellows, chose for his project to analyze and write about an important Jackson achievement – the Land and Water Conservation Fund – addressing both its significance and its future funding and standing in Congress. As a recent graduate from the UC Berkeley School of Law, Andrew felt naturally drawn to legislation close to the heart of the Jackson legacy. Andrew has always been heavily involved in Washington State politics – starting at the early age of 14 as an intern in Washington State Senator Patty Murray’s re-election in 1994! His legal interests include environmental law, so he was attracted to the battle over the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s future. Senator Jackson introduced the original Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act at President John F. Kennedy’s request. For over 50 years, the Fund has contributed resources to parks, wild spaces, recreation areas, and the natural heritage of our country. A small portion of oil and gas royalties funds the LWCF, as Jackson intended it to do, making the funding source smart economic and environmental policy.

Andrew’s paper, published in the Ecology Law Quarterly in spring 2016, explains the history of the LWCF and its purposes, namely “to preserve, develop and assure accessibility to outdoor recreation resources for the American people.” To do this, Congress authorized a $900 million annual appropriation to fund the LWCF. Historically, however, while the Fund has received resources, it has never received the full amount intended by the legislation. Andrew shows the LWCF’s success in driving conservation and economic growth despite its dwindling funding from Congress over the years.

Most important, Andrew describes the current state of the LWCF as “tenuous.” Congress gave the Fund a temporary, three-year extension and an appropriation of $450 million. Foundation President John Hempelmann mentored Andrew and provided him with careful editing as well as a big-picture political perspective on the legislation. Both John and Andrew expressed relief that the Fund’s life has been extended, but they are concerned about its future.  Andrew outlines options currently under discussion in Congress – led by Washington State leaders – that would provide permanent funding for the LWCF.

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John Hempelmann, Foundation President, with Brett Phillips and Andrew Lewis

The paper does an excellent job of clearly assessing the past and future prospects of this important piece of Jackson’s environmental legacy, and the protection of our nation’s natural resources. Bravo to Andrew for his excellent piece and for landing an article in a prestigious law journal – all while finishing law school.

 

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Jackson Fellows Reaching More Young Leaders

Talk about inspirational!  I had the chance to sit in on part of the Center for Women and Democracy’s Leadership Institute, an annual short course for dynamic young leaders – all professional women from the region – that the Center conducts.  The participants are impressive:  they range from graduate students in engineering or international studies to human rights activists, global health experts and philanthropic sector analysts.  I was fortunate to speak briefly to the group about Senator Jackson because one of our own Jackson Leadership Fellows, Jaime Hawk, is a long-time board member of the Center and chose the Leadership Institute as the place to concentrate her individual project time for the Fellowship.

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Panelists, from left to right: Michelle Frix, Tamara Power-Drutis, Laura Stewart, and Jaime Hawk (2016 Jackson Fellows).

Using the Foundation’s Nature of Leadership publication, which focuses on the enduring Jackson values that we believe are widely applicable for new generations of leaders, Jaime pulled together a panel for the community engagement part of the Institute’s curriculum.  The panel, “Leadership for the Public Good,” featured Jaime in a conversation with a few of her compatriots from the Jackson Leadership Fellows program – Tamara Powers-Drutis, Laura Stewart, and Michelle Frix.  All four Fellows have been working together to become more effective and successful leaders, and they discussed the influences on them – many pointing to their mothers as key – and the mentors and inspirations they have drawn upon.  Framing the discussion around what motivated these successful women in their own lives and careers, Jaime elicited the passion that drives each of them on a daily basis.  They shared reflections on their journey, how and why they chose public service, and the turning points that shaped their careers.

As Jaime put it, working in the public sector is more about “finding the kind of job where I can be passionate about what I do – for my 60 hours a week!”   Tamara agreed, saying that she also thought about “where are gaps that her passions can fill” in the sector as she pondered her own career path.  Laura captivated the audience with her personal story of activism from her earliest days as a child in Swaziland, where she was drawn to environmental justice because of inequities around her, disproportionately hurting her community.  Michele, now Chief of Staff at the Seattle Foundation, spoke of her own journey, emphasizing her personal decision to “go deeper” into a field – rather than be a generalist – and her immersion in Latin America studies at the Jackson School as a vital first step on that road.

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Linda Mason Wilgis (Foundation vice president) — front row, fourth from left —served as one of Jaime Hawk’s mentors in the Fellows program. She is shown with participants in the Leadership Institute.

One of Jaime’s mentors for the program, Foundation vice president Linda Mason Wilgis, attended the panel discussion and was equally moved at the honesty and heartfelt remarks by the Fellows. “It was a privilege to hear [the Jackson Fellows] share with other young leaders their passions and what has inspired them to make a difference in the world and in their local communities.  I continue to be amazed at the depth and breadth of their experience and intellect at such a young age.”

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Fellows having an impact far beyond the Foundation

Tamara Power-Drutis, one of this year’s Jackson Leadership Fellows, chose for her individual project to create an ambitious media workshop for the community.  Entitled “Press for the People:  A Grassroots Media Workshop,” the day-long event in early June was intended to help those who might have under represented voices in the Seattle media scene.  Sessions such as “Finding and Shaping Your Story,” “Video Storytelling Workshop” and “Photography Workshop” helped participants – who were all ages, colors, and backgrounds – tap into helpful tips from local experts and journalists.  Tamara’s employer, Crosscut Public Media, was a key sponsor of the event, but Tamara signed on KCTS television, the Seattle Weekly, the Seattle Globalist, the International Examiner, South Seattle Emerald, and the Seattle Channel, as well as the Jackson Foundation, to be cosponsors of the event.

Opening Panel with local editors
Opening Panel with local editors

Tamara’s goal in putting on the highly substantive event was to help members of the community learn how to generate stories, identify and interview sources, navigate local media, produce multi-media photo, audio and video stories, and connect with local editors to get to know them — and potentially pitch future story ideas.  Professional journalists and media specialists donated their time to help train the participants.

People were enthusiastic about what the workshop:  “I learned how to identify how my knowledge can connect to more universal storytelling and what editors need from their writers,” one participants wrote to Tamara.  Another teacher who attended with her students wrote “I love having local, low-cost opportunities for my students to gain other perspectives about journalism and media.”

Writing workshop with Drew Atkins, Editor at Crosscut
Writing workshop with Drew Atkins, Editor at Crosscut

Community members were particularly pleased to have an opportunity to sit down with the local editors one on one to talk about how to get attention for their stories.

Carol Vipperman, Jackson Foundation Program Manager for the Jackson Fellows initiative, attended the workshop and also led a photography workshop.  “I was impressed by the diversity of participants, both in terms of what parts of the city that they represented and the fact that they were just citizens who wanted to learn how to get their stories into the media.  The workshop was truly hands-on.  I think a highlight for people was the ability to sit down with local editors and pitch their stories.  The openness of the editors and all of the organizations who sponsored the day to include these voices in the media was very much appreciated by attendees.”

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

Leadership Insights from Washington State’s Attorney General

As part of the Jackson Fellows program, the Foundation was fortunate recently to host a discussion with the Fellows and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on leadership.  The Attorney General is a valued member of the Foundation’s Honorary Council of Advisors.  Ferguson, whose parents deeply admired Senator Jackson and instilled Jackson values in their son, made time for a one-on-one dialogue with the Fellows.

Linda Mason Wilgis, Foundation Vice President, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Michele Frix, 2016 Fellow
Linda Mason Wilgis, Foundation Vice President, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Michele Frix, 2016 Fellow

In a thought-provoking, memorable session, Ferguson couched his lessons of leadership in terms of his former hobby of chess, a sport he dedicated himself to for several formative years before embracing the law and politics as a career.  “If you lose, you have no one to blame but yourself,” he began.  “You were outplayed.  You made a mistake.  Take responsibility for your actions,” he advised.  Mistakes will happen:  what is important is taking ownership of them and being accountable to others.  He also suggested analyzing one’s losses carefully.  “The path to improvement is a careful scrutiny of the games that you have lost,” he stressed.

IMG_1234Continuing the chess analogy, Ferguson told the young Fellows to “imagine a position in the future and think of the possible moves to get there.”  It is important to take calculated risks, he said.  “As a leader, you should be willing to go to that position and accept the consequences.”

Turning to leadership and team-building, Ferguson believes that: “Your team watches you closely.   If you have a leadership role, they are watching you.”  This engenders in him a sense of responsibility and the importance of modeling ethical behavior.  “You set the tone,” he reminded the group.  “True leadership also means true listening,” he counseled.

The Fellows peppered Ferguson for advice and input that stems from their own professional dilemmas.  When faced with complex situations, Ferguson told them:  “Be true to yourself.  Don’t compromise.”

IMG_1244The Fellows deeply appreciated the opportunity to engage with a leader like Attorney General Ferguson.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director

A Jackson Fellow Inspires More Young People

Anna Marie Jackson Laurence and I were fortunate to participate in the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Student Leadership Board meeting last week.  Anna Marie, Senator Jackson’s daughter and an officer of the Foundation, and I spoke to the group of 7th – 11th graders about Senator Jackson’s human rights legacy and achievements and why Senator Jackson was so committed to international human rights, an interest that stemmed in part from Jackson’s post-war visit to the just-liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

IMG_0411Our discussion with the young people touched on Jackson’s role in the Soviet Jewry movement and the passage of the historic Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which allowed over a million Russian Jews a to leave the USSR and other Eastern Bloc countries.  We also engaged them in a conversation about leadership, distributing copies of “The Nature of Leadership,” a publication that showcases Jackson’s leadership qualities and brings them into focus for today’s younger generations.

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Lara Iglitzin, Anna Marie Jackson Laurence, and Ilana Cone Kennedy

The Student Leadership Board is a new creation of the Holocaust Center for Humanity.  It is the Fellowship project of Ilana Cone Kennedy, one of this year’s Jackson Leadership Fellows. Ilana is being co-mentored by Anna Marie and me.  Ilana wanted to replicate some of the experiences she is having as a Jackson Leadership Fellow and create a youth board where high school students could work as a team, and as individuals, on leadership as well as issues related to the Holocaust Center, and spread the word to their very diverse schools throughout the region.  Here’s how Ilana described the origins of her project:

“In January 2015, the Holocaust Center expanded to a much larger space.  For the first time we could host meetings and events on site, we could display artifacts, and invite student groups.  We realized that while we had great input from teachers, we lacked the direct input from students. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that this was a huge piece that we were missing  – we were not hearing in any structured way from the very people we wanted most to reach.  The Jackson Leadership Fellowship program served as an excellent model for a meaningful program that could be replicated with students.”

Ilana initially thought she’d create a small group experience – but couldn’t resist the thirty young people who applied to be part of the Student Leadership Board, so she accepted them all!  They range from 13-17 years old, but come together in their caring about the issues that the Holocaust Center focuses on – including learning more about the Holocaust, human rights, and genocide.  The board is meeting monthly, and students will have the opportunity to meet with community leaders, provide feedback to the Center on its programs, and serve as junior ambassadors to their schools and communities.

Student Leadership Board Feb 2016 w Steve Adler cropAnna Marie and I were impressed with the scope of interests of the students – working on projects such as video promotions of the Center; data collection on the Armenian genocide; speaking to their classmates about the Center; and making posters and other graphic materials to illustrate the work of the Center for their peers.

It is exciting to see that the Foundation’s work with the Jackson Leadership Fellows has begun to translate further afield, as Fellows like Ilana take what they’re learning and apply those lessons in the community.  Learn more about the Holocaust Center for Humanities Student Leadership board and about all the wonderful Jackson Fellows.

Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director