Susan X Jane
SHE / HER/ HERS
As Principal of Navigators Consulting, Susan X Jane has over 25 years of experience as a diversity consultant focused on race and draws on decades of experience as a transracial adoptee. She is a teacher, coach, and strategic partner helping businesses, social impact organizations and communities create diverse and inclusive environments where the humanity of all is respected and protected.
We are the ones responsible for creating culture where everyone can be fully human.
Participants learn to think critically and share perspectives around race and racism, define systemic and interpersonal manifestations of it, and set current events in a historic context to better understand current complexities and navigate a different future.
Cultures big and small shape our experience: participants learn to recognize the power of culture to shape our work and our relationships, explore the way that identity, power, and culture connect, and increase awareness around their power to shape more equitable inclusive, and creative cultural environments.
Media representation has enormous power and potential to shape a world where people seen valued and heard. Participants learn how to think critically instead of reactively to current challenges around representation and learn ways that they can use creativity and cultural consciousness to tell better stories.
Session 1: Building a Culture of Belonging
Making a culture where everyone feels valued and diversity is leveraged to do good work is everyone’s responsibility. Participants will reflect on their own identity and the ways that their beliefs values and norms shape their perceptions and interactions with other people inside and outside of their organization. This session is designed to support the team moving past discomfort and thinking—and acting—to create a culture of belonging.
Session 2: Identity, Bias, and Microaggressions
In this session, we will examine the way that issues of race, identity, and power play out. We dig into concepts of bias, prejudice, and racism and we’ll talk about the way that these issues surface internally and in relationships with clients. We will develop ways to activate our awareness and strategies for avoiding and addressing microaggressions, allowing improved navigation of issues of race and culture in order to build teams where inclusion supercharges the work.
Session 3: Strategies for Change
We each have a role to play in eradicating racism and creating a more just and inclusive country. This session will explore antiracist strategies and reflective practices that can help support our long-term sustainable commitment to living antiracist. We’ll cover strategies for discovering individual opportunities to build belonging and participants will leave with commitments and a plan for their own personal path to building a more just world.
“Our phone interview with Susan X Jane — a diversity educator, trainer and speaker — could not have come at a better time. We were thrilled by Susan’s optimism in this time of ceaseless news of racism, sexism, homophobia and general discrimination and hatred. Susan’s message is a simple one. ‘You are either for justice for everybody or you are not.’ There is no grey there.”
— The Passionistas Project
—THE PASSIONISTAS PROJECT
Susan X Jane, Principal of Navigators Consulting, has over 25 years of experience exploring race and representation in both the public and private sectors. She is a transracial adoptee, a Black woman raised in a White family and community — an experience that created an early focus on the way race shapes our concept of ourselves and each other. Her exploration of race and identity has been the driving motivator throughout her work in education, community, and nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. Susan is a teacher, coach, and strategic partner interested in helping businesses, organizations and communities create diverse and inclusive environments where the humanity of all is respected and protected.
Susan studied Communications and Education, earning a BA at Bridgewater State College before working with young people in the juvenile justice system. She managed a unit at a therapeutic treatment facility for teens with trauma history in placement at the Charles Hayden School for Boys, an experience that started over a decade of work with BIPOC youth.
Seeking to create opportunities to support and empowering youth, she worked in community organizing and nonprofit spaces, bringing her love of communications and storytelling and her passion for equity and justice together as the director of the first media literacy and production program designed for urban youth at the YWCA Boston. She created an innovative curriculum for youth providers to address racism called Media Minds and worked with educators and activists to improve media literacy and media representation of BIPOC youth. Susan provided training and program development coaching to organizations and educators working with youth across the country.
In 2009 Susan joined the faculty of the American Studies department at Wheelock College in Boston to start the Communications and Media literacy BA program in the School of Arts and Sciences. The program—one of the first Media Literacy BA programs in the US—focused on understanding the impact that media has, particularly on marginalized communities. Wheelock’s Comm and Media Lit department prepared students to use media as a tool of social change. Susan taught courses in Media Studies, Sociology, and graduate courses in Organizational Leadership. As a faculty mentor to student activists, particularly students of color, she supported student engagement in activism outside the class and in traditionally marginalized communities.
Our country and the communities we serve are becoming increasingly diverse: by the year 2040, America will become a majority BIPOC country. Increased focus on race and racism in America following the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement and intensifying with the rise in white nationalism requires businesses and mission-focused institutions to create and execute sustained commitments to equitable environments. Susan started Navigators Consulting to respond to this urgent need, offering training, coaching, and strategic planning facilitation with organizations seeking a reflective and long-term commitment to diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments in their organization, and in the work that they do.
The benefits of diversity are clear: getting inclusion right means having teams that are stronger together, better able to problem-solve. But, in order for organizations to truly build inclusive environments, they must both improve the diversity of their team, and build a culture of belonging, where everyone has the chance to learn, grow and contribute. This work is hard, requiring us to dig deep into where we came from and make dreams of diversity into daily actions that yield real change over time.
Susan X Jane’s engagements are designed for people to discover their path to creating inclusion, moving beyond implicit bias to delve into deep empathy and increase consciousness grounded in history and an understanding of systemic inequality. Together, we can be reflective, facing existing challenges and opportunities, and be creative about our power to interrupt exclusion and build better norms. Step-by-step, organizations can develop cultural literacy, team connections, and authenticity in their relationships with clients and collaborators, all part of a comprehensive pathway to belonging tailored to meet organizations’ mission and values.
In addition to working together with organizations, Susan is a writer, speaker, and damn good podcast guest. Always down for a good debate, Susan enjoys sharing hot takes about media, race, and culture at smntks.com and for publications including Glamour, WBUR, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Susan is committed to building a more equitable world, believes that is possible, and that the time for action is now.
Let’s collaborate to ensure a transformative experience.