Leadership Fellows Spotlight: Magnolia Landa-Posas

“The Leadership Fellows program drove home for me how hard it is to have conversations around inclusion,” says Magnolia Landa-Posas, a member of the 2019 class of Leadership Fellows Boulder County, a joint leadership development and networking program of your Community Foundation and the Boulder Chamber. “It’s a skill that a lot of people don’t have, or it’s something they shy away from in work settings. I really appreciate how Leadership Fellows pushes us to consider issues around inclusion, diversity, and equity when we talk about leadership in Boulder County.”

Continues Magnolia, Community Engagement Manager for the Just Transition Collaborative (JTC) at CU Boulder, “The process of being there for those conversations, despite how hard they can be, is incredibly important.
“Recognizing that not everyone is going to be on the same page – but really listening to one another, anyway – requires compassion. Leadership Fellows paves the way for honest conversations through compassion and understanding.
“Leadership Fellows taught me how to communicate more clearly and compassionately with someone I may not be aligned with, in terms of our points of view. Whereas before, I may have come out too strongly right at the start with my own ideals and ideologies.”
Avid about environmental and social justice, intersectional and interdisciplinary education, and the critical engagement of underrepresented youth and historically marginalized communities, Magnolia helps identify, address, and communicate issues of injustice and inequity in policies that disproportionately impact those communities. 
Specifically, the JTC engages in community partnerships, projects, and research that advance environmental justice in a sustainable economy. “We support more just energy, climate, environmental, and labor practices and policies,” explains Magnolia. “Again and again, I’m reminded that – while people have the best intentions – the way they approach their work is often very compartmentalized. 
“Consistent with Leadership Fellows programming, JTC seeks inclusion of underrepresented peoples and values. We don’t have to agree on everything, but if everyone is heard, hopefully we might come out somewhere in the middle.”
Magnolia points out the JTC’s Climate Justice Leaders Program as one way to develop the leadership capability of impacted community members, to better contribute to more inclusive climate policy and projects. “Equity means looking at the different communities you’re working with and realizing where the gaps are, and recognizing the barriers to being involved in solutions to community concerns.”
Join the JTC on May 7 at 6 p.m. at the Boulder City Council Chambers to hear from the first cohort of Climate Justic Leaders. They’ll share their recommendations on inclusive participation, policies, and projects relevant to local sustainability and equity efforts. 
Concludes Magnolia, “The work I do really looks at policies, participation, and programming at the city and county levels. And when we look at what’s happening across those three areas, we can evaluate where we need to improve and build awareness in our sustainability efforts, which also means having folks at the table who are impacted by the policies and programs we create. 
“Otherwise, change can’t happen.”