Excelerate Success will ignite sustainable social and systemic change by leveraging community voice and power to identify and confront opportunity gaps. Through individual and collective transformation, we work to create learning spaces that honor the unique identities and lived experiences of every person.
Excelerate Success seeks to build community by promoting collaboration among Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and white people in Spokane County as well as among people with other marginalized identities. This is the community we serve within Spokane County. We do this through relationships that embrace the complexity and wholeness of our different community members.
Excelerate Success prioritizes building relationships and community. We believe that addressing racism and other oppression starts with the personal journey but that the journey extends to the systems and structures that perpetuate oppression. Race and culture are always in play.
Excelerate Success has three core strategies: Racial Affinity Groups, Trainings Led by Impacted Communities, and an Annual Community Learning Event.
Three Core Strategies
We started caucusing about a year ago because we recognized that each time we hosted trainings or convenings on how racisms operates, BIPOC have been harmed. The BIPOC Affinity Group and the Male-Identified BIPOC Affinity Group are spaces that allows BIPOC to hold each other in solidarity during difficult times. In this space we are allowed to grieve, to be angry, to experience joy, and to be heard. In this space we also address internalized and horizontal oppression. The space is complemented by a white accountability space, where white people explicitly and intentionally work on developing understanding of whiteness in a space where their learning and unlearning will not burden or harm BIPOC. Excelerate Success views affinity groups and caucusing as a proactive anti-racism and anti-oppression tool that reduces harm to BIPOC, promotes healing, decenters whiteness and its toxic effects, and centers BIPOC.
Excelerate Success builds relationships with local people from impacted communities who have anti-oppression expertise and supports them in developing anti-oppression curricula based on what they want non-targeted community members to learn. Excelerate Success uses a relationship approach in all we do and eschews transactional efforts. The hard work of ending oppression is not achievable through transactional training spaces. Our staff facilitates anti-oppression trainers through a process of connecting with one another, deciding what and how they want to teach, and supports them in develop the material and approach that will center their voices and their messages so training participants will walk away with the understanding and skills to cause less harm. Our training partners include Spectrum Center, JustLead, Greater Spokane Progress (GSP), and LK Consulting & Coaching.
Excelerate Success kicked off our new missional focus in 2018 with an event featuring a local BIPOC panel as well as education for white people on the damaging force of white fragility led by bestselling author Robin DiAngelo. Excelerate Success staff and leadership struggled with whether this was the best place to start, but ultimately our experience in community conversations about race and racism told us that white people in Spokane were not in a position to listen to BIPOC people tell them they were racist. They needed to hear it first from a white person.
Our annual event in 2019 featured teaching by Ijeoma Oluo, bestselling author of So You Want to Talk About Race, as well as a local multi-generational BIPOC panel conversation on education and race. We are currently looking into an in-person event in 2022.