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our approach to equity education 

We understand that equity is a “universe” and each organization has its own specific “constellation” of specific circumstances, forms of inequity, and areas to address. Some of the areas we most commonly address are:

  1. Shared core story, theory of change, and values (aspirational and real)
  2. Organizational infrastructure and culture: hiring, on-boarding, retention, board make-up, organizational practices, core narratives, norms, habits, and assumptions.
  3. Partnerships: partnership agreements, accountability systems, consultation protocols, humility and intercultural literacy among staff who intersect with community members.
  4. Interpersonal relationships of staff members: For day to day relationships to be grounded in mutual respect and trust, and with greater capacity for allying with each other to work through difficult conversations when they occur.
  5. Governance and leadership: Supporting management practices that are aligned with the organizations equity values.
  6. Communications: How do generate inclusive and ethical content and non-tokenizing representation of the equity work.
  7. Transformative Education of key staff to drive forward and maintain all of the above; assist the staff and board members to walk with movement partners in equitable, just and effective ways.

   Rooted in Popular Education


 PFCC works for organizational and personal transformation through pedagogical practices that support the development of critical consciousness:

  • Assets-based approach - start where people are at individually and collectively to strengthen what is already strong and lift up that internal knowledge and expertise.

  • Working with the whole person - while we focus primarily on racial justice, we recognize that people’s experience of race is mediated by their gender, class, education, ability, etc.

  • Supporting long-term practice - while we recognize the utility of a brief training, we know that regular practice, and integration into people’s work plans and daily tasks is necessary for the work to take root.


We believe transformative education towards equity requires work at four levels:

  1. Cognitive - constantly remembering histories of inequity, systemic privilege and oppression that shape each context in which one acts.

  2. Affective - having love, respect and deep consideration for other people.

  3. Systemic - being a beneficial part of our social-cultural-political environment, working to transform systems so that they support greater resilience and potential for everyone.

  4. Behavioral - conducting oneself in a way that is aligned with their cognitive, systemic and affective understanding


We use facilitation practices that support collaboration, invite each person to show up with their whole selves, and to be creative and innovative together. These include:

  • Visual Diagrams and Mapping - Illustrate different concepts in service of greater clarity and shared understanding.

  • Spectrums and Physical Mapping - Physically embody what people think, where they stand on an issue etc.

  • Small Group Dialogues, Dyads and World Cafe - Conversations of different sizes at different times to maximize collective knowledge generation and sharing.

  • Storytelling - Storytelling games, guided visualizations, and structured role plays to connect the subject of the conversation to people’s personal experiences.

  • Third Way - Encouraging healthy and honest conversations by seeking out binaries or polarities within a group—having the difficult conversations and then developing a third, empowered way to move forward.

  • Collective idea generation - From group mind mapping to exercises with lots of post-its and posters; we set up participants to teach each other and develop shared understanding together.

  • Restorative Justice - Facilitate restoration from conflicts to support people in a non-punitive way to name harm, have the opportunity for real accountability and move into addressing core problems together so they don’t repeat.


Criteria for activities. We work with an extensive “tool box” of curriculum and are continuously developing new activities that support the specific learning objectives for that organization. With all of our activities we ensure that each one:

  • Doesn't open boxes we can’t close or result in “shut-down” or shaming

  • Contributes to building and strengthening relationships and team

  • Allows for people’s full intersectional selves to be part of it

  • Is clear and transparent

  • Does not center dominant culture/privilege, (ie whiteness, cis maleness), and does not happen at the expense of marginalized participants

  • Safeguards against further trauma and triggering

  • Is accessible and relevant to everyone in the room, including introverts, people for whom English is not their first language, people with physical disabilities, and people very new to the ideas we will be sharing.

  • Works towards establishing new team habits and norms that support everyone’s humanity.


Examples of Engagement


  • Develop plan for regular input and collaboration with organizational staff responsible for the contract.

  • Inclusive Diagnosis and Listening, including background reading of past equity work, interviews and pre-surveys with partners and staff who represent a range of opinions and experiences of equity work at the organization.

  • Develop anonymized Assessment Summary.

  • Draft and finalize both online and in person training  curriculum informed by surveys and interviews and in collaboration with the key staff.

  • Develop training collateral: tools, images,  homework, handouts.


  • Share relevant readings and other materials in advance for participants to prepare themselves.

  • Host a webinar for managers pre-workshop to prepare them show up in way that can maximize everyone’s experience.

  • Facilitate workshops

  • Conduct post-workshop evaluation.


  • Share relevant readings and other materials in advance for participants to prepare themselves.

  • Facilitate workshops.

  • Conduct post-workshop evaluation.


  • Review current practices in accountability and engaging communities the organization serves with an equity lens.

  • Provide recommendations for developing new protocols and systems to enhance accountability.

  • Guide the relevant staff through a participatory research, planning or design process with their partners and community members.


  • After the group has established agreements in person, creating opportunities for continued facilitated engagement online.

  • Use of Prezi and handouts to support interesting and participatory presentations.


  • Develop a “learning arc” for self-facilitated dialogues

  • Develop session resource packets with articles, videos, and discussion questions.

  • Provide online facilitator training for dialogue leads


  • Support the formation of (if it doesn’t already exist) a committee or working group, ideally with staff, board and partner representation  - to continue the work. Facilitate the first few meetings of the group and help them design a timeline and process.

  • Provide coaching sessions for committee lead to support their leadership in continuing to facilitate this process and navigate challenges as they arise. (Please see more about our coaching program here)


  • Work alongside of, or part of strategic planning processes to integrate equity into an organization’s 3-5 year goals and theory of change.

  • Develop, with key staff, indicators, evaluation metrics and departmental work plans to support ongoing equity work


People of color and white people in leadership and management who are working for equity in their organization. Equity coaching for leadership supports people to:

  • Unpack organizational culture, systems and practices.

  • Strategize together how to make needed adjustments.

  • Navigate nuanced interpersonal relationships in leadership and management roles within the organization.


Common Training Goals

These are meant to give an example of what we could focus on, these would be re-written based on your goals, background reading of past work, interviews and further assessment.

Each goal is meant to support broader, long-term vision in which a) the organization is experienced as an inclusive and equitable place to work, and b) the organization’s programmatic work furthers equity and justice in the communities it serves.

  • Encourage the development of concrete measurable outcomes for changing embedded colonial and “cis-hetero-patriarchal-white supremacy culture”, like individualism, competition, and white savior syndrome towards relationship-based collaboration, humility, and solidarity (using audience appropriate language ie.“Toxic behavior embedded in the organization’s culture”) .

  • Support a shared understanding of the impacts that the lack of integration of equity into all levels of the organization has had on previous and current employees, and partners.

  • Develop a practice of working equitably - moving out of abstract goals and policies and into daily interactions, decisions and communications.

  • Train towards a foundational understanding of: 

    • Interpersonal and systemic oppression (racism, anti-Black racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cisgenderism/transphobia, ableism, ageism, adultism, etc.)  and how they show up at work and concrete steps all staff can take to address them.

    • Other specific topics to be unearthed in the survey and/or interviews.

    • The historic and urgent work that frontline communities are doing and how to respectfully interact with this work

    • People’s personal why & organizational why—enrolling people in what is at stake. Self expression and personal storytelling towards valuing and seeing the untapped potential at their organization.

  • Establish shared vocabulary, understanding and personal commitments among staff and board members so that they can continue to discuss and act on issues of justice and equity post training.

  • Illustrate the arc of transformation that the organization is embarking on with a movement lens, and where this training falls along that arc.

How to Begin

If you are interested in exploring equity work with your organization with us, please use the form below to contact us.

We will set up a free 30 minute consultation session to determine if this is a good match for you. If so, the next steps will be to develop a Scope of Work that fits with your budget and current need.

We look forward to collaborating with you.