Vermont’s emerging leaders are building an anti-racist culture

EmpowR Names Five Vermont Changemakers to Co-Creative Team

Plainfield, VT – A growing team of co-creators joins EmpowR to build an anti-racism culture centered on humanity, equity and belonging for collective liberation. Rae Carter, Founder of EmpowR, announces the following Vermont changemakers to EmpowR’s team of co-creators who each bring lived experiences and dynamic backgrounds to the arc of personal, organizational, and cultural transformation:

Claire Wheeler of Montpelier, VT is a Strategy, Change and Repair Facilitator. As co-creator of EmpowR, Claire is actively unlearning old ways of working and practicing how to come to work with integrity, humility and joy. She is the Director of Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Mercy Connections and previously owned and operated a strategy design, facilitation and consulting firm, RE:WORK LLC.

“Systems are human creations. I do this work because I have the responsibility to understand and dismantle the systems based on oppression that my ancestors created and because I have the power to co-create new systems based on love that free.
~Claire Wheeler

Jennifer Grossi of Bradford, VT is a social justice advocate, musician, theater performer and educator. She facilitates listening and other culture change practices in community and family settings, including as co-creator of EmpowR. Jennifer is co-founder of Summer Street Music Series and The Listening Project, both in the Upper Valley region of Vermont.

“I work for Justice Forever for marginalized people in our society. I engage in efforts with a vision of lasting change, which only a truly creative approach will bring to fruition. Any change experienced through creative work is more lasting, more deeply connective, and has the potential to go far beyond lip service.
~Jennifer Grossi

Ornella Matta-Figueroa of Greensboro, VT is a disruptor, visionary, dissonance researcher and speaker, and specialist in resonance and connection. Its practices and approaches share a vision with EmpowR for co-creation and cross-collaboration opportunities. Ornella is a Certified Wellness Coach and Co-Director of SafeArt, a central Vermont-based nonprofit organization comprised of trauma-informed practitioners working closely with Vermont school systems.

“Embodying liberation is my life’s work. I am committed to building connections, exploring contexts, and supporting individuals in discovering their own expressions of awareness and interdependent freedom. I work from a place of inner retreat, integrating and healing each day.
~Ornella Matta-Figueroa

Saudia LaMont of Morrisville, VT is a mentor, organizer, advocate, facilitator, trainer, equity consultant and author. His commitment to networking with community partners, identifying resources and building ties to help create a stronger sense of community influence on EmpowR’s co-creation process with Saudia leadership. She sits on the Lamoille County Mental Health Board of Directors and is a Democratic candidate in training with Emerge Vermont.

“I am committed to dismantling unbalanced and harmful systems as an active advocate for racial, social and educational justice for youth, families and community.”
~ Saudia Lamont

Stacy Burnett of Jericho, VT is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist who operates a private practice to address the behavioral impacts of trauma healing. She specializes in eating disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, attachment and relationship issues, and body and gender issues. As co-creator of EmpowR, Stacy examines how mainstream culture negatively impacts both therapeutic relationships and the field of social work.

“I come to the intersection of personal and cultural transformation with curiosity, compassion, and a willingness to be challenged in discomfort. I’m motivated to keep digging, all in hopes of unraveling both my participation in the culture of white supremacy and to inspire others to do the same.
~Stacy Burnet

Each EmpowR co-creator brings a different perspective and layer to heart-centered wholeness, cultural emergence, and transformative justice.

The team’s collective experiences articulate how EmpowR approaches relationships and building trust, embraces courage and vulnerability, identifies new norms and group processes, reconfigures relationships with time and expectations, deconstructs the way whose success we define and measure and cultivates different models of communication to release and heal. racism, classism, sexism, ableism, patriarchal domination and white supremacist culture. From personal healing and self-examination to organizational change and cultural shifts, EmpowR navigates the complexity of transformation by exploring the various entry points to the behavioral changes required for a more just and loving world.

About EmpowR

EmpowR’s mission is to co-create cultures of empathy, healing, community and accountability centered on equity and belonging. Personal support sessions, professional development, dialogue facilitation and conversation design, change management consulting services, educational programs and community events are designed to foster holistic well-being, cultivate healthy communication and creating a compassionate and anti-racist culture.

EmpowR works with individuals, groups, teams, organizations, companies and institutions navigating the complexities of change. As a responsible container of transformative justice and emerging strategy, EmpowR facilitates culture change; community building; interpersonal, group and organizational dialogue; social and emotional healing; and new ways of relating to our bodies, to each other and to the Earth.

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