The NSGP Diversity and Inclusion Committee Wants to Welcome You
This summer the NSGP Board voted to officially change Diversity and Inclusion from a Task Force to a standing committee. We are excited about this change and what it could mean for NSGP as an organization and this article is our way of saying hello to the NSGP Community.
As you well know by now, our nation is reckoning with its entrenched, centuries-old history of violence against, mistreatment of, and inequality for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). As a microcosm of the world, NSGP must do the same. Foremost, because it is right, and because the organization cannot truly carry forward its mission or continue to be viable without becoming a more welcoming and nourishing space for all types of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, physical ability, class, religion, age, and professional background or practice orientation.
The level of interest in anti-racist work from the members and leadership of this organization has been incredibly heartening, and steps have already been taken on an individual and organizational level, with many more to come, in what we hope will be on-going and integrated into all aspects of NSGP.
So, while we acknowledge this might not be the most light-hearted stuff, we wanted to share with you a little more about who we are as people. We aren’t a monolith. We are a group of individuals, all on our own journeys to learn, grow, and change, just like you. Here are some fun facts about each of us:
Co-chair Sasha Watkins practices internal martial arts and loves gardening. She is a mother of two tri-racial children.
Co-Chair Mary Barnes loves a good mystery. She also is somewhat of a Luddite. She is blessed to have young folks in her life, including her young adult child, nieces, nephews, as well as her beloved Tufts students & alumni.
Lesley McGee has four tattoos and has skydived over the Great Barrier Reef. She’s also an avid horseback rider.
Anaïs Lugo-Guercio loves to travel. Two of her favorite places are Jamaica and Japan. She also enjoys yoga, camping, and tarot readings.
Guy Crouteauloves to fly his drone all over MA and NH and find great video captions. He has also begun a new venture in doing group therapy on a new online platform.
Melissa Kelly once took a road trip all the way across the US and back, lived in Paris for two years, and has switched careers from therapy to copywriting and graphic design.
Katy Ananian played lacrosse in college and is now a coach.
Rivkah Lapidus loves YouTubes of Nichols and May sketches, Nora Ephron, and Allan Sherman. She also recently watched five years of Get Smart. She finds herself doodling caricatures when in meetings and has adult daughters.
Our Committee created a mission statement which is as follows:
We aim to create inclusive, culturally safe, brave spaces to learn, share experiences, reflect, grow and enact change; raise awareness and engage in discourse on topics including: exploration of bias, historic and institutionalized racism, oppression, and the intersection of personal and professional identities with social justice issues and our work.
If you are looking for a way to contribute professionally to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion, consider joining us! Or if you can’t commit to joining, but you have ideas for which you want a sounding board, or you’d like to attend a meeting to see what we’re all about, we welcome you! We’d love to hear from you.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Sasha Watkins, Mary Barnes, Lesley McGee, Anaïs Lugo-Guercio, Rivkah Lapidus, Melissa Kelly, Katy Ananian, Guy Croteau
Note from the Editors: The D&I Committee hosted weekly Zoom check-ins open to NSGP membership and beyond, every Thursday afternoon from March through August 2020. Each week, they invited guest speakers from different communities and countries to reflect on identity and community in the context of the global pandemic.
The D&I Committee also spearheaded two anti-racism work groups this past summer, entitled Radical Release: Honoring our Legacies, Liberating ourselves from Anti-Black Racism and Anti-racism Workbook Group: Me & White Supremacy, which generated a lot of excitement and momentum from NSGP members.