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Hanif Fazal

Founding Partner

What do you do at CEI?
I am the CEI Co-Founder. In my position I’m provided the opportunity to work with partner organizations, school districts, foundations and community leaders to strategically and urgently advance equity and inclusion efforts. I also have the great fortune to work with and support the amazing team we have assembled at the Center; together we are focused on building a thriving organization that models the principles of equity and inclusion internally while providing the highest level of services externally.

What did you do before CEI?

I have spent over 20 years addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. For seven of those years I worked within a nonprofit organization and helped lead a transformative process to advance equity and inclusion across all aspects of the organization. This experience was pivotal as it helped me understand that a transformative process focused on equity and inclusion is possible. It also illuminated the real challenges, pitfalls, benefits, and opportunities that are generated –at all levels of an organization- when engaging in this type of process.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to work regionally, nationally and internationally with numerous organizations across the fields of education, philanthropy, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors, helping them to plan and strategically advance equity and inclusion efforts organization or system wide. I have presented on the subject of equity, diversity, and inclusion to a myriad of stakeholders, and provided numerous workshops that assist direct service providers in applying an equity lens to their practice. Alongside this work I had the opportunity to found a number of programs that have continued to operate to the present day. I have founded the Heart of Facilitation training, a national facilitation training program for educators, social workers, and diversity officers, and facilitators. I am the founder of the Step Up program, a nationally and locally recognized program that serves over 350 disadvantaged students yearly across Portland Public school District. I am the co-founder of Open School East, a 7th-12th grade school program that serves students across 5 school districts, and I am also the co-founder of the Equity Certificate Program which is a collaborative education initiative providing intensive professional development focused on equity and inclusion to educators across multiple school districts.

Why do you do this work?
I do this work because I want to contribute to something bigger than me.

What do you believe
I believe that this work has no finish line although it has a lot of “wins” along the way.

What is a question that guides your work?
How do we find our empowerment-individually and collectively-, in a system designed for our oppression?

Hanif Fazal-Bio (PDF)