so Why DO I REALLY Do This Heart Work?
-Yeruwelle de Rouen, MS, PMP, IDI
Ever wondered why mandatory DEI sessions and excessive corporate meetings spark resentment? Why they even exist at all?
It's rooted in what I call the American Domination Society era.
You see, in this nation's saga, two societal strains contend Partnership and Domination. This dichotomy births DEI training, racism, and a history marred by conquest.
American Domination Society's genesis? Columbus and colonization, asserting dominance over indigenous people and lands that were once governed by a Partnership society model. Even land ownership itself is a testament to this conquest.
But here's the kicker—our current society and ways of working are built upon historical systems of domination. How we live is a far cry from the communal living and neighborly respect we all desire. Partnership Society provides the possibility of a culture where homelessness and 40-hour workweeks are alien concepts once again.
While a full return to a Partnership Society might be a distant dream, a hybrid future is within grasp. We can meld the best of both worlds, forging a future that challenges norms.
A future where DEI trainings are no longer a bandaid solution but an earnest component of partnership.
As leaders, we mustn't just shift the narrative; we must flip the script entirely. In this radical journey, my team and I have flipped traditional DEI training on its head and elevated employee retention by a staggering 5-15% in less than 24 months.
Trusted by brands like Denny's, Girls Inc, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Green Leaf Guild, Oregon Department of Education, & Oregon State University.
If you're still here, you're not just seeking change; you're demanding it. Let's reshape the narrative—let's shift from domination to true belonging in your organization.
Personal narrative as a path to expertise
My intergenerational, visible, and personal identity are the foundation of how I understand the bridges between people and mindsets. Personal narrative and my desire to understand why the world works the way it does set a course for accumulating my expertise in counseling psychology, philosophy, rhetoric and law, critical race theory, and restorative organizational development.
My experience and expertise begin with my unique narrative growing up in a multi-ethnic, American home, raised in the enchanting desert of New Mexico, the oldest of seven children, homeschooled through my K-12 education. I was raised to ask questions, value education, and to incorporate servant-leadership into my regular life. As a multi-ethnic, light skinned, BIPOC, cis-woman I am ever aware of the power dynamics that are in each space and how the needs of people are the same no matter the many identities they hold.
The layered effect of identity and power
Throughout my life, my identity has made me keenly aware of how my position in the world and how this affects all aspects of individual personal liberty - from which rights I have over my own body, to how much money I can make on average in the workplace. These many inconsistencies of personal power, dependent on one’s perceived identity, led me to seek education and continuous learning about design thinking and the restorative process, which I apply to understand the domination structures that obstruct true collaboration.
Since youthdom, the three experiences that bring a constant awareness of and questions about power dynamics to my attention are:
a) My skin color - As a black and indigenous woman, the history of "passing" (allowing others to believe you're white or non-black to ease your way through life) is something I knew happened around me, and so I decided to never allow it. Yet, I can not forget that my lighter skin color allows me privilege, no matter my ethnicity or gender.
b) Science and the evolution of human understanding - Our far reaching understanding of the universe, the natural environment, human development, the brain, and epigenetics demonstrate so much about our capabilities. The collective human possibilities are astounding! Yet, the low level beliefs about ourselves and "the other" are crippling our evolution.
c) Gender and the positioning of the female - There was a special moment in life when I realize that I would one day transition to being a woman. I was stoked...until the world made clear that being "not a man" will displace you. Your experiences, your needs, your ideas, your passions are secondary - quieted - or violently silenced. This is across spectrum of colorism, ethnicity, language, or location.
Addressing domination to empower all people
These prominent identity experiences, combined with my education and expertise, have led to a passion for melding innovation with equity, belonging, and inclusion (EBI) within STEM, tech, and organizational culture. Helping organizations to remove domination dynamics and empower voice and innovation, which support their outcomes for sincere inclusion and belonging.
How I refresh my life
BS, Counseling & Educational Psychology, Family & Child Science, and Philosophy
MA, Critical Race Theory, Ethnic Women's Feminist Theory, and English Rhetoric
Catch me watering and talking to my plants, studying historical maps and movements of people, leaving it on the yoga mat, rockhounding with family, or meditating at the mountain ashram. We might also bump into each other at a continued learning space, the library, or enjoying live music at Red Rocks. Traveling and engaging with people also brings me joy, and I recently visited many Gaudi halls, and enjoyed the cafe afternoons when I married my hubby in Spain, spring 2022.