Are you interested in creating an environment that supports people with many different identities, but unsure of where to start?
Has your group struggled to be truly inclusive, despite shared values and intentions?
Praxis Group redefines group and organizational cultures so that people feel empowered to bring their full selves to the table.
As our name, “Praxis,” suggests, we are invested in moving beyond the theory of tolerance and into the practices of reflection, affirmation, and equity. We know that organizations are more effective when their members feel seen, supported, and empowered to grow. We believe that people with the most marginalized identities - who experience the greatest number of barriers to full participation - must be included in decision-making processes and on leadership teams.
What We Do
Praxis Group is committed to providing you with tools to implement immediate change, as well as support to identify and execute the long-term strategies that lead to true organizational transformation.
Our work empowers teams of any size to work more effectively by creating space for dialogue and growth. Through facilitated conversations and tailored interventions, we help to foster environments that are inclusive of all employees, clients, patients, students, and community members. When people feel safe to bring their true selves to the table, teams are more productive, innovation is encouraged, and businesses thrive.
We specialize in supporting teams who are interested in learning how to create spaces that are:
safe and affirming for LGBTQIA+ people
respectful of people of many cultural backgrounds
free from sexual harassment
truly reflective of the values of their organization
We are experienced working across myriad sectors, including corporate, nonprofit, medical, K-12 and higher education, and community-based organizations.
What makes us different
Our work is rooted in social justice and customized to your group’s unique goals, environment, and members. Collectively, our team brings over 25 years of experience in advocacy, training development and facilitation, and grassroots organizing to your project. We ground our work in the practice of cultural humility - striving always to engage with others “humbly, authentically, and from a place of learning” - rather than cultural competence.
Our business centers queer people, trans and nonbinary people, people of color, women, and femmes. Our team not only reflects these identities, but prioritizes intentional listening to and feedback from communities who are most impacted by homophobia, transphobia, racism, and sexism. Just as we encourage our clients to do the radical work of changing their team cultures, we too are invested in continuous growth.
We believe that marginalized people should be paid for the labor of educating peers and colleagues about how to engage with them from a place of respect. We also believe that marginalized people should not be solely responsible for this labor; to this end we practice a dual facilitator model and strive to pair facilitators with complementing dominant and non-dominant identities. Finally, we are committed to using our access to open doors for people who are not typically included in these conversations. For us, this looks like collaborating with other groups who share our values to build power and capacity. It also looks like mentoring and training queer and trans young people and early professionals of color so that they can benefit from the work of advocacy and training.
Who we work with
We welcome collaborations with businesses of any size, nonprofits, medical providers, schools, and individuals. We are based in Chicago and available for global projects.
Past and current clients include:
Acting Out Awareness
Aligned Modern Health
Andersonville Chamber of Commerce
Balanced Life Counseling
Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Department of Public Health
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Zine Fest
Columbia College Chicago
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Garrett Theological Seminary
Howard Brown Health Center
Human Rights Campaign
North Park Center for Spiritual Direction
Sentencing Advocacy Group of Evanston (SAGE)
Swedish Covenant Hospital
The Clark Andersonville
Women & Children First
who we are
Richla Davis, LCPC
Richla is a psychotherapist and a social justice advocate. She began advocacy work ten years ago while educating college students as well as fundraising for cis and trans women survivors of sexual violence. Richla’s passion for queer advocacy strengthened while providing mental health services for LGBTQ+ populations at a local nonprofit. Currently, Richla provides individual psychotherapy primarily for people of color and LGBTQ+ populations whose mental health issues are often rooted in systemic oppression.
Richla says that “knowing how important representation matters motivates me to continue the necessary work to ensure marginalized groups are protected and respected in all spaces that we navigate.”
Richla has a BS in Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language from DePaul University and a M.Ed in Community Counseling from DePaul University. She is also a licensed clinical professional counselor.
Kate Harrington-Rosen, MSC
Director of Training & Curriculum
Kate comes to Praxis with over a decade of experience facilitating and advocating alongside marginalized communities. In addition to her direct support work with youth and adults affected by sexual violence and gender discrimination, Kate has provided training for employers, non-profits, hospitals, and law enforcement on sexual violence prevention, anti-oppression frameworks, and LGBTQ cultural competency.
She was named one of the Windy City Times’ “30 Under 30” in 2016 and is currently the Equity Outreach and Education Specialist for the Office of Equity at Northwestern University, where she trains over 5,000 people every year on harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence prevention.
Kate holds a BA in Women and Gender Studies from McGill University, and a MS in Communications from Northwestern University.
Michele Lakemeyer (Enos)
Michele has over a decade of experience as a social justice educator, specifically working with people, communities, and organizations to uncover and challenge patterns of dominance within themselves and their interactions with others as well as their institution.
She has particular skills in intergroup dialogue, running white caucuses, training people on facilitation skills, and conflict resolution. Michele is trained as a Restorative Practices (RP) facilitator and can also train people interested in becoming a RP facilitator.
Michele completed her BA in Journalism from Santa Clara University and holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. She recently left her position at Northwestern University in Social Justice Education to pursue her Masters in Social Work from University of Chicago where she plans to pursue her LCSW.
they/them and she/her
Karari Olvera is the non-binary trans femme first-born of Mexican immigrant parents. As a writer, activist, and public speaker, their art and work has focused on the uplifting of voices living in the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity through storytelling and workshop facilitating.
Karari currently serves as co-chair of United Latinx Pride and member-at-large of the National Board of the TransLatin@ Coalition.
You can catch them IRL in Chicago dropping trans truth on the Hoodoisie, a live and live-streamed news show disseminating radical perspectives on culture and politics, or living their best life hosting at DURO, Boystown’s only Latinx night centering and celebrating queer/trans femmes of color of all sizes and shapes.
Jes Scheinpflug, LSW
Director of Operations & Outreach
Jes is a community organizer and an advocate for social and economic justice issues. They have previously worked on campaigns for fair and affordable housing, living wage and comprehensive immigration reform.
They prioritize initiatives that address systems of oppression while simultaneously empowering people and ensuring all voices are heard, especially in decision-making processes.
Jes is a co-facilitator for a volunteer peer-led nonbinary weekly support group and enjoys collaborating to find innovative ways for healers to build community. They are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Togo from 2010 to 2012.
Jes received their BSW from Illinois State University and their MSW from Loyola University Chicago.
JT has over a decade of experience as a social justice educator and works to advance racial justice and LGBTQ advocacy. They most recently served as the Racial Justice Chair for The Consortium of LGBT Higher Education Resource Professionals.
They utilize an intersectional framework when training that considers the root of issues affecting an organization and not just the symptoms. JT is interested in helping people work together in ways that sustain growth and create long-lasting positive change.
JT completed their BA in Sociology and American Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and holds an MA in Education from Western Illinois University. They currently are the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC and are a candidate for a Masters in Divinity at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.
1. an exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; 2. practical application of a theory
as defined by Merriam-Webster