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Grounded Program Design: Incorporating Anti-Oppression Approaches to Social Justice Work

  • Civic Hall 118 West 22nd Street New York, NY (map)

How can we effectively “do good” in our non-profit programs, school activities, community organizing, and lives? How can we ensure that our good intentions aren’t reinforcing inequality and injustice?


Join Seachange Collective for an interactive, 1-day workshop on "grounded program design."

We’ll introduce you to a six-step approach that helps you develop and implement projects, programs, and initiatives based in community needs and justice – rather than assumed knowledge and charity. Facilitators will guide participants in reflecting on their experiences, the first four steps of the grounded program design process, and the complexities of anti-oppression work and social justice practice. Each participant will workshop their own real-life examples and develop personalized action plans to align their social justice values with their work.

You will leave this workshop with a more nuanced understanding of what it means to do social justice work and the ongoing processes we must engage in to do it well. You will develop and refine practical skills and tools to use in anti-oppression program design including:

  • Problem identification

  • Mapping your power and positionality

  • Mapping stakeholders

  • Collaborative and participatory design processes

Who should participate? Whether you are developing a new program strategy or coordinating on-the-ground implementation of a long-running initiative, this workshop will offer skills and tools to increase equity and anti-oppression practices in your work. This workshop is ideal for folks in non-profits, schools, community organizing, public service organizations, and other spaces seeking a stronger commitment to social justice – especially if you design and implement program strategy and on-the-ground initiatives.

Ongoing Support and Accountability: After our workshops, we provide ongoing support to participants over several months, to help with your continued planning or implementation of ideas. This includes:

  • Tangible goal-setting and accountability checks

  • Seachange Collective cohort webinars to discuss progress, questions, challenges, and shared strategies

  • Optional: We can offer additional workshops or advising for your team on specific projects. Talk to us about what you need!

What have past participants said?

"Grounded Program Design helped me analyze my organization's issues more critically and gave me concrete tools that can be used for any problem solving." — Dhara Shah, Co-Founder, JustDesign Cooperative 

"[The Seachange Collective] workshop and this creative and inclusive space created the necessary room to connect with other social-justice inclined individuals and share alternative perspectives on seemingly impossible challenges." — Emily Grubb, Program Specialist, Open Society Foundations

"This training is so important for anyone involved in decision making at their organization. I loved the chance to reflect on my current and past work to help better inform my choices for the future." — Christopher Ahearn, Director of Partnerships, Reach the World

Who we are: Seachange Collective is a women-led training collective that supports groups committed to social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Our collective draws on our combined decades of expertise in the non-profit and social change sectors, including work in community organizing, education, policy and advocacy, case management, research, mediation, professional development, grant and individual giving. As facilitators, we are highly participatory, drawing on participants’ own expertise, real-life case studies, and a mix of theory and practice. We are experienced in dealing with a range of needs, and creation of safe spaces for difficult conversations. Read our biographies here:

Pricing: We run our workshops on a sliding-scale model, to ensure we remain accessible for organizers, non-profit staff, and public servants across a spectrum of roles and budgets.


Please note that space is limited!