We are Stepping out: “We can’t think our way out of this. We must act our way out.”
In June 2020, the Board issued a statement on racism and racial injustice in the SE Today newsletter. In it, the Board said “The SE Institute, as a worldwide training organization, has not done enough to interrupt the ways in which systems keep Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) out and the ways in which systems do not change because the rules we establish inevitably exclude people without access. We have been trying to make change. We have been trying to listen more. We have been trying to create new opportunities. But in the immortal words of Yoda, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ We, at the Institute, must do better.”
In their words: “We have new flexibility because of our online trainings. That opens the doors wider to diversity in a different way, and not just racial diversity—other people, such as the hearing or visually impaired who may have a hard time sitting through a four-day, eight-hour a day training, can take advantage of this flexibility. The technology makes it easier for us to create space for people who can do only two hours a day, for example. There are so many more possibilities that we aren’t even aware of yet. We’re hoping that our community will come to us and say, ‘What about this idea?’” – Krysti Giese, Managing Director of Operations
be sustained, and even disruptive. We must recognize that if we don’t speak up and don’t take action, we are co-conspirators in systemic racism and a lack of diversity and inclusion. It takes a series of small steps—and those steps eventually shine a light on a better path for long-term change.
We are working hard to continue to do better. We recognize that transformational change around diversity, systemic racism, and oppres- sion that prevents equality of opportunity is not transactional—we must be, and stay, in “good relationship” about this work, which must
In their words: “Years of cultivation and collaboration between the Institute and EASE has in the last 18 months evolved further and matured. I find there is a deepening of relationship between our organizations, with more common ground and collective purpose. EASE represents a wide culture of diversity of 17 European member states. Each has its own unique languages, needs, and structures for delivering Somatic Experiencing to their communities. The invitational approach by the Institute’s Board and staff has been both essential and welcomed. It is my experience that the Institute has a strong commitment and clear directive to include both the interest of, and inspiration from, Europe and the global SE community. This receptive attitude is key to developing a worldwide organization supporting a culture of healing.” – Kari Elise Slinning, Board Chair, European Association of Somatic Experiencing (EASE)
Milestones: • A new BIPOC Scholarship Fund, seeded with $25,000, was established in July 2020 • In July 2020, the Board expanded to seven members and added more diversity with new Board members Sabia Wade and Sergio Ocampo • In October 2020, a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Scholarship Development and Review Committee, and Training Evaluation Workgroup were added. • The Global Culture Committee was established to create a collaborative organizational culture to support the Board’s strategic plan. The Committee is charged with developing a plan to create a dynamic structure to inspire and manifest collaboration among stakeholders globally.
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