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Brick Wall


Our Mission:

We teach and coach leaders to examine, analyze, and disrupt (organizational) (institutional) biased and inequitable power so that leaders can (ensure)(grow)(build) racial, gender, and economic equity, diversity, and inclusion (justice) in every aspect of their work. We want leaders to think about themselves in complex, nuanced ways wherein they understand that they have the power to leverage their privilege, authority on behalf of equity, liberation, and inclusion. We want leaders to be intentional, thoughtful, and pay attention to the micro moments that build to macro outcomes. Excellence is just fundamentals on repeat. Micro ~ mezzo ~ macro ~ every. moment. matters.

The Story of
Brick 13

Why Bricks? Why 13? Bricks are solid & foundational. They are one of the oldest, most durable building materials in the world. Globally, they are found in nearly every culture. They are hardy, resistant to pressure, withstand harsh weather and other hazards, they are survivors, thrivers, and resistors. Where there are movements of resistance, there are bricks. Bricks were thrown at Stonewall; they are used as a metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement. Bricks are cooperative, collaborative, & collective. No one brick believes it is THE BRICK, rather, a wall or a movement, for that matter, is built brick by brick by brick.

Dr. Jen Self with short brown hair, wearing glasses, leaning on arms, hands under chin holding an orange striped pool ball number 13

13 is queer. I was born with a bent and fire for justice and equal ignorance to match. I grew up in a small town in southern Oregon. Grants Pass, nestled in the Rogue Valley in the Occupied Lands of the Takelma, Tolowa Dee-ni', and Cow Creek Umpqua Tribes, like much of 20th century Oregon was racially homogenous, a town for White people by White people; including me. We were part of the upper-middle class in an area with a polarized class structure, doing what is sometimes referred to as neo-colonization, the 1970s back-to-the-land movement by white hippies. AND, also, it was indeed the 70s and 80s and I was a little person, who felt justice in their bones but understood it only fractionally. I knew that I was not a girl, was not going to grow up to be a girl, not going to marry a boy and that I would resist and defy each and every gender expectation at every possible turn. I did not have words for or know how to understand my gender. I worried about it every day as I walked the dusty mile home from my school bus stop. All the boys with whom I played football, basketball, baseball, and every other sport under the sun, ridiculed and shamed me even as I struck them out. I thought I was aberrant. I thought I was not what a woman should be, disgusting, and therefore broken. I thought I was what I had been socialized into believing without even knowing it was happening. A good part of my brain space was occupied with worry about growing up and being forced to be the thing that I feared even more than my confusion, being a woman. All of this led me to be a fighter for the underdog, if not yet for cultural transformation.


13, has a superstitious history and at the time a lot of folks thought of it as bad luck. Not me, I claimed 13. I was born on April 13th. And, 13 was mine. This odd number was the first way I claimed my queerness, my politic as a white person actively working moment-to-moment to be anti-racist in thought, feeling, action, and deed, a person who consistently aligned myself with whoever and whatever was held as culturally dangerous, transgressive, “not the norm.” 13 is a signifier of my commitment to listening to, believing, and co-conspiring for the truths of those that have been whitewashed, minoritized, and otherwise shoved to the cultural margins. It symbolizes my life path's fundamental work: championing equity and justice, frequently as that means I am not central to the movements, my ongoing commitment to and advocacy for the Movement for Black Lives, and for the liberation of all people. 


This is why I am Brick 13.

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