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A Lasting Approach to DEI That Goes Deeper
Than Performative Political Correctness
Prior to coming to us, EngageAR felt compelled to make real and meaningful changes in their approach and policies to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion for their staff, program partners, and members. The problem, however, was that they were struggling to define DEI, and even more uncertain about how to integrate it into their existing programs and offices.
EngageAR was clear that they did not want to incorporate DEI on the surface level to answer the call of political correctness. Instead, they craved a much deeper approach that would support long-term impact.
The challenge of finding and implementing such an approach is what brought them to our team.
EngageAR was most attracted to our holistic approach to DEI. We take an intersectional approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion, meaning don’t focus on one or two aspects of diversity.
Instead, we take time to understand and explore many social identities (race, ethnicity, gender identity, LGBTQ+, age, ability status, social class, religion, culture, and more) and how these impact lived experiences with exclusion, inclusion, and belonging. With an understanding of this on an individual level as well as a part of larger systems and structures, we assist folks in identifying and implementing solutions to facilitate greater equity, inclusion, and belonging for organizations, teams, and individuals.
We started with an assessment to understand where each individual program participant and the larger group as a whole was on their DEI journey, and designed a developmentally appropriate 2-year long program to unpack and explore the nuances of diversity, equity, and ways to facilitate inclusion.
Throughout our journey, we incorporated skill building around engaging in difficult conversations which helped participants to feel comfortable speaking, and feel validated enough in their own experiences to actively listen.
In the end, their team members became emotionally, personally, and professionally closer having gained insights that provided deeper perspective and awareness. Since working with us, EngageAR has added eight new Commission members which increased their People of Color membership and expanded their geographical representation.
Program directors have expressed immense appreciation for the growth they have witnessed in their program development, member recruitment, and support departments.
The training, despite being virtual, has been very personal, has engaged all participants, and has provided a safe space for building awareness and sharing truths.
Creating Space for DEI-Focused Leaders to Grow
When a Vice President (VP) for Talent and Workforce Development reached out to us, the best words to describe how they felt were “frustrated” and “stuck.”
While they had good communication skills that they had developed and practiced throughout their career, they expressed a desire to advance their skills to more effectively navigate difficult conversations and situations. They were in need of clear and brave interpersonal communication, deep listening, and a greater understanding of communication styles that centered diversity, equity, and inclusion.
With our team at CoAct Consulting, they knew they could find that.
The VP was most attracted to our deep understanding of creating safe spaces for adult learners, and the energetic approach we take when working with clients.
With honest enthusiasm, we facilitated uncomfortable conversations while modeling the concepts of situational leadership, cross cultural competency, equity, and inclusion.
We knew that we needed to raise difficult questions around DEI, but were sure to exclude judgment from those conversations and make our participants feel as comfortable as possible.
Following our work with this Vice President, they experienced visible personal and professional growth. They became a better manager, communicator, listener, and overall leader—and began to feel comfortable having difficult conversations.
Looking ahead, they believe they are far less likely to avoid areas of conflict, and instead plan to always seek areas of agreement and understanding.
After more than 10 years of working with Kelly [and the CoAct team] the quality of service has never wavered. Their facilitation skills, knowledge of the topic, adaptability, positive attitude, and approachability are the reasons why we continue to work with them.
Corporation for National & Community Service
Building a relationship around DEI that continues to grow
When we connected to AmeriCorps NCCC over a decade ago, they were looking to train their program participants in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
They knew that our team had the experience and unique training approaches to meet the needs of their participants, and produce tangible, long-lasting results.
Our approach was simple. We used facilitation as a tool for developing and sustaining deep and uncomfortable conversations around topics related to DEI—and adapted our approach to the needs of each particular group.
We ensured that our team was approachable, non-judgemental, and that the conversations were facilitated through a productive lens so that the participants felt comfortable enough to share their truth. Only then could we be sure that real progress was possible.
The relationship between AmeriCorps NCCC and CoAct has lasted for more than 10 years following the positive results they received from our trainings. The content and approaches we used have remained relevant in their program, and the level of professionalism and quality has not wavered.
AmeriCorps NCCC is most grateful to our team for prioritizing the their best interest over what is easy.
Let’s find the change
we can make together
And make a difference as a team
Reach out to CoAct Consulting and find the next steps in your journey.