Re-ignite, Center, and Include
Figure It In is here to re-ignite the conscious village-inside of all of us and at all levels of human awareness-that centers, includes, and celebrates diverse voices, and creates a culture of equity and belonging for individuals representing minorities in all non-negotiable identity forms.
This page is also dedicated to the group culture and leadership within Figure It In:
Re-ignite: We understand that racism, amongst other prejudice and oppressive frameworks, is not our first awareness in the world (i.e., racism is learned), and the word Re-ignite helps us remember the younger parts of us of us as human beings, no matter how young, who looked at our world with curiosity and trust. We use this approach to become an inclusive and welcoming space for all perspectives that uplift and amplify diversity in our workplace culture from how we hire to the services we offer.
Center: Using the privilege of an organizational voice, we chose be active learners and keep finding new ways to center around minority voices and hold ourselves to higher than expected standards in modeling a space for new perspectives and uncomfortable conversations.
Include: Beyond actively seeking information on how we can do better as an organization, and listening to feedback on how we organizationally and individually impacting minorities, we choose to apply this learning as an ongoing ritual and create an inclusive culture that dismantles white supremacy values.
From the Figure It In, LLC Founder, Ruth Diaz, Psy.D., LPC:
Figure It In is a consulting and coaching organization that assists leaders and organizations in becoming conflict resilient and finding actionable ways to be more inclusive of our humanity. As a human being and leader of this young start-up, I am growing my own awareness of how to voice personal and professional passions (e.g., anti-racism) while at the same time supporting the diverse voices in an organization with a counter-culture name like “Figure It In.” Whenever I see or hear my company’s name I often ask myself "What is the “it” we are trying to figure in?" Even more importantly, "How are we doing "it"?" The answer seems to change and evolve over time but has always landed back in centering the outermost and most marginalized voices representing this diverse world we all live in. My request to you today is that you join us in figuring Cupid Alexander in and find ways to act on his suggestions to make us better together as a community. This also adds to the marathon (not sprint) of deconstructing racism and reinventing the non-equity-based system we all participate in. Cupid’s thoughts (below) are addressed to the citizens of Portland, Oregon, and I believe also have application to us as humans.
Cupid Alexander is a political strategist in Portland, Oregon which has been a city featured lately in the world news for ongoing #BLM protests and discord with the US president and federal government. Recently, Cupid shared his written reflections/thoughts on our city and how we can transform from the pain of this time. He describes how we can practice building a better community together during this tumultuous time in the world of isolation and ultimately calls for reform at every level. Cupid is succinct and poignant while explaining how we can be better together, on purpose, or as he calls out how we can “Play to WIN [together]” instead of “Play to “Not Lose.””
Using Figure It In as a platform to uplift Cupid connects the heart of my personal work on anti-racism and professional joy of conflict resiliency training as a leader and organizational consultant. In addition, a series of memes has been created by the Figure It In team to give Cupid’s message some visualization and metaphor. Below you will find his essay (originally posted on Linked In and reprinted with permission). Cupid Alexander is a brilliant human being-- period and I have enjoyed following Cupid professionally for some time now. For example, I still find myself leaning in and slowing down to ponder his words whenever I have read Cupid's love- and real-talk letters to our Portland village, which often start with the words “Dear Portland,...”
Portland is one of the whitest cities in America. Cupid also holds a representative voice as a black man and a political strategist who can assist us in understanding our citizen-level and systemic blind spots in a racially-biased society and culture that oppresses, segregates, and disproportionately punishes people of color. Portland is also a city known for its bridges and beautiful scenery. In this time of divisiveness and upheaval, bridges are a way to give us visual ground and highlight the path forward in finding each other from what might be perceived as “sides.”
Depending on how we use the many layers of pain during this unprecedented time of upheaval in our world, I believe we can continue to practice a divisive culture or become more inclusive and on purpose human beings. Pain and fear can be used for fighting, fleeing, or hiding from others, or help us bring our consciousness inward to show us and each other our blindspots. Thank you for being a reader, participant, and initiator all the ways you are leaning into difficult conversations on racism and white privilege, and however you are using your own pain as an opportunity for growth.
This post begins the first official Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative by Figure It In with the longer-term plan to be increasingly involved in practicing DEI with our global community of humans and within our own organization. In the near future, we will be starting and modeling a variety of discussions led by Firekeeper Learners (FL) sourced from within our organization who are educating themselves on a variety of minority issues and topics. We will also be inviting subject matter experts and our community to consider with us our individual and collective blindspots on these matters.
Zooming back into now though, let's start with one person and one voice on how we can do better together.
-Ruth Diaz, PsyD, LPC
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Figure It In is about figuring diversity in and creating a space for belonging and purposeful relationship in all shapes, forms, colors, and talents. This is a space for us to get into "good trouble" together and learn better ways to hold our growing organization collaborative and accountable practicing our to DEI values.