Wilson and Associates Turns 13!
Wilson and Associates Coaching and Consulting Turned 13 on St. Patrick’s Day!
That's lucky, right?
13 years ago, I was working as the Regional Director of Community Planning and Engagement at a nonprofit organization housed in the basement of a County Government building with no windows. I was in a job that I had only imagined was possible.
See, I was a kid that grew up in Atlanta, and I saw the historical sites of the Civil Rights Movement, where people-power forced policy change and a fundamental change in the ways our systems (schools, government agencies, banks, the housing industry, etc) were shifted as a result of movement-building.
I wanted to do that work, with as many organizations as I could, and cross-pollinate the learnings. And in that job, I found myself right where I was meant to be, working at the intersections of:
Community organizing, and
Philanthropy, which was investing in the capacity-building of people and trusted grassroots community organizations, and
Government institutions shifting to be responsive and beginning to address the inequities created by institutional racism, classism, mass incarceration, the war on Black, Indigenous, Latiné, and people of color known as the War on Drugs, deindustrialization, and decades of disinvestment. We call this “systems change”, now.
After 4 years, various intra-organizational dynamics, and my mother's passing, I could feel the pull and longing to leave. And so, with a loose plan and a big dream, I quit my job and started Wilson and Associates Coaching and Consulting. (I also opened a bakery, which most of you know about, but that’s a story for another time)
My vision was clear: the inequities that we all see in our cities will never be solved by an individual nonprofit organization. The reason is that the challenges are centuries in the making, and require transformations (or re-imagining) of our institutions, government agencies, organizations, policies, and the policymakers themselves.
And, I was clear that we couldn't shy away from the truth: that these inequities are created by White Supremacy, Colonialism, Anti-Black Racism, Trans-bias, LGBQIA+ bias, Classism, and our political and economic system.
I knew I wanted to have a hand in naming this, building strategies and partnerships around this, and helping all of us do our individual work to understand these systems of oppression and then do the work to become anti-racist and advance liberation for all equity-seeking groups.
The last 13 years have been a journey for me, and I've gotten clearer in my understanding and articulation of that “better world” I’ve been creating with my partners. And, what it’s going to take. That journey, and work with incredible partners, led to my clarity you can find linked here and here.
Since I took that leap to create Wilson and Associates, I've had the pleasure to work with over 50 organizations across North America, 15 government agencies, and have coached over 100 individuals, all towards a central theme of transformation and the bold question:
"What if we really could create a better world that was human-centered and equity for all was the reality? What would we do?"
Throughout the last 13 years, through 2 economic downturns and a Global Health Pandemic, so many incredible partners have supported this Black-owned, Woman-led consultancy allowing me the opportunity to support and coach others towards their wholeness, transform organizations to be more liberatory, and ultimately, I have been encouraged to live out my own liberation and co-create a pathway towards it for others.
The work continues: social change and racial justice are both the present and future we are creating right now. I am deeply grateful, and a little exhausted, but mostly grateful. I look forward to another 13 years!