"EBDI's support to Braven, which combined both data and story gathering in the discovery phase and focused on structural solutions...was truly catalytic."
"EBDI was an incredible partner for Braven. We brought EBDI in because our annual staff culture survey indicated that our staff were having different experiences of belonging and inclusion across lines of race and between our regional hub teams and our central support teams. For context, Braven is a non-profit that works on the bridge between college to career for first-generation college students. We are working to democratize access to the American Dream for our students and we want our workplace to mirror that mission. We were founded by a Black woman from the south side of Chicago who shares the lived experience and background of many of our students and who founded the organization with DEIJ in many of our foundational policies and structures.
EBDI's support to Braven, which combined both data and story gathering in the discovery phase and focused on structural solutions that benefit all staff, but disproportionately benefit folks from historically marginalized backgrounds and identities, was truly catalytic. As a result of a 5-month engagement with EBDI that started in June of 2021, we have done the following: 1) significantly improved our onboarding for new staff with a cohort model 2) built out very explicit statements of what can be expected in families of roles in the organization that we call "talent philosophies" to improve transparency around learning and development, retention and promotion pathways, and 3) we have created an extra week of team shutdown time on teams where there are heightened programmatic responsibilities that make resting and rejuvenating harder during the school year.
In addition, Ahmmad and Jessica have been incredible thought partners and facilitators. They built trust with our team through thoughtfully constructed listening sessions and an introductory session with our whole organization that was one of the most powerful exercises in creating awareness across lines of difference that I've witnessed in my 20-year career. They remain thought partners and part of the Braven family to this day and they approach work with a spirit of being open to what they might learn from their clients instead of a one way give/take. We are deeply grateful to EBDI for their model, approach, and the gifts they've given to Braven."
—Catherine Chandler, Chief of Staff, Braven
Harvard Dance Center
"They have helped us deepen and widen our DEIJ work in rewarding, productively challenging, and transformative ways."
"Harvard Dance Center (HDC) engaged EBDI to create and facilitate a suite of equity assessments and engagements across HDC’s constituencies, pedagogies, and programming. Over a period of nine months, EBDI led community listening sessions, generated an Equity Findings Report, facilitated staff and leadership workshops and project meetings, developed HDC’s DEIJ Strategic Priorities for the academic year 2021/22, and created an annual DEIJ survey to track progress and for DEIJ accountability to our community.
EBDI and their work have been exceptional. From the first intake meeting and engagement with our community, to the delivery of materials and ongoing dialogue, they’ve been exemplars of integrity, grace, compassion, and skillful insight. Not only did they exemplify the highest level of understanding, research, and experience, they employed these capabilities as our partners in the process rendering customized guidance and materials that truly reflected our value system and organizational mission.
They listened deeply and guided HDC staff through hands-on, in-depth processes in every component of their work with us. They lead with generosity, curiosity, efficacy, and joy. Their impressive interdisciplinary expertise that integrates narrative-based dialogue and social science is dynamic, synergistic, and meaningful. They were professional, organized, flexible, responsive, and brought their work to completion reliably and on time. EBDI went over and above in all aspects of their work with us, were always prepared for meetings and presentations, and adeptly managed time.
EBDI’s commitment to their work is evident not only in what they create, but also in how they build relationships with the very people who are striving to create equity in their organizational structure, culture, and content. We experienced this at the Dance Center such that we referred to EBDI as equity artists in residence. One of their central tenets: “What do we need to know about each other in order to be in community with one another?” began our work with EBDI and became an anchoring question in our classrooms and programming last academic year.
EBDI helped to advance the Harvard Dance Center mission of equity, dignity, transformation, and justice for all people through dance education and community action. They have helped us deepen and widen our DEIJ work in rewarding, productively challenging, and transformative ways. Through EBDI’s facilitation, we’ve gained invaluable knowledge, expanded our knowledge, understanding and insight, and honed our tools for equity action that we now draw upon to sustain our long-term mission."
—Jill Johnson, Director, Head of Dance & Senior Lecturer in Theater, Dance & Media, 2011-2021, Harvard Dance Center
"In a field filled with easy rhetoric and quick statistics, the EBDI team pushed us to much more depth in our definitions, understanding, and interactions with DEI."
"We worked with the EBDI team for a period of six months in 2020, directly addressing the social turmoil of this socially challenging time. Above all other providers whom we interviewed, what struck us about EBDI was their emphasis on developing a custom approach for our company and meeting us with deep understanding (as opposed to the often "à la carte" menu we would see on the market).
And indeed, their practical approach is truly anchored in listening and facilitating at all levels of the company — our team was heartened to have a voice in all proceedings and be able to bring up a whole range of difficult topics, and the EBDI team also drove our leadership team to alignment on our DEI strategy. This points to their dexterity as facilitators, being able to hold discomfort, to push team interactions, and to be trusted by all.
Moreover, in a field filled with easy rhetoric and quick statistics, the EBDI team pushed us to much more depth in our definitions, understanding, and interactions with DEI. I valued their ability to weave in insights from academic literature, to offer practical solutions from other companies, and to push on the very foundations of equity. They produced powerful reports and learnings which we are now using as the cornerstone of our 2021 DEI strategy, as part of our aspiration to build the company model of the 21st century.
In DEI the process matters as much as the outcome. Beyond shifting our strategy, one of their greatest contributions to Nova Credit has been altering the fabric of the company and how we interact through the Dialogues program. As a personal participant in Dialogues, EBDI's work forced me to more deeply confront and articulate my social experience as conditioned my identity, as well as to create a space to more openly discuss with others.
I would recommend the EBDI team wholeheartedly and without reservation. I believe that this is a team that will go far and do powerful things in this space—and am very grateful we got to work with them when we did."
—Nicky Goulimis, Co-founder and Board Director, Nova Credit
"What I loved about working with EBDI is that they were able to cater their advice and programs to a small team."
"We reached out to EBDI when we wanted an experienced facilitator for full-team dialogues and training around DEIJ at Unruly Studios. We are a small, growing startup and what I loved about working with EBDI is that they were able to cater their advice and programs to a small team. They helped us build muscles as a team to have tough conversations about diversity and race with each other— this experience had a positive impact on our team and culture well beyond the facilitated sessions.
With my leadership team, EBDI took more of a coaching approach to help us continue to lead the team and to build and reinforce these values into our day-to-day work. They helped us define a vision for DEIJ at our company, something we felt was important to do as early as possible so we could embed those practices into our culture. I highly recommend working with the EBDI team to anyone, large or small, who is looking to make meaningful change within and beyond your organization.
I can't thank the EBDI team enough for their partnership. It has been such an incredible experience and I look forward to lots more in our continued collaboration."
—Bryanne Leeming, Co-founder and CEO, Unruly Studios