Teams that are gender, age and geographically diverse make better business decisions 50% of the time.*
Unity360 Institute is a program of SFPoC, offering customized, experiential Antiracism, Equity & Inclusion training workshops and technical assistance for institutions, companies and organizations to guide them toward intentional representation and an inclusive transformative culture.
Our vision is to plant the seeds of transformation for personal reflection, truthful storytelling, deep dialogue, and conversations on the journey toward racial healing. We curate learning engagements and provide IDEAS (inclusivity, diversity, equity, accountability, and sustainability) thought-partnership, education, and audits.
Our approach to IDEAS engagements is unique to Unity360 Institute and curated for each client we support. While there is need in many spaces for information and knowledge sharing about diversity, inclusion, and equity topics, the key to sustainable change toward true inclusivity is a deeper, more personal dive that shifts perspectives and understanding through experiential activities and storytelling, creating personal connections and trust which heighten awareness, empathy and compassion.
WHAT WE DO
In order to tailor programming to meet each client’s needs, engagement with SFPoC’s Unity360 Institute begins with an anonymous online questionnaire which assesses participants’ knowledge of IDEAS topics and their general feelings and attitudes toward this work.
Following the collection of the assessment results, we provide a first engagement in the form of our award-winning Awkward Dinners, named in recognition of the difficulty many encounter in engaging in courageous conversations about race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and ability, etc. This is a small group encounter curated to create a courageous space for honest sharing and learning, based on a healing justice framework.
Awkward Dinners introduce participants to our healing justice framework, grounded in restorative and transformative concepts based on the principles that all humans are of value and deserve to be treated as such, and that empathy sparked by personal storytelling can be transformative to individuals, who in turn can transform systems and institutions towards equity and inclusivity.
Following the collection of the assessment results, we provide a first engagement in the form of our award-winning Awkward Dinners, named in Unity360 Institute team members will analyze the data from the surveys, and while sharing and exploring the data with participants within the Awkward Dinner format, will also collect qualitative data to further uncover organizational needs around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The data from the surveys and Awkward Dinners help the U360I team to pinpoint acute areas of need, as well as areas of strength. Team members share recommendations and next steps of engagement. All U360I offerings are unique to each client and crafted specifically to address their goals and needs.
“The Awkward Dinner experience helped to open leadership's eyes to the curiosity of how inequality and racism shows up in organizations and their work. Some of the most impactful moments came from being able to broaden our perspectives and see the contrast in daily life experience within our team between people of different backgrounds and broader society as a whole. We were able to explore how our work connects to sustainability and the issues impacting the community.
Kieran Bowers, President of Swire Properties
Workshops run between two and three hours in length to ensure time for a deep dive into the topics as well as ensuring time for participants to make the personal connections necessary to create impact.
Some examples of content include:
Foundational Workshop -
Major topics of IDEAS are touched upon and explored.
Historical connections -
Historical formation of inequities and injustices can help to shine light on current established policies, procedures, and practices that unconsciously negatively impact systematically excluded people and communities.
What are they, who is impacted, in which areas are we more likely to commit them, and how do we avoid them to the best of our ability?
How do we form biases, what are their unintentional impacts, and how do we counteract them?
Organizational Values -
Explores the values that are important to the individuals and the company or organization as a whole. The exploration informs the creation of a values statement while moving toward a purpose and values driven organizational mindset.
Equity audits -
Policy, procedures, and practice
Listening circles -
In-house and community, to uncover stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives on inclusivity and equity within the organization
Our collective of thought leaders include many coaches in the areas of IDEAS and the perfect Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and DEI Committee development and support
Mission & Vision
Unity360 Institute is a collective of thought leaders with a mission to curate and facilitate authentic conversations for healing justice as a catalyst to dismantle individual, institutional, & systemic racism through participatory action, knowledge sharing, and technical assistance to transform systems.
Our vision is to plant the seeds of transformation through personal reflection, truthful storytelling, deep dialogue, and conversations rooted in restorative practice on the journey toward racial healing.
NOTE: Healing Justice is a framework that identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds. Cara Page and the Kindred Healing Justice Collective (Transformharm.org)
U360I’s Healing Justice framework derives from considerations about our personal “aura” (phonetically ORA) the essence of self; courageous conversations and personal storytelling that invite participants to consider their O.R.A. - Observe (what’s happening in their bodies), Reflect (on the impact of those reactions with the mind/intellect/memory), and Adapt (by developing intentional actions to address learning that results from the observation and reflection) through-out the process/journey of personal transformation and healing from racism.
J Thompson, MPA and the co-founding body of Unity360 Institute
WHO WE ARE
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute; Director of Operations
Roni Bennett, Co-founder and Executive Director of South Florida People of Color (SFPoC), enjoyed a successful career in Silicon Valley where she held several technical and management positions at leading technology firms including IBM, HP and AT&T. Her expertise is in project and program management of complex technical and global programs. She brings 25+ years of business and marketing expertise used to build strong business relationships at all organizational levels.
Bennett’s leadership of SFPoC was instrumental in electing a Black woman as mayor of Miami Shores in 2019 and there are now three Black women on the council. SFPoC is building on that success by drawing leaders from all racial and economic backgrounds with those with corporate backgrounds and those who experienced the criminal justice system – in order to effectively bridge the gap between grassroots and grass-tops in the social justice ecosystem.
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute; Director of Organizational Learning
Heather Burdick (she/her/hers) is a consultant, coach, and facilitator with SFPoC, as well as the Co-founder and Co-director of Miami Girls Rock Camp. After a successful career of 12 years as a public school teacher, she moved to non-profit work as Director of Programs with Miami’s local affiliate of the National Federation of Just Communities and expanded her work to adult education in order to move the needle on equity and inclusion and anti-racist approaches to local systemic injustices.
Under the leadership of sujatha baliga, recent recipient of the McArthur Genius Grant, Heather has been educated in both restorative processes and “train-the-trainer,” and her advocacy has helped to push the community toward restorative and transformative justice principles. Her recent work includes advocacy for restorative justice in the adult court systems, and expanding application to the “world of work,” in which restorative processes are applied to create more just and equitable workplaces. An area of specialty is inspirational culture creation within workplaces and organizations. Her strength in building organizational culture is especially apparent in her co-founding of organizations that empower women, girls, and non-binary youth, for which impact has been international, and featured as part of an exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
JOHANNA 'J' THOMPSON, MPA
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute - Director of Development
J Thompson, MPA contributes over 30 years expertise as an Executive Management Consultant who earned a Master of Public Administration from New York University, Wagner School of Public Service, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Columbia University. J’s career is dedicated to creating collaborative spaces across an intersection of networks, fostering relationships, and maintaining a vision to increase the capacity of those working toward equitable social and transformational justice until freedom dreams are reality.
J’s professional expertise is designing social impact strategies and providing technical assistance to develop organizational infrastructure, expand capacity and service delivery. J’s leadership philosophy has been crafted as a result of many miles (MLS) Modeling, Listening, Sharing space (modeling, informing, listening, executing, sharing space). The essential qualities brought to the organization include: business acumen, communicating the strategy/message at different levels, building social capital, technical assistance, executive thought leadership, strategic capabilities, big picture perspective, industry knowledge, and change management rooted in origin based knowledge and modalities. J wants to amplify Indigenous methodologies as a tool to shift the pervasive structural racism prevalent in our social, economic and political practices to benefit all by centering our most vulnerable community members.
Co-founder of Unity360 Institute - Director of Programming and Training
Quincie Doucet is a facilitator, workshop producer, and curriculum designer who creates and delivers educational programing to communities in order to confront the systemic and interpersonal obstacles to being an fair, equitable, and Anti-Racist America. Quincie believes that providing tools of inspiration and anti-oppressive frameworks allows people to combat the unique intersectional ways racism and anti-Blackness show up in their day-to-day.
Quincie is one of three co-founders of the nascent Sula's School, which focuses on uplifting and supporting Black youth in honing their radical imagination to dream up the solutions to their community's specific needs in Central Florida. Quincie, also works as an anti-racist consultant, facilitating space for organizations to craft environments that align with their anti-racist visions.
U360I BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Tameka Hobbs
Historian, Author, Speaker & Facilitator
Dr. Pamela Hall
Professor of Psychology at Barry University
Econ Gardening-Business Incubator at Florida State MSDC