This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Jes Scheinpflug and Kate Harrington-Rosen, co-founders of Praxis Group. Praxis redefines group and organizational culture so that people feel empowered to bring their full selves to the table and offer support to businesses creating a more inclusive environment. They offer a sliding scale of services for nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals alike.
“We give people the tools necessary to create more open and inviting spaces for all.”
– Praxis Group
Here are some references from Episode 42 that you may want to check out:
Jes and Kate met after they were both hired for work at a nonprofit in Chicago. Jes was working there as part of their MSW program and Kate was a supervisor. Both gained experience in a workforce development program supporting trans and gender non-conforming adults.
Jes was Kate’s intern for a year, and while they initially thought they wanted to be a therapist when they got involved with social work, they ultimately decided they could provide the best mental health services through attacking macro-level issues; their switch from micro social work to macro social work happened about ten years ago.
Jes and Kate had a difficult time picking the name for the business, but they settled on Praxis because a co-facilitator had recommended the term. Praxis essentially means putting theory into practice; it answers the all-important question: how do you live out your important life values through the work that you do?
Kate is the Director of Training and Curriculum for Praxis, meaning she is responsible for any training programs that Praxis implements. As Director of Operations and Outreach, Jes has the initial conversations with clients about their needs. Learn more about the Praxis Group team here.
Jes and Kate, on the website for Praxis, talk about cultural humility, which they offer workshops on. Click here to learn more about cultural humility.
“Cultural humility is the idea that when we are doing work around diversity or inclusion, it’s never complete, it’s always continuing. It’s realizing there is always more to learn and always more to do. “
– Jes Scheinpflug
Jes grew up on the South side of Chicago, and after college, served in the Peace Corps in Africa for two years living in Togo with a host family. They were a girls education and empowerment extension agent, and talked with community members about why they weren’t sending their daughter to schools. They opened up the conversation about gender and equity issues in an incredibly remote village with no running water and a population of less than 1,000. After serving, Jes returned to Chicago and moved to Andersonville. They love going to Candyality (5225 N Clark) to raid the blue raspberry candy bins.
Kate started her career in direct service with communities and is familiar with the sense of urgency and need when approaching clients. She moved to Chicago three years ago and initially lived in Logan Square, but later moved to Andersonville.
Praxis Group starts any workshop by defining “cultural humility.” They focus on intentional listening. Learn about their workshops here.
Kate talks about “communities of practice” and one of the long term goals of Praxis is developing a community of practice around creating inclusive and affirming work spaces. Another goal is to help develop training for young Trans and Queer people of color who will be the future trainers for the organization.
If Jes could switch places with any business for a day, they would switch with George’s Ice Cream & Sweets (5306 N Clark) or Early to Bed (5044 N Clark) and Kate would switch with Lost Larson (5318 N Clark) because she always wanted to open a bakery.