Panel Discussion | Diversity & Inclusion Conference 2017 | Pt 3

Panel Discussion | Diversity & Inclusion Conference 2017 | Pt 3


Good afternoon everyone, I hope you’re enjoying your lunch. It’s delicious and nutritious but while you continue to eat, we’re gonna begin our diversity dialog. So today we are so pleased to have with us Dana Beckton, Terence Dickenson, and Bob Martz for diversity dialog panel. Dana Beckton is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Health Equity at Christiana Care Health System. In this role, Dana creates and implements workforce diversity, and inclusion strategies to foster a work environment in which staff are treated fairly and respectfully, and have equal access to opportunities to learn and grow. Terence Dickinson is a human resources professional with WL Gore and Associates, where he leads a diversity mentoring program and develops and implements diversity and inclusion initiatives. Terrence believes that serving others is the ultimate act of giving back. And finally, we have Bob Martz, who is a Senior Resource Development Consultant at the United Way of Delaware, where he fund raises within the legal community sector new account development, and the LGBT affinity group. He is a founding board member of Equality Delaware. Thank you Dana, Terrence, and Bob for taking time out of your incredibly busy schedules to be with us today. Welcome. Bob: Thank you. (audience applauding) -: So here is my first question. How did you find yourself leading or serving in diversity and inclusion initiatives at your organization or did it find you? (all laughing) -: I’ll go first. So it found me in my organization. Just a quick history. I was born and raised in the Bronx New York. Went to school in Vermont, which is a big difference when you think about the interesting fact. So when I started working for WL Gore, I actually was asked to attend an event and it was the Black Engineer of the Year Awards. And they asked me attend it. And then three days before the event, the person that was leading it actually said I can’t go. You now need to lead it. And I said, oh okay and that’s how I actually started my career in diversity and inclusion with WL Gore, but prior to that my history had been working in a varsity organization as an HR. As I said going to school in Vermont that really started my career in diversity and inclusion. -: I think similar for me, we found each other. Prior to being at Christiana Care, I was at Children’S Hospital of Philadelphia. And I was a training manager. My new director, who had just been hired, to lead our leadership institute, was told two weeks into the job, by the way I also need you to be the Director of Diversity and Inclusion. And she came to me and basically said, I know nothing about this, can you help me? And it was interesting because her biggest fear was she said Dana, I’m a middle aged white woman, pretty well off, no one is gonna listen to me. And I had to tell her, people don’t care what you look like. All they care about are two things. Do you get it and are you willing to do something about it? So through that, she started to ask me to go to and attend meetings. And then she finally realized I had two different jobs. So she asked me, do you want to stay training manager or do you want to be the diversity and inclusion manager? And I said, well you know what? I have a skill set in both but I have a passion more so in the other right now, so that’s how I got into officially doing D&I work, and then I was there for a couple of years and then got offered a great opportunity at Christiana Care and became the Director at Christiana Care about three years ago. -: Bob Martz with the United Way of Delaware, and let me start by saying thank you to those of you who’ve made a donation to the United Way Campaign at Deltech. (audience applauding) And if you have not done so yet, please do this afternoon when you go back to the office. (audience laughing) I grew up in one of the upper counties of Delaware, called Montgomery. It’s on the other side of Pennsylvania. So I’m not really a Delaware native, although I’ve been here for 25 years and I feel like I’m a native now. And I guess I was in law school or maybe shortly after that, I realized that I was gay. And I came to Delaware, I became very active in my church. Then very active in Age Delaware. Then very acitive, actually I met Dr. Reynard in Governor Minner’s office for the first time, when we were talking about strategizing the past House Bill 99, which was the bill that ultimately included sexual orientation and Delaware’s non-discrimination law. So I’ve been at this for I guess about 20 some years. And I’ve been with the United Way now about 10 years. The last five years I have focused on LGBT cultural competency. And on your table, there’s a little summary of what the United Way Pride Council has been doing and I’ll try to get back to that as we move along. -: Thank you, thank you, so now we get to get into the gritty of things. Can you share with us how the culture of inclusion has evolved within your organizations? -: I’ll start off with this one. It’s interesting. I’m not a Delawarean either. I actually live in the house in grew up in in North Philadelphia. And North Philadelphia is we are very as people say, very abrupt, we are very direct. So I came to nice Delaware. (all laughing) It didn’t know what quite to do with me. So there tends to be a culture around diversity and inclusion, around those things we don’t talk about. We don’t talk about race. We don’t talk about religion. We don’t talk about those things. So here I come, and all I wanted to do is talk about it. So where we have evolved is that senior leadership is developing a competency around getting comfortable talking about those things that have previously been undiscussable. When we look at our current climate when we look at everything that’s going on, in the past when I first got here, no one mentioned internet, no one thought about making the connection of how our workforce is being impacted by our current climate. We don’t just leave it at the door. So I think the biggest shift I’ve seen is at a senior leadership level, people being comfortable saying I’m not comfortable with this, but I’ve acknowledged the fact that we have to talk about it. -: If I could, Christiana Care has been named a leader in healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign, for the last four years in a row. And that is just a huge accomplishment. (all applauding) -: Excellent and if I may add, all three of these individuals and their organizations are very involved with Delaware Tech. In supporting some of the things that we are doing here, so thank you for that. And to the audience, we want to hear from you as well. If you have any questions, you can begin to think about that, raise your hand. We have Denise in the back and Tony. Say hello to the people Denise in the pink shirt. And Tony, because I took Tony’s mic, that’s right. Alright so if anybody has any questions you can raise your hand, and Denise will find you. Because we want to hear your voice as well. -: Shall I follow up on? -: You most certainly can. -: On Dana, and what the United Way has been doing. I guess it was back in 2011, the United Way decided to form some affinity groups in the work place. They’re called employee resource groups. And I was asked if I would lead our LGBT affinity group. And ultimately I said yes under the proviso that we really look at what are the needs within the LGBT community and how the United might do something rather than start from a fundraising perspective. So we asked ourselves a very basic and very simple question. Were there any gaps around education, income, or health that the United Way might mount an initiative and ultimately fund a program. Pretty simple. I spent a lot of time talking to folks, executive directors, our non profit partners, our business partners. We had three different focus groups. And ultimately initially we came up with two things that the United Way might focus on. One was the disparities within the healthcare delivery system, as respects to the LGBT community. And the second was the almost total lack of funding and programming for LGBTQ youth in the state of Delaware. We began really with the LBGTQ youth and I’d like to just tell you about three national studies that came out at that particular time, all three have been updated since then. But the first was a 10 year study from the Center for Disease Control, a 150,000 youth across the nation including here in Delaware, the bottom bottom line said that gay youth are 64% more at risk for depression, suicide, substance abuse. Not because they’re gay, but because of the pressures that us adults put on these kids. 64% more at risk for depression, suicide, substance abuse. The second study which came out from the Human Rights Campaign, the world’s largest LGBT organization, and they did a study of youth, gay youth, versus non-gay youth. The bottom bottom line for that study for me was that 29% of gay youth, say they do not have an adult to talk to about personal problems. They do not feel like they can talk to mom and dad. They can’t talk to a school teacher, a school counselor, their rabbi, their eman, their pastor or their priest. So who do they talk to? Another 13-year-old kid who will give them the absolute best advice in the world. Or they’ll go on their cellphone and their computer and really get some crappy advice. The third study was the Youth Risk Behavioral survey and this is a survey that is administered by the University of Delaware under a CDC contract. 43 states now participate and it’s done in the odd years. And back in 2011, 7.5% of Delaware high school juniors, were self identifying as LGBQ. In 2015, that jumped to 15%. The 2017 aren’t out yet and 2017 is the first year the survey asked you consider yourself transgender. This will be the first time we are gonna get a real hard number onf approximately how many transgender individuals we have in Delaware. 13%, we have approximately a 130,000 kids in public school in Delaware at any given time. 13% equates to 15,000 LGBT youth in our school system here in Delaware. -: Thank you, thank you. Data is important. It tells a story and it often causes to action. Thank you Bob. -: It is always tough to follow up behind Bob. (audience laughing) He just has all this data. At Gore, we realize that a lot of our efforts was grassroots. And that was the great thing because associates were able to really create a lot of our diversity initiatives. But what started to happen was the word diversity started becoming diluted. And also became negative especially when you have a high population of white male leaders within an organization. And they started feeling excluded. So whether they felt it because it was real or kind of made up in their heads it was something that we really looked at and say how do we make it much more inclusive. In fact we actually have started a network called a white man supporting diversity network. How provocative of that, right? White man supporting diversity network but it was about white males actually having a voice in what we were trying to accomplish. And we have since changed that name to the Ally Network, so that it’s more inclusive in terms of allies, but the inclusive piece was we made the D in diversity small and the I in diversity capital I. Really about inclusive behavior, inclusive attitude, inclusiveness in a work that we were really looking to do. I often tried some things that real simple. When you talk about inclusion or I love what Ivy have put up on her slide, with, I think they were Eminems or Jellybeans or something. I put it this way. Diversity is about being asked to go to a party. Inclusion is about being asked to dance. That’s pretty deep isn’t it? (audience laughing) Dana sat, she sat still there, but think about it. How many of you go to a party and just want to stand there without being asked to dance, get your groove on or whatever you wanna call it so we had to get to a place where diversity actually dictates inclusion and you have to take action to have an inclusive environment. And we have an inclusive environment that’s gonna bring forth more diversity. If you don’t have an inclusive environment, the numbers by default will go down. Because if I look and I don’t see anyone that looks like me talks like me, acts like me, or we don’t have inclusivity, why would I want to come to this school or to this job or to any place. So diversity brings forth inclusion which means you have to take action, which will bring back more diversity. -: Excellent, Terrance says we need to get our groove on, together more and we’re gonna do that right? Yeah we got to get our groove on. I want to hear from you guys out there. Does anybody have any questions? Alright we have one right up here. Dana: We are in trouble, she is writing it down. (all laughing) In trouble, you all. (participant talking off mic) Janet: Hi everyone, my name is Janet Abernathy. I’m an education major here at Terri Campus. I’m actually almost finished. I’ve got a 30 year degree (laughs). (audience applauding) I attend Grand Canyon University online and I’m going here as visiting student taking my math class, so I finish that hopefully in spring. I need to drink a lot of (mumbles) for the math. Anyway, this is to Bob. As an education major, just different things have been looking at and seeing and I’m not sure exactly I think it’s called gender identity, where students now we are not really sure what to consider them as, if they’re part of the LGBT do I want to say group, I’m not sure. Again I want to use the right, come in and look, lived at California for 20 years, so you got to use the right terminology. Anyway, I was just wondering some students don’t want to be referred to be as he or she. And I’m just saying there’s just gonna be a whole new slew of things that I know I have to learn and probably others too. So how do we go about that, where do I get the information? I don’t even know how to learn that. My own personal thing is, I would ask the student what do you want to be considered as or their parents, but if you’d help me further, I’d appreciate it. -: Gee, if you have 45 minutes, I’ll take you through the workshop that I do with the teachers and administrators. Actually we’ve had close to 4000 administrators teachers, counselors, and behavior health counselors go through what we call the ABCs of LBGT. And actually about six weeks ago in this very room, I did that workshop for all of the nursing faculty here at Deltech, which was really exciting for me. Because we are trying very hard now to get LGBT cultural competency embedded in nursing curriculum here in Delaware. So I’m gonna be doing the same presentation to all of the faculty in UD, some time in January. They haven’t given me the date. The vocabulary, god I sit down and every now and then, I have to update my slides, and I added three new words for the next time I do that particular presentation. Transgender is an umbrella term. We have actually a parent support group that meets at AI duPont Hospital monthly. And I helped form that group last year and the first couple of meetings that I went to parents would get up and say, I am Bob and I’m the parent of a transgender boy or a transgender girl. The last meeting I went to, three parents in a row, new parents, got up and said, I’m Bob, and I’m the parent of a non-binary child. So that was the right term four months ago. Gender fluent, gender variant, help me. Pardon. (participant talking off mic) There you go. There probably will be another term new term before I leave today. Don’t worry about the term. Worry more and I think you’re very right, you asked the right question. Ask the student what name would you prefer that I use and what pronoun? What is your name, what pronoun? In the English language, we do not have a pluperfect. I hate they and them, but sometimes that’s what they’re gonna tell you. Refer to me as they and them and I’m going, oh crap how do I do that? (laughs) But that’s what they want. So your job is to help these young people. Remember I said that 13% of high school juniors are self identifying. Now what’s the difference between a high school senior and a first year college freshman? What’s the difference? -: Three months.
-: How long? -: Three months.
-: Three months! That’s the difference. So if high schools are now getting on onboard with all the terminology and teaching faculty and all faculty, what does colleges need to do? Same thing. All faculty, tenured or non-tenured is irrelevant. Did I answer your question? Host: Thank you, is there another question? So while you think of your question, I have one for you. Is it important to have buyin from all levels of the organization that you represent and to just to remind you there’s quite a few organizations represented here and not just Delaware Tech. Should we have buyin at all levels? -: I’ll start off with that one. Absolutely yes. And the reasons why vary. So at the very top, there is a saying that I heard one time from a senior leader, what you permit, you promote. So at senior leadership, the entire ship is looking at what you say yes to. The entire senior leadership they are the ones that basically steer where the money goes. They are the ones that steer where the different initiatives go. So at the top of the chain, yes you absolutely need senior leadership buyin. But then that next level would be your middle managers. So whatever that looks like, however you translate that, to your specific organization. So here it might be your faculty. So you can have the president of Deltech and the senior leadership of Deltech all on board, but at the end of the day it’s going to be your faculty that creates that environment that the students were giving your assessment to. So if your faculty or in the industry world or in corporate world, if your middle managers don’t buy in to it, they’re then not going to give space to your workforce your student to then engage with the different initiatives. To engage and being able to have that time and space, to come to your events, to go to training, or to be the hands and feet, because in most diversity and inclusion department areas, you are greedy if you get more than two people. So it’s myself, and I have a specialist. And we are the organizational diversity and inclusion function. So we rely on the compassion, passion commitment of others in the organization to go out and actually do the work. So we need if we’re gonna have staff do the work, we need the middle managers to say it’s okay to go. But then we need the senior leaders to also say it’s okay. Host: It’s very good. You said what you promote, that’s a tweet right there. Hashtag dtccdiversity. (all laughing) Did you guys wanna add on? -: Well this is interesting because our structure within our organization we have a flat organization. We don’t have bosses. There are some leaders. Just by nature of our structure it is somewhat difficult to say it’s gonna be a top down approach. And who is doing what, but to Dana’s point, you definitely have to have stakeholder buyin and to identify who the key stakeholders are. Some will be those that will do the work with you. Some will introduce you to those that will do the work with you and some are going to be resistors. And the resistors are good because at least they’re telling, in most cases they’re telling you that they’re resisting. And you could create a strategy around because in most cases, it’s just that they’re not aware, uninformed, or they feel threatened. But it gives you the opportunity to have conversation and once you kind of convert if you will, a resistor, they become one of your biggest advocates and allies, but you do have to understand who your stakeholders are. You have to answer the question for them, what’s in it for them. You have to show what’s the bottom-line results. You have to shift the mindset of this diversity and inclusion work from being consumist to being producist and what do I mean by that? Often times this work is about give me, give me, give me. It appears that way, but what are you producing for the organization when you’re looking at it from the standpoint of inclusion, bottom-line results, better students, better faculty, more engagement, more contribution, those are the results that you want to be able to share with those stakeholders that are bottom-line oriented. And it is about unfortunately most organizations about making some money. You have to show how inclusion is gonna help organizations make more money. So you have to be very, very strategic about it and know who your allies are and help them tell the story for you, because if not, they got to say anything, and then you’re really in trouble. So those are some of the things that we do within our organization. -: One of the things we did at the United Way back in 2015, we formed what we call the Delaware LGBT Health Equity Taskforce. And trying to figure out how we could attack these disparities within the healthcare delivery system with respect to the LGBT community. And ultimately we decided the best thing we could probably do was to begin talking to hospitals here in Delaware and we have nine hospitals in Delaware. And see if we could convince them to begin participating in the human rights campaign healthcare equality index. So along with Tim Roden, one of Dana’s coworkers at Christiana Care, and a few other volunteers we went out and we met with senior leadership at all nine hospitals. And went driving from here to Lewis over to Seaford, fortunately there are several here in Newcastle County. And we sat down and we did exactly what Terrence is referring to is, why should we do this? Because then it will impact your bottom-line in a positive way. If 13% of Delaware residents identify as LGBTQ or LGBT that means that 13% of your patients, people who occupy your beds, should also be. That’s what’s in it for you. You need to be known as a gay friendly hospital. And I’m so pleased to say that in 2016, eight of the nine hospitals were named leaders in healthcare equality, by the human rights campaign. But it takes work, it takes effort. It takes commitment. And I might add before I forget, Newmore’s our children’s hospital, I received word last week that it looks like they will be opening a gender clinic in 2018. Much of that is thanks to what the Pride Council has been doing along with the HRC. I’m excited that our pediatric hospital is taking that next step to support transgender children and their families. Children and young adolescents. -: Thank you. Is there another question? It’s okay, so while he walks over there, I just kind of wanna piggy back with another question regarding commitment at all levels of the organization. Should all organizations have a position that’s dedicated to diversity and inclusion or are there other ways to make it work? -: I’ll take that one. (Bob laughs) So when I started in my work with diversity and inclusion I actually was on the HR recruiting team. And so we had this unique thing within our organizations where we say we’re gonna give someone a 50% commitment doing this over here and a 50% commitment doing this over here. That’s a setup for failure. Because trying to do 50% of two different things is really, really difficult. And to Dana’s point, often times you may have one or two maybe three people working in a diversity function. At Gore, we call ourselves the McGuyvers of the organization because you have to use duct tape and scotch tape and glue and everything else to get things done. And organizations want great results with part time employees. If an organization is really committed to D&I work, they’re going to provide resources needed. They’re gonna provide the money that’s needed and yes it does take money. They’re gonna provide the structure that’s needed and they’re gonna provide the support that’s needed. So to answer your question yes this should be a full time position, with full time resources, with a full-time budget and then you’ll get a credible result. -: The other piece I wanna piggy back off of, we’re piggy backing off of each other. And actually going back to what our keynote said earlier today, if you listen to all of the different pieces that she talked about, having a central function again, it’s not about having to have your hands on everything. But liking it to an air traffic controller. Yes you could have a whole lot of pilots flying planes, but if you don’t have that one person in the control booth saying yo you’re going too high, you’re going too low, go left, go right, you can have a lot of collisions. And then what happens is you either have people who are duplicating efforts or because all of us tend to work from our own singular lens, so you could have someone who, and this is a big pet peeve of mine, is when sometimes people get tagged to do diversity work because they are an aspect of diversity. So you become the Hispanic diversity person because you’re Hispanic. Versus I’m doing diversity work because this is I’m knowledgeable about this. And understanding what intersectionality means and how that plays out. Understanding when you talk about diversity how do you get at, what Terrence said about it can sometimes get diluted. So one of the things that I talk about a lot now and help people understand is, the two dimensions of diversity. So there’s complexity in that diversity work that you need someone who has a dedicated knowledge base around that. And then also you want someone who can then connect the dots, to recognize okay you’re over here doing this. How about we piggyback that off of the work that’s going on over here, so we can create synergy. So you can’t do that if you’ve got a function over here, a function over there, a function over there. That to me can be and I understand if some organizations think that it’s a way to embed it, where they want everyone to own it, but again you end up having a whole bunch of little robots running around doing their own particular what they care about work, versus having a dedicated source to be able to really line stuff up so that you get better synergy. -: Thank you. Participant: Janet said that the speakers went beyond her question. You got a question now. Somebody else please ask a question. I feel like we are reviewing for a test. (all laughing) Janet: You answered it Terrence, then I thought of something else. I think we talked about, that’s when Harvey was speaking and actually when they were talking about the survey and I’m hoping this is okay to bring up right now, they talked about 54% I believe of students didn’t really understand how to have a conversation or something after they left school. I’m not sure if I’m putting that correctly. But there was a question something about if you can talk about ethnicity and inclusion and– Host: Did you mean the comfort levels in having those conversations? Janet: Yes they were saying something about yeah I’m assuming they were saying I guess after they left campus they didn’t talk about it. It was this type of, so I wanted to ask you all how did we go about getting those students, so we can have the conversation. One of the things I was talking about as we were eating lunch is I know we have the Down’s lecture hall. Why can’t we have something where we just have a subject that speaks to one of those subjects and just have students come in and we discuss it because you have to start somewhere. And I also was wondering where do students play a role in what all three of you guys are doing. Where do we play a role in that also? -: I think the question that you were specifically talking about was the last one that was mentioned, students who never, what was the percentage of students who never participated in racial or ethnic activities outside of the classroom? And that was the one that was 54%. As faculty, as professors, as teachers, give them assignments, tell them go to a different restaurant other than MacDonald’s. (all laughing) Tell them to go to, and that’s even stretching it for me because I’m very much a give me my meat my potatoes, and I’m good. That’s my comfort zone. But give them assignments that make them reach out. When I was learning and getting certified to do on conscious bias work, one of the things that the instructor gave us to do is watch a news program that’s counter to your current beliefs. So if you’re an MSMBC person, watch Fox, listen to NPR, give them things that will stretch them beyond their comfort zone that doesn’t take place necessarily on campus because they way I understood this was okay we have this event. So students will come into this event and they’ll get to interact with difference here, but once they leave the campus, then they go back to their norm. So how do you, ask them questions around, there’s a series of questions that and if you Google it, my daughter has taught me now the power of Google. But if you go out on Google, there are like questions that you can ask in terms of how diverse is your network. So how many times does someone from a different background, whatever that background might be come to your house for dinner? How often, what’s the diversity of your neighborhood? How can you then, maybe it’s pairing them up with someone to say, I’m a big movie person. So how many people remember Remember the Titans? In the back of the room, I’ve got two hands up, okay. (Terrence laughs) Back at the Titans, that was a classic example of reaching beyond your normal. So you had the two football players. Neither one of them had ever stepped outside of their universe. The only diversity that they ever interacted with was on that football team. Once they started stretching beyond that is when they started to build that fellowship and really build that community. So as professors, you can absolutely influence that by giving them work outside of the classroom to stretch those boundaries. I missed my keynote I’m sorry. Host: No, we have– -: If I could sort it out on, this has been in the back of my mind all morning. Most of the presentation has been around race and ethnicity. You always got to include sexual orientation. You always have to include sexual orientation. If Deltech is committed to diversity and inclusion, that rainbow flag, that gay couple has to be on every piece of marketing material. Otherwise, you’re not committed. And don’t think you’re. Now it’s awfully hard. You can count how many women you have or men. You can count how many African Americans by looking at them generally speaking, or Latinos. You can’t count how many gays and lesbians. It is impossible because I’m not gonna tell you unless I trust you. But you as an organization can become gay friendly by doing simple things. Say space the gay flag is what it’s all about. -: And I would even push beyond that and this gets back to what I say around our definition of diversity tends to be our land. I would also say it’s more than just race ethnicity. It is also physical ability, cognitive ability. You can go down the list and that’s where people get scared because when you start to go through all of the different lenses of diversity, and when we talk about truly having that culture of inclusion, it’s every single one. I remember fighting one time with an administrator, not when I was at Christiana Care but at another facility when we were doing our online learning. We had a staff member who needed the online learning to be formatted a certain way so that his JAWS Reader, which is an apparatus for someone with a visual disability, they use to read computer screens, and I remember someone saying to me well how many people is it? If it’s only one or two, and I was like I don’t care how many people it is. That still one person that has every right to be included and be able to have the same experience that everyone else has. So when you talk about how do we create this inclusive environment, we’ve got to be really cognitive of what are the gaps, all of the gaps. Be it gender, be it race, because for some places it’s not gonna be race, ethnicity. There just absolutely won’t be that gap. That gap might be physical ability, cognitive ability. That gap might be geographic. When I first started working at Delaware, I tell people all the time, the biggest cultural shift that I had to make was the difference of what does it look like and how I can have certain conversations living in Philly, versus what it looks like having conversations in Delaware ‘cos it’s very different. I tell people all the time. I give the Delaware yes all the time, whereas in Philly, they’ll tell you right to your face, no. (all laughing) No I’m not doing it and to Terence’s point, you then know what to work for. But you have to know what is the culture in your organization and recognize and reach out to. So when you talk about your marketing materials, when you look at your marketing materials, what’s in there? Do you have your older students in there? Are they represented? Do you have your pregnant moms in there? Do you have a picture of a guy with a baby in the backpack, carrying them to class? It’s all of those creative ways that you’ve got to reach out to everyone. Do you have that same sex couple sitting on the lawn together studying. It’s all of it. You can’t just focus on one or the other, ‘cos you tend to germinate and tend to go towards those that you’re comfortable with, familiar with. And then by default you’re excluding the ones that you might not be so comfortable with. And then you get caught up in that. Host: You felt mad didn’t you? (all laughing) Thank you Dana, she did say, I was gonna let you know ahead of time that I’m very passionate about this and that’s why we invited the three of you. We have time for one more question. Bob: Well there a question. Host: Okay. Participant: I have a question, Mrs. Johnson Ferrell mentioned the common ground event briefly at the end. And I was curious about movements with this idea in mind. Because when I think of diversity, it’s great to honor everyone’s differences but I think something that we don’t often do is drawing attention to the sameness, and so how can we cut through that habit of identifying people as other and creating more kind of safe inclusive environments in that way. Instead of just focusing on the differences. -: Well I will sort of try to attack it a little bit. And actually there are two teachers here who could probably answer that question better than I. Because they’re both faculty advisors for GSA in Sussex County. I think it really starts with teachers and schools. And we need to develop this inclusive thought process from a very early age. The human rights campaign has a program called Welcoming Schools and it’s designed for elementary schools. And every elementary school principle, counselor, ought to read that Welcoming Schools program and implement it. Because that’s where it starts. I can’t do much from a 60-year-old white man, who has lived a privileged life. I can do something with this kindergarten child. That’s where it starts to me. And we build on it, we build on that in middle schools, we have the same sex program, which is put out but Gleason. We build on it by having gay straight alliances or whatever it is to support kids. I think that’s where it begins. It begins in schools and then it comes to Deltech or UD or whatever the University is, you’ve got to be committed to supporting those kids. And one of the things I always ask when I’m doing the ABCs through a faculty group is how many of you have a friend or family member who is part of the LGBT community. Little more than half of the hands. When I first started to ask that question five years ago about three or four sheepish hands would go up. Now I’m getting 60, 70, 80%. That’s what it takes. Consistent, persistent. -: I wanna zero in on something that I heard you say. And I think this has been a conundrum in the D&I space forever. It’s that idea and mindset that when we talk about difference, and you alluded to this in your slide, when the slide was shown with the word cloud, and was asked what don’t you see. There was nothing negative so I think we have this mindset around if I call out the fact that I’m a mother 53-year-old married, African American female from Philadelphia. That’s who I am. Its not to say that I want anything more for any of those. What I’m saying is and when we talk about the D&I space and the inclusion space is, I’m saying be able to appreciate me for being a 53-year-old mother African American married female. How many of you are TV watchers? How many of you watch This is Us? For those of you that don’t, shame on you, you need to watch, that’s the best show ever. (all laughing) Best show ever. -: You have a big fan in the back over there. -: There is diversity in this room. But where we find common ground is so for example, pretend like almost everybody raised the hands for This is Us. Again on demand get on it. (all laughing) Say majority of people here watched This is Us. When I watch This is Us, I’m watching it from a lens of Kate the middle sister. This time last year I was a 125 pounds heavier. So I’m into Kate’s story. Kate is a white woman, that’s the similarity that I have with her. So we have difference but we have that similarity that I can vibe with here. I can vibe with Randell, because Randell is an African American male. So we have an African American experience that we have in common. I can vibe with Kevin, because I used to want to be the next Whoopi Goldberg. (all laughing) Can you tell that’s why I talk so much? (all laughing) Each one of them in their own diversity, I find something that I connect with them each on. So it’s not about focusing on the difference. It’s about appreciating the difference for what it is and what it brings to the table. And leveraging that because if I’m leveraging the difference that you bring, whatever your experience your world experience, world view is, you are gonna help me see something differently, than if I just leveraged this person right here who visually we might have a lot in common with. That’s how you, it’s not to take away the focus on the difference. It’s to appreciate the difference for what it adds to the full path of everything that we have going on, our lived experience. So when you think about it, shift it just a little bit from focusing on difference, change the language, because language is so important in how we speak to certain things. Focus more on how do we leverage the differences. Because that way it’s getting away from the us, them, and it’s more, how can I learn from you what I don’t already have. -: Thank you so much. She keeps apologizing but I say thank you. We all say thank you to all three of them right? Thank you so much for being here. That was excellent. This is Us is a fantastic show. So we’re gonna quiz you all next year to make sure you caught up on your episodes. Thank you again. At this time, we’re gonna take a short break and we will see you shortly.

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