Hey folks! I’m Liam - part of the team with Kiran and Rich that have been developing RadHR together over the last year or so.
I have done a mix of internal group process work, as well as frontline community organising and campaigning in the UK, Canada and Mexico. These days, besides RadHR, I’m part of a facilitation collective called Resist + Renew, am co-developing a community organising residential training called Embrace the Mess, and do some random freelance bits of facilitation and consultancy with smaller radical/grassroots community and activist groups.
I’ve done work around housing issues, resisting immigration enforcement and indigenous solidarity work.
I’ve been grappling with a dynamic I’ve seen in several grassroots groups in recent years, where a (crudely) generational clash has been playing out between some older activists who have often work relentlessly in their activism and feel obligated to put 100% of themselves into the work, with a newer generation for whom collective care and personal boundaries are far more important. While I am definitely more aligned with the latter approach, I have seen these tensions really take a toll on groups and think they do point to some deep differences of understandings of how change happens.
I’m really interested in exploring ways of bridging these understandings and helping groups hold space for inter-generational activism and organising, without letting the burn-out patterns of some older activists perpetuate themselves in groups.
Hey all, I’m Cait. I work at migrant education charity English for Action (EFA London) and recently have become responsible for HR there. We’ve just transitioned to a decentralised structure. I also work for Buddhafield, which also uses a decentralised structure & advice system for decision making. I previously did HR at the Bristol Cable Co-op where we also worked with a decentralised structure using Sociocracy.
So decentralised structures and consent based decision making are big interests of mine. As are deeper questions about our collective approach and attitudes to power and hierarchy. Lots of orgs are moving towards more ‘teal practices’ and decentralised decision making and it’s like we’re all in this big collective experiment. I love the idea that we can help each other and share learning and start to help each other avoid the pitfalls.
I also work as a conflict mediator and do freelance work with co-ops and other groups on their conflict systems. I’m excited by how we can build group systems, conflict processes and the general skills needed to institutionalise transformative justice and Nonviolence at systemic and cultural levels, not just as a thing we do when conflict blows up. I’m really inspired by Kazu Haga at the moment, as well as the Centre for Efficient Collaboration and the Living Systems work at Navigate.
At the moment I’m grappling in my HR role with how HR law comes into contact (and conflict) with some of the more radical organisational practices that we’re trying to bring in at EFA. And trying to find legal workarounds. Really appreciating the support of the Rad HR network and People Support Co-op in this inquiry & hope to share my musings here too.
JustSpace is a network of community and activist groups in London (UK) collaborating on dealing with the planning system. It is about 14 years old and only minimally constituted - with a constitution, a treasurer and a coordinator. 60 groups took part in generating the Community-led recovery plan afor London during lockdown (free download at JustSpace.org.uk/recovery )
Your philosophy looks very like ours so I’m delighted to find you. I was (and am) seeking help on how to specify and fill a post for a new coordinator we plan to advertise soon. It will be a self-employed part-time position. Does anyone have experience which is relevant?
I’m one of the organising committee responsbile for this and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael
HI all! My name is Sam, I’m the People & Culture Operations Manager at a US-based, radical nonprofit called ReFrame. Are there other US-based people here or is this primarily a UK community?
I’m new to this org and it’s a new position (though I was doing HR operations in the last couple years of my previous role at another progressive nonprofit). I’m glad to have come across this resource and hope to dig in more and learn from everyone!
One immediate question I’d love to throw out there is how folks have done celebration and acknowledgement at their orgs in ways that feel genuinely connective and anti-capitalist. Gifts for things like birthdays or work anniversaries, sabbatical policies, etc. I’m in a position to possibly get to innovate a bit on this in my new role, so i’m excited to see what others have seen or done that they’ve liked.
This site has definitely emerged as UK-based, and thus some parts of it will be more-UK specific (ie - references to UK employment law, etc), but there are at least a couple US and several other internationally-based folks in the mix here too.
As far as celebrations - what a nice question! Keen to hear what folks come up with. One org I was a part of would take the small team out for lunch whenever someone had a birthday. Another thing I’ve seen is very liberally-worded personal/professional development budgets, that people can use on books, or courses, even if not directly related to their work (which obvs takes a lot more budget). Keen to hear what others may have done tho!
Hi! I’m a solo HR Manager in a progressive organization based in the US. Our focus area is economic policy and economic justice. When I say I’m the solo HR Manager, what I really mean is I am an HR Department of one. I’m coming into my organization as the first ever dedicated HR employee (there are only about 30-ish staff) so when I say there are very few policies or processes established, I mean almost nothing - everything has to be built completely from scratch. I’m excited to be a part of this community because I want to build a radical HR practice at our organization and sometimes feel having been in HR in the social organization/ NGO spaces for over a decade that even I’m a bit jaded with creating progressive policies because leadership seems to ALWAYS disagree or says its “overthinking” or “overly complicated” to change things up. Hoping this community will inspire me to not conform and to build a truly great HR practice in my new org.
While the site is mostly UK-based at this stage, we definitely have a few folks from the US in the mix here.
Thirty staff with 1 HR person sounds like a lot! Many of the policies here will be from orgs that are a bit smaller than yours and having any HR capacity is not a given by any stretch here, so I’m sure the ‘starting from scratch’ dynamic will be a very familiar one!
The challenges with management are real! One of the classic ways that management serves to reinforce wider social power dynamics, is to define what is ‘realistic’ or ‘too complicated’ on issues they are often unaffected by in an organisation, in ways which mirror privilege in so many other spaces.
Would be keen to hear if there are other folks here who have thoughts on ways of making the case to managers that don’t ‘get it’ - or subverting them, when convincing seem hopeless!
Hey everyone, having started the thread I’m late to the party!
I heard about RadHR from Liam and Kiran after they’d set it up as a project, following a pub chat between Liam and I some months before. Their initial project design was so exciting I reduced the hours on my job to be able to work on it.
RadHR is now my main focus. I largely work on the website, the policy library and the forum: doing planning, designing, building and testing. The challenges involved are making sure the site is accessible and easy-to-use for as many people as possible, while being private, secure and speedy.
I’m most exciting to hear from you all about what’s most useful, what’s not working, and what ideas you have, I also want your policies to put into the library—give them to me, I mean us!
This is really interesting. I wonder about I’d it would be possible to hold some sort of reflection space, like maybe in a fish bowl format for the differing views to be explicitly expressed? I think that generational divide you’re talking about is so interesting. I also see a lack of intergenerational sharing/eldership happening sometimes, as people burn out or movements move on, so sometimes you see the same topics go around and around rather than building. Do you know what I mean?
I found out bout RadHR through Collaborative Future https://www.collaborativefuture.co.uk/ as I did some inclusive recruitment training with them recently (brilliant, by the way!) and they mentioned RadHR as a forum that may be useful for peer support re inclusive HR.
I’m Lucy, I’m Head of Membership and Operations at Rape Crisis England & Wales, a national feminist org in the UK which is working to end sexual violence against women and girls. We are also the umbrella membership org for a network of 39 local Rape Crisis Centres across England and Wales, do policy, influencing and campaigning work, and operate (in partnership with our members) the 24/7 National Rape and Sexual Abuse SupportLine. Something I’ve wanted to work on for a really long time (but haven’t had capacity for - that’s always a big challenge), and hopefully now going to be able to prioritise is work to review and update all of our HR policies to be more aligned with our organisational culture, values and anti-oppressive practice. We are a small, supportive team and live our values every in terms of how we work, collective care, speaking truth to power and working within feminist leadership but our policies and procedures don’t match up to this at all! I’m really excited to coordinate change around this, but it feels like a daunting job too… and it seems there are no feminist, anti-oppressive HR consultants out there who can help, so I was so excited to come across RadHR!! @liam I also really hear and relate to the dynamic you mentioned in your intro back in Nov - this is something very live and real for the Rape Crisis movement that we navigate every day in our work.
Welcome the the RadHR Community! Great to have you here and thanks so much for your thoughtful posts
Hannah I think holding some sort of reflection space to understand different views around collective care, burnout etc, and trying to find ways to build that intergenerational sharing is a great idea. Wondered if anyone else on here would be interested in that? Could maybe be a thing we could try and organise as an online event…
Lucy - sounds like a huge job trying to sort out policies and procedures at Rape Crisis England and Wales. The fact that you live you values in how you work already though seems like a pretty good starting point! So often in trying to implement radical policies and procedures it’s bringing about those cultural shifts and trying to challenge internalised hierarchies where the real struggles lie - so reckon you’re in a good place if you already have that culture. Trying to navigate prioritising collective care with the pressing-ness of some of the frontline work your org does must be really really hard. Wondered if there’s anyone else negotiating this (and if this should be a separate forum topic in itself
Could be an idea for a future RadHR event, maybe? Not sure there would be as many from the broadly ‘older’ generation that would attend, but if we could find a way to bring groups together, it could be really promising!