Payton McDonald

To arrive at our vision of empowered leaders, flourishing nonprofits and vibrant communities, we must acknowledge how systemic racism has led to the disparities we face today. We must understand how racist systems are driving our missions, decisions and impact. And we must be willing to undo them.

NEW invites you to slow down and find alignment within your head and heart before moving to act.

Payton McDonald, Mutal Aid Network of Ypsilanti

“NEW displayed radical candor that was supportive but directly challenged us in necessary ways. Their invitational and educational approach catalyzed our equity work, encouraged us to embrace the vulnerability inherit in a meaningful process, and allowed us to develop tangible action steps; all while cultivating buy-in across the agency.”

Executive Director, Avalon Housing

Anti-racism work takes time

While a fresh diversity statement and a new policy or two might be steps forward, they’re never enough. Focusing on action alone cannot address the conditions created and perpetuated by systemic racism. NEW strives to spark and create space for the conversations that lead to transformation. This requires slowing down, building a foundation of shared understanding, and moving at the speed of trust.

NEW’s approach to anti-racism aims toward “co-liberation.” We recognize that white folks are often led to believe they are engaging to “help” others; yet they too have been harmed by racism and white supremacy. Our work centers the communities of color most negatively impacted by racism while dismantling cultures that reward proximity to whiteness. Our fates are tied to one another—if any of us wants to be free, we must all be free.


Team Coaching

Anti-racism work is a long journey. We want to be by your side, helping you develop your innate skills so that ultimately, you’re less reliant on us. NEW builds courage and confidence within organizations as they define and set out to achieve their anti-racist goals. 

We recommend regular meetings, so that each team member and department has an opportunity to discuss the culture and environment in which they work, and the connections to racism. We can organize our time together around your needs—in person or by phone or video.

Facilitated dialogue

Let’s bring your community together to learn from leaders whose lived and professional experience will inspire and inform your anti-racist journey.

Staff and board Training

How can you meaningfully engage with the communities you serve—especially if your staff and board do not represent their diversity? First you must unpack the structure and context in which you operate.

Potential topics include:

  • Understanding implicit bias and changing behavior (internalized racism)
  • Increasing our awareness of microaggressions and how to address them (interpersonal racism)
  • Connecting lessons on diversity, inclusion and equity to our organization’s policies, procedures and culture (institutionalized racism)
  • Examining power, privilege and oppression (systemic racism)
  • Making connections between systemic and institutional oppression and our work

Our Rates

NEW’s fees are based on your organization’s size and budget, as well as the scope of our work together. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Joyce Hunter
African-American Cultural and Historical Museum


Yodit Mesfin-Johnson


Yodit has been working towards justice for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color for nearly two decades. She believes there is no greater antidote for hate than love and liberation. Drawing on ancestry, Yodit’s approach nurtures and embraces difference and works against all forms of oppression. Yodit became President and CEO of NEW on January 1, 2020. She stewards our vision, strategic direction and overall operations in partnership with the NEW’s board and staff. 

Will Jones III


Will comes to racial justice work as a Black man whose ancestry in America goes all the way back to 1619. He has spent the majority of his life in white spaces, including a few years in Europe. In his anti-racist work, Will uses art and poetry to hold a mirror up to his communities and circles. As NEW’s Relationship Manager, Will is a liaison between NEW’s stakeholders and partners. Alumnus of Eastern Michigan and Michigan State, Will holds degrees in Business Administration and Psychology.

Hillary Watson


Hillary’s work centers on healing. She approaches justice by moving backwards from the preferred vision of the future, trusting that the impossible just takes time. In addition to her work at NEW, Hillary pastors at Shalom Community Church, a Mennonite/Church of the Brethren congregation in Ann Arbor. To her, dismantling racism is spiritual work. Part of her mission is naming how white supremacy and Christian tradition reinforce each other and working towards their disentanglement.

Carrie Auster Hammerman (she/her)


Carrie has been providing capacity building support for nonprofit organizations with NEW since 2014. But as a white, cisgender woman, she has been on her own anti-racist journey, too. This has meant unpacking privilege and deepening understanding of her role within racist systems. As NEW’s Organizational Development Director, Carrie now helps other nonprofit leaders do the same. A loyal Wolverine, Carrie holds two master’s and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Will Jones III


Judy joined NEW in 2017 as an Organizational Development Specialist, after years in the nonprofit sector, politics and medicine. A biracial (white, Lakota/Métisse) woman, Judy works to address colonization’s impacts on both her First Nation and white identities. As a spiritual imperative, she partners with others to create an equitable and inclusive beloved community. Judy has lived in Germany and throughout the United States but is blessed to be home in Michigan. Go Green! Go White! 

Ready to BEGIN?

Let’s create a plan that meets your budget and needs. 


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