Equitable systems & inclusive communities

Deanna Rolffs, Senior Consultant

Equitable systems & inclusive communities

Imagine a future where all thrive. My personal and professional dedication to justice and equity is evidenced by more than 22 years of interdisciplinary experience leading and transforming nonprofit organizations.  Systems change work is knotty and complex. I support partners to map systems, applying critical thinking strategies to improve upon your greatest celebrations and tackle the most paralyzing challenges.

It all starts with relationship. From there, the work can begin to develop strong partnerships working together to impact systemic inequities. My support facilitates deeper learning regarding race, class, culture and power—all working to bring about more inclusive and equitable communities of practice.

Inclusion seeks not to fit people into current systems, but to change systems so all are fully themselves, fully included. In my work with nonprofits and national K-12 education entities, I constantly work to face my own privilege and power, using it to support predominantly white institutions (PWIs) to be more inclusive. I lead and follow, working in diverse teams with clients and partners to custom build activities and implement strategies to facilitate inside-out work, unpack and dismantle systemic inequities and address the inequity we perpetuate in our institutions.

In this work my best role is not always to lead. I co-plan, step back when necessary, always adjusting the best way to facilitate and support the integration of adult learning. Just a few topics I’ve supported teams to dig into are as follows:

  • Structural and systemic racism & systemic oppression
  • Implicit bias
  • Racial anxiety and stereotype threat
  • Microaggressions
  • White privilege
  • The school-to-prison pipeline
  • Cultural competence and Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning
  • Interrupting inequity in education
  • Courageous conversations about race

When we listen, learn and truly interact authentically, we are more successful in meeting our organizational mission and experience the rich interaction of inclusivity. I look forward to engaging to support you to meet your bravest goals.