Our Theory

We’re the anti-training-DEI trainers.🔥

We’re comfortable embracing our role as outliers in the DEI training industry because we think most of the industry is utterly full of shit. Delivering mandatory, recycled, one-off, theory-laden lectures to the whole organization is a bad idea, no matter how compelling or polished the presenter. It simply doesn’t work, but organizations continue to train this way because that’s what DEI companies tell them to do in a transparent attempt to run up the bill.

As soon as you become a White Elephant client, our goal is to make you a former client. We do that by helping you design custom, embedded anti-racist business practices that work for you . And we produce actionable outcomes in as little as 60 minutes— no lectures, no schtick, no theory.

Read the room, define your audience.🧑🏾‍💻🚫👨🏼‍💻

Are you trying to shorthand large chunks of social science theory, hoping to slowly wake up white folks who already work for you? Or do you want to make your workplace materially better for you BIPOC employees tomorrow? White Elephant’s position is that you can’t do both. We believe all DEI initiatives should start with an audience-of-one — your existing BIPOC employees. Our entire theory of DEI work begins and ends with the needs and wants of those employees.

We can’t succeed without defining success.🎯

Defining an objective and understanding how you’ll measure your progress is a requisite component of successful DEI initiatives. You need benchmarks, cultural change measurement instruments, and ongoing feedback and evaluation systems. And you need tools before you start because that’s what you’d do in any other area of your business.

White Elephant comes to the table believing that every organization should have a unique DEI journey. That’s why we create bespoke tools, custom-built for each client — developed precisely for you by us, not by us for anyone and everyone.

Everyone’s time is valuable, don’t waste it.⏰

Most, if not all, “diversity training” participants would rather be elsewhere. Systemic racism forecloses on a brighter future by convincing us that “cultural change” has to be painfully slow. It doesn’t have to be. The world won’t change overnight, but do you know what can? Your policies, processes, and procedures. White Elephant’s position is that time spent trying to get white people to agree on theoretical concepts is time wasted.

“The Six Types of White People you can find at any DEI workshop.”

We use these techniques:

1. 1-on-1 Executive Coaching

We deliver a 2 hour-minimum in person or remote each week with a CEO, Founder, or Senior VPs.

Change starts at the top. Company leadership needs to commit themselves to 10X more training as their lowest-paid employee because they have 10X the power (at least). If an organization isn’t willing to dedicate 2 hours per week of CEO or Senior VP, they should throw in the towel on all other anti-racism efforts (at minimum, you can’t work with me). We’ll back off on these sessions when the head of your organization sounds more like Gregg Popovich and less like Mark Zuckerberg.

2. Document Review

We deliver 2,000 words per month, 24/7 phone support. 

Our default (and free!) advice is “stop making statements.” Start acting within your organization. Tell people what you have done, not what you’re going to do.

The white impulse to speak and not act is the first damaging cognitive distortion. White people often seek approval from people of color about racism-related statements issued by their organization. White people think they’re an ally when they bring every non-white person on their team into this process of word-smithing the most effective public statement. I can assure you that you’re not. 

When you are compelled to speak, get feedback on the statement from a person you trust to challenge your organization from the POV of a person that isn’t concerned with their status within your organization. 

3. Ethnographic Assessment

We start delivering actionable insights immediately in Basecamp.

Abandon quantitative obsessions. It’s not about counting people, measuring an Intercultural Inventory Score, or making people pass an online test. it’s about getting an honest assessment of where you are. Otherwise, you’re misdiagnosing the disease using a logic that you wouldn’t apply to any product or area of your business. 

4. Workshop Sprints

We can deliver as many on-site events as you like from our list of workshop options.

I’ve never been to a good “diversity training.” I’ll bet you haven’t either. Ideal corporate anti-racism workshops look more like design sprints than lectures. Attendance is optional. Fulfill your HR training elsewhere. Right learning spaces feel more like a poetry slam than a board room; a free-flowing environment where people could bounce from one activity to the next without judgment; an experiential museum exhibit rather than a college classroom. An environment of differentiated learning where we recognize that everyone isn’t coming to the conversation the same way.

This is the Workshop Menu:

☑️ Race as Cognitive Distortion 
☑️ Racial Consciousness as Iterative Product Cycle 
☑️ Organizational Privacy and White Supremacy
☑️ Facilitated Listening Sessions (Passive Audience)
☑️ Empathy Building Cognitive Shortcuts 
☑️ Meditating About Race
☑️ Developing a Personal Accountability Plan 

If you’re interested in working with us, just tell us what you need.