Mission, History, and Values

Leading from the Heart’s mission is to expand the strength, heart, and imagination of the social change movement and its leaders in the Western Washington region. We help connect the outer work of social action and collaboration with the inner work of reflection, renewal, and awareness, to better sustain our leadership and improve the likelihood of positive, permanent social change in our communities. Our model is based on researching national programs, conversations with local program providers and interviews conducted in 2012 with nearly three dozen local social justice leaders. The interviews mirrored national findings. Social justice leaders:

  • Long for more connection
  • Have pride in their program accomplishments
  • Experience fatigue from funding challenges and the continual sense of urgency
  • Have a strong sense of vocation and purpose in their work
  • Have a desire for ways to sustain themselves, their teams and their organizations.

The main themes that emerged from this assessment were:

  • Relationships, connection and trust are necessary on every level.
  • A strong desire for self-care conflicts with time pressures.
  • Scarcity is an obstacle, whether practical (lack of funding) or cognitive (as a “scarcity mentality”).
  • Collaboration is very important and also challenging because of resource and turf issues.

From this research, our program and our values emerged:

  • Courageous and Innovative Impact. We operate from a place of strength, heart, and possibility as we pursue excellence in leadership. We hold high standards for our work while balancing that with sustainable work practices.
  • Inclusivity. We make space at the table and engage people across all differences in the spirit of being better together.
  • Solidarity and Connection. We believe that we are interconnected and interdependent, and we value coming together to spark mutual success and to create something that is greater than our individual selves or organizations.
  • Integrity and Practice. We operate from our authentic true selves and live out what we say we believe; simply put, this means that what we say, mean, intend, and do is in alignment.
  • Joy! We strive to operate from a place of internal liberation, joy, balance and harmony. We seek ways for renewal so that we can sustain our spirits over the long haul. We appreciate what is good and focus on positivity and possibility.