Because the work (in justice, equity, diversity, belonging, emotional resilience, restorative practices and conflict transformation) can look very different depending on the beliefs and philosophical orientation of those doing the work, we would like to provide you with our philosophy, how we work (because the process and the relationships are just as important as the outcomes), and what you can expect when you engage with us.
Committed Effort Across Dimensions of Power: We believe the work of developing Power-and-Equity Consciousness and Restorative Integration requires committed, life-long engagement and learning. And it must be done in relationship. In order to address systems of oppression that have been in place for hundreds, even thousands of years, we believe it takes intrapersonal, interpersonal and collective work to start to undo those systems that show up in our minds, hearts, relationships, communities, and organizations.
Studies show that just doing training on unconscious bias either doesn’t make a difference, or it can actually inhibit development of equity and even increase bas. On the other hand, focusing just on institutional and systemic abuses of power, also doesn’t get us to evolve beyond our violent history. We believe it requires committed effort across ALL dimensions of power (you’ll learn about each of those dimensions in detail in our courses) in order to transform oppressive cultures.
Nondualism and Interdependence: We recognize that building Power-and-Equity Consciousness cannot be done with the linear, dualistic paradigm that got us here. Using dualism leads us to an “us” versus “them” mentality which only serves to further separate us and create additional harm. Instead we approach this work from the nondualistic paradigm of interdependence and mutual causality.
Basic Goodness: We believe in the concept of basic goodness which means that everyone is basically good, no matter what. If someone messes up, harms others, or becomes violent, we do not dispose of that person nor label them as “bad.” We work with each individual with both support and accountability to reach learning and connection. Along with this, we believe shame and shaming, especially in this work, is never helpful.
Conflict is Necessary and (can be) Generative: In a conflict avoidant culture, it can be difficult to turn towards conflict instead of away from it. However, we believe that conflict avoidance only makes things worse. When we have the appropriate support and skills, conflict can actually be generative and deepen relationships across difference. We help you to do that.
Courage, Empathy, Humility and Self-Care: These are the necessary ingredients for making this work sustainable. There will be times you will be too scared, too arrogant or too depleted to engage with this work. This is to be expected. So, we help you to cultivate the qualities of courage, empathy, humility and self-care so that you can do the work you committed to do.
Lineage of Influence
We feel it is important to name the wisdom and brilliance that came before us, whose work has been critical to the development of the Restorative Integration curriculum. Understanding our Lineage of Influence will also help you to understand where we come from, our curricular ancestry. This is our Lineage of Influence: