As a transracial adoptee raised in small Oregon towns, Kerani is accustomed to being one of the few brown people in a room. Recognizing that her experiences as a person of color in the world differ from most of her family and community, she has spent decades formally and informally fostering inclusive spaces in schools, workplaces and daily life as a facilitator, organizer and life-long learner. Through these efforts, she has found a sense of belonging with people of both shared and different backgrounds and identities, including the team at Allyship in Action. With each project, she is grateful to work with such an inspiring and skilled team to advance the company’s mission and support clients to move beyond “DEI,” to real change and action rooted in collective liberation.
Kerani’s theory of change can be summed up in the quote by Australian, Murri aboriginal community members and activist, Lilla Watson, “If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you’ve come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.” Kerani believes we all hold value, responsibility and agency to transform our communities and world using our unique skills and gifts. With each project and relationship, she is committed to sharing skills and resources to turn ideas and principles into action.
Applying an interconnected lens to her work, Kerani asks individuals to look inward and also at systems of power when diving into social and organizational change work. With humor, patience and a long-term lens, she offers interactive and reflective sessions and consultations with a focus on racial, economic and cultural equity and justice in rural spaces. She partners with other facilitators to offer trainings in these areas, including LGBTQIA2S+ justice, and accessibility.
Her professional experiences include volunteer management, event and program coordination, nonprofit administration and philanthropy. Fueled by coffee and with a goal of thriving in beloved community, she co-founded Allyship in Action in 2019 with LeeAnn O’Neill and Erin Rook as a collaborative of local, anti-racist and equity trainers in Central Oregon.