Peer-to-peer accountability, equity and inclusion training
Whether business, nonprofit or groups of individuals with common interests, how do you create a safe space to address issues of gender and racial bias? You are likely losing and wasting talent if your organization refuses to acknowledge that racism and sexism are a part of your culture. How could they not be? They are threaded through the fabric of American life. When you decide to deal with these issues, you get a brilliant, impactful, and productive team capable of taking your organization to your industry's leading edge.
I lead companies and communities to impactful accountability, equity and inclusion
I am a trained restorative justice facilitator and educator. I came to the womanalive Violating Intervention and Prevention Program in 2010, as a participant. From 2011 to 2015, I was womanalive’s director and facilitator. During those four years, the San Francisco Adult Probation Department’s (SFAPD) Domestic Violence Unit certified me as a batterer intervention program provider. I also provided violence intervention and prevention training to probation officers at SFAPD. In 2012, I was an advisor to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera's legal team during ethics commission hearings determining if suspended sheriff Ross MIrkarimi should keep his job.
I use a peer facilitation, each-one-teach-one, restorative-justice approach to promote behavior change where systemic gender and racial bias are the norm. I learned these tools working with Hamish Sinclair, founder of manalive. The womanalive program is based on the manalive curriculum.
I have nearly a decade of experience working in human resources, and in a variety of industries including legal, publishing, entertainment, technology, and apparel. In addition to consulting, I create art as an improvisor, musician, and visual artist.
ACCOUNTABILITY: What it is and
why you need it
Being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions, and learning to take opposite action
Many companies say they are dedicated to diversity, yet they seem more interested in changing demographics than letting go of the institutional status quo that supports racism and sexism. Addressing these issues directly means becoming aware of the culturally ingrained inequities that limit a team effectiveness. With my process, teams explore their social ecology, notice the biases they have been trained to ignore and become accountable by learning to take opposite action.
The key to shifting toward an equitable paradigm is in recognizing and using tools we naturally possess. Every single person has access to their own experience. Experience IS. It is immediate, not mediate-able. Accepting and validating another's experience leads to empathy, and empathy to reduced stress and a willingness to take responsibility, to be accountable for harms done. As Google's Project Aristotle confirmed, psychological safety is the most important attribute of successful teams. Psychological, emotional and physical safety are the keys to functional working relationships, communities and businesses.
Accountability Needs Assessment
To get a sense of your business's needs, I offer a succinct survey process. This will provide data about your organization's accountability assets and growth opportunities. From there, I'll join you in identifying pain points, and make recommendations to optimize accountability growth.
Will your next hire put your business at risk? Find out!
In an interview, I ask about people's experiences with work relationships, what they have done when things go wrong, and determine whether their actions will put your company at risk. I also listen for the often-coded language of superiority, a person's belief that the rules don't apply to them. With each assessment, I can predict the risk of hiring, partnering, or investing in an individual. Why do this? Weinstein. Nassar. Spacey. Toback ...
Protecting your business is about reward outweighing risk. Wouldn't you rather know ahead of time if an employee, leader or partner is likely to cost you and your company millions in lawsuits, lost work, lost networks and lost opportunities?
Workshops. Classes. Public speaking.
Listening To Racism: Learning to notice and stop racist thoughts and actions common for white people
Why listen to racism? Well, for starters, our culture and country were founded on racist, oppressive systems. That'll be the white supremacy, that absurd notion that one group of people is better than another. These systems are deeply entrenched in our culture. As white people, we're trained not to notice racism, or when we do, not to speak up or or even acknowledge our part in it.
So what do we do? The first step is awareness: listening to and noticing our own racist thoughts and actions and writing them down; noticing how our mind and body react as we put pen to paper. Awareness of our participation in white supremacy can be scary, and painful, at first. When we bring these thoughts to the light, we can open up and change. Creating community support is a vital practice to maintain our enthusiasm and stamina for the work.
Together we will create an empathetic community of up to 16 people per workshop, in which we'll define, discuss, and share examples of racism we notice.
Keeping handwritten journals of our racist thoughts and actions, we’ll notice our unconscious bias and somatic experiences when confronted with difference. THEN we can learn to take opposite action. In four weekly three-hour sessions, we'll share our journals and support with one another.
One of the most important aspects of stopping racism is learning what to do instead. Each week, we'll practice an equity- and community-building feedback exercise, focused on active consent and creating healthy intimacy. White supremacy and racism are the currency of a violently non-consensual society. Participants have found our feedback exercise to be one of the most challenging and transformative practices of our workshop.
Workshop: Listening to Sexism
Because men and women have different experiences with sexism, this class will be divided by the gender binary. At the initial workshop, participants agree to keep a journal of their sexist thoughts and actions. This practice allows participants to hear their latent sexist thoughts — directed both externally and internally — and learn to take opposite action.
For non-binary gender groups, we explore the prevailing culture's common effects on gender expression.
Applied Improv Workshop: Playing with Status and Learning to Connect
Improv is a fun and effective way to stop thinking and start experiencing — a necessary step to connecting and empathizing with others. Exploring somatic experience can reveal information from your body that your head may be missing. This two-hour workshop is split into two sections. In the first hour, we explore status with fun improv exercises. During the second hour, we practice relating to one another with an equality-focused feedback exercise.
Class: Learning to Equalize
Too often, the need to be understood is conflated with the need to be right. When a person or institution needs to reinforce their rightness—really, their expectation of authority—they often use controlling and coercive tactics that are so common, we accept them as "just the way things are."
In weekly two- to three-hour classes, we'll learn from restorative-justice practices. These have been in use for more than 40 years, helping people who control and coerce themselves and others to notice and stop their destructive behavior. It is also a way to understand and change socially accepted, destructive ways of relating that daily undermine a peaceful and just society.
This practice creates a culture shift away from personal and institutional denial, minimization, blame, and collusion of interpersonal and institutional coercion tactics, to one of personal and institutional accountability. Using an each-one-teach-one process, the group will learn active-listening, empathy-building tools that foster vulnerability and create clear, equitable, and consent-based solutions.
I am an experienced and engaging public speaker with TV, film, and radio experience. I am available for presentations, interviews, panel discussions, etc.
Some of my previous talks:
"The Necessity of Consent at Work"
"The (Not New) Sexual Harassment Crisis"
"Shutting Down of OccupySF: Lessons on Using the Tools of the Establishment to Undermine the Establishment"
"Accountability is the New Diversity"
"How Interpersonal Abuse Causes Global Warming"
"Listening to Racism"