Decolonizing Oppressive Institutions: An Interview with Lupita Gonzalez

I had the chance to interview Lupita Gonzalez, founder of The Thrive Advisory LLC.

From a young age, Lupita has been an advocate for equity and social justice.lupita_gonzalez_500h

After 17 years as a leader in the nonprofit sector, she decided to found The Thrive Advisory, with the purpose We develop inclusive mindsets that innovate, center race equity, and accelerate results.

The Thrive Advisory LLC is a group of highly specialized affiliate certified coaches and consultants whose primary focus is strengthening change agents and the organizations they revolutionize. They are committed to developing inclusive mindsets, practices and systems that center racial equity, innovate, and accelerate results.

Lupita and I discussed some of our shared childhood experiences growing up in immigrant families and losing parents early in life. We also discussed values around loyalty, community, and personal agency. Lupita shared her philosophy and approach to organizational culture change, and we discussed her focus on decolonizing institutions and organizations.

The notion of decolonization is an important one for diversity and inclusion work. We often are unaware of the norms and conditions that guide our lives and dictate who has privilege and power in our society. In our very individualistic, pull yourself up by your bootstraps U.S. culture, for whom do these ideals serve? Decolonization involves challenging the status quo that often is rooted in unbalanced power dynamics and oppression for marginalized and minority populations. Decolonization has a second piece to it, as well. That is, embedding non-colonial norms and beliefs into our institutions. What would be available to us if we embraced more collectivist, community-focused values? If rather than doing it all by ourselves, we asked for and provided help to one another? If we believed that vulnerability, shared power, and compassion for others is a sign of strength?

For more of Lupita’s knowledge and insights, check out her website: thethriveadvisory.com. Also stay tuned for more of my video series, Compassionate Leadership in Times of Crisis. Be well and take care, everyone.

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