Anti-racist Leadership Development & Organizational Change

Develop anti-racist leaders and organizations.

We support organizations, networks, peer learning communities in cultural transformation and building anti-racist practices for collaborative leadership. We approach our coaching with the goal of deepening anti-racist, transformational change at both the personal and institutional levels. 

How do we shape cultural change toward anti-racism? How do we transform as individuals and as a collective? We approach our coaching with the goal of deepening anti-racist, transformational change at both the personal and institutional levels.

We believe that developing courageous, compassionate anti-racist leaders is key to bringing about equity in our organizations and institutions.

We support organizations to undertake long term transformational processes for dismantling structural racism from within.

To do this, we support groups to: 

  • Develop a common understanding and practice to talk about racism and sit in the discomfort of these dialogues
  • Understand the history of racism in our country and as it impacts our particular organizations, communities and fields of work 
  • Take action: build structures that are accountable to the communities most impacted by their work
  • Recognize and begin to shift white organizational culture and norms 
  • Invest in relationship building as the heart of the work

This is necessary, uncomfortable and deeply energizing work. We all have the power to be part of the solution and to create change.  We each have tremendous resources to bring to the process. 


Moving Springfield Upstream: Setting the Table for Race, Place and Change

MassUP Springfield is a 3-year diverse, place-based partnership that advocates and builds capacity for Springfield, MA residents to access and enjoy healthy food. This work is grounded in a shared vision for community ownership and decision-making rooted in racial justice and health equity. Fertile Ground convenes, facilitates, and evaluates this project, which includes five core agency partners that are designing processes to engage a broad multi-sector steering committee in developing language for dismantling systemic racism while activating innovative fresh food access strategies. The result is long term systems, environment, and policy change.

Partnership in Practice

With Carol Stewart, Sands is the other half of Partnership in Practice, a collaborative consulting group that provides strategic planning, research and evaluation, facilitation and mediation to community groups, nonprofits, educational institutions and municipalities. Specifically, we specialize in creating learning environments, mediation, intergroup dialogue, and conflict resolution.

Based in Western Massachusetts and formed in 2008, our clients have included the Holyoke Health Center, The Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, The City of Easthampton – Hampshire County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coalition, The City of Holyoke, Amherst College, SPIFFY Coalition for Hampshire Education Collaborative, The FARE Partnership, Haverford College, Wesleyan University and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Catherine and Carol met during the MPPA program at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at UMASSAmherst during their studies in 2006-2008. They studied in the Social Justice Education department together and found that their lives and values resonated and their Partnership in Practice has provided an avenue for continued collaboration and engage in work that is fun and meaningful to them.