Yolanda Contreras Archive

What working at a flat organization has taught me about white supremacy

We are all familiar with how ‘standard’ businesses, organizations, and nonprofits typically operate. The structure usually resembles a pyramid — the base staff of employees start at the bottom, progress up in status until they reach the top, which usually consists of a CEO and/or executive team.

But what happens when a business or organization adopts a non-hierarchical or flat structure? Flat structures don’t have a pyramid — there are no levels of management, employees are part of the decision-making process, and everyone typically makes the same amount of money.

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It’s pronounced ‘zeen’! (How the world of zines inadvertently prepared me for a career in nonprofit fundraising)

Zines are usually categorized as ephemera, something that exists only briefly or for a short period of time.

Zines are pronounced zeen, short for magazine, and are self-published, not widely distributed, and cost very little. As small and temporary as they initially seem, zines have actually been around for decades and can have the power to provide a voice to those who are not normally heard.

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Can anybody hear me? How white nonprofit writing standards erase BIPOC voices — and why that is definitely not OK

Writing has always been my saving grace. I grew up an introverted only child, and sometimes, I could only communicate through my writing.

My love of writing grew over the years, especially when I went full-force into zine creation in highschool. I loved the fact that I could create, print and distribute my own words, without dilution, to the masses. It became my form of therapy, to salve the scars left behind from very real pre-existing generational trauma to also new trauma.

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