04/30/2019

In March, we launched a campaign to shine a spotlight on leaders across America who are taking on some of today's toughest social challenges. We highlighted 20 breakthrough leaders from our network and the groundbreaking work they do every day. As part of the campaign, we also ran a nomination process where we asked people to share with us social impact leaders in their networks who inspire them.

We received almost 100 nominations, all of which were inspiring and telling of how much amazing work is being done in communities across the country to advance equity and opportunity. Over the last few weeks our team reviewed all of the nominations and based on the words of their friends, family, and colleagues we have chosen five amazing winners!

We are excited to introduce our community to this breakthrough leader, Hanif Fazal. Hanif is CEO Center for Equity and Inclusion, a specialized consulting agency focused on advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts within organizations, education systems, and communities. Keep reading to read the nomination that drove us to select Hanif and to hear about his goals and vision for the future.

 

BREAKTHROUGH LEADER NOMINATION

"In a formal sense - As a nationally recognized facilitator, trainer, speaker and organizational development consultant, Hanif Fazal brings 20 years of experience, expertise, and commitment to advancing equity and cultural competency. In 2015 he founded the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI), an organization focused on advancing equity, diversity and inclusion efforts both locally and nationally. Under Hanif's leadership, CEI has worked with leaders and staff in the nonprofit, for-profit, education, foundation and public sectors to integrate equity and inclusion principles and practices into all aspects of their organizations. Prior to forming CEI, Hanif co-founded Heart of Facilitation, a national facilitation training program for educators, social workers, and youth professionals. Additionally he co-founded the CEI Equity Certificate Program, a collaborative education initiative providing intensive professional development focused on equity and inclusion to educators across multiple school districts. A prolific speaker and trainer, Hanif has presented numerous times for conferences and groups locally and nationally.

In an informal sense - Hanif is one of the most committed, passionate, inspiring and self-less people I know. He examines his male privilege, racial positioning and social conditioning in every aspect of his life, personal and professional. He uplifts trans & LGTBQ+ communities, women of color, POC, indigenous and marginalized communities. While a renowned expert in his field, he is always pushing for excellence and cultivating learning environments/communities and hold that expectation even for himself. If you come to Portland, Oregon and/or any community Hanif has engaged in, you will hear countless folks talk about how Hanif has inspired them to be the best versions of themselves."

HEAR FROM HANIF FAZAL ON HIS VISION FOR THE FUTURE

What is your big audacious goal?

My life has been devoted to creating spaces in which people have what they need to thrive. I realize that in order to live out that commitment there has to be an intentional effort to dismantle and rebuild the exclusionary foundation that our country is built and consequently dependent on. I believe it is possible at a local, national, and global level, to cultivate an identity that is centered in equity and inclusion. My goal is to be part of a movement that shifts our collective consciousness in a manner that nurtures this identity and pushes us to live and advance it in every space we are operating in.

How can we make progress towards achieving this goal?

Equity and inclusion work starts first and foremost in the bodies of individuals. I want to integrate a trauma informed approach to our race equity work and our equity work in general. 

What is your call to action for our community?

My call to our community is to make each moment matter. Every moment in every space contains within it, an opportunity to challenge the status quo, to include those who have traditionally been marginalized, to consider those who have been dismissed. Every moment is an opportunity to move this work forward, and to those impacted by those actions; those moments matter. So the call is to commit to a collective consciousness raising effort in the name of working together to transform the spaces we live and work in, moment by moment.

Click here to check out the other breakthrough leaders who were selected.