What do you do at CEI?
I am an Equity Facilitator/Consultant. I’m so grateful I get to partner alongside client organizations and teams to guide them through long-term, strategic and personal transformation that prioritizes racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
What did you do before CEI?
With a background in education and nonprofit leadership, I have had the honor and privilege of being a middle school counselor, teacher, basketball coach, and Program Director. My passion for youth advocacy paved a way for me to co-create an elective curriculum for my 8th grade students, among other programs that created opportunities for the parents and families in our under-resourced school community. It was upon being on the “inside” of an unjust and racist school system that I was able to name my life’s purpose and focus: systems change and transformation in order for all BIPOC individuals and communities to have the opportunity to be seen and to thrive. Through advocating for my students and their families, leading numerous staff training events, and working as a Program Director to strategically partner with communities and develop BIPOC leaders, I deepened my love for curriculum building, strategy development, and facilitation that centered racial equity. While I have been on many leadership teams and committees, of all the titles I have held, I must say, getting to be “Coach Ann” was my favorite. The titles changed often, but my mission has always remained the same.
Why do you do this work?
I am a proud daughter, granddaughter, and niece of immigrants. My family of warriors escaped war, came to America, contributed to the prosperity of this country, and created a home and a future, all the while, raising children within systems that were not created for any of us to survive, let alone, thrive. In all of this, my parents, grandmother, and aunts were able to create a loving space that always welcomed me to be fully myself, even though in most spaces they encountered, they were never ever afforded the same opportunity. This is what all BIPOC people deserve in any space, setting, system, structure, classroom, board room, and office: to belong, to be seen, and to thrive. This is my why. How could I not do this work? It is in my DNA.
What do you believe?
I believe in the impossible. I have seen it, and I am living proof of it. I believe that we all have what it takes to fight for racial justice, and moreover, that we all must choose to engage in this fight. Our humanity depends on it, and together, we are absolutely capable of doing the impossible.
What question guides your work?
But what if we could?
so much pain
and here you are
making gold out of it
there is nothing purer than that – rupi kaur