For equity in Organizations
Is your team ready to divest from white supremacy?
In partnerships and organizations, white supremacy culture can play a role in locking each of us into a certain perspective based on our limited perception of what is happening in our part of the larger system. We also live in a culture that breeds fear as a way to keep us divided, so we don’t know how to have difficult conversations anymore, to nurture relationships and connection across differences, or how to work through conflict. Our thinking has become very polarizing and binary – if you’re not with me, you’re against me, and too many of us have lost the ability to see each other in our full humanity.
As an antiracist coach, I can help you shift out of this toxic culture of white supremacy and instead, lean into a regenerative and liberatory culture. I facilitate experiential exercises to help your team name how larger systems of oppression are showing up in whatever agenda your team brings to the table. As a coach, my role is to hold the metaphorical mirror up so that your team can recognize what is happening in all parts of your system. What makes my work different from other team coaches is that I also hold the mirror up to reflect how social identities and dynamics of oppression are showing up by also reflecting the power dynamics present during coaching. By doing so, it gives the opportunity for you and your team to step into your collective liberatory values and make conscious and transparent choices about how to move forward.
Signs you could use an antiracist team coach:
- Everyone’s heart is in the right place, but interpersonal dynamics are getting in the way of the work
- There are “ghosts” of people and/or events in the past that are haunting the present
- You work on a multiracial or monocultural team and have never addressed how race could play a role in the team dynamics.
- You’ve done the DEI trainings, but nothing has changed
- Team members are at odds, and the conflicts are merely symptoms of deeper unnamed tensions that need to be named and worked through
- Morale and trust are low
- Your team is new or going through a major transition (such as new leadership, reorganization, etc.) and would benefit from some intentional time to co-create and design team dynamics together
- You know something is off, but you can’t put your finger on what it is
What is Antiracist Team Coaching?
Imagine your team members standing in a circle, and then imagine the invisible connections among team members. As the coach, I focus on that web of relationships – aka the system – as the client. Since the system is the client, the team collectively sets the agenda for coaching.
As an antiracist coach, I infuse team coaching with an awareness and attention to how the dynamics of oppression shows up in the relationship system. I bring liberatory principles and practices, such as centering those most marginalized in the system, making power visible, and inviting leadership to redistribute their power.
This process is a radical shift away from the traditional, top-down power dynamics. This process requires that we hear the truth in all perspectives in the system, trust the team as experts of the system and to trust the process will allow the team to emerge with solutions to their problems.
Imagine your team has been blindfolded and led to different parts of an elephant. Each person has a different interpretation of the elephant based on their limited experience with the animal – one thinks it’s like a snake, another like a fan, and so on. They might argue with each other, believing that they alone are correct and that the others are lying. Each individual’s experiences and perspectives can be true and at the same time, does not represent the full truth.
As a coach, my role is to help each person step outside their comfort zone and try on the experience of touching a different part of the elephant. Rather than arguing with each other, the goal would be to build empathy and awareness of what other team members are experiencing, to gain a fuller understanding of the whole system/elephant.
Oftentimes team members don’t even realize they are blindfolded, because those blindfolds have been put on them early on in life that it’s just “normal.” Antiracist coaching invites team members to recognize how their senses are limited through systems of oppression, which are keeping them from noticing and taking off the blindfold. As blindfolds come off, I support your team in navigating how they want to be together, support each other, and be with each other when things get hard and the blindfolds unconsciously slip back on.
As a client, you can expect to:
- experience a collaborative process that values all voices at the table and challenges white supremacy culture
- grow your awareness of diverse perspectives held by your team
- be both supported and pushed outside your comfort zone
- find more clarity and build stronger communication with each other
- collectively lean into your antiracist values together
Signs your organization is ready for antiracist team coaching:
- The organization has equity and justice deeply embedded into the mission, vision, and values
- There is a collective desire for change and a willingness to try something new
- Leadership is willing to take responsibility for their decisions and actions
- The team is willing to center those most marginalized by their current system
- Leaders are willing to be transparent about how they will wield and share their decision-making power