Amanda Singh Bans
What do you do at CEI?
I am an Equity Consultant for the Implementation Team at CEI. I work with organizations that have gone through Consciousness Raising that are looking to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion in their policies, practices, and culture.
What did you do before CEI?
I was an Equity Coordinator for a Regional Health Equity Coalition based in southern Oregon, focusing on advancing health equity for communities of color, gender and sexual minorities, and low-income communities. I have also taught on the college level for 8 years in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies. My focus has been on systems of oppression and how they work together to perpetuate inequality, as well as anti-oppressive policy-based solutions and activism efforts. I received my M.A. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2009 and obtained my M.S.W. degree from Portland State University, September 2018.
Why do you do this work?
I have and continue to do this work for my own survival and well-being. If I am not a part of the change I want to see in the world, I’m out of integrity with myself, my family, my community, my ancestors, and those who fought for equity and social justice before me and for those who depend on our generation to continue the future work. As a mixed-race woman of color and mother to a black son, this work commands a consistent and sustainable urgency. I do this work professionally because I’m invested in helping organizations become more equitable, diverse, and inclusive in their practices to foster greater social change and to create new ways of living, working, and being in this world.
What do you believe?
I believe we are all connected: that my liberation is tied up in others’ liberation, and that collective pain is our individual and social responsibility to heal. I believe in breaking oppressive silences and surfacing truths. I believe we have been told in this society that we are separate and/or individual, which has been the greatest lie and detriment to our humanity. I believe that until we repair our broken relationships with ourselves and others we will not advance, socially, nor will we heal, culturally. I believe each of us have our own distinct path towards an equitable and just society that is critically dependent upon others’ journeys.
What question guides your work?
Where are the stories that need to be heard, and where is there potential for healing?
What quote moves you in this work?
“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” – Wangari Maathai