United in Spirit, Celebrating Diversity
The Shift Network sees diversity as a key element in creating a world that works for all. We fully support and honor all of earth’s peoples, which we aim to reflect in our programs and philanthropic impact (see below).
We celebrate the spiritual inheritance of every global culture and believe that by studying and honoring multiple lineages and diverse cultures, we gain an enriched global understanding about what it means to be a human being at this time on our planet, and how we can live in the most conscious way possible.
We value the contributions of ALL people, including those from every race, culture, gender, age, spiritual belief, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, size, shape, and ability. We believe each person, as a nexus of identity and experience, has an important perspective to contribute to our wholeness. We thus condemn any and all acts of racism, injustice and prejudice.
As a company, we are in a process of learning and growing to ensure that we deepen our own cultural humility and competence within our staff members, which in turn impacts our programming. As we learn, we refine our processes and offerings to be fully aligned with our intentions.
Here are the sessions from our 2020
Transforming Racism Series
Shift’s Company Statement regarding George Floyd and Incidents of Police Brutality
The Shift Network is a transformational educational company committed to creating a better world, one in which racism, injustice, and prejudice have no place.
Thus, we stand unequivocally with those who have been oppressed, particularly those of Black and African descent who have long faced unequal treatment, police brutality, and systemic injustice.
Enough is enough. It was never in any way acceptable, and can no longer be tolerated to violently oppress, marginalize, or diminish others based upon race, culture, or membership in any group. We cannot solve the considerable challenges we face when we do not have the genius of all people at the table. It’s time to make appropriate amends and reparations for the past and to forge stronger partnerships to create a world that works for all.
To our BIPOC community members, we see you, hear you, respect you, and acknowledge the struggles you’ve had to face and the obstacles you’ve had to surmount. We also honor your diversity of experiences — your joy, creative expression, and grief — as acts of resistance and resilience. We recognize that your hard-earned wisdom is essential now.
To our white community members, we honor any ways that you’ve attempted to undo centuries of white supremacy programming within yourself and your community, and invite you to make a still deeper commitment to go further in your listening, your unraveling of old programming, and your actions of support.
We recognize the necessity of transforming not just our consciousness, but the societal, institutional, and cultural conditions that have actively created unjust systems — and we commit ourselves to working as an organization to raise awareness, change laws, and shift beliefs, behaviors, and patterns of culture that contribute to oppression. We commit to being a company that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity.
We don’t pretend to be experts, but are committed to the journey and to working alongside the millions of allies who refuse to be silent or complicit in any way. We acknowledge the deep suffering behind the current wave of protests, and will do our part to bridge divides, create opportunities, call out abuse, and end oppression in all its forms.
May we approach this time as one in which we bear witness to the surfacing of long-festering traumas, mourn the loss of Black and Brown lives, and move forward with healing, increased understanding, and a commitment to redesign our world in a just and equitable way.
As a company, we are:
- Creating a special Transforming Racism series starting June 8 featuring more than two dozen experts.
- Refocusing our Summer of Peace dialogue series on Facebook Live towards the work of racial healing and navigating this crisis with empathy, compassion, and an unyielding commitment to justice.
- Taking our staff through a program to help us better understand white privilege and white fragility so that we as an organization are better equipped to carry on the work of eradicating racism and facilitating meaningful and lasting change.
- Making philanthropic contributions to organizations as a way to advance cultural healing.
Transforming Racism as a New
Shift has decided to add “Transforming Racism” as an additional focus area for our philanthropic efforts, starting in 2020, in addition to Peacebuilding, Indigenous Healing, Gender Equality, and Evolving our Democracy.
So we are pleased to announce the first five organizations that we’ve decided to support with funds as well as our platform and network power. We’d like to encourage you to join us in supporting these organizations as well.
They are as follows:
National Bailout’s “Free Black Mamas Fellowship” — Everyday tens of thousands of people languish in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Black people are over two times more likely to be arrested and once arrested are twice as likely to be caged before trial. Our LGBTQ and gender nonconforming family are targeted and caged at even more alarming rates, and once in jail are significantly more likely to be sexually and physically abused. In addition, the number of women incarcerated went from 8,000 people in 1970 to nearly 110,000 in 2014 — and nearly two-thirds of incarcerated women are Black. Sixty percent of people in local women’s jails have not even been convicted of a crime and are awaiting trial — and 80 percent of them are parents. These Black women, femmes, and gender nonconforming folks — Black Mamas and caregivers — are often without support or a safety net when they are jailed.
Thus we focus on bailing out Black Mamas and caregivers and then offer them the The #FreeBlackMamas fellowship, which is a 6-week program that explores the experience of Black mamas in real communities and provides an opportunity for Black mamas to devise solutions and cast vision together for the future of their communities. **Note: We use the term “Mama” to encompass all Black women and femmes that self-identify as a Mama — including cis and Trans women, femmes, gender nonconforming people, and non-binary folks — who parent and care for their families and communities in various traditional and nontraditional ways. See https://www.nationalbailout.org/
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights — The Ella Baker Center, based in Oakland, CA, is a very well-respected organization in Northern CA, originally founded by Van Jones (who is now a CNN Commentator). The center works locally, statewide, and nationally to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong. We believe that what you water grows. That’s why we mobilize everyday people to build power and prosperity in our communities. https://ellabakercenter.org/our-work
Equal Justice Initiative — EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. We’ve earned the top ranking from Charity Navigator and won a Skoll Award for our impact on social justice reform.The work of this organization was featured in the film Just Mercy, which has received critical acclaim. https://eji.org/
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments. https://www.naacpldf.org/
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities. We challenge injustice, hold corporate and political leaders accountable, commission game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advance solutions for racial justice that can transform our world. https://colorofchange.org/about/
Shift’s Commitments Related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- To take a stand on racial equity and to showcase the gifts of diverse peoples and cultures.
- To heal the world’s relationship with Indigenous peoples
- To stand for gender equality in our staff and leadership, as well as our faculty selection.
- To celebrate the full range of our spiritual inheritance. Our first public offering back in 2010 was the Sacred Awakening Series, which featured 40 teachers from every major lineage. And we have continued to offer a wide diversity of spiritual teachings from every major lineage since then.
- To provide philanthropic contributions aligned with our core Impact areas, each of which directly impacts diversity issues:
- Transforming Racism
- Indigenous Healing
- Gender Equality
- Evolving our Democracy
Here’s a list of past philanthropic contributions.
- To undertake a deep inquiry internally around diversity and equality issues, through company-wide discussions and training with qualified diversity experts.
- To develop who we are as a company by hiring a more representative and diverse team.
- To offer robustly diverse lineups of speakers in our online summits, even in fields that are traditionally white-dominated or more narrowly represented.
- To develop and offer programming that’s compelling and accessible to people of many backgrounds and lifestyles.
Diversity in Our Programs
The Shift Network creates transformational content designed to support you in accessing your full potential and bringing your gifts to the world so that together we shift our planet in profound ways.
Every year we feature a vast array of free inspirational and educational content that covers a wide range of practices for personal growth and social evolution. Here is a sampling of some of the offerings we’ve hosted or convened that showcase diverse speakers and themes.