Chacruna Institute is a nonprofit corporation, which requires it to function for the collective benefit of the public. It is the organization’s mission-centered work towards decolonizing the field, fostering important discourse about equity and reciprocity, and promoting the work of anti-oppression and healing justice that brought me to Chacruna through volunteer service, financial gifts, and dedicated employment.
However, the longer I was involved in Chacruna, the more egregious the systemic harm that i endured at the behest of Executive Director, Bia Labate’s leadership. Contrary to the organization’s mission, this is not a decolonial workplace. Rather, what I experienced while working there - both traumatic and debilitating to my career - is a textbook example of White Supremacy Culture.
On top of working copious amounts of unpaid overtime and receiving no supported/honored time off, I was a constant victim to micro aggressions of Dr. Labate. When I would express my boundaries and needs, I was gaslit rather than taken care of.
On top of public shamings of her staff, Bia micro-manages everything at Chacruna, which is very defeating to staff morale. Despite many attempts to help her realize she is harming her staff, and the waves of turnover demonstrate the issue well, she has refused to take accountability for her behavior.
I strongly recommend that folks avoid working at Chacruna, especially if they are looking for a trauma-informed, saf(er) work environment and are of a marginalized identity.