Philosophy and Approach

In this moment within our country, our local communities, and our organizations, Why Sweet Livity™?

All of us want to be good at what we do, especially when our work is to serve the community. And to do that good work without sacrificing our values or our well-being.

But these are tough social, political and economic times. People and organizations that serve the community lack enough energy, time and resources to get everything done. They are tired and stressed, and, ultimately, less effective. Many solutions focus only on the individual or the organization, without recognizing how they are connected.

Sweet Livity™ focuses on improving the effectiveness and sustainability of leaders and organizations that serve the community, especially under-served and vulnerable populations.

Sweet Livity™ delivers wellness and business coaching to support individuals and groups serving vulnerable communities to do their jobs to the fullest, with improved well-being, sustainability and results. Combining holistic mind-body-spirit-wellness practices with transformative leadership and change processes, Sweet Livity™ is about a different kind of sea change – helping people transform the spaces where they live, work, and play into healthy, life affirming environments. In a world with Sweet Livity™, people live in harmony with self, community and nature as they serve the communities they work and live in.

We support people doing good work in the world to do so without sacrificing their values or their well-being. Our work builds on the founders’ 40+ years of experience building the capacity of groups, leaders and public officials serving vulnerable and underserved rural and urban communities, including immigrants, refugees, youth, elders, queer, indigenous, the poor, working class, gender nonconforming people, people returning to community life from being homeless or in prison, sex workers, people with special health care needs, the unemployed and under-employed, labor activists, farmers, and communities of color.

What is it like to work with Sweet Livity™?

Sweet Livity™ operates from the framework that undoing oppression in the world goes hand-in-hand with undoing the ways we’ve internalized oppression in our hearts, bodies, minds and spirits. This ultimately leads us to behave in ways which foster internal oppression within our families, organizations, communities and social movements.

Sweet Livity™ uses a heart and culturally-based approach that supports diverse leaders to work across a multitude of intersecting identities and to eliminate discrimination based on gender, race, criminal background, socioeconomic status, reproductive status, immigration status, sexual identity, health status, age, sector, geography, and more.

The aim is healthy leadership for all involved in efforts to make real improvement in people’s lives: the act of guiding in a way that is inclusive and encourages democratic participation. Promoting a healthy work culture where there is optimal communication, productivity and well-being.

Sweet Livity™ applies an appreciative inquiry approach and a change process practice of “co-design”. Co-design is a practice intended to eliminate power dynamics, promote joint ownership and give voice to all involved in a project or organization. Co-design supports a “learning by doing” approach, to create a climate of creativity, discovery and innovation which allows each of us to bring our full authentic selves to the transformative leadership work. As part of the co-design process, a client’s staff, board and other key stakeholders will actively engage in the process and outcome of joint planning, designing, responsibility and goal setting of the work.

Shifts in Our Work Given the Pandemic and Rising Consciousness around Racial Justice

Across the diverse organizations we work with, the people we center are Black, Latinx and Indigenous, with over 90% identifying as women or gender nonconforming and 80% identifying as cash and asset poor. We are responding to increasing requests to help people navigate through the maze of resources coming in, supporting them to find and access resources within the context of the historical oppression and anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiments, Brown/Black tensions, lack of investments in our communities, attacks on our communities, which all hinder everyone’s liberation.

Our model is shifting real-time from a B2B model (mostly serving groups and their leaders) to a hybrid model that also includes B2C support (directly serving impacted people of color, women and gender nonconforming folks who are frontline workers or the most vulnerable workers inside their organizations) using a resource mobilization and care coordination approach to making sure we each come through this moment of Covid and racial unrest with our full lives, families and organizations intact.

Our aim is that the most vulnerable workers not only survive this crisis but come through it with optimal health and economic well-being because they have access to the resources they need and mentorship to support them to coordinate and leverage those resources. That the places where they return to work or currently work are better positioned to shift workplace climate and policies, supporting managers lead to lead in healthier ways that are inclusive and encourages democratic participation.

Sweet Livity is about a different kind of climate change — helping us respond in times like these and for the long haul in ways that are life affirming. It’s a holistic approach to healing and liberation, a strategy to erase the wealth gap and bring health and economic wellness to under-served BIPOC and gender nonconforming workers where they live and work.

We have a big vision! To catalyze the liberation of our clients by shifting power dynamics, shifting culture, and shifting access to resources so we collectively create and sustain businesses, programs, initiatives and policies which socially and economically benefit us, our families, and our communities.

We’re committed to dismantling and destroying abusive systems through healing of ourselves, our families, and our communities. Since 2012, we’ve been honored 4 times as “Best for the World” by B Lab for our community impact. Our willingness to pivot this year in how we work is an example of our commitment to listening and responding. We are from these communities. We live here. We are not going anywhere; we are here to stay.