"What is your why?" – This question is our starting point for all our endeavors, something we ask clients, program participants and partners alike. As an instructor, Soulful Synergy Co-Founder and CEO, Alejandro, implements Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle model to help participants uncover what initially brought them to the classroom and what will motivate them to keep going when things get tough. The Golden Circle is broken down into three parts– “What?” (What do you want to accomplish?), “How?” (How are you going to accomplish it?), and “Why?” (Why do you want to accomplish it?) with “Why” at the center. As a company, we see our “Why” as what motivates us to come to work each day. It is at the heart of our mission– “to create a more inclusive world by leveraging resources, relationships and human potential to build sustainable, healthy, thriving communities.”
Our vision statement reads: “By providing transformational workforce development programs, business services and community advocacy, we are the immune system of our planet.” Why have we chosen these areas for the focus of our business model? We understand that no one barrier stands alone, and to achieve true change we must address them all. In 1989, Kimberlé Crenshaw (pictured) coined the term "intersectionality,” defined as “a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.” When developing effective solutions for our communities, we apply the lens of intersectionality because structural injustice creates marginalization on multiple inseparable, interconnected levels. For example, an individual may decide to engage in a training program in order to gain employment. However, because of unstable employment circumstances, they may have trouble accessing housing, childcare and healthcare. Without a stable home, the resources to maintain mental and physical health, or to afford childcare, it is extremely difficult for the individual to fully engage with and successfully complete a training. This very real example demonstrates that in order to provide truly meaningful services, we must account for the circumstances around which the need for services exists and provide access to fundamental supportive services.
This work is personal. We know how powerful it is when someone sees you, invests in you and encourages you to invest in yourself. Our team consists of individuals from various backgrounds, including members of minority, veteran, first-gen and LGBTQIA+ communities. Our experiences and identities allow us to connect authentically with those we serve– This is what we mean by “Soulful.” Our instructors and curriculum developers have direct experience in the industries for which we provide training– they know what it means to be on the ground, and therefore, have insight into what it takes to be successful. They also understand, first hand, the transformational power of education and career opportunities coupled with supportive services. Our consultants are entrepreneurs who have navigated up-starting a business, becoming M/WBE certified, accessing government services and more. We do this work to help community members empower themselves and advance towards their dreams.
Too often, social impact organizations operate in silos. We facilitate connections between key stakeholders and share resources across our network. This is what “Synergy” means to us. From nonprofit partnerships that allow us to provide community members with workforce development and training, plus supportive services; to partnerships with government agencies to empower the minority- and women-business owners within our communities; to partnerships with for-profit businesses that lead to employment and mentorship opportunities, we know that strong relationships are at the heart of healthy, sustainable communities.