In a Multi-Cultural, Anti-Oppressive Organization, you’ll experience increased business performance, a culture of belonging and a strengthened community.
Changing the way your culture operates begins with looking at the way you think and make decisions. It requires adopting a shift from “what we think we already know,” to thinking guided by inquiry, curiosity and humility. When we trade our ingrained stories, assumptions and opinions for a more objective, open mind, we’ll more easily recognize and confront our beliefs around individual and organizational privilege, bias, and our own racial identity.
As we gain the knowledge, tools and strategies required to discover Individual, Institutional and Structural racism in all its forms, we can then seek out and replace inequitable policies and practices within our organization.
This process is an ongoing commitment to changing the way we behave and interact with our people and our customers. It’s about creating a culture where everyone contributes because they know they belong. And it begins and is driven by individual leaders. Being successful in this work requires leaders to show up every day as role models and advocates for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.
The process combines a series of interactive workshops and individual and team coaching sessions aimed at securing measurable, sustainable outcomes tied to a continuous accountability system. Workshop content includes:
Developing equitable Ground Rules that encourage brave dialogue and blank slate thinking
Define and Validate What Brought Us Here… and where we are now (Historical context and common language)
Establishing a Positive White Identity and Allyship - To understand how ending racism serves all of us
Initiating an Institutional Racism Assessment to examine and assess equity, impartiality, and fairness in all company policies, processes and services
Develop ongoing Personal and Organizational Action Plans
Each module in the series is modified according to where you and your organization fit on our Multi-Cultural, Anti-Oppressive, Continuum, which assists us in measuring and determining the length and depth of every engagement.
To do this work, I am grateful to have a team of facilitators, certified coaches, consultants and assessors bring extensive leadership and organizational development/change experience in diverse private, public and non-profit organizations… with a foundational passion for Racial Justice.
White Identity Development Model:
—White People, Stage 1, Contact:
See racial differences but not salient - may feel racism propagated by just discussion and acknowledging it as an issue
No conscious demonstration of racism at this stage
Seems non-racist on surface (to possibly cover racist beliefs)
If they experience real-world experience or knowledge that validates their privilege, they may move to next stage, Disintegraion
White People, Stage 2, Disintegration:
Due to new experiences and information confronting Privilege prior conceptions, guilt and shame manifest
The emotions can be modified if they are channeled positively
If they continue to dominate, the person may move into Reintegration (stage)
White People, Stage 3, Reintegration:
Blame the victim attitude prevails - more so than in initial Contact stage
They feel they are privileged, but its probably because they deserve them because they are in some ways superior to POC
If the person can combat these feelings, they may move to the Pseudo-Independence stage
White People, Stage 4, Pseudo-Independence:
—First stage of positive racial identification
They do not feel that they (whites) deserve privilege, but they look to POC, not themselves to confront and uncover racism
Their approval of this realization at this stage comforts them - it validates their desire to be non-racist
Although this is positive White Racial Identity, the person doesn’t have a sense of how to be White and non-racist together
White People, Stage 5, Immersion/Emersion:
The person genuinely attempts to connect to his/her own White identity and to be anti-racist
Usually accompanied by a deep concern with understanding and connecting to other Whites who are or have been dealing with issues of racism
White People, Stage 6, Autonomy:
Achieved when an individual has a clear understanding of and positive connection to their White racial identity while also actively pursuing social justice.
NOTE: Helms’ stages are as much about finding a positive racial identification with being White and becoming an active anti-racist.
Having a Positive White Identity leads to the acceptance that White People must take responsibility for ending racism. To assume their responsibility, White People must become aware of how racism hurts White People and how ending it serves the interests of all People. And this awareness must be accompanied by the enhanced ability to recognize the many faces of racism along with the discovery of options to replace it.
White People seem to be the only racial group that spends more time and effort wondering about the implications of race for other groups than it does for itself. They find it hard to accept that they have a race and therefore are threatened by groups who have no such difficulties.
White individuals need to develop a sense of themselves as racial beings, acknowledge the realities of structural racism and White Privilege, and come to accept race as a healthy aspect of themselves and others.
Take a look at Janet E. Helms’ White Identity Development Model below. Where do you belong and where would you like to be?
We all choose to do this kind of work for our own reasons.
I’ve worked with a lot of folks in a variety of organizations, and all of those individuals and cultures would benefit from learning to work and live more effectively together. I see struggles that don’t need to exist - struggles that diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures do not suffer.
Leaders share their fears and doubts with me - their uncertainty around what they should or shouldn’t do. They have good intentions, yet feel at a loss over what to do and where to start. So we talk. We share why we want to do this work. And if they can’t quite verbalize why, I tell them it’s okay… that’s part of why we’re here.
Then I share with them that I do this work for three main reasons: I want to bring people together, I live with the shame of knowing I grew up in and still live a life of privilege while others suffer, and I know that it’s the responsibility of white people to dismantle racism.
I know that my most valuable tool is my desire to listen and learn from my clients, and my passion for Social Justice. These times find us more divided than ever - so we must operate from the perspective that we’re more alike than different - which requires letting go of opinions and assumptions about ourselves and others so that we can all adopt the shared purpose of mutual respect and appreciation for differences - the first step to living more fulfilled, together.
Experience has taught me that the most successful and satisfying personal relationships happen when both parties are invested in supporting each other on their own growth journeys… that our differences are opportunities to be cherished and respected. And I’m on a mission to scale this belief system with every individual and organization I work with.
I adhere to the proven knowledge that leadership effectiveness results in improved overall performance - and that the most effective leaders are those working to further develop themselves so that they may assist in the development of others.
The most effective leaders aim to constantly develop themselves and their staff to think in more complex, systemic, strategic, and interdependent ways - to think more objectively and hold multiple perspectives at the same time, without judgment, while still holding on to their own.
A workshop and coaching series for Business Leaders
Please contact me to schedule a thirty-minute consult to learn more.