Two years ago, a client asked me if I could help her organization diversify their cadre of coaches for executives. I said yes, but then sat in stillness. I knew exactly one Black coach. And I knew exactly zero indigenous coaches or coaches of color.
This was a turning point for The Collective Academy.
I reached out to a couple of Black friends. “Do you know anyone?” The names began to bubble up. Conversations happened; relationships began to form, slowly. I was able to get back to our client with referrals, but more importantly, our organization embarked on the process of expanding our network with race in mind while considering our role in moving the conversation about race forward.
You see, there’s acting and then there’s re-acting.
A lot of us are reacting right now – truth be told, it’s why you’re receiving this email. The senseless killing of George Floyd (and too many others) and the subsequent demonstrations in support of Black lives, have forced many of us to have conversations that may feel uncomfortable – and therefore necessary.
But talking and reacting only get us so far. There’s also action. So, here is some of what you’ll see from The Collective Academy:
- We will have conversations centered on race with our clients – again and again and again.
- We will include and incorporate race into our leadership programming.
- We will continue to hire and partner with Black professionals and organizations.
- We will donate 10% of our coaching revenue every month to the Girls Like Me Project.
“Girls Like Me Project believes that although African-American girls are disproportionately targeted by devaluing stereotypes and media messages of misogyny, self-hate, and destructive behavior that adversely normalizes circumstances of poverty and violence; a strong sense of self-efficacy and awareness can transform them into change agents for social good.”
If you are white and identify as a “newcomer” to the conversation on racism, we are here to take the first steps with you. You can sign up for my Justice Marathon Mailing List and join me in taking action every week to support Black businesses, educate myself and move to make tangible progress.
I encourage you to ask me about any of these before you work with us, while you’re working with us, or simply as we walk together in the leadership and team building space. Action and accountability go hand-in-hand. And accountability is vital to the endurance required of leaders in this Justice Marathon.
As a female-owned business, I’ve leaned heavily on authenticity, transparency and nurturing relationships as the north star of what we do. When my best friend Todd founded this company, he did too. Those values aren’t going anywhere. We will never go below that baseline.
But we must continue to rise and push and do more. Publicly and unapologetically. Black lives matter.
Excited to walk with you and build experiences that move people to action in every part of our lives.