Similar to individual/relationship counseling, groups and organizations can work with me in consultation (advice, guidance, support) about the following:
Setting up anti-oppressive (non-criminalizing) conflict infrastructure (policies, procedures, processes) within your organization or community;
Navigating common interpersonal/relational conflicts within your organization/community and strategizing responses and interventions;
Designing a decision-making or conflict process that you want to facilitate internally;
Designing more collective, anti-oppressive meetings and events;
Building conflict skills within your group/organization;
Shifting power dynamics from hierarchical organizational systems toward collective ones.
In consultation, I rely on my years of experience and learning to prompt discussion within the group, weigh options, and strategize about the best responses and opportunities for your group. If you'd like, I can create proposals with various options that you can present back to your group, or we can work on proposals together. Ultimately, you guide what we talk about and you make decisions about whether or not to take my advice or suggestions. I use transformative justice principles to guide my advice, rather than judgment, and will share resources on transformative justice, anti-oppression, systemic power, power dynamics, and any other relevant topics that come up.
To begin consultation, visit the contact page to schedule an intake meeting (zoom) or complete an intake form.
What you can expect
The process generally works like this:
Initial Intake: You reach out to me, we discuss your needs, and determine whether we're a good fit.
Initial session: If we're a good fit, during our first session we'll discuss your goals and how you want to spend the time.
Following sessions: We'll spend as many sessions as you want working toward those goals. When you feel fully equipped to move on, we'll wrap up our time together by putting together some final strategies or resources you can take with you, if that's something you'd like to do.
Sessions are typically one hour (but can be longer as needed) and can be done virtually or in-person.
Sessions are entirely confidential.
We can meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
I charge a sliding scale from $25/hr - $50/hr for in-session time, based on your ability to pay.
Outside of our direct session time, I reflect, plan, and gather relevant resources that may help you reach your goals.
What people often work with me on
Conflict Infrastructure refers to a set of dedicated and enacted policies, procedures, processes, resources, time, labor, emotional and social energy that is set up to address conflicts that arise within an organization and/or the social ecosystem that organization exists within, impacts, and is impacted by.
Examples of infrastructure
Small, internal: A small affinity group has a flexible agreement about how to address conflict related to what direct actions they engage in and to debrief after risky actions. They have a consensus decision-making model that will be facilitated by a neutral, trusted friend. They will self-facilitate healing circles after each event. If there are interpersonal conflicts, they have skilled up in non-violent communication skills and community mediation. They agree to prioritize care for each other as conflict arises.
Small, mixed: One academic department with three faculty and two staff develops a community agreement about addressing interpersonal conflict. In the process, they discover a need to address faculty-student conflicts when a group of disabled students shares that course plans are inaccessible. The department trains staff to facilitate fish bowl techniques that empower students to share their needs with faculty, and adds elements into the agreement that encourage the department to strive to creatively meet student needs and prevent harm.
Medium, internal: a growing 25-person climate organization has been struggling with cliques/factions. In response, they restructure to give people of different tactical preferences autonomy, while drafting guidelines about which types of action require whole-group consensus. A small group skills up in anti-oppressive facilitation and will use a few different types of process to handle interpersonal, small group, and whole group discussion and decision-making when differences arise.
Medium, mixed: A mutual aid organization has several members who have experienced racial and gender-based violence by local people and institutions. To address harm, they establish a community accountability system that supports anyone who has experienced similar harms (within their capacity) and develops both short-term accountability and long-term transformation plans.
Large, internal: To address cultural diversity among members, a 1,000+ member labor union has each trade/specialty craft a letter that lets others in the organization know their values, how they like to be treated, and how they want to handle conflicts when their interests don't align. Using these letters, the organization develops a system to receive requests for conflict assistance, assign complaints to facilitators, and facilitate mediations between members and between trades.
Large, mixed: A community center's staff have requested a feedback system that informs the board of directors. They develop a set of policies that the board must follow in responding to feedback, and a system for staff and community members to submit feedback. To address feedback that involves harm by the center or within the neighborhood, they contract with healing justice and restorative justice facilitators who can design and facilitate conflict processes toward understanding, healing, and solving problems.
After an unexpected crisis (a one-time incident of violence, significant funding change, staff loss, or mandated priority shift), people often want to talk to me about a few aspects of their next steps:
How to listen and understand the impact this change/incident has on people within an organization and/or the surrounding community.
How to take that information/input/experience to generate either a collective decision-making process or authentically incorporate it into next steps.
How to communicate authentically and transparently to people impacted by this crisis.
*I have specific training in crisis communication and crisis planning from my Master's.
Designing a problem-solving process
For organizations who have skilled facilitators already, they may just need help designing the steps for a decision-making or problem-solving process that is more complex than they are used to. Sometimes it's helpful to simply run questions by someone who isn't deep into the issues and concerns that the organization is going through.