Leadership Transition Planning Using A Racial Justice Lens

June 12, 2024  |  1:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Leadership transition is a critically important time in the life of any organization. Leadership transitions create the opportunity for organizations to take stock of where they are and where they want to be in the future, and ultimately, to find the type of leader(s) that will help them get there. In 2022, Building Movement Project reported that while many nonprofit leaders indicated a commitment to “new recruitment and outreach strategies to increase staff diversity,” such a strategy was rarely integrated into actual transition plans. 

Join leadership transition experts Elsa Ríos, Lisa Garrett and Shella Brenner for an overview of the five phases of a healthy and inclusive leadership transition planning process. Participants will learn about trends in the area of executive leadership that are impacting recruitment processes and learn about promising practices for countering racial bias in the recruitment, interviewing and selection processes.  Participants will also learn onboarding strategies that help position new leadership for success.


Elsa A. RĂ­os is the Founder and Principal of Strategies for Social Change (SSC), a woman of color owned consulting and leadership coaching firm dedicated to serving social change organizations and movements. She has more than 25 years of nonprofit experience in the areas of management, grant writing, program design, community organizing and public policy analysis and writing. She has led numerous community organizing and social change initiatives addressing gender violence, HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice and child welfare reform, among others.

During her public service career she held several executive level management positions and engaged in extensive fundraising, program and policy development. Her accomplishments include having served as the Founding Director of the Violence Intervention Program, Director of Education for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and Senior Policy Analyst for the NYC Mayor’s Office.  Elsa has also served as an adjunct professor teaching leadership and management courses at Baruch College in the School of Public Affairs.


Elisabeth Garrett (Lisa) is a leadership consultant and coach with more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and has worked primarily in community based and youth serving organizations.

Lisa is part of the national Somatics and Social Justice Collaborative which explores how combining both somatics and social justice activism leads to transformative change for individuals, organizations and communities.

In addition to running gMoxie and serving as a SSC Senior Associate, she is a faculty member at the Institute for Life Coach Training where she co-designed and instructs the Coaching for Social Action course. Drawing from her experience as an accomplished martial artist and certified fearless YOGA instructor, Lisa works with various practices to bring awareness to how we truly “embody” our commitment to change.


Shella Brenner’s career in nonprofit resource development and management spans 30 years and a range of progressive causes–affordable housing, immigrant rights, educational equity, healthcare access, and juvenile justice reform among them. She has helped grow fundraising and infrastructure at the Lexington Center for the Deaf, Marymount Manhattan College, and the Community Service Society in New York, and the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Legal Services for Children in San Francisco.

Her areas of expertise include foundation and government grants, special events, annual giving and membership programs, and board development, as well as supervising human resources and finance as a senior level manager. Shella holds a Master’s in English literature and history from the City University of New York, Queens College. She is dedicated to animal rights and is a longtime volunteer for Toni’s Kitty Rescue in San Francisco.