Elevating Equity in New Jersey, our newest program, co-created in partnership with Justin Laing, Hillombo LLC, is evolving into a multi-pronged approach to identifying oppression in our social sector and designing actions that dismantle those systems, build resistance to those oppressive systems, and advance the creation and commitment of equitable organizations and processes.
Our Elevating Equity community includes nearly 100 people from nonprofits, philanthropy, government, and community groups.
Our program partner Justin Laing brings his expertise in designing anti-racist and anti-oppression programs coupled with his deep knowledge of adaptive leadership and multiple frameworks, including Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” which became the foundational framework used for Elevating Equity.
In collaboration with a team of anti-racist experts, facilitators and documenters (see their names below), Justin and our Gathering Ground team engaged our diverse Elevating Equity community in a journey that resulted in:
- A dialogical approach that examines personal stories of oppression;
- The teaching of an anti-oppressive framework that can be replicated and scaled, and one that strengthens our muscle to be able to name the oppressors (our social sector is good at naming the oppressed but loathe to specifically name those who are carrying out the oppressive acts – meaning, ourselves);
- The coalescing of a community of people dedicated to taking action that disrupts oppression in their organizations, communities, or in the social sector at-large;
- A cohort-wide commitment to staying mutually accountable to each other.
Over time, the above offers a transformative experience beginning with learning and moving towards anti-racist and anti-oppression actions and outcomes.
Let us know how you are gathering ground with creating a more just and fair social sector!
Launched in February 2022, 12 hours of workshop training followed by ongoing engagement in the Community of Practice.Feb 25, 2022
In 2023, we are building an online Reflection and Action Center - a public hub for the learning, action and stories about oppression and resistance that are arising from this work.Jan 1, 2023
Elevating Equity is not possible without an abiding practice of collectivity and generous collaboration on behalf of the program’s team, for which Gathering Ground is deeply thankful. We offer our tremendous gratitude to Justin Laing / Hillombo LLC with whom we have engaged to co-create Elevating Equity.
We also give our big thanks to an amazing working group that advised and provided feedback on the development of Elevating Equity:
and an incredible team of racial and social justice facilitators and documenters that continue to engage and support a committed and courageous cohort of anti-oppression project creators.
Dr. Francoise Kazimierczuk
Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds
J. Crystal Adams
Marcelo Vargas Banos
We also gratefully acknowledge the generous leadership support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for making this work possible. We also thank the Community Foundation of New Jersey for supporting the program as a fiscal sponsor in 2021-22.