A message and invitation from CTI CEO Carey Baker
- POSTED ON JULY 05, 2023
Dear CTI Community,
This message is in response to the International Coaching Federation (ICF) decision to host its 2023 Converge conference in Florida. The circumstance and the choices surrounding the location matter to CTI because of our desire as an organization to be accountable, to stay aligned with our commitments to equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID), and to be responsible with our span of influence to this community and the coaching industry at large.
CTI had not been planning to attend the conference this year, and no one on our staff is being funded to participate. This decision was based solely on prioritization and resource allocation considerations. While this means we are not faced with the choice of going or not at this stage, we are holding the circumstance as though it is a choice because it matters. What we say and do is important because we know many of you are trying to maintain alignment to organizations that matter to you and the work you are leading. In that spirit, we want to share what we see, what we are considering, and what we will be doing moving forward.
I want to first acknowledge that Florida is one of the many places leading the charge to narrow the freedom and rights of people with particular identities, including Black people, the LGBTQ+ community, women, and immigrants, and has created an unsafe legal and physiological environment for these people that CTI does not want to be complicit with. We are trying to find our way to stay aligned and in integrity with our commitment to EID in the face of ICF holding its conference in Florida.
We see many of you grappling to find your way to alignment and integrity with your commitment to EID by relinquishing your credentials, declining to attend the event, and signing petitions to influence the cancelling of the event or change the location. For individuals who feel scared, threatened, and/or disempowered, resisting and turning up the volume on your voice is necessary. We understand that these are powerful choices as individuals attempting to effect change and hold yourself, each other, and your industry accountable from your relative position of power. This takes courage and, in some cases, comes at a real cost. We appreciate and support all your efforts to raise awareness and align your intentions for a more safe and equitable world with your actions.
As an organization, we are also finding our way to alignment and integrity with our commitment to EID in the face of the ICF holding its conference in Florida. We also recognize, that as an organization, we are in a different position of power than individuals and have a responsibility to influence a broader conversation that impacts the systems and structural levels of the conversation. This means we have additional factors to account for and integrate. That’s why our focus is on influencing how our industry engages with itself in service of change and transformation, rather than checking the box on behavior. Here are some of the things we are considering and actions we are taking:
- We believe that we and many other organizations aligned to EID may find ourselves in a situation where previous choices create difficult decisions in a present moment. These difficult decisions are inevitable as we all step toward increased awareness and committed action toward EID. With that in mind, we are attempting to engage our industry partners and peers the way we would want to be engaged with and held accountable. We have reached out to the ICF to be in relationship and influence the conversation. We have not yet heard back from them.
- Ahead of the Converge conference, we will be hosting a community call to answer questions and engage more deeply in this conversation. Register your interest in attending here.
- As we establish our go-to-market strategy and return to delivering our curriculum in person, we are being mindful of the markets we are selecting and the economies we would be supporting, relative to our equity commitments.
- We are choosing regions of the world in which to conduct discretionary activities (board meetings, team gatherings, etc.) that are aligned with our commitments to equity.
- We have conducted organization-wide equity assessment, are engaging in ongoing training, and continue to practice viewing our business operations through an equity lens.
- We are completing a cycle of investment (time and money) to update our curriculum and train our faculty to account for power dynamics, navigating and including difference and how identity informs behavior. These updates will be in market by the end of the summer.
In Co-Active training, accountability is a powerful tool for great learning. In this regard, holding each other accountable in aligning our intentions and actions is a critical part of the transformation of our work and our industry. I am encouraged and inspired by all the ways this is occurring now, and I look forward to continuing to be in this kind of conversation with each other.
With respect and in partnership,
CEO Co-Active Training Institute