Using Internal Family Systems in nonprofit work — or, DEI from the inside out

The Internal Family Systems model can bring deeper understanding, more compassionate communication, and greater harmony to bigger human systems — like nonprofits and the communities they serve. This workshop uses IFS to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion “from the inside out.”

Using Internal Family Systems in nonprofit work — or, DEI from the inside out

This week I got to talk with a bunch of extremely excellent people about two of the things I love most: nonprofit communications and the Internal Family Systems model.

I’d been anticipating this conversation for months — but it was only a couple weeks ago that I learned my friends at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits were promoting my IFS workshop as part of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion series. At first I was perplexed, because I don’t think of myself myself as somebody with any expertise in those areas. For me, the lived experience of being personally “diverse” — neurodivergent, biracial, queer, and so forth — has led me away from the DEI framework rather than closer to it.

The more I considered the idea, though, the more I realized the healing insights the IFS model has to offer — the internal communication skills I use with my clients and within myself — can help nonprofit folks think about diversity, equity, and inclusion in liberating new ways.

“So thought-provoking”

Here’s what some folks had to say afterward:

Ash was awesome, and I could listen to him talk all day. I loved his genuine enthusiasm; curiosity and excitement about how we interacted with the content; and warm, welcoming personality!
Thank you to the presenter for their vulnerability in this session as well — it was very engaging and made the experience feel intimate and meaningful.
The session was so thought-provoking — I appreciate having some space to think about “problems in a system” in a very different way. And defining the practice of inclusion in a different way. I am grateful for that.

Here are the slides — see what you think!