We live in a fractured society, work in fractured companies, and live fractured lives; we are often divided from our neighbors, our co-workers, our communities, our spouses, our children, and, ultimately, even ourselves. The reasons are multitudinous, from race and sexual orientation to socio-economics and marital status; regardless of the causes, the fracturing is always painful, debilitating, dehumanizing, and reductive for everyone involved. Why do people fracture from each other? Why can’t diverse groups cooperate and trust each other at work or in their own communities? How does hate take root and grow?
We want to find answers.
My parents were born and raised in the South during the 1950’s and had firsthand experiences with racial segregation and the proliferation of “separate but equal” practices used to restrict the civil rights of African Americans. Because of these experiences, I grew up with the message, told to me over and over again, that White people hated me because of my skin color.
Their messages repeated in my head as I got older and moved from the public school system to college. I was reminded of them watching videos of White police officers savagely beating Rodney King, and I remembered them when the O.J. Simpson trial suddenly divided my friends, Black and White, along color lines. I thought about them during the start of the Gulf War, on the fateful day the Twin Towers fell in flaming ruin, and after the tragedy at Columbine. In all of these things and dozens more, I heard my parent’s voices loud and clear—and I wanted to understand why.
We want to understand.
I’ve always believed that questions can be powerful tools for personal development, transformation, and self-exploration. Our curiosity has led to the development of everything from fire to super computers, and the more questions we ask, the more wonders we seem to uncover. By questioning our reality, and exploring the answers we find in creative, meaningful ways, we are provided the opportunity to change our lives and, as a result, the entire world. What if it’s what we believe, the story we tell, that shapes the world around us? What if we can change that story? What if we can make a better world for ourselves and our children? What if no one has to lose the game?
Diversity work is personal work—it’s not just about changing the way our companies and communities look, it’s also about changing the way we look at the world and ourselves. It’s not just about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any of the other buzzwords that are popular right now—it’s about creating and sustaining a global dialogue that helps grow a world where democracy, social justice, and positive change are paramount. Our hate and fear says more about us than it does anyone else; it reveals the places where we were wounded in life, even though it’s never readily apparent until we do the work, dig deep, and make the connections.
We want positive change.
I work with businesses, schools, and organizations to create sustainable, diverse work communities that synthesize the skills, aptitudes, and abilities of their members into a cooperative, democratic model for progress and development. I provide work groups with the tools, strategies, and framework for building the future they want and need, and the confidence to sustain it as they grow.