How does consent-based governance support racial equity goals in operations?

We frame our work as Racial Equity II: living into practices of equity through consent-based governance. It is a leading edge and emergent practice for racial equity.

Using the Principle of Consent as the basis for decision-making practices and processes is a keystone for equity. Practicing consent means listening for and adapting solutions to meet a wide range of needs and to mitigate risks, so that people and ecosystems can reach their full potential.

Equity is, “about each of us getting what we need to survive or succeed — access to opportunity, networks, resources, and supports — based on where we are and where we want to go.”

BIPOC leaders take and use consent practices for self-governance.

In the COEP Action Team’s Blueprint for Community Ownership, Empowerment & Prosperity in the Chesapeake Foodshed, the team described their own use of consent-based decision-making and their vision of an “oasis that rises from the wastelands of capitalism, anti-blackness, and white supremacist paternalism.”

Nicholai Joekay, an Alaskan Native and Regional Co-chair of The Alliance, says in this video, that, “Those on the fringes finally have a voice and equal standing with everyone else, especially in a statewide coalition. It’s refreshing to be front and center.”

Alexis Flanagan, Co-Director of Resonance Network, says, “Consent is a bedrock norm that applies just as much in governance [and the violence it has perpetuated] as in domestic or sexual violence.”

Anecdotal feedback has shown not only a transformation of the work itself, but also a significant impact on personal development, self-empowerment and self-actualization which groups have expressed as a, “humanizing process that counterbalances the dehumanization practices of our current cultural norms.”

It is our goal to learn how our governance design work is impacting racial healing, and to improve our tools to advance and scale the work. Using the Consent Principle, the network can embed transparency and shared leadership into its operations so they can equitably address conflict; grow more adaptive and resilient; hold each other accountable; and deliver value and results.

For further reading, see The Equity Manifesto.

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