Systems cannot be dismantled by removing one “bad apple” and are designed to withstand our most earnest attempts at making them better. This is why it is so difficult to make companies and organizations better. Their problems are baked into the very way they function!
The Ignant Intellectual Group believes that integrated transformational change is crucial to organizational change. Even the best organizational change strategies tend to utilize a race-neutral transactional approach. Meaning, they do not name how historical racial oppression is baked into existing policies and practices (with or without our consent or acknowledgement) and how those practices focus largely on individual behaviors as drivers of inequity. Our organizational change approach:
Centers anti-racism. Period.
Prioritizes equity. Period.
Is rooted in the belief that most individual, interpersonal, and institutional problems are created, sustained, and patterned by systematic barriers. These problems cannot be shifted by focusing solely on changing the behaviors of individuals.
Centers the belief that it is the responsibility of individuals in the group that most benefit from a system to dismantle it. In other words, it is the responsibility of white people to dismantle racism. It is the responsibility of men to dismantle sexism. It is the responsibility of the wealthy to dismantle classism.
Amplifies the work of historically devalued people and communities
Prioritizes non-traditional research methods. We don’t only value quantitative, peer reviewed, Eurocentric, cismale, straight, and/or patriarchal methods
We approach our work by viewing equitable systems change as both an outcome and process. (The Center for Social Inclusion). It is likely that some of your company’s current ways of operating are inequitable, thus some of your outcomes are too. Our role is to identify inequitable processes to get you to more equitable outcomes. In other words, we assess your current ways of doing things to help you design more equitable approaches.
Our approach is to take an assessment of how you currently operate and co-create small but powerful practical and tangible shifts in the culture of the organization that, over time, result in large and impactful organizational change. This is done by exploring and highlighting the existence of historical racial oppression in your current policies and practices and developing strategies on how to mitigate them. This requires an in-depth understanding of the foundations of racism and institutional oppression on your organizational policies and practices.
We do not merely focus on one or two activities of your organization. We look at your entire organizational processes to get a full understanding of what your organizational needs are related to equity. This allows us to develop a step-by-step systems change approach tailored and individualized for your organization. This is not a one-size fits all approach. One of the core mandates of the work we do is that each strategy must shift the existing status quo. If it does not contribute to dismantling current inequities, we must re-align and re-develop. Only then will your organization actually be able to systematically change. This relationship will take time.
"We have to build towards equity. It takes both; people using their privileges and others using their experiences."