intentional inclusion at the lola
The Lola's Commitment to Intentional Inclusion and DEI in the Workplace
At The Lola, we are committed to creating an anti-racist community that serves all womxn. This commitment is reflected in our values, which include actively working to lessen the negative effects of oppressive ideologies and challenging our own assumptions and behaviors.
We strive to create a better culture and system that benefits everyone, and we believe that is achieved by better supporting the most underrepresented and marginalized of us.
“If we can better support the most underserved in our community, then we will all benefit.” – The Lola
To tackle this goal, we have implemented several initiatives that promote intentional inclusion and allyship within our community. Here are some of the initiatives we are proud to have launched since our inception.
Allyship In The Workplace:
Anti-Racism Series and Allyship Training
In August 2020, we launched our first 16-week educational journey with approximately 30 white and non-Black womxn where we unpacked our own internalized biases.
Additionally we’ve offered Members and the wider community, allyship and anti-racism programming and workshops including;
- 3-Part Anti-Racism Series Moderated by Rose Scott, WABE 90.1 FM – Atlanta’s choice for NPR
- Unpacking Your Racial Identity with Bethaney Wilkinson, The Diversity Gap.
- Intersections: A Four Part Series hosted by Kristy Gomez and in partnership with Amazin LeThi, Ianne Fields Stewart, and Gigi Pedraza.
- Intersectionality and the Problem with “White Feminism” with Dr. Dina Cuervo.
- How to Have Conversations on Race, Identity & Oppression with Sarah Birdsong.
- MicroAggressions and Implicit Bias and How To Interrupt Them In Our Daily Lives with Sarah Birdsong.
- Women in the Workplace with McKinsey and Company
- Press For Progress with Bee Nguyen and Twanna Harris facilitated by Meghan Shakar.
- Asian Heritage Month, Allyship In Action with Amazin LeThi and Park Cannon.
Allyship Community Group
Following the Anti-Racism series, a community group at The Lola was created and met monthly to continue our learnings and discussion on how we can be better allies, accomplices and co-conspirators to our Black community and People of Color.
In 2023, the group is excited to evolve and expand its reach within our community starting with an advocacy education series where our members can learn from experts in our community.
Creators + Social Justice Partnership Program
From January 2021 through September 2022, The Lola partnered with over 50 Black womxn entrepreneurs and leaders of social justice organizations, providing them with space and access to community, with the thesis: “If we can better support our most under-resourced and underrepresented members, then all of us will benefit.” Over 50 partners wrapped up the program, 20 of those are continuing as Members who we were able to offer special Membership pricing and partner sponsorship opportunities.
Legacy Leadership Program Partnership
At the end of 2021, The Lola welcomed five Black womxn Executives from Legacy Leadership into our C+SJ program. In the summer of 2022, twelve new Executives joined and we hosted programming and paired each with an Upstander from The Lola community – a non-Black woman who has been through racial healing work and positions themselves to increase access to resources and opportunities for Black people. In addition, each Executive was matched with an emerging leader, a summer intern from GATech’s SLS program. These Executive leaders and Upstanders had such transformative experiences that we will continue our work in 2023 and beyond.
Corporate DEI: Diversity Sponsorship Programs
In 2023, thanks to our partnership with U.S. Bank/Elavon and our shared desire to support womxn owned and minority businesses, we were able to recruit 10 amazing Black womxn business owners and leaders and subsidize their membership cost. We are excited to offer these business owners and leaders connection and resources, peer support and mentorship, and opportunities to amplify their voices and businesses through The Lola and our partnership with U.S. Bank/Elavon and Black Girl’s Guide to Atlanta.
Today, our work continues with Legacy Leadership and our partnership with its Founder, Sagdrina Jalal of Sage D Consulting, as we work to continue to improve and grow the program at The Lola. Our long term goal is to bring on more partners and sponsors to allow for our membership price and community to be more accessible and to offer more and more Black womxn business leaders a place for support – personally, professionally and holistically.
We recognize that achieving intentional inclusion requires continuous learning, growth, and unlearning. We remain committed to this journey and will continue to implement initiatives that promote anti-racism, allyship and intentional inclusion within our community.
Intentional Inclusion Consultancy with V3 Ventures
In partnership with V3 Ventures’ Brittany Claud and Candace Wheeler, we launched an intentional inclusion project that audited our efforts to date and put together next steps on how to continue to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community. V3 provided a final report and guidelines in June 2022 that we continue to refer to as we roll out more efforts.
The Lola’s Transformative Justice Process
In January 2021, we rolled out our transformative justice process to our Member community in hopes to identify and transform harmful, oppressive dynamics in our relationships with each other. It provides a way to “call in” and support members in their anti-racism learnings (and unlearnings) and a way to support those unintentionally harmed (and give them an option to opt-out of the process). Our goal is to create and maintain a psychologically safe space for our community where Members can feel comfortable and get vulnerable.
Want to learn more about intentional inclusion at The Lola?
If you are interested in partnering with us and joining us in these efforts, please reach out to us here.