Individual coaching provides a path to strengthen one’s sustainability & response-ability while navigating race and power dynamics in the workplace.
The Challenge & Impetus: Social scientists find that social inequality can make us sick. Inequalities embedded in one’s environment can affect one’s physiology as much as germs (Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick, PBS Series). Social epidemiologist, Nancy Krieger, calls it embodied inequality. Michael A. Smith calls it racial battle fatigue. In other words, seemingly abstract concepts like racism, sexism, and other inequalities can become corporeal, or of the body. In addition to psycho-emotional tolls and internalized forms of oppression, social inequalities influence weight, body composition, height, posture, hormone levels, stress load, and mind-body-spirit balance. How does one learn to navigate racial inequality (and its class, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. intersections) in ways that alleviate its danger to our health?
Prevailing Methods: While organizations adopt diversity and inclusion initiatives, systemic inequality persists. Leaders of the nation’s work places often admit they have a long way to go when it comes to improving their racial climates. Meanwhile, many professionals of color navigate their workspaces restrained, tokenized, silenced, marginalized, and enduring racial battle fatigue. Many white professionals navigate their workspaces in varying existential, emotional, and egoistic states as well. In turn, organizations grapple with repressed tensions, challenging organizational cultures, toxic racial climates, high-performance attrition, and low-attractiveness to professionals of color; all of which influence their capacity to deliver on their mission.
Racial+ Equitecture’s Approach: We face an imperative to sustain ourselves & expand our skillset as we work to dismantle systemic inequality. But, similar to other essential-to life-but-seldom-formally-taught life skills (i.e. how to raise a child), we rarely encounter a formal, rigorous program for how to navigate race & power dynamics in our professional lives. For many professionals, the preamble to grappling with inequality frequently stems from 1) familial-communal acumen, 2) ethnic studies/-ism-centered college courses, & 3) individual study/practice/living. Racial+ Equitecture seeks to build upon this knowledge, offering a methodical praxis that uses research and experience to coach professionals to navigate racial events in ways that safeguard mind-body-spirit balance and productivity.
“I have a new way of approaching situations. Things that would have been chaotic to my entire being before, I can now see in a different lens (for the most part, still something I am working on!) whereby I now am understanding those instances as normal and potential sites of growth and transformation for myself and others. Dr. McAfee has opened my eyes to another method of engagement with my work.” - R.E.
“I gained knowledge in understanding and dissecting the roles I/others play in the larger group. I learned how to name that role and ask critical questions to get at the core of my own actions/words.” - Y. M.
“I learned critical knowledge around re-shifting how I think about racial incidents (move away from a paradigm of “racial event as chaos” to “racial events as kinetics).” - T. K.
"Dr. McAfee’s work with our team was really impactful. In just two sessions, I already have tools that I can use to engage with my co-workers, most of whom have a different background, and I feel equipped to have productive conversations with them.” - E. A.
“I acquired foundational skills for building counter-narratives to internalized racism.” - P. L.
Skills/Knowledge Goals: Participants will be able to:
Begin a praxis of liberatory learning practices.
Analyze rhetorical, emotional, & egoistic postures people use to assert power & ways to navigate them.
See the binary code in the matrix!
Experiential Goals: My goal is for you to step beyond what you imagined were your limits. To be brave and do something that you’ve never done before. This goal is supported by a pedagogical approach that lies at the nexus of critical race pedagogy, black feminist thought, adaptive leadership, & experiential learning. This means there will be little lecturing, lots of practice, some productive discomfort, and constructive feedback. You will be guided to drive discussions rather than silently receive. The intention here is to create a holding environment for rehearsing risk-taking while personally developing a liberatory practice before doing it in the real world.