OurMission

Our mission i​s to help organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions dismantle the systems of oppression and transform beliefs and behaviors by uncovering implicit biases, decentering whiteness and focusing on Equity, Inclusion and Racial Justice​. ​Many times the burden of implementing equity, diversity and inclusion strategies in institutions falls on the shoulders of employees who belong to historically marginalized communities. We are committed to making sure that true equity work becomes the responsibility of everyone by working in the community with ​organizations, to transform beliefs, behaviors, and organizational culture.

Our Approach

is to ensure that organizations can provide access, remove barriers, and be inclusive. We do this by providing training, coaching, and keynotes that are tailored to equip organizations and individuals to be 1) Accountable and Transparent, 2) Racially Just, 3) Focused on where the need is the greatest, 4) Trauma-Informed, 5) Dedicated to bringing a sense of belonging to all.

We Lead with Race

People of color share similar barriers with other historically marginalized groups such as people with low income, people with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, women, older adults and young people. But people of color tend to experience those barriers more deeply due to the pervasive and systemic nature of racism. By addressing the barriers experienced by people of color, we will effectively also identify solutions and remove barriers for other disadvantaged groups.

Meet Dion C. Jordan

  • Renowned Speaker/Trainer

  • Diversity and Inclusion Consultant

  • Author

  • Passionate Human Being


A Native of Palm Spring California Dion Jordan is a recognized champion for Equity, Inclusion and Racial Justice. With over 20 years of experience in this field, Dion has helped people, places, policies and practices become more equitable. Currently Dion servers as the Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services for the State of Oregon (DHS) where he oversees the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan and helps bring a sense of trust, safety and belonging to all.

Prior to serving as Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, Dion a certified speaker and trainer, traveled in and out of the nation empowering audiences with his engaging keynotes and training. It is here where Dion mastered the ability to communicate in a style that calls people ”into” tough conversations rather than calling them out. He has been called on by government agencies, educational institutions, faith communities, and Corporations. A few of his clients include Price Waterhouse Coopers, City of Austin, Target, Verizon and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Dion graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with a major in Business Administration and went on to get his Masters in Education from Claremont.

A  Passion for People and Equity for All

As a child, Dion was born with “metatarsus varus” also known as false club foot (both feet facing each other). In addition, he also had a serious speech impediment. As a youth, while other students were out at recess, Dion was left with a speech therapist learning how to correct his stuttering. By the age of 10 Dion was living in predominantly white Portland Oregon where he quickly realized he was not only the only person of color in his classes, but that he was the only one with these two disabilities. It was during this time in his life he came to understand the intersectionality of his race and disability while trying to navigate the school system which didn’t seem to value either. Eventually, Dion had to undergo corrective surgery, which resulted in both legs being broken and reset. Dion spent countless days re-learning how to walk and master his motor skills. Likewise by junior high he was able to correct his speech impediment. Although Dion was able to overcome his disabilities and the stigma that came with it, he soon realized overcoming the implicit bias and racism he encountered would not be so easily. Although there was a small African American community within Portland, the neighborhood and schools Dion attended were mostly white and so in order to get along Dion had to do what so many other people of color feel they needed to do, he assimilated.

 

After 14 years in Portland, Oregon Dion and his family moved to Austin Texas. Dion was ready to move to a new state where nobody knew of his previous disabilities and where there would be more people of color. What Dion was not ready for was how much he had assimilated to white culture and what little he knew about his own. He knew none of the songs, dances, nor terms his other classmates of color knew. This bothered Dion, and he was determined to find a way to navigate both worlds and cultures yet be true to himself. Following high school Dion had made up his mind he would attend an HBCU (Historical Black College). He attended Huston Tillotson College where he graduated with honors. Following graduation he went on to get his Masters in Education in Claremont Ca. before deciding to return back to Portland Oregon where his family had returned.

 

Upon returning to Portland after being gone for several years, he noticed something. Genefication had dismantled the only African American community in Portland. In its place were, health food stores, bike lanes, white owned business, and apartment building low income families could not afford. It was at that moment that Dion decided to dedicate is time, talents, and experiences to help dismantle the systems of oppression and help bring a sense of trust, safety and belonging to all through equity, inclusion, and racial justice. Dion’s commitment to help bring change is surpassed only by his passion for family as a dedicated father his two beautiful daughters, a loving husband to his wife Michele and his love for God.

Sawubona

SAWUBONA (sawuɓóːna) Is the most common greeting in the Zulu tribe It literally means “I see you, you are important to me and I value you.'' It's a way to make the other person visible and to accept them as they are with their virtues, nuances, and flaws.
 
Sawubona is the most common greeting in the Zulu tribe. It literally means “I see you, you are important to me and I value you.'' It's a way to make the other person visible and to accept them as they are with their virtues, nuances, and flaws. When we greet each other in this way we come into an agreement and are now obligated to validate one another and to answer the question of what has this time together given us. It's an invitation for us to participate in each other's life as it begs the question, how do I have to be in this moment in order to bring that sense of safety, trust, and belonging to you.is almost to limited to fully embrace the meaning of Sawubono. The unspoken understanding of this word is even more than just “I” see you, but they are saying “We” see you. They believe their ancestors are always present with them. Sawubono can be described as saying “the God in me, sees the God in you”. “I see myself, in you”. Zulu people, look for love inside one another. They maintain eye-contact and set aside prejudice, biases and grudges in order to see the true value and spirit of the person before them

"I See You"

There are several responses to Sawubono. One of the most common responses is “Yebo sawubono” which means, “I see you seeing me”. A beautiful custom that exist within the Zulu community is when someone behaves badly, they bring them to the center of the village, where everyone will start circling. For two days, they reminded of all the beautiful things they have done. The Zulu community tribe thinks that each of us has come into the world by being good and aspiring to safety, love, peace and happiness. It sometimes happens that in our path of life, we make mistakes. These false steps represent for this people a cry for help. The Zulu community think that this desire to feel special and good can sometimes alter a person's behavior. So, they come together to straighten it, put it back on the right path and reconnect it with its true nature, reminding her who she is.  
which means: "I respect you, I consider you and you are important to me.'' This person then responds"Shikoba" which means: "I am good and I exist for you". This act of recognition reconstructs the wounded being from the inside, who feels then loved and valued. In this way, using the language of love, this tribe remembers each day that everyone is special and good, even if one of them sometimes acts incorrectly.

 

Sawubona embodies equity, inclusion, racial justice, and love. It exists to remind us to understand others without prejudice and to leave grudges behind. The term reminds us to be aware of other people’s needs and to give importance to individuals within a group.

“When a flower doesn't bloom within it's environment, you don't fix the flower, you fix the environment in which the flower grows”.

 - Alexander Den Heijer 

Dismantling The Systems of Oppression by Centering Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice.

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