CMM Learning Exchange 2018: Reflection from Tamara Smiley Hamilton

I arrived in Tucson as the sun was setting in colorful splendor  against the backdrop of the majestic mountains. But my welcome and entry into the Learning Exchange was even more beautiful and heartwarming.The weekend game me a platform to share the world that has nurtured me: Watts,  California— the epicenter of how people continue to create a better social world through community resilience.

I explored how community resilience is manifested through the Drew League, a 45 year pro-am basketball program that started locally and has become a global phenomena with participation by the biggest NBA and Hollywood stars.

My goal was to examine how the community used basketball to create a better social world against the backdrop of drugs and violence. The CMM framework provided the lens. The response to “Creating Better Social Worlds: A Case Study of the Drew League of Watts, CA” affirmed my goal to deepen this research as a focal point of my upcoming doctoral program.

I appreciate the kind support of the Learning Exchange. Participants affirmed the need for this research as a solid topic for the CMM model. Communication has been a key factor of the league’s ability to strive among chaos. Communication has saved lives and nurtured hopes and dreams.

I grew exponentially in my understanding of the theory and practice of CMM. I left with a commitment to stay connected and a feeling of support from seasoned practitioners. This experience has deepened my own commitment to creating Better Social Worlds as I continue my practice of healing organizational trauma impacted by race, diversity and inclusion.

Author: Tamara Smiley Hamilton is a global coach, facilitator and professional speaker, currently in the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She has executed several critical leadership roles for the National Education Association: Executive Counsel for Leadership and Career Development, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, and Manager of Training and Organization Development. An expert in helping executives address tough issues related to race and diversity, she taught facilitation skills to sitting judges at the National Judicial College. She began her career in the U. S. Office of Education as an intern and has been invited by the White House to teach “Mastering Public Speaking Skills” to Presidential appointees. The project she focused on at the 2018 CMM Learning Exchange is “The Drew League: Making Better Social Worlds through Community Resilience: A Case Study of the Drew League of Watts, CA”.

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