ABOUT US

WHY NOW?

We are in a moment where there is growing consciousness that the normalized exclusion and discrimination of racialized groups, women, youth, religious minorities, LGTQAI, differently abled persons must be undone and collaboratively changed. What we are waking up to in our institutions and communities is a microcosm of larger social and political challenges. Globally we know that peace, security and justice is a priority, as so many people live in volatile and inhumane conditions. This awakening within our systems and communities is being shaped by rallying voices of those on the streets, to those in our institutions. We must now shake out of complacency. It is time to look at how we continue to obscure injustice. All the evidence points us to the fact that it is socially, economically, culturally, politically and ethically rewarding and right when we choose equity, justice and inclusion as the foundation of our systems, relationships and cultures. In supporting, recognizing and nurturing the full humanity of each of us, institutions, communities and our society as a whole benefit.

São Paulo, Brazil - May 28, 2016: Protester with a flag in action for the rights of gay women and the end of the coup d'etat in the country

FRAMING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & SOCIAL JUSTICE
Our approach to DEIS is that we distinguish between diversity as a benign concept, meaning simply that we are all different and distinct in some way, to diversity, which speaks to unequal relations that shape our experiences, opportunities and systems. Coming to diversity, equity and inclusion work with this perspective, allows us to truly attend to making sure all voices, people and perspectives are in conversation and shaping our worlds. We are also aware and sensitive to the fact that the meaning given to diversity and difference is context specific and must be engaged in this way.

In the process of actualizing equity to experientially produce inclusion we understand and seek to transform the following:

UNEQUAL POWER RELATIONS

through which particular social minorities have been historically and are currently marginalized, excluded and face systemic, cultural and social barriers to life, work, opportunities and success

UNFAIR TREATMENT

under-representation and misalignment within our institutions, societies and communities

PROCESS IN BROADER SOCIETY

through which particular groups are positioned and differentiated through negative, limiting and unfair constructions of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, citizenship, political affiliation, language, age, and any other new and emerging forms of difference

Equitable and inclusive systems and relationships mean that:

VOICES, PERSPECTIVES, EXPERIENCES

The voices, perspectives, lived experiences, and knowledge of social minorities are part of and reflected in every aspect of working ecosystems, resources, and approaches to institutional, community and social structures, programs, human relationships and systemic dynamics

SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIPS

Systems and relationships produce symbiotic relations between all its community members - nurturing health and wellness, active connectivity, support, critical dialogue and listening, awakened presence, success, inspiration, encouragement, and anti-oppression

SYSTEMS & RELATIONSHIP

Systems and relationships model, enable, support and produce experiences that are just, equitable and inclusive

CONSCIOUSNESS

Systems shape the consciousness, practices, and thinking of all its community members where justice, equity and inclusion are the norm of how we build and contribute to society and the global world

INCLUSIVE & EQUITABLE

Inclusive and equitable experiences are enabled, actively supporting the goals and visions of all people, particularly including social minority individuals and groups

ACCOUNTABLITY CONVERSATIONS

We are accountable to and in conversation with national and international human rights, anti-discrimination and equity laws, regulations and policies