This blog is the first in a series of profiles featuring members of Catalyst:Ed’s Arc Collaborative. The program offers a unique opportunity for consultants of color to have the training, ongoing coaching and mentorship, and access to resources needed to build and sustain a successful consulting practice. Learn more about the program here.
Rasheeda Washington is the founder of Beyond Sixth, a company that specializes in organizational development, capacity building, strategy, and program support. She started her career in the corporate sector, but transitioned to the K-12 space in 2013 after being inspired by the documentary “Waiting for Superman.” She started her own company after working in the K-12 space for four and a half years and has continued to have a positive impact on the organizations she works with. As she explained, “I had a chance to support some really great clients, and I started to see that I was able to have an impact as an individual and as a business owner in a manner that was different than when I was a part of someone else’s organization. So I decided to continue my work with Beyond Sixth, to continue supporting organizations, so they have the impact they seek.”
One of the key factors in Washington’s success is her approach to her work. She brings humor to even the most challenging situations, which can help organizations better understand and process the sometimes heavy findings of organizational audits and assessments. “One thing I think is part of my special sauce is my ability to build relationships with people and bring humor and levity to a situation. Yes, we are doing very serious and impact-driven work. But who says you can’t have a little fun,” she says. Washington also prioritizes equity in her work, ensuring that all members of an organization can have their voices heard and contribute to decision-making processes.
“If I can do a great job of curating this open space where people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves and, even being willing to admit what they don’t know—where they struggle—then I can bring my gifts and talents to that space.”
Washington also brings an invaluable combination of skills to her consultancy work. Her background in different sectors, her love of music and poetry, and her outgoing personality all help create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration and trust. With her enthusiasm and genuine love for her
work, Washington creates an enjoyable experience for her clients that leads to successful results. As she puts it, “If I can do a great job of curating this open space where people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves and, even being willing to admit what they don’t know—where they struggle—then I can bring my gifts and talents to that space.” Washington’s passion for her work and ability to create an environment that encourages collaboration and trust make her invaluable to her clients.
As a former corporate employee, Washington provides insight into how organizations can operate more efficiently and effectively. She applies her knowledge of corporate operations to the K-12 space, helping educational institutions improve their strategies and programs.
Washington’s dedication to supporting organizations in their efforts to create positive change is evident in her approach to her work. She takes the time to understand the needs of her clients and tailor her services to meet those needs. With her expertise in organizational development, capacity building, strategy, and program support, Washington can help organizations maximize their impact and achieve their goals.
Her background and approach to her work make her a valuable asset to organizations in the K-12 space, and she thinks it starts with knowing who you are. “Get crystal clear on who you are as a business owner and who you are as a person. Then think about how you want to show up in this space and present your gifts and talent to the clients and others you serve,” Washington says.