A DEEP DIVE WITH DR. DARNISA AMANTE
Meet Darnisa Amante, Ed.L.D., CEO and co-founder of DEEP. That stands for the Disruptive Equity Education Project. Dr. Amante and her team are leading several communities in New England and across the U.S. to examine themselves from the inside out, creating meaningful change toward racial equity. New Hampshire will now benefit from Dr. Amante’s expertise as she leads the Race & Equity in NH Series’ ongoing work in the six sectors of civic engagement, economic development, education, government, health care, and law enforcement/criminal justice; ultimately culminating in one collective vision.
Dr. Amante is an educational and racial equity strategist who is deeply committed to the study of culture, innovation and adult development. Since earning her Master’s degree in Anthropology from Brandeis University and her Doctorate from Harvard’s Educational Leadership Program, Dr. Amante has honed her knowledge to transform organizational and school cultures on issues of equity. With a background in change management and redesign, Dr. Amante currently leads the DEEP project and is an adjunct lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
“The primary component of leading this type of work is helping individuals to tell their stories,” says Amante. “You don’t need to have letters after your name to be an expert on YOU. In fact, you are the only expert on your personal story. That matters deeply because, until you’re clear on your own experiences and personal biases, you cannot move forward to create a collective story for your community or state.”
Amante goes on to explain that the big picture visioning she will lead, with the help of facilitators in each sector of the Race & Equity in NH Series work, will build on the established framework to create a roadmap for future actions. But Amante emphasizes that all who participate will be part of something much bigger.
“The work of stamping out systemic oppression and racism will not be completed in our lifetime,” she cautions. “Participating in this work means you have to be okay with not seeing or knowing the final result. But you must also have faith that your contribution will move the work forward – work that perhaps our great, great, great, great grandchildren will benefit from.” Amante says the building of this movement can create a powerful ripple effect. “We can’t all be the stone that plunges deep into the still water, but I’m okay with being just a ripple in the process. I invite all of you who are reading this to join us in this ripple effect.”