(Organizations & Institutions)
Anti-racist and anti-oppressive systems change within organizations and community spaces require a revisioning and shifting of neo-liberal scripts of conducting racial audits, internal surveys, and recommendation reports that often tell the story or provide the data of oppression and harm that many individuals within organizations have likely been experiencing for a long time.
As values-based consultants, we work to ensure that systems change includes building an ecosystem within an organization that allows for self-sustaining practices and cultural shifts within the fabric. To do this we identify unique and specific solutions with organizations that are unique rather than cookie-cutter approaches.
Principles that inform “the work”:
The methodology and teaching that supports our framework include incorporating principles found in South African philosophy UBUNTU- which offers a paradigm for existing in harmony and peace. Ubuntu is a philosophy that invites us to think about our collectivity in the world. In application to systems change, Ubuntu offers principles that invite decolonial transformative visioning for anti-racist, anti-oppressive, healing-centred engagement that is foundational
Below are some key tenets of UBUNTU as a philosophical practice;
“My Humanity is caught up and inextricably bound up in yours”
UBUNTU is about reaching out
UBUNTU is about creating the conditions to thrive
UBUNTU should not be confused with kindness; it’s about recognizing the inner work of every human being. People are not disposable.
UBUNTU embraces the collective and denotes the importance of community and connection.
UBUNTU calls us to explore our boundaries and need for self-care
UBUNTU invites us to learn from children, as they are the future
UBUNTU reminds us that change is constant
UBUNTU calls for an expansive worldview where multiple truths and perspectives can exist
In conflict, UBUNTU calls us to consider the other side(s), take time to question yourself and determine if you are seeking righteousness.
- Yamikani Msosa, Equity Audit Lead,
Evenings & Weekends Consulting.
In addition to embedding practices of UBUNTU, we embed the following practices:
Our work is participatory in nature, meaning we center the lived experience and knowledge that participants are bringing into the shared learning space, in the belief that solutions are best sourced from the well of wisdom within. We invite participants to actively reflect on and gain new skills, knowledge and attitudes in order to make more empowered choices for themselves and their organizations/communities.
We are grounded in asset-based approaches, meaning it begins from a place of being curious, valuing and honouring the gifts and capacities that participants bring, and then identifying what needs/desires may exist.
We appreciate that the work of social justice and change is inherently relational. It invites us to reflect on and transform our relationships at the personal, interpersonal and systemic levels. We know that practices, policies and structures change as a result of a shift in human behaviours and beliefs. As such, we center people and relationships in the work we do - continuously seeking to nurture values of respect, reciprocity, and inclusion.
Space for Patience, Emergence & Sustainability in the Work
The work of dismantling the white dominant culture and reweaving deep values of racial equity, diversity and inclusion is one that requires time, patience, adaptability and compassion with ourselves and others. The nature of the work will also adapt and shift as more is revealed and understood by engaging in the process. Leaving space for what emerges and how the “plan” might need to adapt and make space for what is most alive and relevant is our approach.
If you are interested in working together, here are some questions to consider:
What are the working conditions of equity deserving groups in your organization? Have you sought feedback in ethical *non-exploitative* ways?
Are key decision makers within the organization, collective or group on board with seeking accompaniment around racial justice and equity from an outside consultant?
What resistance do you anticipate when embarking on this journey?
What are you willing to risk in order to gain sustainable change within your organization/ collective?
Core deliverables of an organizational equity audit can include:
Conducting an internal equity/anti-oppression audit from a trauma-informed lens, using mixed methods (surveys, interviews and focus groups) with the staff, board and other volunteers (if applicable).
Reviewing relevant policies and practices as identified by the Executive Director and Anti-Oppression Committee or relevant organizational leads, if that is available within the organization.
Supporting the development of Recommendations Report based on equity audit findings.
Designing and facilitating capacity building for all staff on issues related to equity, inclusion, oppression and anti-racism.