our Approach

To be clear, this is not diversity work. This is racial healing and equity for collective justice. This is not a checklist of “trainings” but ongoing learning, practice, and doing within an ecosystem. This is not only about feelings, but also structures. And within this structure, we push at every single level.

[Read more on who and what informs our practice]

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Coaching Individuals, teams, and leadership in racial literacy, equity, and anti-racist practices

We coach for skills-development and capacity-building in 1:1 and team settings. DEI is a set of skills that requires (un)learning, reflecting, and practice. We coach leaders to be identity-forward and race-centered in operationalizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Our collective guides yours with accountability.

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Facilitating Healing and Processing of Racial harm and trauma for individuals, teams, and communities

We hold space for unpacking and healing racial harm and trauma in 1:1 and group settings, grounded in mental health practices and racial literacy in sociopolitical contexts. We facilitate healing dialogues to reframe racial trauma as a structure that contains histories layered with emotions. Our collective holds yours with tenderness. 

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Building and Growing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) by being identity-forward, race-centered

We help organizations identify the right people for the right seats at the right time. We partner with launching DEI organization-wide by developing common language and frameworks. Becoming an anti-racist and racially literate culture requires building new systems and ecosystems. Our collective builds yours with trust. 

We are identity-forward, race-centered. 

“Be patient with people but not with systems. This work requires building, rebuilding, and more rebuilding. Systems are designed to produce the results they get. Stop doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. Begin to see the expansiveness of change as starting with us.”

SHINE THEORY TESTIMONIALS

We don’t shine if you don’t shine.

“We felt comfortable with Connie & Dena very quickly and gained trust that they could provide thoughtful programming for our group and organization. They clearly proved their expertise and shared a holistic approach.”

What goals did you/your organization want to achieve in your partnership with us?
Initially, we were wanting a series of workshops related to allyship. However, upon the 2020 killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, our group needed healing. 

What results have you achieved since you started working with us?
As a group of Black professionals, we have gained a more complete perspective on how history, self-identity, and white supremacy impact Black people in all aspects of life. We are better equipped to handle certain situations and most importantly, created a safe space within the group to have tough conversations.

What do you appreciate most about working with us? What impact did the partnership have on you/your organization?
I appreciate the space that Dena and Connie held for our group; the patience, leadership, and guidance. This impacted our group by creating a trusting and safe environment for us to connect during our sessions and in between.

I would recommend and/now because Connie and Dena’s approach is to first listen then apply their expertise with recommendations while always being flexible. I would recommend and/now to other ERGs and organizations dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Black/African American ERG Founder & Lead

Tech company in Los Angeles

What goals did you/your organization want to achieve in your partnership with us?
Connie and Dena were instrumental in supporting our organization in defining inclusivity and equity. They worked strategically across constituencies to create a strategic plan that advances the mission of the institution, particularly in the areas of equity and inclusion. This includes both the education and holistic development of institutional goals, as well as supporting our Black and POC communities within the organization.

What do you appreciate most about working with us? What impact did the partnership have on you/your organization?
Their passion and humor. The way they challenge others to look critically at themselves and the organization. The work they lead is meaningful and challenging. It requires grit and humor. They possess both of these skills, all while leading with grace and understanding.

These ladies will change our world. They are incredibly dedicated, smart, and hard working. They will move mountains!

Stephanie Leung

Assistant Head of School; Head of Lower School, Mirman School

What results have you/your organization achieved since you started working together?
Connie Chiu and Dena Scott created a dynamic and unique partnership that spoke directly to what it means to build authentic community in independent schools. Their passion for the work, children and adults led them to build strong and lasting alliances with many others on campus all striving to find the intimate intersection between advancing complicated issues of social justice with compassion, support and an unwavering sense of purpose within our community.

What do you appreciate most about working with us? What impact did the partnership have on you/your organization? 
They are active and empathetic listeners. They are thoughtful and intentional in their analysis of institutional issues of power and how these dynamics might play out in the lives of children, families and schools. Their styles, expertise, and varied approaches complement each other. Their warmth, charisma, and knowledge set them apart from many with whom I have worked in the past 40 years.

Would you recommend us?
Unconditionally to any organization working through the most vexing issues of the complexities of inclusion, equity and community as these issues relate to the realties of the lives we all lead regardless of mission and institutional focus.

Dan Vorenberg

Head of School, Mirman School

“This has been the greatest work experience I have been able to have and I hope we will be able to continue these down the line.”

What do you appreciate most about working with Dena and Connie? What impact did the partnership have on you?
The thing that I appreciate most about Dena and Connie is the fact that nothing in this process was forced. They were very open and honest and transparent in the conversations. They allowed us to be our full selves and that I feel has helped everyone be comfortable enough to express and share their experiences. Dena and Connie have helped us get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations with peers and coworkers that do not look like us so we can bring them into our world.

What goals/results have you achieved since you started working with us?
Since working with and/now, I personally feel that I have been able to identify some things that I have overlooked in my professional career. I have been able to gain more confidence in the work that I am doing and be ready to speak up for myself as I grow in my career. and/now has helped us create a stronger bond with coworkers and develop stronger relationships. I have a desire to see my colleagues and now (no pun) family grow and become as successful as they can. In these times, this has been a breath of fresh air and a safe place to connect and express with people that I relate with on levels outside of just our workplace.

Would you recommend and/now? If so, why and to whom? 
I definitely would recommend and/now. I think any company can benefit from the conversations and programing that and/now has to offer. As we progress in time, companies are finding out about the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion. It shouldn’t take dramatic events against a community to feel that you should want to diversify your company and ensure that BIPOC folks feel comfortable. and/now can really help leaders at a company understand what diversity looks like and how equity and inclusion REALLY look. It isn’t just about marking off a company goal.

Fethawie

Customer Success Manager, New Markets, ServiceTitan

“Honestly, I was skeptical about how you two (as “outsiders”) would be able to join and contribute to our community, esp. since there is no in-person meeting right now. I was happily surprised in your ability to be relatable without pandering, and informative without being overwhelming. My initial thought was that we wouldn’t fully connect, but you two destroyed that thought in my head on day 1.

What do you appreciate most about working with Dena and Connie? What impact did the partnership have on you?
Their commitment to the acknowledgement of our feelings and seeking positive outcomes from negative events.

What goals/results have you achieved since you started working with us?
Explicitly addressing my sentiments towards current events instead of ignoring/internalizing them.

Chris

Tech company in Los Angeles

Thank you so much for the amazing session the other day. [Co-worker] and I talk a lot, and as soon as your session ended, we both just couldn’t stop talking about how amazing you both are. I so appreciate your patience and the way in which you’re able to create such a safe and open forum when discussing matters that can invoke such intense emotions. I really just wanted to express my appreciation for what you do and for sharing it with us. I took so much away from your session that I hope to apply to the Allyship workshop we’re building out as well. 

But I’ll digress on my fangirling 🙂 Thank you again, Dena and Connie, for such a great session. Appreciate the work you do, and looking forward to more.

Gigi Greene

Event Specialist, Talent Innovation, ServiceTitan

and, now