We assume that you and your staff are exceptional at what you do and so we do not seek to micro-manage your policies and procedures and instead offer content that can be woven into your organization’s current practices thus augmenting and enhancing their efficacy.
Shifting Your Lens
Your organization’s deep diversity, equity and social justice challenges need to be met with a nimble and broad-based approach, and thus in lieu of proffering a context-driven list of “how to’s”, we provide a foundation for shifting your organization’s entire “lens” regarding these issues. We believe this is the most effective approach because a “lens shift” provides you the capacity to address these issues equally well in the broadest range of contexts within your organization.
Systems to Individuals to Systems…
We emphasize constant interplay of systems to individuals by grounding our work in a macro framework of systems, bringing it down to the level of individuals in your organization, and then moving back up to systems levels. This approach allows us to frame our work with your organization in the largest context while also underscoring the incredible power and responsibility of each individual in your organization to create positive change for the entire organization.
There is no place for blame, shame and guilt used as teaching tools regarding social justice, equity and deep diversity issues. Instead, we place a high value on building relationships, curiosity before guilt, and leaning into our edges with courage and hope. Training on these issues is never easy, but we make an effort to make them honest, open, caring and consistently thoughtful and engaging.
Defining Our Terms
While many use “diversity, equity and social justice” interchangeably, we make a distinction because they are different in their application.
Utilizing a Social Justice framework allows us to openly and honestly address the “isms” without creating a dynamic of blame, shame or guilt. A Social Justice approach directs our attention to the larger systemic and institutional aspects of the “isms” and how they “trickle down” to us all at the individual level. This is not to say that we do not address individual actions and accountability, but simply that we place it in the context of larger social dynamics and ask participants to work on both the micro and macro levels when attempting to create change in their organizations.
We utilize an Equity framework because we know that Equity precedes equality in every organizational setting and that the ability to access these opportunities is dependent on the resources one can gather to even get to the door.
And finally, we utilize a Deep Diversity framework because it avoids the traps of the often trivializing approaches to diversity such as “tolerance”, “heroes and holidays,” and “food, festivals, and fun”. We choose to call it Deep Diversity because we use historical frameworks and social identity theory to explore the depth and breadth of diversity in your organization without tokenizing, trivializing, or further marginalizing any members of your organization.