Why Single Story?
With our help, your organization can join the ranks of the most progressive and inclusive institutions in your city and region.
Our workshops are designed to help you develop meaningful diversity initiatives and strategic plans that will transform your organization. We create space for your community to feel authentic and supported. Our engaging anti-racist programming will empower your leadership to develop a culturally competent community, which will also increase your organizations’ marketability with diverse, and high-regarded talent. In turn – you will be able to attract a clientele that has a strong interest and appreciation for diverse and inclusive organizations. We do this by becoming a valued partner of the organizations we serve, building long-term relationships that allow us to permeate our training throughout leadership teams and beyond.
We will help you forge relationships across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic barriers – charged with the common goal of social justice and equity among all constituents.
5 Stages of Development
Regardless of an organization’s experience in this work, the Foundation Building stage of our approach is critical in developing a sustainable equity program. In this stage, we work to:
- Develop a common language of diversity, equity, and inclusion among all constituencies of an organization
- Foster strong community connections using a platform of storytelling
- Establish a foundational SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program that strengthens relational trust, interdependence, and collectiveness between stakeholders
- Formulate or refocus a sustainable equity task force and diversity committee
- Deliver DEI content to meet the needs of all stakeholders, including beginners and well-experienced practitioners
Assessing The Community
Oftentimes, equity audits and those alike are offered to communities in the initial stages of their engagement in DEI work; however, at Single Story, Inc., we have found that this approach can sometimes offer variable responses due to a number of factors. Constituents’ understanding of important vocabulary is critical. Are folks talking about the same things at the same level? Additionally, organizations are sometimes not ready to engage with the results of the assessment which leads to mistrust from stakeholders. To this end, in this stage, we work to:
- Continue the work established in the Foundation Building stage – ie. all-staff professional development; SEED; committee and task force work, book clubs, etc.
- Survey stakeholders on their experience with the organization, both strengths and challenges
- Offer focus group conversations to collect context behind experiences of stakeholders in the community
- Establish a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan based on recommendations from the assessment
- Develop subcommittees to take on specific imperatives from the assessment and give teams the skills to do so within an identified timeframe
- Create task force
Finding Our Narrative
In this stage, an organization will commit to cultivating a shared theory of action among constituencies. We work to:
- Strengthen all constituencies’ lenses for noticing opportunities for equity within their work and the work of the organization
- Elevate the strategic work of the organization using a top-down model; focusing on developing boards and senior administrators’ capacity to move the organization forward in one voice
- Train staff and administration in basic to intermediate principles of diversity, guided by a diversity mission/vision statement
Building Cultural Compentency
This stage offers a deep dive into the work of understanding the impact of equity and exploring non-traditional ways to foster inclusive practices. We work to:
- Identify and begin to support and train a designated practitioner as part of senior administration, whose job is to oversee the organization’s efforts with sufficient resources
- Establish leadership in diversity at the senior level, including supporting board-level DEI committees
- Support organizations in the development of new practices that can shift hiring practices in more inclusive and equitable ways
Sustaining An Inclusive Environment
This stage offers sustainable models for inclusive and equitable practices. We work to:
- Develop policies and/or practices that reflect a comprehensive and systemic understanding of diversity that can grow and change over time in response to shifting paradigms
Establish mechanisms that foster constant evolution through systems of checks and balances
- Utilize assessment tools regularly and build strategic plans to support long-term diversity work
- Engage all constituencies in feedback
Identify and support trained DEI and/or equity teams within the organization to give vision to and guide equity work forward in a sustainable manner
Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity (SEED 101)
Diversity Advocacy Team (DAT) formation and support
Diversity Committee Formation and Support
Assessment of Multiculturalism, Inclusion, and Diversity (AMID) Survey
Racial Affinity Group Formation and Support
DEI Book Club & Study
Reimaging Hiring & Retention Tool Kit
Professional Development/Learning Seminars
Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity (SEED 101)
The SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) Project is a multifaceted diversity training program that helps participants reflect on their own and others’ experiences while also exploring current theories on topics such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, privilege, systems of oppression, etc. These 2.5 hour long monthly seminars are designed to help participants create, develop and implement strategies that foster respect for all people. SEED 101 strengthens relational trust, interdependence, and collectiveness between stakeholders of the organization.
Professional Development/Learning Seminars
- Managing Implicit Bias – creating a new lens to impact decision making and strategic planning. This workshop unpacks the research that suggests that we all make initial judgments about each other within fractions of seconds of meeting someone new (or in reading ethnic names), which typically affects how we see that individual. We will review case studies and learn about anecdotal responses from people of color within the educational and organizational systems in various positions (students, faculty, and staff). We will also study typical cultural norms that can sometimes: 1. distract hiring teams from bringing on qualified candidates of color and 2. create an environment where labeling certain individuals as “not a good fit” is normalized in practice for their community. Working in groups, participants will build a new toolbox and vocabulary to increase their cultural awareness and responsiveness to members of their community of diverse backgrounds.
- Politics of Location- finding our personal and professional diversity narratives. This workshop is the foundation for learning how to establish positive relationships with others. Using social scientists’ interpretation of cultural value differences, participants will begin to unpack events from their personal lives that influence the way they think, their beliefs, and values. Participants will then use these self-discoveries to understand others’ perspectives and walk and draw commonalities between themselves and others.
- Blending Cultural Competency with Positive Racial Identity Workshop (6 hours, but can be offered as two 3-hour sessions) – exploring powerful and practical tools to help participants explore their understanding of personal and societal values and how they impact their identities. Participants will learn to understand their own racial identity, navigate daily and past experiences of racism, and examine the ways racism affects all aspects of life. This workshop will shift participants from understanding to action.
- Values and Beliefs- exploring, aligning, and publishing our values and beliefs as a community. This workshop provides tools for organizational leaders to either establish or strengthen their organization’s culture and climate.
- Critical Multicultural Pedagogy – This seminar is specifically designed for teachers, administrators, and curriculum coordinators to explore and evaluate their current curriculum and pedagogical approach to multicultural education. Participants will revise their current curriculum and develop a multicultural scope and sequence for intentional multicultural planning and execution across all programs and subjects.
- Portrait of a Community Member – Planning with the end in mind, participants will begin to craft an illustration of the ideal community member, based on characteristics and values that are important to the institution. Together, all constituents will draw conclusions about how they and their departments might contribute to the development of an environment that can act as an incubator for such an individual. Using the methods of design thinking, participants will create a collective roadmap to how the organization might construct programming that will positively impact all community members and build a more inclusive community.