GTIP took to heart Ijeoma Oluo’s directive, “White People: I Don’t Want You To Understand Me Better, I Want You to Understand Yourselves,” and we’ve made an unwavering commitment to do so. We are engaging in work to examine our biases and create an inclusive environment. An essential component to the process was the development of a Change Team, an idea approved by the board in November 2019. A selection committee chose twelve members from various social locations and every level of the organization.
The team first met in June of 2020 with the primary goal of providing leadership to GTIP around racial equity, culture change and organizational development. Another area of focus includes gender equity, with the understanding we will also be exploring other privileged and marginalized identities. We are aware GTIP is in the very early stages of a 7-10 year process, and we want to be intentional and cautious about fully attending to each of these identities. Our goal is to support all of our growing edges and serve as a beacon of light that guides all of us as we move through this process.
The Change Team’s purpose has four components. These may evolve over time:
- To explicitly identify barriers in the current structure of GTIP that interfere with implementing an equitable mission affirming of and centering on diverse and marginalized communities;
- To recommend strategies that address these barriers, including leadership trainings, curriculum and scholarship development, affinity group work, etc., and a timeline for implementation;
- To work in partnership with the leadership and board of directors to implement these recommendations; and
- To develop a transparent and known process of how to address and repair the harm that arises from inequitable practices or microaggressions.
1. Stay engaged (especially in hard conversations).
2. Notice and experience discomfort – (lean in, build that muscle, lack of comfort does not equal lack of safety; stay grounded).
3. Speak your truth relationally- (honesty, no confluence), willingness to take risks, be honest about your own thoughts and feelings.
4. Expect and accept a lack of closure – this is an ongoing dialogue.
5. Confidentiality – lessons we leave with, stories stay within our team; always bring things that may come up outside the group back to the group. Pay attention to group process and allow people to resolve concerns using the group process.
6. Assume an intention of good will • “We listen and speak to each other with compassion and curiosity.”
Our Change Team
Lisa Armstrong, LSW, MPH
Gina Carfagno, LSW
Jonathan Colvson, LSW
Seth Fisher, M Div
Kelly Kampf, LCSW
GTIP Executive Director, Faculty, GTIP Graduate
Valerie Kellom, LCSW
GTIP Board, Faculty
Christine Manturuk, ATR-BC, LPC
Jessica Ortiz, LSW
El Schoepf, MSS
Robyn Smith, LCSW
GTIP Supervisor, GTIP Graduate
Joanna Vanore, LCSW
Adjunct Faculty, GTIP Graduate