CommunityConnective is a multi-racial, multi-generational consulting firm that works with nonprofit organizations and small businesses to help them become more aligned with racial equity. CommunityConnective was founded by Heidi Massey, who has benefitted on her racial equity journey from the wisdom and patience of countless people of color who are her friends, mentors, teachers, and accountability partners. Although Heidi has experienced inequity in her life as a Jewish woman, as a white person she has not been subjected to racism or racist systems of inequity. Therefore, her racial equity work with clients always includes partnerships with people of color who, in addition to bringing their brilliance and wisdom as facilitators, analysts, and planners, are able to do this work through the lens of lived experience with racism. These partnerships have been built on a base of deeply meaningful relationships that are guided by anti-racist principles and a commitment to always center our needs and the needs of our clients as humans in our interactions with each other.
Frequently, people call this work “diversity” work or “equity, diversity, and inclusion” work. We do this work through a racial equity/racial justice lens and lead specifically with race as opposed to other types of equity in our consulting work. We do this because race is more complicated than other forms of oppression and, as humans, our tendency is to start with what is easiest. This means that if all forms of oppression are being considered, race gets left behind. By leading with racial equity, we signal that people of color, the issues they face, and the perspectives they bring are important. Additionally, because of the ways that structural racism undergirds all oppression in the US, starting with race allows us to tackle multiple layers of oppression. However, although we lead with racial equity, our work is always done through an intersectional lens.
We pride ourselves on our willingness to continuously adapt to the needs of your organization throughout our engagement with you, but there are some consistent guidelines we use:
- Working on racial equity is a life-long endeavor, not a check box that can be completed.
- We believe it is important to accept people where they are on their journey toward racial equity and to also push them to the outer boundary of where they are able to go through our work together.
- Those with power and privilege in any given situation are in a position to embrace discomfort as an opportunity to learn. A willingness to be vulnerable and courageous through this discomfort is the only way progress can be made.
- Relationships and community are the building blocks for everything we do. This means that we are committed to doing this work with integrity, which includes being honest even when it is hard, while centering all interactions in kindness and care.
- We view our work as a team effort and your knowledge is considered valuable and important in both the planning and implementation process.
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