Nicola Chin

NicolaNicola Chin

Founder, Up With Community

With over ten years of organizational transformation and social justice education experience, Nicola has honed a robust analysis of staff development, team building, and collective action. She helps organizations improve their teams by leveraging her expertise in organizational development, leadership development and community organizing. As a multiracial woman of color, she brings her experience of cross-cultural work and collaboration to every project. And, she adds a healthy dose of fun and energy into her partnerships through her background in comedy improv.

From 2006 to 2010, she served as an Organizer and Director with the Center for Community Change on campaigns for federal and state immigration reform, spearheading several innovative social media organizing campaigns and traveling extensively to provide technical assistance to diverse organizations. In 2010, she left national politics to focus on grassroots leadership development, running the Maine League of Young Voters. In 2012, she developed her passion for economic development and environmental justice as the Director of Strategy and Development for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2005 after organizing with immigrants through SOS Racisme in Paris, France in 2004. She currently lives in Lewiston, Maine – my heart’s home.

Up With Community:

Our most important projects for change often fail because our teams cannot make the leap from theory (vision, values, knowledge) to practice (behavior change, impact). We dream big, but don’t get to see the promise of our dreams fulfilled. Nicola helps teams overcome these barriers to impact and achieve their long-term goals by:

  • Designing multi-pronged change initiatives – Organizations often silo change efforts into “leadership development” or “diversity projects” or “organizational development”. In order to increase impact an organization must design interventions that leverage activities from multiple disciplines – and are oriented towards long-term change, not just short wins.
  • Operationalizing our vision and values in the fabric of day-to-day work – We must move beyond the intellectual exercises of naming our values (diversity, inclusion, equity and others) to learning new practices that shift behavior and augment impact.
  • Maximizing leadership growth through adult learning best practices – Learning programs that transmit ideas without shaping practices to change behavior are insufficient for improved impact. We need to combine knowledge and praxis for transformational learning.
  • Investing in strengthening strategic thinking and analysis – We spend time writing great plans, but then have not learned how to bring strong strategic thinking into our day-to-day teamwork. We need to learn how to learn together, and leverage that collective learning for better strategic decisions. Additionally, by increasing our literacy in power, oppression, politics, and the economy we are better equipped to make smart collective choices.
  • Providing effective support for transformation throughout an organization – Focusing coaching support on individuals alone keeps us from transforming our teams. Team coaching and engagement for growth can help a whole organization to thrive.

Nicola’s goal is to create lasting partnerships that provide businesses, organizations, and social enterprises with the staff/member development, analytical tools, operational know-how, and systemic supports to turn their visions into meaningful, measurable, and lasting change.

VISIT up with community!

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