Hello everyone and welcome back to the Lead with Heart Podcast. Today, I am so honored to have Nisha Anand, CEO of dream.org with me. Nisha is an Indian American activist and is known as a leader in cultivating unlikely and unconventional partnerships to create change.
We talk about the beauty of disagreement, finding common ground to create change, and the leadership lessons Nisha has learned along her journey from a grassroots activist to the leader of an organization that creates system-level change.
In this episode:
- [01:50] Nisha’s background: Identity, activism, and personal growth
- [11:10] Navigating disagreements in a polarized society
- [17:30] Using common ground to make unlikely allies and create change
- [23:16] How nonprofits can step up and start to advocate for more systems-level change
- [29:46] Navigating the darkness and finding optimism in difficult times
- [35:20] Leadership lessons Nisha has learned along her journey
“Because I never fit in anywhere I actually found a way into fitting in everywhere. And understanding there’s a little piece of me that does relate to all different parts and different people.”
“Disagreement is important. It’s beautiful. We’re very different people, all of us. There are multitudes of us around. It’s okay to disagree.”
“What I find moves our legislators the most is stories from people who are directly impacted, and that’s something almost every nonprofit has.”
“There’s something in your story that’s going to connect with someone else out there. I definitely didn’t think I had a story to tell until I became CEO and realized I had to start talking about my life. And when I first started talking about it, it was remarkable.”
“I’m an optimist because I believe in my ability to do the work and my team’s ability to do the work. Just keep doing it. We are the ones that make change. I’ve just seen too much of life now to see it any other way. I’ve worked hard and watched change happen. And so I’m an optimist because I believe in us and our abilities to create that future.
See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur
CONNECT WITH NISHA
Nisha is an Indian American activist, mom of two teenagers, and a boundary-busting national leader for social and racial justice. Once a grassroots activist arrested in Burma for pro-democracy demonstrations, Nisha is known today as a leader in cultivating unlikely and unconventional partnerships to create change. As dream.org CEO, Nisha guides a team of storytellers, organizers, and policy experts working on some of society’s toughest problems to create a better future for all.
LinkedIn: Nisha Anand
CONNECT WITH HALEY
Haley is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Certified Stress Management Coach, and Certified EmC train the trainer. She is the Founder of The Savvy Fundraiser, a nonprofit consulting and coaching business. She has worked in both small and large nonprofit teams in the human services, homelessness, and youth sectors; and she specializes in the EmC process, nonprofit leadership, board development, and fundraising. Haley is a passionate, impact-driven, experienced nonprofit professional whose mission is to empower, elevate and engage nonprofit leaders to build healthy, thriving organizations.
LinkedIn: Haley Cooper, CFRE