Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity
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 extending education to include how consent applies to larger spheres, including heteronormative, patriarchal, white-supremacist culture and its effects on all.
It is time to uplevel our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We have been asked, and are asking ourselves, why there are 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, and how we can safely hold containers that include individuals from diverse communities. How can the Wheel of Consent provide a relevant lens around consent beyond touch and 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. We thank you for your patience as we integrate all that the last year has taught us about the importance of coming into alignment.
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 our 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, as well as working with a DEI coach as a team
- 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 students and facilitator community to provide additional education around accessibility and diversity
Cultivating resources to increase diversity of facilitators
- Expanding opportunities for learning and representation among diverse bodies (race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and more) through scholarships and building network alliances
- Offering a mentorship/scholarship path for committed BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals and those with disabilities who wish to pursue Wheel of Consent Facilitator Certification
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
- Providing relevant resources to our community of facilitators and 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
- A structure to keep our community informed of what we are doing, changing, or adding as we move forward
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 quarterly 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 are a few ways to do so.