Shafina Fazal-Gardner

Director, Business Development

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What do you do at CE&I?
I am the Director of Business Development. Primarily focused on establishing new partnerships and business opportunities locally and nationally, I also provide executive coaching to our clients as they begin to operationalize their equity plans into policies and procedures.  If you are interested in partnering with CEI, we should chat!

What did you do prior to CEI?
Prior to CEI, I worked at Open School, managing a 1.5 million, multi-site, extended-day school program that serves Portland’s most marginalized students. I served on Open School’s Executive, Leadership and Equity teams helping to guide and follow Open School’s strategic plan and mission with an equity lens. My professional work experience has weaved through corporate, community-based and government sectors, which helped shape my focus on organizational change and equity.

Why do you do this work?
Simply, I want to contribute to making this world better.  The work is necessary to ensure a more inclusive and equitable world for our children and future generations.  Also, I love Portland and one day, want this city to be known for inclusivity, racial diversity, and equitable practices across all it’s sectors.  The organizations we work with are on the leading edge – I want to see this momentum continue with other companies and organizations and also in our home communities.

What do you believe?
I believe in possibility, in creativity and in a collective approach to making systemic change.  I believe we have within us the ability to recognize injustice and an obligation to address it; today.

What is a question that guides your work:
Where do you stand?  What are you willing to say?

“I am no longer accepting the things I can-not change. I am changing the things I can not accept.” Dr. Angela Davis