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EMPOWER Forwards helps schools build learning communities that truly belong to everyone, and where everyone truly belongs.

Our workshops, retreats, and consultations use the same processes, drawn from evidence-based psychological science, that we recommend using to teach students and to lead teachers.

Exploration

While we deliver some content didactically, our work primarily serves to help you discover and develop your own ideas, values, identities, and relationships.

Motivation

Rather than attempting to convince you why you should try something new, we invite you try out protocols and tools for yourself, and then decide for yourself if they match your values.

Participation

While we understand that some people prefer free-flowing conversations, learning histories and power dynamics impact the ways in which people contribute and listen. We use protocols that give everyone a voice and ensure all voices are equitably heard.

Openness

Declaring a space to be safe does not make it so. We provide opportunities for private reflection, and we invite authentic and consensual sharing.

Willingness

We have never done anything meaningful that was easy, fun, or pleasant all the time. We expect ourselves, and you, to accept some discomfort and struggle in the service of meaningful work.

Empathy

We work hard to provide excellent services, just as you do. We also recognize and celebrate the fact that no one is perfect. We expect that we’ll all make mistakes, experience glitches, and leave with questions and doubts. We embrace these struggles as part of our common humanity.

Resilience

We expect that you won’t fully understand the work we do together unless and until you put it into practice—and that you’ll make your own mistakes and experience your own glitches in doing so. We support your need to take care of yourself, connect with each other, and recommit to your values throughout this challenging work.

Our Approach