The Moment is Calling Us

Jun 12, 2020

In the support of the #PassTheMic movement, our national communications this week is coming from Dr. Gina Rosen, our Senior Director of Programs.
The Mission Continues has been volunteering with and conducting service projects alongside local nonprofits in communities of color for more than a decade. We are an organization filled with veterans from these communities and find strength in our diversity. We unequivocally believe that Black Lives Matter.

We have regularly evolved our programming approach and in 2019, launched our most ambitious endeavor yet–the Service Leadership Corps. This six-month, intensive program was designed for veterans who desire to become skilled community-based leaders. Our diverse and rigorous curriculum dives into subjects ranging from Asset-Based Community Development and Cultural Competency to Advocacy, Building Community Partnerships, and more. We have intentionally incorporated these subjects into our leadership programs–because they are indelibly tied to our work in under-resourced communities.

Next week, we welcome the first cohort of our virtual Service Leadership Corps program, another evolution, to expand our reach to more communities. For the next three months, over 40 military veterans–more than half of them people of color–will come together remotely to learn new skills and to connect with a network of like-minded servant leaders. They will gain an appreciation for the history, complexity and breadth of systemic challenges from some of the most dynamic and impactful local leaders, partners, and activists across the Mission Continues network.

The hyper-local nature of our work requires that the veterans in our programs “show up” with a readiness to listen to the vision that the community has for their own future. The veterans who come to The Mission Continues seek opportunities to continue their service in communities and they have an obligation to be culturally competent. They have an obligation to be advocates and lend their considerable social capital as veterans to amplify the voices that have, for too long, fallen on deaf ears. We simply won’t be effective or accomplish our mission if they’re not.

The very insidious nature of inequality and systemic racism means it is everywhere. That also provides near endless opportunities to work together to dismantle racist and divisive policies, systems, and practices so that the wealth and prosperity of this nation is shared among all. We know that our veterans want to be a part of something important. We are proud of the beautifully diverse veterans that come to The Mission Continues to serve others and then stay because they find belonging with this family. If you identify as a veteran who is looking for that belonging, please consider joining our movement.

Charlie Mike,

Dr. Gina L. Rosen

Gina is the Senior Director of Programs at The Mission Continues. Gina joined TMC in 2015 from the University of Southern California where she was an adjunct professor. She has decades of experience working in the public and private sector engaging in research and evaluation for program development including the First 5 LA program, the LA County Probation Camps, community health clinics to promote healthy lifestyles and the impact of the Affordable Care Act, as well as various community coalition groups. She has a Masters in Public Policy from American University and a PhD in Social Welfare from University of California Los Angeles.

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