Our Approach

To us, DEIJ means a sustained shift in culture, not a one-off box to be checked. While we incorporate quantitative data into our process, we primarily rely on qualitative data gathering and analysis. We explore people's stories and perspectives to open dialogues that bring deeper understanding among your organization's members and allow us to develop strategic DEIJ recommendations for lasting positive change.

What Makes EBDI Different?

Traditional diversity trainings do not work, and may even be counterproductive. Achieving equitable and inclusive environments requires sustained engagement and tailored solutions, which is why EBDI employs a unique, high-touch model for DEIJ based on empathetic listening, narrative storytelling, and dialogue facilitation. Throughout the process, we incorporate best practices from the academic literature as well as tenets of Transformative Justice.

Instead of serving up canned trainings and off-the-shelf solutions, we cultivate equity and inclusion at your organization by attending to intergroup dynamics and centering the experiences of those who have been historically marginalized, excluded or oppressed. 

Our Core Beliefs

We propose that:

  • We must be able to engage across sectors and industries in order to build the social change we want to see.

  • Large-scale systemic justice is not fully possible until we can get it right at a smaller scale.

  • We cannot create structural change within organizations without engaging and valuing the voices of people who have the least access to power.

  • Everyone benefits from a more just society—everyone.

Transformative Justice

What about that ‘J’ in DEIJ? We define justice as the systematic fair treatment of all people in a group or organization such that all people experience inclusion and have equitable access to opportunities, resources and support. Transformative Justice (TJ) provides a road map for achieving justice. TJ is a model of social change for responding to and transforming harm and violence at all scales, from the interpersonal to systemic. While primarily known as a framework for reforming criminal justice and policing, we find TJ to also be useful in the context of organizational diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) work. 

 

In an organizational setting, the types of harm we seek to transform may be anything from interpersonal experiences of microaggressions to the fear of reprisal for speaking honestly in a workgroup context.

 

TJ accounts for the fact that harm is often disproportionately experienced by people from historically marginalized groups or identities, while also recognizing that everyone, including those with dominant social identities, has been negatively affected by systems of oppression. 

Crucially, the TJ framework does not call for the censure or disposal (“cancelling”) of anyone. It is instead built around the processes of listening, relationship-building, and addressing systemic factors that may be enabling harm.

Read about why the EBDI founders are drawn to Transformative Justice in this interview.