IFSI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
This is a live document and as such, it will evolve as our organization evolves.
Our goal at the IFS Institute is to create learning environments and a community that teach and support the internal welcoming of parts that have been exiled, shamed, or marginalized within our systems so that they may be seen, heard, valued, and ultimately healed. Our hope is that this work will lead to greater Self leadership where all of us are more connected, curious, and compassionate with ourselves and with each other.
We recognize that IFS was developed and is still primarily taught and managed through a white lens. This has made it difficult to create an inviting space for everyone to feel safe and welcome and to contribute fully to the evolution and growth of the community. As a result, we have not been as effective as we could be in the ongoing fight for freedom and healing for ALL peoples.
To focus our efforts and hold ourselves accountable, we have developed four specific commitments. These commitments reflect our desire for all peoples to find solace and healing from IFS, while we hold space for individual to contribute their unique gifts, voices, and perspectives to the IFS movement.
We commit to:
- Take accountability for our learning: We all have different levels of awareness, skill, and blind spots in applying the IFS method to the parts of ourselves and others that carry Legacy Burdens and otherwise acquired biased beliefs. Our learning edges manifest themselves in many ways, including in community conversations and learning programs where we have unintentionally continued to center the gender normative, white supremacist, ableist experience. We are committed to taking accountability for our learning edges so that we can hold appropriate space for the exploration of everyone’s lived experience and to repair harm when we are unable to do so.
- Expand the IFS methodology toward Legacy Burdens: Legacy Burdens include racism, patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, ageism, ableism, anti-fat and other deep-seated biases and beliefs. These burdens work to maintain power structures within ourselves, our community, and the world. It is important for us to sit with the process of unpacking how Legacy Burdens move in and around our systems. Each of our individual and collective parts hold these Legacy Burdens differently. Learning how we hold these burdens in each of us can lead to discovering new ways that the IFS method can provide healing toward these burdens and unloading these legacies when conditions allow. We seek to support this work and further dismantle power structures that continue to perpetuate Legacy Burdens.
- Attract, retain, and welcome a more diverse community: Our organization and community do not reflect the full breadth of the communities we aim to serve. We must work to ensure that the people managing, leading, creating and delivering our programs and providing feedback to us reflect greater diversity. Diversity of thought, perspective
- and lived experience is not enough. It is critical for us to have diversity of embodiment, culture, and physiology for the evolution of the organization and the model.
- Provide caring for ourselves and each other: Staying true to these commitments will not be easy and will challenge our internal and collective systems. In this journey, we commit to provide care for ourselves, each other, and our community.
Our commitment to DE&I is supported by the work of our DE&I Committee. The committee is chaired by Rosa Bramble Caballero, and includes Lara Baden-Semper, Philip Butler, Donna Carter, Fatimah Finney, Maria Hidalgo, Katie Nelson and Ann Sinko.
If you have any input that you would like to share with our committee or with IFS Institute, please use the Contact Us page and select the DE/I Feedback dropdown. We welcome ideas as well as concerns!
In general, the DE&I Committee works to provide strategic guidance and support to the Institute. Institute staff work on a broader range of DE&I topics and issues.