Partner Spotlight: Illuminate Coaching

Written by vChief

July 9, 2020

At a time when equity is on all of our minds and we are wondering how to do better, we are excited to spotlight Illuminate Coaching, an organization dedicated to illuminating the path to deeper impact by making visible hidden mindsets, barriers, and opportunities.

Founder Marion Biglan started her career in people development through Teach for  America. For the past five years, she has been focusing specifically on supporting leaders in becoming their best selves and recognizing the impact they have on their organizations as a whole. She aims to provide a space for leaders to get curious about what’s going on below the surface, digging deeper to address issues that may initially be hard to see, like imposter syndrome or how racism and a culture of white supremacy shows up in their leadership.

Biglan was taken aback with the statistic that 90% of nonprofits are led by white people. Her experiences dictate that the majority of those leaders are well-meaning, but they may not have reflected on “how their leadership as a white person could be perpetuating the very problems they’re trying to solve and causing harm.”

“We’re not going to change it by just working in nonprofits,” adds Biglan. “We have to change ourselves, and also have to change the percentage so that we’re not so dominating but have people of color leading organizations. When I really started putting the dots together, I knew this had to be part of my work.”

Illuminate Coaching is collaborating with Leading Elephants and Beloved Community to present a virtual, four-part series titled “White Leaders Working on Antiracism,” which begins July 16. While the sessions will be recorded, participants are expected to attend at least three of the sessions live. This series is aimed at leaders who already have a foundational understanding of race and equity issues like unconscious bias and white supremacy, and are ready to take impactful, action steps. Biglan hopes the coursework will propel leaders from “how did we get here to how can we move forward and be part of change, instead of being stuck in the awareness of it?”

Since the coursework is just one of many stepping stones in the work towards antiracism, Illuminate Coaching and Leading Elephants will evaluate what additional resources will be needed after the completion of this initial program.

If the timing isn’t right just yet, Illuminate Coaching is always available to provide support one-on-one and in groups. Their three areas of service are:

  1. Leadership Development
  2. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  3. Organizational Development, Management, and Culture

Biglan has a passion around customizing the right support in order for leaders to grow and learn, and will work collaboratively to find the right fit for clients, even if that means going outside of her own organization.

“I want to make sure [leaders] have what they need to stay in this work and make it a lifetime of work,” says Biglan. “Let’s not make this a moment; let’s make this our lifelong work.”

For more information, visit

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