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How I turned my passion for social justice into an effective diversity, equity, and inclusion firm

by | May 10, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

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Construct The Present (CTP) is an effective

DEI consulting firm specializing in all things change & learning. This is Alexis Braly James writing to you and I am the founder. I started CTP as a side-hustle because:

1. I had a need for additional money, my student loan debt was crushing me, and working as a teacher meant living paycheck to paycheck with little savings. I was unable to pay my bills, support my family, and occasionally eat out or attend a concert= all things that bring me joy.

2. I was becoming sad and angry at the school system. I needed a creative outlet to dream of a more hopeful future.

3. I was a workaholic and had no hobbies. In my mind the only thing to do was work more, so what else would I do? Construct The Present started as a side-hustle. I developed an equity assessment tool that focused on action-oriented outcomes using data that could be assessed through interviews, focus groups, and document reviews. I had a background of making data-based decisions for learning from my work as a teacher. As a teacher, I assessed students’ knowledge and learning. From those assessments, I built learning plans. I love looking at data and seeing solutions. I believed I could follow a similar process to assess workplaces.

Over the last 7 years, I have expanded my dei solutions services, slowly moved away from teaching and more and more into consulting. Finally, in August 2020 I quit my part-time job and went all-in with Construct the Present as a business. It has grown and expanded in ways I didn’t know were possible. As a result, I have committed to focusing on what it would look like to deepen and expand the work of effective dei by growing CTP’s impact.

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Man to Man: A Letter From Your Brother

Man to Man: A Letter From Your Brother

To close out Women’s History month, our colleague Aaron Spriggs (with the support and guidance of Alexis Braly James and Liana Avendano) wrote a blog to be read specifically by the men in our communities. In a vulnerable expression of poetry and prose Aaron explors his relationship to allyship, offering insights into his own process, as well as practices and resources to help men show up more fully for women — and for themselves.

Here are the practices Aaron lays out, as informed by years of reflection inspired by Black Women:

Practice Reflection | With Other Men
Practice Self-Compassion
Practice Emotionally Releasing
Practice Compassionate Self-Led Accountability
Listen To Black Women & Uplift Their Voices
Do Your Own Research
Practice Acting With Insight

If you know a man who may need or want to read this, we recommend you send this to them with love.


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