Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The School of Consent is committed to social justice by embodying equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Consent is a concept that ideally includes all of those values -- and our team has been in deep reflection as to how to more fully align and enact these values within our organization, our curriculum, and across our community of students and certified facilitators.
We acknowledge that the School of Consent was founded by a predominantly white and cisgender team, and that while our workshops have always included individuals from marginalized communities, the spaces have been led by white, cisgender facilitators.
The Wheel of Consent® framework includes a practice of noticing, trusting, valuing, and communicating our desires and limits, and learning to create clear consent agreements with that knowledge. We recognize that such a practice, amongst real-world multi-cultural dynamics requires a foundational sense of safety that is not equally accessible and available to everyone.
Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent and her Like A Pro trainings, which form the foundation of the School of Consent, were initially born from experience within and in service to the field of sex work, a field historically and systemically criminalized, undervalued, and underrepresented, with the greatest impact of these social and economic factors to those most marginalized within the community.
This work has empowered hands-on practitioners at the front line of sexuality and intimacy with the boundary and consent skills to care for themselves and their clients in a way that had never before been taught. Scholarships and work-study options have always been offered to assist marginalized or minoritized students.
We recognize that the social oppressions endured by certain groups, and the very basis for the existence of these oppressive systems, are most often not based on consent. It is clear that we have an active role to play in addressing these systems of oppression by educating people about consent, not only in how it applies to personal interactions, but including how consent applies to larger systems.
We have been asked, and are asking ourselves, why there have been so few teachers and facilitators of color, what we are doing to integrate an anti-bias, anti-racist lens to our standard curriculum, what we are doing to reach out to more diverse communities, how we can safely hold containers that include individuals from diverse communities, and how can the Wheel of Consent be applied to a larger context of privilege and oppression?
These are excellent questions and we share with you our process so you can join us. Addressing these questions requires both learning and unlearning, reflection, collaboration, and integration.
The School of Consent is committed to:
Our own ongoing learning, unlearning, and education
- Learning how the Wheel of Consent can be informed and evolve through the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed people
- Expanding and evolving the application of the Wheel of Consent framework, from a focus on interpersonal dynamics to include social dynamics on a larger scale
- Enrolling ourselves in anti-racist and anti-bias learning opportunities, individually and as an organization
- Soliciting feedback from our community about how we can best integrate multiple perspectives, experiences, and realities in the evolution of our curriculum and offerings
- Acknowledging power dynamics within learning spaces with an intent to honor the unique lived experiences of all participants
Creating containers for community learning and connection
- Creating events to process experiences and insights through the lens of the Wheel:
- BIPOC-only community events to share BIPOC experiences
- People who benefit from white supremacy for unlearning the pervasive white supremacist culture and systemic racism
- All bodies to explore the collective insights about autonomy and social justice
- Hosting workshops for our facilitator community to provide additional education around accessibility and diversity
Increasing the diversity of practitioners and facilitators in the School
Offering BIPOC only and Queer-centric events
Reserving a minimum number of spaces for BIPOC participants in some of our Like a Pro trainings
Offering sliding scale pricing for all BIPOC participants in Like a Pro trainings
Providing mentorship to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals who wish to pursue Facilitator Certification
Prioritizing BIPOC and LGBTQ+ representation in our Like a Pro teaching faculty
Creating structures for accountability and repair
- An accountability and feedback structure for individuals from our community to communicate with us what we have missed or if we, or a member of our community, have caused harm
- Creating a code of ethics that includes diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments and accountability processes that can be adopted by individual Wheel of Consent facilitators
This is an iterative process and we undertake it with heart and transparency. There will be course corrections and multiple perspectives to integrate. We will make mistakes, and we promise to listen, take responsibility, learn, and adapt. We will provide updates on the development and implementation of these commitments.
Thank you to our community for taking the time to inspire, encourage, and hold us accountable, with compassion and grace.
If you would like to support our BIPOC/LGBTQ+ Scholarship fund, here is how to do so.
Support our Scholarship Fund!
We offer some scholarships to students from marginalized populations - mainly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and LGBTQ folks.