A community rich in belonging doesn't just happen.

It's intentionally co-created

Fiercely protected

And prioritizes people, felt safety, & connection above all

- Megan Hale, MA

Hello, hello! And welcome!

If you’re reading this, you’re either perusing meganhale.co getting to further know our company or are an active client inside our premium programs and reviewing your onboarding materials.  

In whatever way you’re coming across this page, the following will lay out some very important pieces for contributing to our company culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB).

The page you’re reading has been personally written by me, Megan Hale, Founder and L.E.O. (Lead Executive Officer) of Megan Hale Co. to: 

  • Explicitly communicate what it means to be a part of our community that upholds & prioritizes DEIB
  • Explicitly share how these values are put into action inside our spaces, whether those be free spaces such as social media or paid spaces such as public forums (Facebook, Telegram, Slack, etc) accompanying our products & programs.  

By being here and reading this document, I assume: 

  • You too value Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging.
  • You too are engaged in your own work around each of these values.
  • You too are open & willing to uphold these values inside our spaces.
  • You too are open & willing to lean into the vulnerability of implementing these values in real time. There are no perfect humans.  

We’re so glad you’re here!

Although these guidelines will share important resources, I want to first be clear that I AM NOT an expert on DEIB. I am a business owner who is fiercely committed to doing my own work and doing everything in my power to uphold these values as critical pillars of our company culture. I am a white woman who is engaged in the personal process of understanding my own unique identities and the systems that both benefit and oppress those identities. I am a mother who aims to raise anti-racist, equity-driven, inclusive children who can and do intentionally contribute to a more just & healed world.  

Both support our ultimate goals, which are these: 

  • Create brave, safe, and powerful spaces for growth, healing, expansion, and transformation.  
  • Build a decolonized world that’s grounded in equity, justice, liberation, and humanity. 

They go hand in hand. They’re also co-created meaning neither of our goals can be reached by our own efforts alone. Your contribution is necessary and needed. Not just here within our spaces, but every place where harm is possible, inequity exists, and capitalism dominates the macro culture.  

Glossary of Terms

Before we get into our community guidelines, I first want to define a few key terms we uphold inside our spaces. The following are terms I’ve defined as I understand them.  
 
Brave Space: A space in which harm is mitigated by practicing consent, prioritizing belonging, being willing and open to have difficult conversations, transparent leadership is present, and connection is honored above all.  

Restorative Space: A space in which repair is prioritized in the event harm is done.

Repair: The action of seeking resolution through conscious communication and taking personal accountability in a way that honors people’s boundaries, needs, and humanity.  

Grounded Communication: The practice of processing and debriefing heightened emotions in safe spaces prior to engaging in difficult conversations with another human.

Harm-Diminishing Communication: The practice of being aware of when you’re emotionally triggered or activated and clearly communicating this to another person in order to create space & time for internal processing before communication is resumed.  

Belonging: The felt sense that one can be their full self without risking connection to others.  

Unconditional Positive Regard: The practice of assuming the best about another human. 

Boundaries: The practice of choosing when & how one engages with another human.  

Approachability: The level in which one is emotionally accessible, available, & intentionally welcoming/open to communication from another human. 

Trust: The felt sense that one is safe sharing their vulnerabilities and they are held, protected, and compassionately witnessed.

Respect: The chosen practice & belief that every person is sovereign, unique, and deserving and they are their own best expert. 

Diversity: The practice of intentionally bringing together a variety of lived experiences & perspectives that are impacted by the levels of privilege that intersect with each of that person’s unique identities. 

Equity: The practice of intentionally creating fairness or “leveling the playing field” based on the awareness & acknowledgement that different identities experience different systemic obstacles requiring more labor and energy that could otherwise be reallocated if those systemic obstacles did not exist.

Inclusion: The practice of creating a space & culture that acknowledges unique identities so that they are seen, felt, included, and welcomed.  

Power: The awareness of cultural systemic hierarchies that disproportionately impact equality, felt safety, and cultural norms within a given relationship.  

Positionality: Being self-aware of your power and privilege in relation to another.

Humanistic Leadership: The style of leadership we practice within our spaces & culture that shares the highs & lows of life & business transparently. 

Parallel Leadership: The style of leadership we practice within our spaces & culture that partners with vs. powers over. 

Community Guidelines

BRAVE SPACE
We are committed to building a space that’s brave.  

A brave space does not mean no harm will be done. It means intentional steps have been taken and are continuously taken to mitigate the risk of harm in the first place. Additionally, if and when harm is done, it’s acknowledged and intentionally repaired.  

A brave space also does not mean “comfortable”. We believe in the human capacity to hold dichotomy and dissonance; specifically our ability to be both “okay” & uncomfortable at the exact same time.    

Bravery is naming the group dynamics in the moment. It’s naming your personal experience. It’s naming microaggressions when they happen. It’s taking pause vs. allowing urgency to push you forward before you’re ready. It’s listening to understand. It’s being willing to sit with emotions vs. bulldoze over them. It’s acknowledging that two opposing things can be true at the same time. It’s being willing to have challenging/vulnerable conversations. It’s being willing to take responsibility and seek repair. 

Bravery is an action. It’s a conscious choice. It expands our capacity & heals our world like no other. 

CONSENT AT EVERY TURN
As a former psychotherapist, I believe strongly in creating a trauma-sensitive space and one way in which we do this is by practicing consent at every turn, a practice I attribute to Lisa Kuzman, founder of Ready!, a Trauma-Sensitive Coach Training program in which I’m certified. 

Consent at every turn means asking for your permission before I publicly share anything you share with me in private.  

  • If you send me a private comment on a Zoom call, I’ll ask your permission before sharing that in the group.  
  • If you share a document with me in preparation for a group coaching call, I’ll ask your permission to share my screen & your document before sharing it with the group.   
  • If you share specific financial information with me in preparation for a group coaching call, I will explicitly ask your permission before speaking about them openly in front of the group.  
  • If you share positive feedback with me that I’d love to use as a testimonial, I’ll ask your explicit permission to do so.  
  • If I help you achieve specific results I want to share with the world, I’ll ask your consent to share them.  

Consent is something that can be revoked at any time & is never assumed to still be in place just because consent was given in the past.  

That means if a testimonial no longer feels aligned for you, you can request for it to be removed.  
That means that each time you share something with me privately, I will always ask if I can share it with the group even if you’ve already given me permission previously on a previous day.  

It may feel redundant. I’m okay with that.  

Consent is a foundational principle of creating trust, respect, and rapport that are invaluable. Every member of my team has also been guided to uphold this practice.  

We ask that you too uphold this practice inside our spaces, but also your own.

If something is shared with you in confidence, ask permission of that other person before sharing it with another human. If consent is offered once, don’t assume it’s blanket consent that requires no future re-visiting. 

BLACK, BROWN, & INDIGENOUS BODIES OF CULTURE (BBIBOC)* CENTERED SPACE
There are several intentional steps we take to create a BBIBOC Centered Space and I want to lay out those guidelines for both our BBIBOC clients & white clients to mitigate harm. 

A BBIBOC Centered Space means that the dominant experience is not assumed to be a white one. This shows up in our language choices, which we’ll cover below, and also the intentional lens we take to be aware of power differentials that exist due to systemic racism.

A BBIBOC Centered Space also means that additional steps are taken to prioritize BBIBOC including: 

  1. The option for our BBIBOC clients to select a BBIBOC only peer led mastermind as part of Flow.
  2. The option to opt out of a peer led mastermind if that doesn't feel like a safe option for you. (This is available to all our clients.) 
  3. The requirement for every client to read the specific community guidelines you’re reading right now to minimize racial harm and trauma.
  4. The continued engagement of our coaching team (including me, Megan Hale, and Ixchel Lunar, as well as any future coaches we hire) in our own learning for minimizing harm at the highest level possible. 

In addition to the above, it’s also important that white clients have an appropriate container to process their own systemic unlearning. This work is layered & tender - 

For BBIBOC clients who can easily be additionally harmed by bearing witness to white people’s aha’s and new awarenesses, but also white clients who navigate the complexity of internal biases.
As a white coach to both white clients and BBIBOC clients, I want to be clear that I expect us all to be engaged in our own work; whatever that looks like for you. But to my white clients especially, our public space is not an appropriate container to unpack your mistakes, share your new awarenesses, center your white experience, or make public repair. These can be highly harmful.  

Instead, my Direct Messages (DMs) on Facebook or Instagram are always open for these conversations to mitigate additional harm being done. Please lean on me as an always available space to ask questions and/or be connected to additional resources.  

Lastly, when racial traumas or hate crimes are committed in this world, they’re acknowledged. We recognize the compounding grief these events create and the impact they can have across all areas of life & business. 

*References Resmaa Menakem’s language from his work on somatic abolitionism. Please see attribution for resources. 

INCLUSIVE SPACE
We are committed to building a space that’s inclusive.  

Words hold power. They can either uphold or dismantle systems of oppression. Inside our spaces, we practice inclusive language by being mindful of: 

  • Ableist language
  • Gendered language
  • Cultural appropriation
  • AAVE (African American Vernacular English) used by white people & Drag Language
  • Digital Blackface (in GIFs used by white people)
  • Imperialist/Colonizer language 

We acknowledge that we’re all learning and changing language is a practice that doesn’t happen overnight. To uphold our commitment in creating a safe & inclusive space, Megan Hale and the Megan Hale Co Team will gently & firmly share how language choice could be potentially harmful:

  • In Threads on Social Media so you can edit your comment or GIF.

  • In Copy Reviews so you can shift your word choice or direction to be more inclusive, humanizing, and connection-driven.

  • On Coaching Calls to offer other language choices we’ve been practicing that still communicate a similar intention. 

If/when you’re offered feedback, an appropriate response is simply “thanks for letting me know”.  

We’ll model this for you when we’re offered feedback too because we are most definitely learning & unlearning right beside you. We WHOLEHEARTEDLY welcome feedback, critique, & calling-in when we mis-speak, make a mistake, or can do better in any way to create a safer & more inclusive space. 

Language Guidelines

Below are our specific company commitments and resources to support your own (un)learning. 

ABLEIST LANGUAGE GUIDE 
We acknowledge we live in a world with diverse abilities.  

We’re especially aware of how our abilities impact our capacity and how quickly capacity can change at any given time. 

We recognize that we all have limitless potential while also having limited spoons. 

We acknowledge diverse learning styles and are especially aware of neuro-diverse needs. 

We’ve taken specific steps to create an equitable & inclusive learning environment by providing written transcripts, adding captions to videos, providing audio versions of videos, including relevant visuals where helpful, including worksheets where applicable, & offering speed control for video & audio content. 

We’ve additionally worked closely with an Instructional Designer to pour over every piece of our curriculum & create thoughtful, results-driven content that’s also inclusive, accessible, and equitable.  

In addition, we avoid the use of stigmatizing words such as “crazy, bi-polar, ADD, OCD, manic, paralyzed, deaf”, etc. And instead use alternate words that communicate what we really mean. 



GENDERED LANGUAGE GUIDE
Our community adds their pronouns in parentheses to their Zoom Name as a practice of creating a gender inclusive space. [ex. Megan Hale (she/her)]





CULTURAL APPROPRIATION GUIDE 
I personally refrain from the use of the word “tribe” & “spirit animal” to honor the Indigenous roots in which these words come.   

Please note, we also recognize these are English terms that have become synonymous with Indigenous Culture and further represent the impact of colonization.

We make every attempt to not appropriate other cultures with marketing language, symbols, or visuals.  





AAVE & DRAG LANGUAGE GUIDE 
We recognize that dialects fuse and become mainstream as part of evolving culture. AND we also honor and choose wisely how we use specific phrases and words that belong to African American Vernacular English and the LGBTQIAS+ community.  




DIGITAL BLACKFACE GUIDE 
GIFs have added such a level of humanity to our internet world. And thank goodness! GIF away! But please be mindful of commodifying Black culture if you aren’t Black when you express yourself with a good meme. 





DECOLONIZED LANGUAGE GUIDE 
We are mindful of using words such as mission, empire, conquer, etc that are attached to colonization/domination-culture.  
  
We prefer “we” language over “I/you” language whenever possible to convey the interconnectedness and partnership that we’re establishing through our word choice. In the event accountability is needed, the use of “I/you” language is intentionally used.  

As a company, we’ve made the choice to shift away from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to Lead Executive Officer (LEO) in an attempt to honor Indigenous lineage & culture and also more clearly communicates the role, responsibilities, and power dynamics that more adequately reflect our company culture. More specifically, we feel LEO is a more decolonized approach to capitalized organizational hierarchies & inequitable power structures. 

We practice attribution inside our spaces. We do not steal ideas and pass them off as our own. Instead, we name our teachers and the lineage of the wisdom we’ve learned.  


Current Explorations

As a continued commitment to creating intentional spaces grounded in belonging, we realize that language is constantly evolving and better alternatives are also emerging. 

At the time of this writing, our company is currently exploring the shift away from DEIB to JEDI because of its intentional focus on accountability.      

In my preliminary learning, JEDI most commonly stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion but has also been referred to as: 

Justice-Centering
Emergence 
Decolonization
Interconnectedness

As we continue our exploration around this shift, we’re thoughtfully considering the pros and cons associated with both DEIB and JEDI. Regardless, the move to accountability is an important one. You can read the following articles as reference:  



Attribution

  1. This document serves as an expanded continuation from my company’s first public commitment to Anti-Racism in 2020, which can be found hereThe original commitment shares powerful resources & educators who are leading the charge in Diversity, Equity,& Inclusion.  

  2. I first learned the addition of B for Belonging in regards to DEIB from Dr. Nicole Robinson in 2021 when she presented a powerful presentation as part of my Trauma-Sensitive Coaching Certification led by Lisa Kuzman

  3. The inclusivity language guide was inspired by Mariah Coz and the guidelines she sets out in her own communities. It was expanded upon by myself and my team who at the time of this writing includes Ixchel Lunar (she/they) and Robyn Pawson (she/her).

  4. The expansion of DEIB to JEDI (specifically Justice-Centering, Emergence, Decolonizing, and Interconnecting) was suggested by Ixchel Lunar based on their own work of dismantling systems of oppression. We continue to explore these terms and shifts as a company. 

  5. Bodies of Culture is in reference to Resmaa Menakem’s work on somatic abolitionism & highlights:





  • The construct of race/color being rooted in White Body Supremacy
  • The way in which White Body Supremacy strips Black and Brown Bodies from their culture 

Hence, using both Bodies vs People and Culture vs Color is intentional. You can read more here

Ixchel was also influential in suggesting this shift in language due to their mentorship with Resmaa.  If you're new to his work, start with "My Grandmother's Hands".  His newest book, "The Quaking of America" is my next read.