Chelsea Simpson


“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

- Maya Angelou

I have not yet figured out how to make this photo smaller. :)

I have not yet figured out how to make this photo smaller. :)


Chelsea Simpson

I was born into the question, “How do I make myself an effective bridge person?”

Without having the language for it as a child, I was raised as part of many communities. I saw my job as being someone capable of creating meaningful shared experiences that would bring connection. My maternal line is from the Bronx, my dad is from Missouri, and I grew up in Boston. I was shaped by being raised in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in a time before regular people had that word— but did have the accordant tension. I skipped a grade, so was always the youngest (and the tallest) in my class of 400 students. I was one of those kids who ate wheat bread sandwiches (with seeds!) surrounded by Wonder bread. The inner dimensions and outer role of being a bridge person became hard wired.

By the time I learned facilitation was a thing, I was studying Peace & Conflict Studies in North Carolina and quite unawaredly had a decade of thoughtfully curating experiences for different communities under my belt. Like a Valentine’s Day party I threw in the 3rd grade to bring different friend groups together who had never met, but had to end early because my friend Nicole drank an entire jar of pickle juice on a dare and threw up everywhere. I’ve learned in many ways that community building ain’t always pretty. And takes time, diligence, and a deliberate approach to the way we are daring.

I’ve always had a deep desire to put myself in the way of understanding what it meant to be American. Of real world America— North, Central & South America, and the United States’ amazing regional diversity. Going deep into exploring different regional experiences & perceptions— Northerners of the Midwest & South, Bostonians of New York, East Coast of the West Coast, United States of Latin America, etc— fascinates me. This desire to understand brought me to spend 6 months in Mississippi leading disaster relief trips post-Katrina, and 2 years living in rural El Salvador leading study abroad trips (amongst many other experiential education endeavors). Dusty boots, extreme heat, crow bars, bucket baths, packs of wild dogs, and simple cinder block homes are as much a part of my training as speaking on the TEDx stage, ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, or serving corporate teams in skyscrapers.

All this to say— I create & facilitating highly experiential trainings, and consult and speak on the future of leadership with diverse demographics, around the United States & internationally. I’ve been hired to do so on topics such as leadership development, workplace innovation, community building, mindfulness, self-awareness, climate change, race, gender, and social impact strategy.

Working in both English and Spanish, I’ve served such organizations as the Centre for Social Innovation NYC, Make the Road NY, Johnson & Johnson, the NYC Mayor’s Office and Microsoft, assisting teams in using pressing, messy issues to in a constructive-- and even fun-- way.

I have also been honored to guest lecture on team dynamics, diversity & inclusion, and social innovation at some of the nation’s most innovative campuses, including Parsons University, the New School, and the University of Maryland.

I’m certified as a mediator, mindfulness instructor, and in project-based learning.

At this point, given the global challenges we are facing, I feel I was built for these times. I know we are ready to do the work, and come out the other side a world we have never been. Future generations will be asking us decades from now what we did during this time. Let us say we were ALL in to innovating transformative solutions. There’s no silver bullet. What we can do is take the next right step. And carefully tend our inspiration, trust in ourselves and each other, imagination, and diligence to keep iterating. It is an honor to be alive during this time when so much is asked of us. We are, indeed, the ones we’ve been waiting for.





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