Addressing racial wealth gaps

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Kristina Ward headshot.

Kristina Ward: Pursuing Visions for Large-Scale Change

July 15, 2021

Bush Fellows are bold in their belief that our world can be a better place. They pursue visions for large-scale, equitable changes that are critical to make our region work better for everyone. They continually ask “what if” as they imagine what might be possible both for their own impact as leaders and for communities to thrive. Communities need and have big visions, and Bush Fellows are willing to step forward — growing the skills needed to work with others — to turn those visions into reality.

As we review Fellowship applications, we use the Selection Criteria of "Track Record, Potential and Plan". We do not select Fellows based on the issue they are working on, however we do consider the “potential” of both the applicant and their vision. It might seem confusing that this Fellowship focuses on leadership growth, not a particular vision, and yet we talk about that vision as part of the selection process. Let’s break that down by examining the “potential” criteria.

First, we look at the "potential" of an applicant —the story you share of your leadership accomplishments and how it links to your potential to have even greater impact. Fellows demonstrate an understanding of what it will take to make changes happen and therefore how they need to grow in their leadership.

The second part of “potential” is your “capacity to make a far greater impact in your community affecting larger-scale changes than you are making now.” If you accomplish your Fellowship plan, will you have even more ability—through increased connections or skills— to affect larger-scale changes? Fellows seek changes that are relevant to the context of their community and have the potential to benefit people in our region. To do the most possible good with the resources left by Archibald Bush, we discuss questions like these:

  • Will the large-scale vision you propose make a huge difference for the communities of the Bush Foundation region?
  • Will it result in equitable systems change?
  • Is it relevant to the community?
  • Are you clear on how you need to grow as a leader to accomplish this extraordinary vision?
  • How will this region be better for everyone by investing in you?

If the people in our region are better equipped to lead equitable large-scale changes, they can alter systems and structures—and create new ones— to eliminate inequities and work better for every person.  Each Bush Fellow has an extraordinary track record for making impact in their community. During their Fellowship, they pursue a transformative plan to accelerate the trajectory of their leadership to help achieve their large-scale vision. Fellows have shown that in time – whether it’s five, 10, 20 or 40 years – they can bring their big idea into reality.

If thinking about large scale, equitable change and growing your leadership to make it happen excites you, we invite you to consider applying for a Bush Fellowship. The Fellowship application opens on August 10, 2022. You can learn more by watching this video about the Fellowship program or signing up for a live Q&A webinar. After you have learned more and are ready to apply, schedule time to talk with staff one-on-one here. Could this be the year for you to become a Bush Fellow?

-Kristi