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Field Notes

June 2022 Newsletter

Erin Rodriguez
June 9, 2022

I’ve recently begun exploring the writing of Ursula K. LeGuin and came across a quote from her book The Lathe of Heaven that is a grounding anchor for me right now: “The end justifies the means. But what if there never is an end? All we have is means.” This is resonant as I focus on my own growth and wellness, as I parent in these really intense times, and as I lead Root Cause. Here’s why it’s on my mind today:

This month’s newsletter includes a summary of Root Cause’s new Strategic Plan. In this moment, we have a joyous sense of being at the “end” of our planning. Of course, as we know from combined decades of helping clients with their own strategic planning, we are not at the “end” of anything. Our task now is to begin again. We have to take action in order to live into the plan itself and I’m thrilled to say that we have built a plan of clearly defined “means” that are a roadmap for that action. 

It took us a while, in part because of our commitment to offer every staff member of Root Cause the opportunity to participate in planning and our commitment to giving every staff member a chance to read, reflect, and share feedback about the whole plan. Small groups got together to clearly define our services and to think creatively about how those services work best as a web of intersecting and related offerings. Every staff member contributed to defining our commitment to racial and economic equity and social justice in our work with clients and as a result, we’ve defined that more clearly for Root Cause than ever before. We also made a commitment to clearly articulate not just what we do with our clients but how we do it with each other. We carefully envisioned what values will be operationalized to ensure that we engage with a clarity of purpose, that we deliver high quality products, that we center the experience of people working with mutuality, and that our process leads to a sustainable and healthy organization.  

For more insights behind the scenes of our planning, and to get to know more members of the Root Cause team, listen to our Podcast episode with Abby Alexanian and Abby Fung.

Included in this Newsletter:

  • PANEL DISCUSSION: Rural Philanthropy and Community Engagement
  • PUBLICATION: Root Cause’s 2022 Strategic Plan

  • JOB POSTING: Root Cause Manager

  • NEW TEAM MEMBER: Lucas Orwig


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