Building Our Own Table: Crystle Johnson

Meet the founder of The DEI Coach

Hello friends,

Crystle Johnson came to my attention via my recent call for interviewees. I was immediately captivated by her LinkedIn headline about creating “soul-centered experiences that empower Black women in DEI”. Naturally, I wanted to introduce her to you all, so please meet Crystle Johnson…

Crystle, tell me briefly about your background prior to founding The DEI Coach

I’m a data driven, organizational architect who leverages equitable process design to create spaces where underestimated talent can grow and thrive. Going beyond traditional, superficial means, I’m laser-focused on building relationships across diverse communities, intentional career pathing, sponsorship, and removing barriers in everyday processes.

Building Our Own Table: Crystle Johnson.

Give me the elevator pitch for The DEI Coach

The DEI Coach is a wellness community that curates soul-centered experiences that empower Black women in DEI to prioritize sisterhood, joy, and well-being. We provide practical tools, one-on-one coaching and a supportive community where you can find advice and resources to build a life that is rooted in self-care and self-love through The Uwani Experience.

And in more detail?

Our curated experiences offer a community of Black women to love and cheer you along your journey to clarity, peace, and joy.

Through The Uwani Experience we offer a variety of ways to be in community with Black women in DEI, including our virtual community/events, quarterly domestic kickbacks, and semi-annual international retreats.

What inequity were you trying to redress/address, and why is this important?

As Black women working in DEI, we're hard wired to get the job done by any means necessary. Unfortunately, this has meant that we've poured out until we've burnt out and have masked the impact on us to our detriment.

At The DEI Coach, we've curated spaces and experiences where Black women in DEI can show up authentically, cultivate community, and thrive through self-care and rest. Spaces where Black women are expected, respected, valued, and fully centered.

How’s it going? What has the response been?

We're still in the process of launching our virtual community, but our retreats have been well received. There’s been a consistent message that Black women in DEI have been yearning for a space where they can show up authentically in community and away from the white gaze.

Anything interesting happening in the near future?

Our Black In Bloom Kickback in partnership with Black Girl Season is coming up in Manhattan on May 20, and our Uwani St. Lucia retreat will be from August 14 - 19. Joy, sisterhood and ease are what it’s all about.

In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?

A world where Black women are safe. We prioritize psychological safety above all else in our experiences and it makes us unique. We intentionally create what has been dubbed a "Beautiful Black Bubble" where our guests are enveloped in Blackness. From the hotels, yogis, masseuses, tour operators, photographers, etc., we ensure an escape from the white gaze. The escape has a profound impact on the Black women who join the experience because they can take the mask off and experience a level of ease and freedom they've never thought possible.

Thank you, Crystle. Learn more about Crystle Johnson’s work on the DEI Coach website, on LinkedIn, and on Instagram. And feel free to share what resonated with you most from this interview.

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© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

Cover photo courtesy of Canva.

I am an anti-racism educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

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