Reflecting on Recent Engagements
This spring we connected with a range of clients to bring our transformational healing approach to both first-time and return participants, including the first deliveries of our redesigned Giving and Receiving Just Apologies workshop.
“Thank you so much for the workshop. It was incredibly powerful to see everyone’s vulnerability, as well as being able to experience my own.”Centering Relationships for Systems Change Pre-Conference Institute participant
Our spring deliveries included:
Like most of our ongoing client partnerships, our continued work with Prosper Portland started with an individual relationship, this one with Kate Deane, former (now retired) Neighborhood Economic Development Manager at this City of Portland agency for economic and urban development. We are honored to continue supporting their work reimagining equitable development in Portland, this time partnering with Mayra Arreola, former Director of Equity, Governance, and Communications, and then Sean Murray, current Director of Human Resources. In April, we delivered our Giving and Receiving Just Apologies workshop, where one participant remarked “Your team is achieving something the world rarely sees. The competence is astounding.”
In May, we delivered our Centering Relationships for Systems Change workshop for Prosper Portland’s Inclusive Business Resource Network (IBRN), a citywide program bringing together BIPOC, female, immigrant, and other underrepresented business owners. One participant remarked on our core theory of healing, saying “I appreciate how consistently we were reminded that we are all experts on/capable of solving our own problems, and that practicing listening and allowing others to process their feelings creates room for new insights.” Multiple others remarked on how we design our online offerings, with one adding, “I have so much respect for the effort that was put into the virtual delivery of this … workshop … It felt seamless.”
You can read more about our partnership with Prosper Portland on our blog.
Marion Polk Food Share
To close out our year-long partnership with Marion Polk Food Share, a non-profit organization in Salem, OR, that is committed to bringing people together to end hunger and its root causes, we delivered an Ending Racism Together workshop followed by a capstone meeting to debrief the learnings from our partnership and their ideas for integrating these learnings into their organizational culture and policy. We have loved supporting their healing and equity work as a team and as individuals over this past year. One participant noted how our approach differs from many others: “This workshop was more experiential than any other diversity training or education I’ve been a part of. … You didn’t have us just think ourselves into a better understanding, we really felt it.”
You can read more about our year-long partnership with Marion Polk Food Share on our blog.
Thanks to the enthusiastic responses from participants after our impactful three-hour concurrent session at the 2019 conference, we were invited to present at the 2021 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). During this year’s virtual conference we presented a sold-out Centering Relationships for Systems Change Pre-Conference Institute to 56 people and a concurrent session for 160 participants called Adultism: The Training Ground for All Other Oppression.
One participant noted how our healing framework will help them respond more effectively to injustice, saying “By letting go of [the guilt of not doing enough no matter how I’m doing], I can be more forgiving of myself, which allows me to be more forgiving of others who hold values and views diametrically opposed to my own. This isn’t to say that I’ll let things slide, but I hope it will help make me less angry and rigid about oppression when I witness it, so I can be a more effective communicator.”
We look forward to continued participation in NCORE’s conferences, engaging with the higher education community around the country to address racism.
North Carolina Association of Educators
This month we continued our partnership with the North Carolina Association of Educators, supporting the equity work of educators in North Carolina. Spurred by the initial leadership of LaAlice Hopkins, NCAE’s former Instructional Advocacy and Policy Specialist, and continued through Amanda Garrison, current UniServ Director, a group of educators watched our Centering Relationships for Systems Change webinar to set the groundwork for the Getting Listened To session we led in March and the Stopping the Cycle of Oppression workshop that we delivered for the group in June. One participant noted the care we take to place our participants at the center of our sessions, remarking, “I really appreciate all everyone did to make it a safe place to have hard conversations and get connected to our humanity with each other.”
You can read more about our partnership with NCAE in the new partner profile on our blog.