For the past ten years, McKensie Mack has worked as an anti-oppression consultant. McKensie started their career working as a state interpreter. While there were parts of the job they loved, there were also aspects that did not agree with them. One of which being not having an impact on how people engage with each other. They said, “My job was to let you know what each other said but not to intervene. And that is one of the things that propelled me to switch gears. And go into more equity and social justice-focused work.”
From there, McKensie Mack became a digital organizer. And later, the inaugural executive director of a nonprofit called Artemis Feminism. An organization that focuses on teaching people how to edit on Wikipedia. “Wikipedia’s platform is made up of mostly white Western men. So, there is a lot of things that are not written about. A lot of archiving does not happen because it often focuses on perpetuating a white gaze. It does not do enough when it comes to telling stories about Black and Brown folks. Indigenous folks. Asian folks. People of color. And queer and trans folks and non-binary people”, McKensie said.
Consulting for six years, McKensie Mack looked for ways to help underrepresented communities. Saying, “Last year, during the pandemic, I was the executive director of a nonprofit. And I was concerned about black communities. Especially on the south side of Chicago because that is where I am born and raised. But even more specifically, black, queer, and trans communities. So, I asked myself, what I could do at a time when so many people were struggling. And so, for me, it was raising money.”
After raising $100,000 in two weeks, McKensie wanted to do more. At the time, their consultancy MMG had a team of three people. But soon realized the best thing would be redistributing social and financial capital. “If we have opportunities then we have clients. And if that would give us the social and financial capital to be able to hire people, that is exactly what we should do. So, I went from working with about three people including me to now working with about 19”, they said.
To date MMG has provides three different services. They include metrics-driven equity audits, a mixed-methods approach, and quantitative analysis. Of those three, McKensie says that their most utilized service is data equity. Saying, “I think that’s because we are great at what we do. It is not just about bringing a piece of data equity into it; we are leveraging data. This is done to disrupt oppression and harm. But it is also about our intersectional approach. Most folks on our team are people of color. We also have many folks in our team that identify as queer, and trans. Bringing those perspectives and lived experiences to the work that we do helps a lot. Especially when it comes to data gathering.”
As for the future of MMG, McKensie Mack sees them continuing to go further into data equity. They said, “We have an invaluable perspective and a lot to contribute to that space. Also, I see us wielding our privilege as an organization to push for more data justice. As well as data equity work to be applied to equity and anti-oppression work as a whole.”
“We’ve developed relationships with organizations who care about social and racial justice work. And I am excited about the potential for collaboration and partnership. So, for us, we are pushing for changes within these organizations and foundations,”
McKensie noted that doing this work has changed them. Saying, “I’ve learned a lot about people. In our work, something that is becoming even more emphasized to me is the fact that no one is disposable. The only way for us to do this justice, equity, and anti-oppression work effectively, is if we do it as a community. We know people can get on our nerves and be irritating. But at the same time, we must learn how to work through those difficulties. Those conflicts and every single conflict that arises should not be the end all be all our movement work. So, I think that has helped me to build out a lot more understanding around that.”
For more information on McKensie Mack and MMG, visit https://www.mckensiemack.com/.
Contributing Writer Racquel Coral is a national lifestyle writer and journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Find her on social media @withloveracquel.