2022 SIIF Fellow Stories: Oshane Mcrae & Social Contract/CapEQ
By Oshane Mcrae, 2022 SIIF Fellow, MPAff/MBA 2023
This summer, I had the joy of working for two social impact organizations — Social Contract and CapEQ Impact Investment & Advisory Firm. Social Contract is a facilitation and end-to-end problem- solving firm that partners with communities, governments, and philanthropies to better understand knotted social problems and earnestly and sustainably help to transform systems to solve them at their root. CapEQ works closely with mostly companies to help improve their social impact, and in turn maximize their financial performance, as a direct result. Each of these fellowship opportunities would have been sufficiently perspective broadening on their own, but their synergistic impact on my social impact knowledge, my professional approach, and my career vision were profound together.
From the first day as a Learning Lab Fellow, my work at Social Contract was an enriching experience. I was paired with four other inspiring fellows, who were all eager to learn and engage, emotionally adept, and incredibly intelligent — all in unique ways, given our diversity of educational backgrounds and professional experience. Right away, we learned about and dialectically sorted through subject matter such as systems thinking, growth vs fixed mindsets, community economic development, and justice-centered leadership and& values-based capacity building. After deep and formative engagement in the early stages of the fellowship, each of the fellows, including myself, were placed on a specific company project. My project assignment entailed working closely with the Delaware Correctional Recidivism Committee to support their mission to reduce recidivism and comprehensively improve reentry across the state. What started out as a fellowship focused on values and skills building culminated in being given the opportunity to channel those values and& skills to help real practitioners help real people. Awesome.
My work at CapEQ followed closely along a similar trajectory by charging me with the responsibility of keeping my finger on the pulse on all things diversity, equity & inclusion, and social impact, as a Research and Knowledge Intern. I sifted through articles, podcasts, reports, webinars – — all to continually think through one central question — “What’s the deal with social impact? What’s there to know? What’s changing across the space? How can folks get involved?” — etc. It turns out there are a ton of ideas, trends, and systems that are shifting and people and organizations who are growing, shaping, and building the future of social impact. It’s without a doubt that I feel that my experience this summer has helped ground and equip me with the values, skills, and perspective to meaningfully add to that momentum in the near future, suredly with the help of SIIF.