Statement of Solidarity

At Change Matrix,

We are saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other black and brown people who have been unjustly harmed or killed for the color of their skin;

We are outraged that such blatant racism runs deep in our communities, and that our country’s many systems – physical and mental healthcare, early childhood, education, housing, food, criminal justice, and so on – echo this racism by producing racially disparate outcomes;

We stand in solidarity with the black and brown families against police brutality and systemic racism;

We are concerned for our friends, families, colleagues, and fellow community members that racial and ethnic discrimination will not end in this country, if we do not take action in a collective and meaningful way; and

We are hopeful that the events of the past few weeks have sparked a turning point in our country’s long history of white privilege, hate, and trauma.

Equity is a core value of who we are and the work we do in Change Matrix. We believe equity is achieved when everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, has the opportunity to thrive. Equity requires acknowledging root causes of inequities, eliminating barriers, lifting community strengths, and relentlessly pursuing justice. As such, we at Change Matrix have been and will remain committed to the values that guide our work with others and the day-to-day operation of our company:

  • Justice and Equity. We strive for justice and equity for all people in all environments.
  • Culture and Diversity. We acknowledge and learn from the histories and experiences of others to shape our understanding of culture and diversity.
  • Relationships. We build strong relationships based on trust, empathy, and compassion.
  • Family. We value and prioritize families – both those we serve and our own.
  • Community. We honor strengths-based, self-determination of individuals, families, and communities.
  • Excellence and Accountability. We are inspired to bring our best selves to all of our work, and we aim for excellence.

We invite you to join us in lifting up the voices of others and lending your own voice to system change efforts aimed at achieving true equity and justice. Together we can make a difference.

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Afrofuturism and Ecology for Social Change

The following was written by and from the perspective of CM Change Specialist, Kristin Lacy.

Cover of the Emergent Strategy book by Brown
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown

In celebration of the Black voices that have given us so much wisdom in the social change field, we’re highlighting Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy book. Brown creatively explores our human relationship to change through metaphors from ecological wonders and afrofuturism wisdom. Drawing from Octavia Butler – one of history’s most important Black science fiction writers – she writes “All organizing is science fiction…. Meaning that social justice work is about creating systems of justice and equity in the future, creating conditions that we have never experienced. That is a futurist focus, and the practices of collaboration and adaptation and transformative justice, are science fictional behavior.”

Standing in solidarity with protestors in Denver over the last several weeks, the simple and powerful assertion Black Lives Matter has even more meaning after reading this from Brown: “We say, Black Lives Matter! An Afrofuturist assertion. Because we see something other than the normative truths of this place… we see something that is not here…. We see the future, cast over this devastating present moment.”

Brown also grounds the principles of emergent strategy in nature. From mycellium networks to the collective efficacy of ants to the decentralized murmurations of starlings across the sky, she encourages us to learn from the ways ecology is constantly emerging and adapting and transforming. Emergent strategy is a self-help, society-help and planet-help book that is so timely, reminding us that the world and the systems we operate in are ever-changing, and thus we too must learn to “feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us” in order to transform our societies towards justice. In celebration of Black leaders in the social change field, I highly recommend Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy!

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The Woman in Yellow

It’s 2020…100 years since suffrage movement activists won the right to vote for many women across the country.  As we look back to notable moments like this in history, we celebrate women leaders and acknowledge that the path to gender equality has not been inclusive and we are still on it.  For that reason, the Change Matrix team is sharing a series of personal essays about women.  They might be women we know who were models or mentors and influenced us as professionals.  They might be women whose work we have loved and integrated into our own.  They might be about our identification as women through a cultural lens.

Rachele

It was 1986. I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store when a flash of yellow caught my eye. On the cover of a magazine was Cory Aquino. She had just been declared Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

Immediately, I felt a sense of pride. Never had I seen a Filipina on the cover of a US magazine. Never had I seen a Filipina woman rise to leadership and call for civil disobedience. Never had I seen millions gather for massive demonstrations in the Philippines. Never had I imagined that a nonviolent revolution would result in the end of the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Cory Aquino, as she was commonly called, is remembered as the woman dressed in yellow who led the People Power Revolution. She served as the first female president of the Philippines (1986-1992). While she had no political background, the assassination of her husband, Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr, in 1983 galvanized the opposition to the Marcos government, and led her to be the unified opposition’s presidential candidate.

At that moment in time, standing in the checkout line, Cory Aquino symbolized for me the noble fight for democracy, courage, and moral leadership. The events that happened in the Philippines stunned the world. Having immigrated to the US when I was a toddler, I never felt that my history was taught in school or reflected in current events. It was the first time I felt proud of my Filipino heritage.

[Picture above: Photograph of Cory Aquino retrieved from AsiaNews.it http://asianews.it/news-en/Cory-Aquino,-the-first-woman-president-in-Asia-and-symbol-of-democracy,-dies-15938.html]

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