- Fosters transformative leadership development among social justice movement makers , with an emphasis on cis and transgender women of color and other marginalized identity groups;
- Cultivates individual and organizational wellness (physical, mental, emotional, economic and cultural);
- Leverages the power of the arts, culture and creative process for inspiration, growth and action;
- Integrates spirituality and contemplative practice into social justice movements;
- Honors the land and the indigenous people of the land;
- Connects social entrepreneurship with non-profit work to ensure increased sustainability; and,
- Develops competency and mastery in the areas of organizing, advocacy, resource development and communications.
BREAKDOWN TO BREAKTHROUGH FRAMEWORK
SiOP’s transformational leadership development training methodology and arch of transformation has been a journey of co-creation over the past five years. The founding core leadership team brought a range of experiences, tools, practices, cultural/spiritual traditions, healing modalities and much more to the first few retreats, which served as fertile ground to mix, merge and make magic.
There were breakdowns and breakthroughs throughout the journey, and this became the hallmark of our arch of transformation. Through several core leadership team retreats, we honed our model and began intentionally organizing our retreats within the framework of “Breakdown to Breakthrough.”
SiOP’s model centers empowerment, which for us means moving from pathology (what’s wrong and not working) vision (what we most want to create in the world).Grounded in a shared political analysis of “how we got here,” SiOP taps the potential of visioning to powerfully declare where we are going. From a proactive place of naming what we want, versus fixating on what we’re against, SiOP participants and clients are able to work through trauma and blockages, clarify vision, and build power and practice to realize those visions via strategic action planning. We then support people to embody the change needed to realize their vision and take action.
We refer to the process of personal and institutional transformation that is required to embody new ways of being, doing and having as “Breaking Down to Break Through.”
Essentially, we must breakdown and release what is not working and no longer serving us in order to live into a breakthrough vision.
SiOP operates from the understanding that both internalized and systemic oppression are significant barriers to building power and creating lasting change, and we create intentional space and process to release the ways we’ve internalized oppression and our attachment to oppressive systems.
How it works
We believe that we cannot change systems and the world if we are not embodying the change we envision. Embodiment comes from deep practice that grounds our wisdom in our bodies, minds, and lives. SiOP facilitated processes provide a place where practice begins. We then help participants strengthen these practices through highly customized retreats, workshops, training, coaching, and capacity building services. We support our members and clients to strengthen their external work to end structural racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, and ageism while doing internal work to heal from trauma and internalized oppression themselves.
We developed coaching and peer coaching models to support our members. And, we incorporated entrepreneurship in all that we do to ensure self and collective determination as a pathway to financial sustainability for historically marginalized folks. Our commitment to entrepreneurship has allowed us to expand our offerings and shift our fiscal model. We now partner with governmental agencies, organizations and foundations to deliver our transformational leadership development programs and consulting services to their staff, grantees, constituents, etc.
”“Arch of Transformation – Because of a history of oppression and institutions/cultures/policies that continue to oppress, we are constantly harmed and lose innate human competencies. We need spaces to heal and reclaim these basic human competencies. SiOP supports members to breakdown, releasing trauma and internalized oppression, and to breakthrough, living into a vision that centers wellness, empowerment and sustainability.”