Are you interested in creating an environment that supports people of all identities, but unsure where to start?

Has your group struggled to be truly inclusive, despite shared values and intentions?

 

Mission

Praxis Group redefines group and organizational cultures so that people of all identities feel empowered to bring their full selves to the table.

 

VISION

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. 

We recognize that people come to diversity work from many different perspectives and levels of understanding, and that the needs of your team are unique. We will work with you closely to identify specific areas for growth, and to create a viable strategy for moving your team from tolerance, through inclusion, to equity and accountability.

I have been using diversity work in two senses: the work we do to transform an institution and the work we do when we do not quite inhabit the norms of an institution. These two senses can meet in a body: those who do not quite inhabit the norms of an institution are often given the task of transforming these norms.
— Sarah Ahmed in Diversity Work as Complaint
 

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 clients feel fully served.

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 all cultural backgrounds
  • free from sexual harassment
  • truly reflective of the values of their organization

We are experienced working across myriad sectors, including corporate, not-for-profit, 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

Past and current clients include Between Friends Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Garrett Theological Seminary, the Sentencing Advocacy Group of Evanston (SAGE). We welcome collaborations with businesses of any size, nonprofits, medical providers, schools, and individuals. We are based in Chicago and available for global projects.

who we are

Jes Scheinpflug, LSW

Director of Operations & Outreach
they/them

photo of Jes Scheinpflug

Jes is a community organizer and an advocate for social and economic justice issues including racial equity, LGBTQIA rights, fair and affordable housing, and living wage and 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’s work challenges assumptions of white heteropatriarchal culture as normative and deconstructs gender dichotomies. 

Jes is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Togo from 2010 to 2012. They are on the Board of Directors of Expanding Lives, a nonprofit based in Chicago that empowers West African women who are the first in their families to attend high school.

Jes received their BSW from Illinois State University and their MSW from Loyola University Chicago.

JT Turner

Facilitator
they/them

photo of JT Turner

JT has over a decade of experience as a social justice educator and has worked with numerous organizations interested in advancing 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 work as Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Northwestern University and are a candidate for a Masters in Divinity at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Kate Harrington-Rosen

Director of Training & Curriculum
she/her

photo of Kate Harrington-Rosen

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 6,000 people every year on harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence prevention.

Kate holds a BA in Women and Gender Studies from McGill University, and is a candidate for her Masters of Science in Communications from Northwestern University in 2019.


PRAXIS

1. an exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; 2. practical application of a theory
as defined by Merriam-Webster