Our mission is to empower the creation of environments where differences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the benefit of all through both time-tested and innovative training and tools, public advocacy, and consulting models addressing the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels.

We have been certified a Minority-controlled Nonprofit by the Massachusetts State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Assistance (SOMWBA).

Our Founding Principles 

​The spirit of reciprocity is a time-honored tradition in African-centered cultures and organizations. This spirit forms the fabric of who we are as an organization and is essential to what we do and how we do it. We recognize that our consultants bring skills and abilities learned prior to, and concurrent with, their own experiences in VISIONS. As an organization, we collectively benefit from the skills, abilities, and self-development processes of the consultants. The power of VISIONS is derived from our relationships with one another and the mutual support these relationships provide.

It started with a question…

In 1984, the founders of VISIONS—three black women who grew up in legalized segregation and a white Jewish man who grew up in the civil rights movement—brought together change agents in the fields of education, law, psychology, public health, business and religion, all of whom were asking the question, “How do we include people who have been historically excluded from white, mostly male institutions?”The challenge was to understand and pioneer ways that everyone could prosper. Following the first wave of affirmative action in the U.S., the common practice had been to add more diversity without paying attention to how to best prepare the workplace, community, or church for success. Organizations failed to recognize the elements that needed to change to ensure that those being brought in would stay and thrive.

Founding Director Valerie Batts, VP, Training and Development, ​ on VISIONS’ humble beginnings and powerful impact.

Co-Founder Angela Bryant shares her experience of VISIONS’ history.

Co-Founder John Capitman shares his experience of VISIONS’ history.

Our Core Values


We are committed to fundamental fairness and justice for all individuals and reflect these principles in our actions and interactions with others.


We welcome and embrace differences. We seek to include people and perspectives that might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.


We are trustworthy, honest, and transparent in what we say and what we do.


We strive to create community in our work and conduct ourselves with empathy where we seek to understand and accept others.


We acknowledge and recognize the unique perspectives, lived experiences, and beliefs of those with whom we work and support.

Strategic Plan 2020-2023

Our Vision for our Organization

We envision a future where VISIONS is known globally for our expertise, skills, and talents, where we: Are viewed as authorities and experts in this work. Are equitable and transparent in all that we do. Operate in a manner that is sustainable, financially successful, and able to invest as needed in critical functions and supports. Ensure continuous excellence of consultants, staff, and board members. Achieve impact at the policy and systems levels through collaboration with policy groups that are primarily focused on advocacy.

Our Vision for our Community

We envision a more equitable world where:

Differences are valued and used for the benefit of all. Where is a common awareness of and language for addressing issues of difference among all sectors. Communities listen more, always seek to understand each other first, grow in their curiosity of each other's perspective, and accept that multiple perspectives are the pathway towards equity and liberation. Our justice, health care, education, and other systems are more equitable.

Intersectionality is recognized, understood, and acted upon.

Goals and Strategies

Evolve our portfolio to meeting community needs and the development of the next generation of DEI leaders by:

  • Creating a full, robust menu of VISIONS' offerings
  • Expanding our offerings to include a focus on youth, law enforcement and criminal justice
  • Becoming a certification and education resource for trainers

Establish an overall and integrated marketing, fundraising, and partnership strategy to enhance and strengthen VISIONS’ reach and impact by:

  • Establishing an overall and integrated marketing, fundraising, and partnership strategy to enhance and strengthen VISIONS' reach and impact
  • Establishing a fund development strategy
  • Developing signature partnerships that advance the work, brand, and impact of VISIONS
  • Developing the capacity to advocate and address policy issues as extension of consulting work

Strengthen VISIONS' internal capacity to support, sustain and expand services by:

  • Investing in and improving organizational infrastructure and work processes/systems
  • Establishing quality improvement capacity to assess and measure the impact of the work
  • Further developing and formalizing the learning agenda for VISIONS' consultants
  • Developing an organizational culture that recognizes our history and enables our future

Position the Board of Directors to best support and advance the work of VISIONS by:

  • Reviewing and updating our board structure
  • Updating and clarifying board roles and expectations
  • Continuing intentional board development
The Legacy Project onstage after their show.
The Legacy Project onstage after their show.

Working with the next generation…

In 2003, in collaboration with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, VISIONS began to actively look at how these issues are the same and different for young people, and developed a version of our model geared toward those ages 15 to 30. Our engagement with this age group, including developing a cadre of youth consultants, has allowed us to stay fresh in our thinking and our perspectives and join with youth to continue our work to increase opportunity and equity for all people.

Youth can play vital roles in creating positive social change in their communities.Since 2003, VISIONS has been cultivating the voices and leadership potential of young people through our Youth Empowerment Workshops and The Legacy Project.

​In Memoriam


Sarah L. Werkman


Sarah Loebs Werkman lived with love, grace, boldness, and wanderlust. Having been surrounded by her family, Sarah died on October 3, 2023, with her great love beside her holding her hand as he has done so for more than 35 years, but never so tenderly as the last 2 years and 8 months after Sarah was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Passionate about cross-cultural communication, multicultural awareness, and universal belonging, Sarah loved traveling and spoke Japanese and Spanish. Sarah was proud to have lived in three countries and traveled through many others. In her first seven years out of college, she lived in seven different cities. In her teaching career, Sarah was known for going the extra mile for students- driving them to school, bringing breakfast, or lending a sympathetic ear.

Sarah built communities and connections wherever she went. She was passionate about creating a sense of belonging for those she worked for and with as well as for her family and friends. Sarah made people feel cared for with unconditional positive regard. She played the French Horn and rowed crew in college. She practiced yoga and loved to read. One of her favorite things to do was to go to her sons’ sports events – as many of them as she could possibly attend.

Sarah was born on May 15, 1966, in Ann Arbor, Michigan and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. In first grade Sarah began her lifelong love affair with Japan. During the summer after her junior year in high school Sarah took her first trip to Japan as an AFS student (many more were to come). After graduating from Upper Arlington High School, Sarah earned a BA in Asian Studies from Williams College, where she met her eventually-to-be husband. Sarah earned a master’s degree in international education from New York University and a master’s degree in School Counseling from Gonzaga University. Throughout a varied career – as a youth minister, teacher, consultant, and counselor – she made an impact in the lives of teenagers, students, and colleagues. Sarah said, as a working mother, she had two full-time jobs. Among her second jobs she especially enjoyed her work at Colby College, and Visions, Inc. Most recently, Sarah was looking to add more purpose to her days (aside from cancer) and took a part-time job at Sweet Monkey Business and volunteered at the Belfast Soup Kitchen and the Waldo County Y – she enjoyed being with people and kept working until two weeks before her death despite the increasing physical challenges cancer presented.

Work gave Sarah an outlet for her passion to bring the world together, but she said her family was her greatest success. Her love, humor, and dedication to her three “boys” gave them confidence and a sense of belonging. She woke up early to help with homework and stayed up late to talk through challenges at work.

Sarah is survived by her husband Russell, sons Isaac and Xander, and their beloved dog, Blue; her parents Stephen and Susan Loebs; her sister Kathryn Loebs Stauss and brother-in-law Frank Stauss; many cousins, nieces, and nephews. She is also survived by extraordinary friends who walked beside her before and through cancer. Some created the Sarah Loebs Fan Club (which provided her much joy and encouragement on a weekly basis), others joined her through her Caring Bridge Community which wrapped her in love and support as she vividly and transparently shared her experience with cancer. Sarah’s care teams at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Alfond Cancer Center, and the Sussman House provided expertise and exceptional care. The Dempsey Center and the Advanced Cancer Support Group Sarah joined through the center proved to be invaluable resources and support.

Through the Dempsey Center in Maine, Sarah made a legacy video. It can be found at: https://vimeo.com/631252238/89904423c1.

A memorial and reception are being held on Saturday, November 11 at the First Parish Church in Brunswick, Maine starting at 11:00 am. If you would like to do something in Sarah’s honor, please consider donations in her memory to  Thula Thula, a private wildlife reserve in South Africa that Sarah visited in May 2022 ( https://thulathula.com/conservation/) or The Belfast Soup Kitchen (https://www.belfastsoupkitchen.org/).

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.ripostafh.com


Tina Tong Yee

19 September 1946 - 14 May 2022

Dr. Tina Tong Yee, age 75, passed away on May 14, 2022 at her home in San Francisco surrounded by her family. She had bravely battled cancer for 3 years. A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, and psychologist, she was a woman of compassion and personal strength. Her home was a loving gathering place for all holiday celebrations and meals for her extended family and friends. An all-time favorite was her special vegetarian "jai" dish, slow cooked in a huge pot.

Tina was born on September 19, 1946 in Honolulu, Hawaii to James and Katy (Wong) Tong, then left for college in San Francisco where she later married her childhood sweetheart Edwin Yee. She received her Ph.D. degree from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA in Clinical Psychology. She dedicated her career to ensuring that the San Francisco behavioral health system provided culturally competent services and empowered clients through work opportunities and peer support.

She was a director at the Community Behavioral Health Services in the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health, a board member for non-profit organizations, a consultant, and later opened a private practice as a psychologist helping individuals and families.

As an Asian American woman, she understood only too well the racial and gender inequalities existing in our society, and advocated for equality and justice. As a consultant to corporations on diversity and cultural competence, she led seminars, trained and coached staff.

Her passion for seeing the world led her on travels and cruises through six continents with family and friends. Her roots in Hawaii brought her back to the islands at least twice a year.

Tina is survived by her husband Edwin, sons Tyson (Irene), Kuo, Kuan (Samantha), grandchildren Emily, Koby, Justin, Brandon, Miles, and sisters Carolyn and Ginger.


Gerald Gregory Jackson

15 February 1944 - 15 February 2021

Gerald Gregory Jackson, a brilliant psychologist, celebrated scholar, and loving family man passed away on February 15, 2021, at the age of 77.

Born in Harlem, New York City, Gerald was the only child of Charles "Buddy" Jackson and Ruby “Jackie” Harden. From early childhood, Gerald discovered the importance of hard work, the passion for effectuating change in the lives of the marginalized, and the joy of intellectual curiosity. These values would guide him throughout the rest of his life.

Gerald is survived by Ingrid S. Hill, his devoted life partner of four decades, three children, Monique Jackson-Ivy, Melanie Jackson, and Melissa Valle, son-in-law, Lawrence R. Ivy, Jr., and a host of friends.


Renae Gray
April 19, 1951 – January 24, 2017

We mourn the loss of a wonderful member of the VISIONS family, Renae Gray.

Ms. Gray is the former Director of the Boston Women’s Fund. As an educator and community activist, she provided training and consultation on issues of race, class, and gender and is committed to social and economic justice, including eliminating violence against women and empowerment of African-American women.


Dr. Adelaide W. Simpson


Dr. Adelaide W., 78, of Mechanicsville, Va., passed away peacefully at home on July 19, 2023. She will be missed by a host of family and friends.

Jarrow & Hazel - Albany, GA. - 04-20-2013(1)

Jarrow Merenivitch

1 January 1942 - 12 February 2022

Jarrow was a very loyal and fiercely supportive individual for all those in his network. Jarrow’s reach went far and wide; both within Procter & Gamble, and also in other areas where he was present (i.e., his family, his church community, his alma mater – Grambling State University, among others).  As many know, Jarrow’s mantra was, “the universe cooperates with a made-up mind.” That is how Jarrow led within his sphere of influence and control. Once Jarrow’s mind was made-up, he persevered in order to realize the goals that he established. He was typically understated in his style, yet very persistent and extremely politically savvy. Rest in Power and in Peace Jarrow… no more pain and suffering, as your spirit is now absent from the body, and present with the Lord.


Arbury Jack Guillebeaux
10 June, 1936 – 28 August, 2021

On August 28, 2021 Arbury Jack Guillebeaux took his "plunge into the sea of light in the world of mysteries"*. He was a singular and stalwart soul dedicated to service. He never said "no" when asked for help by individuals or communities, corporations or institutions. Jack believed wholeheartedly that once individuals and communities relied on God and envisioned the positive changes they wanted to see- anything was possible. His humble, wise, intuitive, funny, grounded and kind countenance had a profound impact on everyone he met. He was well-loved and will be sorely missed.

Read his obituary.

Watch his “Life as an Interracial Couple in the 1960s” Interview

Martha White-Warren

Martha White-Warren

Martha White-Warren, VISIONS' beloved board member, passed away on March 31, 2021.

Martha has been a VISIONS Board member since January 2018; after being involved in the work for decades. Martha was a champion of DEI all of her life, but it was even more apparent as she started efforts for Procter and Gamble in New Orleans that spread across the entire company.  By word of mouth individuals heard about her special New Orleans sessions and wanted to not only attend but be in the warmth of what she was doing to change the company.   She represented truly what the word Champion meant when it came to DEI.  Working in the corporate sector at the time, her willingness to trust a woman of color-run non-profit like VISIONS was especially meaningful. She was a compassionate yet thoughtful big picture thinker, always positive and uplifting. Even as time became a precious commodity for her, she still had time for all the things that were important to her, family, friends and VISIONS. She will be sorely missed.


Jo Bowens Lewis, Psy.D.
August 27,1943 – July 9, 2014

It is with great sadness to announce the life transition of our Senior Associate, Sister and Friend.

Dr. Lewis was a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who conducted multicultural psychotherapy and organizational development consulting since 1976. Dr. Lewis supported individuals and groups in creating social justice at four interlocking levels—the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural. As the mother of two daughters and two grandchildren, Dr. Lewis had a special interest in the health and empowerment of women and girls.
The Memorial Service was held on Friday, July 18, 2014 in Atlanta, GA.

Read Obituary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Read Memories & Musings by VISIONS community, colleagues, and clients.
Make Donation to the Jo Bowens Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund.

VISIONS FY 2022 Annual Report

VISIONS FY 2021 Annual Report

VISIONS FY 2020 Annual Report