Sozo Vision launches the next installment of HEALING FORWARD™ Leadership Retreat
Hacking Consciousness and Institutional Culture through Systemic Allyship
“If racism is structural, then anti-racism also must be structural.”
— Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Sozo Vision, now in its fourth year of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in arts and culture throughout the US and beyond, is thrilled to launch the second installment of HEALING FORWARD™: A Journey Into Allyship, a 2-day virtual retreat designed to bolster cultural leaders and organizations on their journey to becoming institutionally anti-racist. This next retreat is slated for June 16–17, 2022.
HEALING FORWARD™ guides organizations toward a deeper understanding and implementation of structural allyship in the social and cultural fields by offering a new framework for diversity, equity and inclusion called the 4P’s: Pedagogy, Pipeline, Program and Profile. This framework, designed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Rika Iino of Sozo Vision, acknowledges and orients organizations towards a relearning of consciousness while simultaneously honoring social justice and social change. Since its launch in June 2021, HEALING FORWARD™ has impacted 50+ organizations of all sizes through its workshops, with a current cohort of 100+ leaders in arts & culture activating the methodology within their organizations.
“HEALING FORWARD™ is for any organization or any leader that thinks about their contribution to culture as being concurrently spaces that present prefabricated culture, and also individuals and organizations that see themselves as oracles for an equitable future that we all desire,” says Joseph.
In HEALING FORWARD™, an organization’s journey to systemic allyship begins with an assessment developed by Sozo called the Solidarity Matrix Assessment (SMA), a series of provocations aimed to spark conversations and deepen the understanding of what it means for an organization to be culturally transformative. In addition to the SMA, several other assessment tools were created as a set of catalysts for an organization to develop a shared vocabulary and articulate a theory of change, which describes how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. HEALING FORWARD™ equips the organization with the foundational knowledge and framework of how to begin this work and further assists teams in designing an action plan suitable for the organization.
Also unique to HEALING FORWARD™ is a practice of activating the entire organization through the 4Ps methodology. “We are often asked how our methodology is different from DEI training. We believe DEI training is a critical first step; however, it often stops short of providing the tools we use to disrupt existing patterns of personal and interpersonal behaviors and is often designated in a segregated way to human resources or a Chief Diversity Officer. Or worse, organizations can fall into the pattern of performative allyship if DEI is not embedded and practiced at the structural level. HEALING FORWARD™ was created as a means to bridge the gap between your DEI training and the future version of your organization that you want to see, realized by engaging the entire organization. HEALING FORWARD™ repositions and expands the DEI framework from topical to structural, challenging existing epistemologies and giving you the language and modalities to implement lasting, systemic allyship, evolving the DNA of the organization,” says Iino.
The upcoming HEALING FORWARD™ virtual leadership retreat will kick off the Juneteenth weekend, on June 16 and 17, 2022 from 8am-3pm PST / 11am-6pm EST. Participants are encouraged to bring at least one other person from their organization. The schedule for each day includes a mix of knowledge talks, deep study, artistic inspiration, and breaks for movement and meals. To register, visit www.healforward.org.