"Maggie Potapchuk is one of IMPACT Silver Spring’s best assets. Over the last six years, she has served in numerous roles: program evaluator, volunteer mentor, strategic planner, program developer, executive advisor and facilitator. Time and time again, she brings to each of these roles a unique combination of spirit and dedication, linked to a very clear sense of the big picture goals and how each individual action or program is connected. …
In partnering with Maggie Potapchuk, you will always receive at least 150 to 200% of what you expected. Without a doubt, she is the most conscientious, thoughtful and thorough consultant with whom I have worked, in a long line of consultant relationships. She does not wait for you to think of a better angle or next step or to make a follow up request. She works with you to develop a common vision and set of goals and then moves full steam ahead, always checking in, but never stalling or putting things on hold.
Another key quality of Maggie Potapchuk is her ability to work well with people and teams of extremely diverse backgrounds. In another project, she skillfully brought together a group of white teachers and administrators in the public school system to begin exploring the continued impact of white privilege in efforts to build successful multicultural schools. Given the importance of our relationship with the school system, this step took considerable trust in Maggie and her commitment to the long-term goals of our organization – a level of trust which came very easily. From a bottom line perspective, our working relationship with Maggie Potapchuk has produced the following specific outcomes for our organization:
Frankie Blackburn, Executive Director
IMPACT Silver Spring
Silver Spring, MD
"… [at] my first opportunity to share “space” with her, I found her to be authentic, competent, inviting, with a willingness to hold herself and others accountable, and most importantly a clear understanding of the dynamics of racism and white privilege. When the opportunity presented itself for the Race Relations Center of East Tennessee to engage a technical assistance provider to work with a core leadership team representing board members and staff to provide comprehensive training curriculum framework focused on undoing racism and building an inclusive region. Maggie Potapchuk’s name immediately surfaced due to her extensive background as well as the aforementioned characteristics.
She developed a good rapport with the Center’s board and worked on building their capacity to understand program strategy and anti-racism work. Her facilitation style was challenging and supportive of the group process. She helped us reach consensus and complete our goals for each meeting. Not only did she pay attention to detail, but she had the ability to self-reflect and be open to give feedback and receive feedback while holding up the mirror to us. She, too, was quite supportive of staff as staff faced different issues and challenges associated with the work in general. This enabled the Center to receive a quality program plan for our nine-county region which the board is moving towards implementation."
Saadia L. Williams, Executive Director
Race Relations Center of East Tennessee – Knoxville, TN
“Part of the work we do as an organization is to support community groups, institutions and other local and national entities in carrying out inclusive civic practices with an equity lens. In order to do this work, we made a decision to strengthen our own internal knowledge about equity and specifically racial equity. We sought assistance and training from well established practitioners in the field of racial equity. Maggie Potapchuk, MP Associates rose to the top of the candidates we vetted. It was clear from the top notch quality proposal to the superb references, that Maggie had a deep well of talent, knowledge, and professionalism. Maggie worked with us, along with Gita Gulati-Partee, over a two-year period where we grew substantially in our knowledge, skills and understanding of how doing the internal work on racial equity (examining internal policies, practices and cultural norms) helped the organization to not only skill up its employees, but to be better able to transfer the language, knowledge and understanding to our external partners.
We found Maggie to always be professional in the approach she brought to her work, committed to our advancement, bringing a critical eye when needed, but with compassion, and constantly able to push us a little further. It was indeed a pleasure to engage with Maggie during this period as she constantly sought to make us better.”
Carolyne Miller Abdullah
Director of Community Assistance
"I served as the first Director for Anti-Racism Commitment for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is a 97% white, nearly five million-member, mainline denomination in early stages of developing infrastructure and capacity to support public statements to address structural racism. In 2007, with a limited grant to conduct an environmental scan of synod (regional) anti-racism teams.
Ms. Potapchuk's project management practice of extensive background research, appropriately couching internal leadership and skillfully asking guiding questions engendered the trust and respect of a ten-person advisory committee and stakeholders at various locations within the organization. While not from the faith-based sector, Ms. Potapchuk was nonetheless able to read materials about the church and synthesize the research within our institutional context gaining the confidence of people across diverse backgrounds. Her capacity was so apparent we contracted her to serve as a process facilitator at a subsequent capacity building gathering for synod teams.
Ms. Potapchuk adeptly implemented an effective research strategy of both qualitative and quantitative methods. After analyzing the survey data, Ms. Potapchuk changed course on the interview phase of the research after identifying the gaps in the research and chose eight teams which could provide data, representing the depth and breadth of the different approaches used by the teams. The final Assessment Report of the synod Anti-Racism Teams in the ELCA represents the most extensive research to date on our corporate commitment to address institutional racism, offering clear recommendations for advancing the role of institutional leadership, building the capacity of synod anti-racism teams and providing institutional support"
Director for Anti-Racism Commitment
Office of the Presiding Bishop
"We found both Ms. Potapchuk and the fellow consultant Carolyne Abdullah, whom she recruited to the effort, to be extremely professional and easy to work with. As the primary point of contact, Ms. Potapchuk was particularly good at:
Our organization simply could not have been more pleased with the work MP Associates performed. We found Ms. Potapchuk to be dedicated to her task, sensitive to the community environment in which she worked, and extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter she was retained to address. In the end, the project has been very helpful to our community, and we are greatly appreciative of her help and friendship."
Betsy Covington, Executive Director
The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley
"I have worked with Maggie on several projects over the years. Her vision and passion for social justice led to the development of some of the work of which I am most proud, and which has gotten high marks from the field – including Flipping the Script and www.racialequitytools.org.
She is a superb collaborator – doing whatever it takes to get high quality work out to those who can benefit from it. She can work at the individual and system levels – with a high degree of sensitivity and integrity. With all that, she is also a terrific manager -- she gets work done on time, within budget and at very high levels of quality. I actively look for opportunities to partner with her, because I know that CAPD's work will be better when we do.”
Sally Leiderman, President
Center for Assessment and Policy Development
Maggie and I have been friends and colleagues since 1999, when I hired her at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies to help launch the Network of Alliances Bridging Race and Ethnicity (NABRE), a primarily online network of community-based racial justice/ racial reconciliation activities. She was instrumental in bringing order to a potentially chaotic situation—setting up systems to track our activities, establishing a clear goals and objectives for the Network and measures to ensure accountability, making sure the Network was focused on substance rather than simply form, and building close relationships with outside organizations that helped the Network to flourish during its three years of operation.
In addition, her unique insights and creativity enabled her to thoughtfully examine and share lessons learned from activities of community-based organizations and to do ground-breaking work in exploring ways in which organizations with different approaches to racial justice/racial reconciliation could learn to recognize the value of working cooperatively to strengthen their collective impact. From this work came several important publications that Maggie authored focused on the need to cultivate interdependence among organizations with different approaches to achieving racial justice.
More recently, Maggie and I have worked together as consultants on several projects related to the America Healing initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. We have helped develop a racial equity strategic plan, and we conducted an environmental scan of community-based racial equity/racial healing organizations. We are now working together with several other colleagues on a volunteer basis to build the Within Our Lifetime Network (WOL). WOL, designed to give individuals and community-based racial equity/racial healing organizations the opportunity to share ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and provide support to each other. Maggie has played a vital leadership role in ensuring that the network has been built from the ground up rather than the top down and in developing a governance structure that ensures that we model the kind of society we seek to create.
Maggie is extremely dedicated, highly organized, attentive to detail, and perhaps most importantly, the kind of person with whom one looks forward to working. Any organization that engages Maggie’s services will get a product of which they can be justly proud.
Mike Wenger, Senior Fellow
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Evaluation Comments from Workshops
- "Maggie is very logical, clear, concise, well-organized and task-oriented. I like the way she’s just down to earth."
- "Maggie has wonderful organizational skills and deep commitment to dismantling racism. She was so honest, clear, direct in the white caucus – clear she has facilitation, presentation skills."
- "The facilitation skills of a confident observant person that she is, Maggie you challenge, push appropriately, listen, and continue to move us forward."
- "She has the unusual combination of multiple giftedness in intellect, empathy and superb organizational skills. That, in my experience is a rare and treasured combination. She’s another role model for me."
- "Maggie, to me always appeared to speak from the heart, very genuine. When she’s on task, I felt she gently nudged us to be on task with her."
- "I feel she did a very good job. I really enjoyed the meeting. She let things be spoken in a kind manner so that everyone was able to listen to what each one had to say. Very well done."