February is Black History Month - this serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and confronting systemic injustices while celebrating the rich heritage, achievements, and resilience of Black people around the world. It is a time for dialogue, reflection, and action towards building a more equitable and inclusive society for all. While its origins lie in the United States, its message resonates globally due to the shared experiences of the African diaspora and the ongoing fight against racism, oppression, and inequality.
We have heard how the new admissions changes have landed on some of your systems. First, we want to make sure you all know that there is a place for you at IFS-I. You are still needed and you are still wanted.
As many are aware, over the past few years the IFS Institute has seen a significant increase in demand for our IFS Trainings.
Message from Dick Schwartz
The situation in the Middle East has evoked many parts in me, as I’m sure it has in you, and I have been actively working with them. One part felt moved (and some in our community were looking to me) to make a statement. So, I wrote something, trying to apply aspects of IFS to the conflict.
In October, we convened at the highly anticipated 2023 IFS Conference, marking a momentous occasion as we celebrated 40 Years of the IFS Model. For the first time in four years, we gathered in person, with 800 IFS Community Members joining us physically, while a global audience participated virtually through our live-streamed Keynotes.
As we reflect on 2023, we want to share with our community some of the ways the IFS Institute is working to apply the principles of our DEI statement. In particular, we want to focus on our commitments to take accountability for our learning, as well as attracting and retaining a more diverse community.
As tragedies and violence unfold in the Middle East, we would like to acknowledge and hold space for the grief, terror and anger being felt by Israelis, Palestinians, and those among the diaspora in our communities and around the world.
At the heart of every IFS training, workshop or program is the IFS trainer. As demand for IFS education has grown, so have our efforts to expand the community of trainers dedicated to making IFS Institute’s educational experiences transformational.
Last summer we offered a community survey to guide us in our work to meet the demand fueled by the growing awareness of IFS. We’re grateful to the thousands who replied and provided important insights on the community we serve as well as learning preferences. We have used these insights to guide us as we are expanding our learning programs while working to maintain high quality events and steward the integrity of the IFS model.
This past week I have been thinking a lot about problem solving. As one of the leaders at the Institute, I hear frequently from a wide range of stakeholders on issues important to them and then working with our team and others to figure out how to solve them. Important issues such as;
· How do we grow the number of programs offered while maintaining the integrity of the teaching?
· What additional offerings do we want to provide, in what order and to whom?
· How do we expand the accessibility of our offerings?