Prioritizing Curiosity and Connection to Create Change
In 2019, as Aja sat on the Board of Directors for Earthtone Outside and organization received frequent requests for (D)EIJ consultation services that fell outside of the organization's mission and capacity and it was clear that the community was looking for an opportunity to engage with equity on a deeper level. And so, Level Equity Consultants was created to support nonprofits and businesses in Bozeman, Montana and beyond.
At Level, we understand that it can be intimidating to know where to start when confronting systemic violence, unlearning harmful biases, and learning how to center equity in our lives. This uncertainty can often lead to inaction. It's in these moments of overwhelm, we hope you think to call Level.
Our values are curiosity, connection, and brave discomfort. We lead with genuine curiosity, center relationships, and create moments of change and accountability without using shame and judgment.
We believe change begins within and offer our clients critical tools to cultivate the practice of dismantling white supremacy and other systems of oppression that are designed to perpetuate harm on Black, Brown, Indigenous, AAPI, all People of Color, and folks with intersectional identities devalued by our society, historically and presently.
WHO IS LEVEL EQUITY CONSULTANTS?
Founder + Principal Consultant
Did you see my photo and think That's not very professional. If so, why do you think that? What ideas and images have informed your definition of "professional"? Have you ever considered the role that white supremacy plays in how we are taught to think about professionalism and why?
Aja (pronounced "Asia") has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2000, and started to pursue anti-oppression and anti-racism seriously in 2008 while in graduate school in Missoula. Her career is a patchwork of experiences; many of which have included working with youth and families systems in schools, groups, and after school programs. Of note, she has been the Executive Director of Shift Youth Empowerment Programs in Livingston, MT and After School Program Director for the 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto, CA.
Aja currently serves as a member on the Board of Directors of MIJA and is the Programs Director at Haven.
Aja is a Puerto Rican and white cis-woman who lives in Bozeman, MT with her partner, two cats, two dogs, and nine fish - many of whom are named after Star Trek characters. Aja loves to spend time with her friends, do multiple crosswords a day, and take those aforementioned stinky dogs to the dog park.
Meshayla is a black/bi-sexual/cis-gendered woman, originally from Southern California. She moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana where she graduated with her degree in African American Studies. For nearly a decade Meshayla has been a fierce advocate for racial equity in Montana and is committed to supporting company cultures that nurture and value the inherent dignity of every person. Meshayla has educated over 1,700 people in the public and private sectors - from philanthropy & technology to conservation. Meshayla has given workshops and trainings across the nation—including as a TEDx speaker. She is a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Professional through Cornell University, and she serves on the board of Earthtone OutsideMT and ForwardMT.
Meshayla is the definition of “it takes a village” and was raised by 5 different guardians throughout her life. Meshayla attributes all of her tenacity, passion, and love of people to the amazing women she has had in her life but gives special mention to her nana Judy who immigrated to the US from Bermuda and dedicated herself to building a better life for her family. Meshayla works to honor her in all that she does. When she is not working she is spending time with her wild bug-eyed pug, Prince Odie, and enjoying the sunshine with her fiancé and friends. Meshayla is a buffalo wings connoisseur and is always on the hunt to find the best hot wings in Montana!
Learn more about Meshayla: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meshaylacox/
Reach out today to learn more about our team!