Anti Racism in Coaching
What should happen next in the coaching world?
The demographic profile of professional accredited coaches in conjunction with cross-racial matching program practices, presents a “sociocultural gap” between the lived experiences of the non-BIPOC coaches and the BIPOC clients. Such a gap runs the risk of negatively impacting mentees/coaches and mentoring/coaching relationships.
We need solid frameworks for anti-racist education and training for mentors, coaches and supervisors. Alongside anti-racism training and anti-bias training. That said, being mindful that anti-racism mentor, coach, supervisor training will not solve the myriad challenges that systemic racism presents for BIPOC individuals.
Anti racist education
Components for anti-racist education and training
acknowledging, confronting, and interrupting racism,
facilitating individual critical consciousness,
supporting positive identity development and
At the foundation of these pillars is de-centring and interrupting whiteness as co-constructors of knowledge.
Multi-issue or generic diversity training runs the risk of de-centring racism in order to preserve attendees’ comfort and reduce backlash from attendees but that discomfort is a necessary part of anti-bias training and learning. Training should also emphasise developing specific behaviours or skills alongside awareness.
Mentors, coaches, supervisors should learn the history of racism and colonialism in the global sphere and its destructive impact on BIPOC communities.
Learn about historic and current individuals (both White and BIPOC) who have engaged in anti-racist efforts so that mentors and coaches have role models of people with an anti-racist and positive identity.
Engage in guided self-reflection about their own contributions to racism, how they have benefited from racism, the psychological costs of racism to themselves, and their own positionality within systems of oppression and privilege.
Learn about identity frameworks for both White and BIPOC individuals so they can understand where they are in their own identity process and to understand healthy identity development in BIPOC individuals.
Historically popular model of mentoring has been a hierarchical one-on-one relationship between an unrelated adult volunteer and a client based on Eurocentric, middle-class, individualistic values of relationships. BIPOC communities have historically had other models of mentoring (e.g., group mentoring) given that these other approaches are more consistent with their cultural values and practices. The lack of liberating structures in mentoring , coaching and supervision programs further keeps BIPOC people from growing in the ways most program staff say they intend.
Whiteness is a norm and thus, it influences all of the individuals in society, including mentoring, coaching, supervisors, and volunteers, no matter one’s race/ethnicity.
I would love to hear your thoughts - how could coaching, mentoring and supervision relationships and programs address some of the societal and systemic challenges experienced by those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC)?
If you are an accredited coach (EMCC, ICF, AC, APECS, IAPC etc), identify with BI+POC (Black, Indigenous, + People of Colour) - (People of Global Majority) and would be happy to participate in reciprocal coaching, do get in touch and join our peer coaching community.
Jasmine Gill MCOptom (She/Her)
Certified Executive & Team Coach | Facilitation | Leadership Development | DEI Advocate | Multicultural Life Coach