Our educational and consulting philosophy is rooted in a vision of wellness and an understanding that systemic racism is a barrier to that wellness. This barrier cannot be addressed or eliminated until a critical mass in any given system understands the systemic nature of racism and addresses it as a threat to the health of all members of the system. Any systemic barrier must be addressed within four dimensions:
- internal: within the individual
- interpersonal: within relationships individuals have with each other
- institutional: within the organizations created to structure society
- cultural: within the values, norms, belief systems, behavioral patterns, etc. of groups of people
"Education happens when you learn something you didn’t know you didn’t know." (Danial Bornstein)
You cannot challenge something you don’t know exists. At a basic level, our work involves helping individuals and organizations to create new lenses, moving from an individual understanding of racism, that is, prejudice and discrimination based on “race,” to a systemic understanding. Racism is not simply something that individuals think and do. It occurs when one "race" has the systemic power to maintain supremacy over another "race" through a set of attitudes, behaviors, social structures and ideologies. Moving from an individual lens to a systemic one has profound implications for how we understand ourselves, our relationships our organization’s policies practices and procedures and its culture. We begin to see and understand things we previously didn’t know existed.
"Choice is a function of expanded awareness." (Michael Beckwith)
Seeing the world in a new way is a powerful first step. However, it is only a first step. What happens next is determined by the individual’s and organization’s commitment to a long-term change process.
"Racism is a lot like Kudzu. It needs to be cut back every day." (Alice Walker)