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Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People

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"Everyday Conversations Race for Everyday People," brings people together for cross-race conversations on race. If you have ever wanted to have a conversation about race, then this podcast is for you.Our mission is to disrupt the way race is talked about, break racial silos and have a global impact on how people see each other. We have from different backgrounds who share stories, thoughts on race, perspective on current social issues and pop culture happenings. We show that conversations about race are possible, urgent and essential for survival. Guests are all ages from very young to very old, immigrants, students, formerly incarcerated, executives, hourly employees, social activists, hip-hop artists, athletes and media. It’s serious, funny and insightful. We have a global mission for these conversations, to eliminate fear of differences, bring people together in the same space, and find surprising connections.


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"Everyday Conversations Race for Everyday People," brings people together for cross-race conversations on race. If you have ever wanted to have a conversation about race, then this podcast is for you.Our mission is to disrupt the way race is talked about, break racial silos and have a global impact on how people see each other. We have from different backgrounds who share stories, thoughts on race, perspective on current social issues and pop culture happenings. We show that conversations about race are possible, urgent and essential for survival. Guests are all ages from very young to very old, immigrants, students, formerly incarcerated, executives, hourly employees, social activists, hip-hop artists, athletes and media. It’s serious, funny and insightful. We have a global mission for these conversations, to eliminate fear of differences, bring people together in the same space, and find surprising connections.





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Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Death

Why is there an increase in young people dying from Colorectal Cancer? Why are young people dying at a greater rate than anyone else? Are people under 50 too young to get colorectal cancer? In this episode of "Everyday Conversations on Race," Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist, is joined by Lisa Hall, Senior Director of Prevention and Screening at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. They tell us why so many people are being diagnosed too late, and why more non-white people are dying compared to white people. Michael shares his personal story of his mother's death and the impact it had on him when he was young. Lisa talks about health disparities and how important her work with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is to her as a Black woman. Listen to learn more about this critical health disparity affecting people of color and. the racial disparities in screening, diagnosis and deaths from colorectal cancer. At the end of this episode you'll know what you can do for yourself, how you can help your community and how you can support your friends who may be at risk, no matter who they are. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Key Moments: [00:01:08] Racial disparity in colorectal cancer. [00:06:43] Early detection in minority populations. [00:10:37] Expanding colorectal cancer screening age. [00:15:19] Understanding average risk for screenings. [00:18:35] Screening disparities and awareness. [00:21:19] Advocating for your health. [00:27:13] Importance of early screening. [00:29:52] Resources for colorectal cancer. Guests Bio Michael Sapienza, Chief Executive Officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, lost his mother to the disease in May 2009. He turned his profound grief into action, inspiring and challenging the colorectal cancer community, family, friends, and professional associates to follow his lead and dedicate themselves to ending colorectal cancer within our lifetime—now the mission of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Michael served as President and Founder of The Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation from 2010-2015. He was an integral member of the team that led the effort to merge the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation and the Colon Cancer Alliance, creating the nation’s largest colon cancer specific nonprofit. In 2017, the Colon Cancer Alliance changed its name to Colorectal Cancer Alliance, embracing the entire colorectal cancer community. Lisa Hall is a healthcare leader with extensive, proven expertise in strategic client management and development. During her career, she has applied her proven experience in cultivating and managing successful, complex relationships to drive forward both the client and organizations business agendas; She has done so while demonstrating results for influencing business outcomes achieving solid, consistent, market share and profit gains. Lisa’s business approach exemplifies her skills in consultative selling and building relationships with clients and prospects that ensures long-term, client solutions and business growth. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker, and facilitator. Simma is the creator and host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.” Contact Simma@SimmaLieberman.com to get more information, book her for your next DEIB event, help you become a more inclusive leader, or facilitate dialogues across differences. Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition) Connect with me: Instagram Facebook YouTube Twitter LinkedIn Tiktok Website Previous Episodes Navigating the End of Racial Disparities in Healthcare Culture Connects Us Black Modern Elder Academy: Creating a Space for Authenticity and Diverse Experiences Loved...


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Navigating the End of Racial Disparities in Healthcare

African-American Women are twice as likely as the national average to have Alzheimer's disease! Why?? Find out on "Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, with my guest Asoniti Foster founder of Puzzled 2020, a company focused on mental wellness and Alzheimer's awareness. Asoniti discusses the urgency of addressing Alzheimer's in the Black community, highlighting the alarming statistic that African-American women are twice as likely to have Alzheimer's than the national average. We go deep into the intersection of race and Alzheimer's, to create awareness and the proactive measures that can be taken within marginalized communities. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Key Moments: [00:03:51] Mental health in Black community. [00:07:07] Alzheimer's risk factors and the problem of awareness. [00:08:10] Alzheimer's disease and the lack of awareness in general and specifically in the African-American community. [00:13:51] Alzheimer's in the Black community and racial disparities in treatment and diagnosis [00:18:18] Exercise benefits for brain health and why it's so important for Black women. [00:22:38] Gratitude as a brain exercise. [00:25:59] Scrolling addiction and relationship to Alzheimer's [00:29:17] Alzheimer's epidemic and Black women. [00:34:33] Alzheimer's unexpected behaviors that most people don't know [00:36:41] Puzzled documentary on Alzheimer's. [00:41:07] Be your own advocate, and bring someone with you [00:46:51] Emotional Intelligence, books, and brain cells [00:48:02] Living longer in Blue Zones, and what we all can do to keep our brains and bodies healthier. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast About Asoniti Foster website: www.puzzled2020.com email: info@puzzled2020.com Facebook: @puzzled2020 Instagram: @puzzled2020 Born and raised in the city by the Bay, San Francisco, ASONITI FOSTER is a content creator /writer/producer and licensed caregiver. After graduating from San Francisco State University, majoring in Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcast media and writing for television, Asoniti relocated to Los Angeles and held several positions in the entertainment industry. Success was indeed the reward, as she quickly moved up the ladder to eventually write a couple of episodes on Will and Jada Pinkett Smiths’ hit sitcom, “All of Us”. She also worked on a number of other sitcoms, including, One on One”, starring Flex Alexander and Kyla Pratt, “Second Time Around” starring Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kojo, and “Just Jordan” a Nickelodeon show. After the writer’s strike, Asoniti began independently developing and filming various projects. While honing her skills in creating, developing, and producing, a new passion blossomed in her life, care for Alzheimer’s patients. When both her grandmothers passed from the condition, she educated herself about it and planned to be proactive to an ignored class of patients. What she discovered was surprising and saw an opportunity to share her found information. With very little, to no material about why African American women are twice as likely to have the disease she knew it would be fitting to develop a documentary about it. So, she did, and it is titled, “Puzzled”. PUZZLED is an Alzheimer’s awareness documentary that will focus on why women are more like to have AD and why African American women are twice as likely to have it than the national average. And this would only be accomplished working alongside her daughter. As a producer on the documentary, SONI FOSTER-JACKSON is a pre-teen, sassy, smart, socializer, currently enjoying school and extracurricular activities: art, skateboarding, dance, and music – playing the French horn. Although her career goal is to become a veterinarian, she is multi-talented in production and post-production with an eye for creative edits and attractive content. Her voice plays a vital role in the project providing Alzheimer’s awareness from a youthful point of...


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Culture Connects Us

Title: Culture Connects Us: Identity and Transformation Do our cultures connect us or drive us apart? Why are our cultures even important? Join Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist, in this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, to hear how culture can connect us, with guests Jalila Bell, Kwame Gaylon Logan, and Kayla Marin. They explore the importance of using culture to bring people together and share personal experiences. Galen, the founder of Village Connect, shares insights as a father and grandfather of 10. Tune in for an engaging conversation on race, culture, and building inclusive communities. Shownotes: Have you ever wondered how culture can either unite us or divide us? The creators of the film “Culture Connects Us”, believe that knowing and sharing our cultures can bring us together. If you think you know what culture is, you need to check out this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, and listen to these stories. These three filmmakers of “Culture Connects Us.”.explore the film "Culture Connects Us" and share their personal journeys and the profound impact of cultural identities. Listen to Kwame Gaylon Logan, Jalila Bell and Kayla Marin talk about how our names hold deep significance and often shape our sense of self. Galen's experience in Ghana for a naming ceremony transformed his understanding of his cultural roots, while Jalila's Palestinian name reflects beauty and illumination. Kayla's attachment to her last name, Marin, highlights the importance of family history and identity. Culture goes beyond mere traditions; it embodies the essence of who we are. Understanding and embracing our cultural backgrounds can lead to greater self-awareness and connection with others. As Galen mentioned, love serves as a unifying force that transcends cultural differences. By celebrating our diverse cultures and sharing our stories, we can break down barriers and foster empathy and unity in society. Join us as we delve into the world of culture beyond what is visible, beyond what is assumed and how culture can be used to divide or connect us all. In this engaging podcast episode, Simma Lieberman, the inclusionist, hosts a conversation with guests Jalila Bell, Kwame Gaylon Logan, Jr., and Kaylah Marin. The discussion revolves around the theme of culture connecting us, exploring the significance of cultural identity and the power of storytelling in bridging differences. The guests share personal stories about their names and cultural backgrounds, highlighting the importance of embracing one's heritage and identity. From naming ceremonies in Ghana to the complexities of cultural integration in America, each guest brings a unique perspective to the conversation. Discover how names hold deep significance and reflect individual journeys towards self-discovery and acceptance. Join the conversation on race, culture, and the transformative power of storytelling in this thought-provoking episode. Don't miss out on the insightful reflections and inspiring narratives shared by the guests as they delve into the essence of culture and connection. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences that shape our identities and relationships. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Guests Bio Jalila Bell is a dynamic multi-hyphenate whose talents span a diverse array of disciplines. From her accomplished career in law to her passions for dance, production, film, choreography, visual arts, and yoga, Jalila embodies the spirit of relentless exploration and creative expression. Honing her skills at institutions like the San Francisco’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and the prestigious American Dance Festival, Jalila has cultivated a rich tapestry of experiences. She holds dual degrees from Mills College and a J.D. from Golden Gate University Law School, reflecting her commitment to both artistic and academic pursuits. As a dancer, Jalila has graced...


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Black Modern Elder Academy: Creating a Space for Authenticity and Diverse Experiences

The Modern Elder Academy, is a space for healing, self-reflection, and personal transformation for the “Modern Elder.” It helps people redefine what it means to be a modern elder and make choices about the next phase of their lives. So, if this need is true for everyone, why is there a need for a week just for Black people? In this conversation on race, my guests and the founder, Chip Conley answer this question. My guests are Wanda Whitaker, Dr. Diane Johnson and Cassius Johnson. Hear about the significance of listening to intuition and paying attention to physical sensations in personal growth and decision-making. Wanda, Diane and Cassius talk about the wisdom found in the head, heart, and body, beyond mere intellect, and share experiences where following intuition led to profound transformations. Click here to DONATE and support these conversations on race. Dr. Diane Johnson stresses the importance of recognizing intuitive wisdom manifested through physical sensations, guiding individuals through significant moments and decisions. Personal stories shared by guests underscore the transformative power of listening to intuition and physical cues, leading to healing, self-discovery, and profound insights. Wanda Whitaker emphasizes the healing potential of spaces like the Modern Elder Academy, where individuals can share stories, engage in rituals, and connect deeply with others. The episode underscores the value of honoring intuition and physical sensations as guides for personal growth and decision-making, leading to transformative experiences and insights. Cassius Johnson shares his personal experiences, what brought him to the Modern Elder Academy and why he wants more Black people to attend the Black Modern Elder Academy Week. Time Stamps [00:01:16] The Modern Elder Academy- a new way to be an elder [00:06:29] The need for a Black Modern Elder Academy. [00:14:07] Modern Elder Academy for Black Folks. [00:20:29] Black Modern Elder Academy Origins. [00:26:41] Diversity and scholarship impact. [00:29:00] Ancestral connection through transformational experiences. [00:32:46] Creating Courageous Spaces. [00:37:13] Feeling safe in Black spaces. [00:44:13] Re-commitment to purpose. [00:47:09] Healing and transformation. [00:52:41] Celebrating identity and diversity. [00:54:23] Trusting intuition for safety. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Dr. Diane J. Johnson has almost 30 years experience in the business, public and social sectors in a multitude of roles. They include change management consultant, trainer and executive coach, program director, evaluator and researcher, fundraiser, communications/pr lead, and organizational culture specialist. Extraordinarily skilled, purpose-driven, highly intuitive and analytical, Dr. Johnson, Ph.D. is CEO and Founder of Mmapeu Organizational Consulting. Mmapeu is a South African name that means “woman who carries ideas.” Mmapeu Organizational Consulting, a national consulting firm has trained, consulted and worked with more than 12,500 mission-driven individuals, businesses and organizations. Wanda is CEO of Anchored In Spirit, a California based business, helping individuals and groups to transform, transcend and transmute through the arts and sciences. As an author, certified hypnotherapist, visionary artist and Spiritual teacher, educating and advocating for the betterment of society. Cassius Johnson is co-founder of Perceptist, a social impact consulting firm that supports non- and for-profit social impact leaders on strategy, innovative operational systems, and change management. Cassius is a purpose-driven strategic leader who finds great joy and meaning in developing strategies that advance solutions that improve life outcomes for the most vulnerable people and communities in our society. He has developed his diverse skills through a career that includes leadership roles in government, philanthropy, and nonprofit and for-profit national...


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From Guilt to Empowerment: Your Role in Dismantling Racism

Are you ready for a conversation on race, power, and Harvard in this Conversation on Race. Why are Black women leaders at Harvard and other institutions being targeted? Simma The Inclusionist, and Deborah Ashton dive deep into the controversial world of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Harvard, shedding light on the power struggles and systemic racism that still plague our society. Find out what is real, and what is witch-hunting in this scandalous attack on Black female leaders. Discover the shocking truth behind the attacks on DEI initiatives at Harvard, orchestrated by fear-driven individuals like Christopher Rufo. Uncover the hidden agendas and deliberate efforts to dismantle progress in racial equality, as revealed by Deborah Ashton, co-chair of the DEI committee of Harvard Black Alumni. Hear Deborah Ashton's story of living in the projects of Chicago, while attending Harvard, and being told to prove she belonged at academic events. Explore the dark underbelly of systemic racism, where power and privilege dictate who belongs and who doesn't. From the struggles of Black women at Harvard to the global impact of racial stereotypes, this episode will challenge your perceptions and ignite a fire for change. Join the conversation as Simma and Deborah unravel the complexities of race, power, and fear at one of the world's most prestigious institutions. Tune in now to Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, for an electrifying discussion that will challenge your beliefs and inspire you to take action. Let's break down barriers, shatter stereotypes, and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future. Listen now and be part of the change! Time Stamps: [00:03:22] The importance of discussing race. [00:06:43] Overcoming adversity and education. [00:09:03] Understanding poverty in the US. [00:14:48] Assumptions based on appearance. [00:19:21] Perpetuation of welfare stereotypes. [00:23:55] Harvard and racism at play. [00:27:24] DEI and hiring practices. [00:32:02] Systemic racism against Chinese people. [00:36:05] White entitlement in education. [00:41:40] The power of propaganda. [00:44:21] Diversity and inclusion impact on sales. [00:47:48] White power movement for change. [00:53:27] Race conversation advice. [00:59:02] Impactful theater experiences. [01:03:41] Personal experiences on race. Dr. Deborah Ashton is a licensed psychologist, has 30+ years of cross-industry experience. Dr. Ashton is a diversity, equity and inclusion strategist. She received her doctorate from Harvard University and studied with Dr. Chester ‘Chet’ Pierce, who coined the term “microaggression”. She headed diversity and inclusion for Medtronic, Darden Restaurants, Harley-Davidson, Novant Health and Argonne National Laboratory. She is the former Chief of Test Development and Validation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dr. Ashton specializes in organizational psychology and developing an inclusive workplace. She provides guidance and coaching on how to mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace and in talent management. She has published in the Harvard Business Review, Diversity MBA, Diversity Executive, etc. Her Harvard Business Review articles are Does Race or Gender Matter More to Your Paycheck? and What HR Can Do to Fix the Gender Pay Gap. She chaired the peer review board for the Diversity Business Review, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journal written by DEI practitioners for DEI practitioners, Human Resources and line management. In addition, Dr. Ashton serves as the Chief Psychologist & Learning Officer for Diversity Learning Solutions, part of A P & L Group Brand, along with Diversity MBA. Email: drdashton@planetperspective.com LinkedIn Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker, and facilitator. Simma is the creator and host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.” Contact...


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Unpacking Identity, Race, and Representation in Crime Fiction

In this episode, Simma Lieberman The Inclusionist, interviews Ed Aymar, an award-winning author known for his multicultural crime thrillers. Ed, originally from Panama, shares insights into his background, military upbringing, and how he got into writing. The conversation explores the intersection of race, culture, and storytelling in the context of crime fiction. They discuss Ed Aymar's acclaimed works, such as No Home for Killers and When She Left," highlighting his unique perspective as a multicultural crime thriller writer. Tune in for a thought-provoking discussion on inclusivity and diverse perspectives in literature. The increase in multicultural crime thrillers from authors outside the US and also Black, Latino, Asian and Native American in the US continue to make the genre more diverse and exciting. Join Simma Lieberman and author Ed Aymar, a Panamanian author of crime thrillers in a captivating conversation about multicultural crime thrillers and the importance of diversity in literature. Key Points: • Ed Aymar, an award-winning author of crime thrillers, shares insights into his writing journey and the impact of multiculturalism in crime thrillers. Ed’s most recent book, “When She Left,” is a must-read for any lover of crime fiction, and especially if you love learning about different cultures. •The discussion in this between Ed Aymar and Simma Lieberman The Inclusionist delves into the representation of diverse characters in literature and the evolving landscape of publishing. • Explore the significance of identity, allyship, and speaking up in today's society through the lens of literature and storytelling. Questions to Consider: • How does literature, play a role in shaping our understanding of diversity and culture? • What impact do diverse characters in books have on readers' perspectives and empathy? • How can we support and amplify voices from underrepresented communities in the literary world? Takeaways: • Discover the power of multicultural crime thrillers in fostering inclusivity and representation. • Gain insights into the challenges and triumphs of writers of color in the publishing industry. • Explore the evolving dynamics of identity, allyship, and advocacy in literature and beyond. Action steps to take in the conversation on race: • Listen to the episode to delve deeper into the conversation on multicultural crime thrillers and diversity in literature. •Share the podcast with friends and family to spark meaningful discussions on race, identity, and representation. • Consider supporting diverse authors and amplifying marginalized voices in the literary world. Don't miss out on this engaging episode that sheds light on the importance of multicultural storytelling and the impact of diverse voices in literature. Tune in to gain valuable insights and perspectives on race, identity, and allyship in the world of crime thrillers. Key Moments 00:02:05 - Ed Aymar's Background and Writing Journey 00:03:02 - Multiculturalism in Crime Thrillers 00:04:27 - Accountability in Cultural Representation 00:05:47 - Misidentification and Sensitivity Reading 00:06:10 - The Importance of Belonging and Support Groups 00:07:43 - The Impact of Stereotypes and Publishing Challenges 00:10:27 - Diversity Panels at Writing Conferences and Tokenizing 00:11:09 - Historical Context of Multicultural Crime Writing 00:17:09 - The Debate on Updating Older Books with Racist Content 00:20:27 - The Current State of Diversity and Identity in Literature 00:21:03 - The Controversy Over White Authors Writing Diverse Characters 00:30:05 - The Shift in Publishing Towards Diverse Voices 00:31:10 - The Importance of Diversity in Storytelling 00:36:06 - The Authenticity of Cultural Representation in Fiction 00:37:38 - The Responsibility of Allies in Promoting Diversity 00:38:07 - Closing Remarks and Call to Action Guest bio: Multiple Anthony Award–nominated E.A. AYMAR’S thriller No...


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A Black Executive Perspective on Race in Corporate America

In this episode of "Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People," Simma sits down with Tony Franklin, also known as Tony Tidbit, the Vice President of Advertising, Sales, and Client Partnerships at DirecTV. Tony shares his personal experiences as a Black executive in corporate America and discusses the importance of open and honest conversations about race. Simma and Tony discuss the challenges faced by people of color in corporate America, including the pressure to assimilate and the fear of being labeled as "too aggressive." Tony shares a personal story about trying to fit in by dressing and speaking like his white colleagues, only to realize that being himself was the key to his success. They also delve into the issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Tony highlights the resistance some organizations have towards implementing DEI initiatives, often due to unfounded fears of losing something. He emphasizes the need for companies to diversify their ranks and create a safe environment for all employees to thrive. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast The conversation touches on the importance of building emotional connections and breaking down barriers between people of different races. Tony shares his own experience of starting an open conversation on race at work, where employees could share their perspectives and learn from one another. He emphasizes the power of active listening and creating a safe space for dialogue. Throughout the episode, Tony and Simma stress the need for individuals to take action and speak up about racial issues. They encourage listeners to step out of their comfort zones, engage in conversations about race, and challenge their own unconscious biases. By doing so, they believe that real change can happen in both corporate America and society as a whole. Check out another great podcast on race hosted by my friend and colleague “Tony Franklin aka Tony Tidbit,” A Black Executive Perspective To listen to more episodes of "Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People," visit www.raceconvo.com. And don't forget to share the show with others who are interested in having open and honest conversations about race. Takeaways from this episode: · Be yourself and embrace your unique talents and personality in the workplace. · Managers play a crucial role in creating an inclusive environment and empowering their employees. · Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are essential for the success of organizations. · Building emotional connections and engaging in open conversations about race can break down barriers and foster understanding. · Individuals should take action by speaking up, challenging unconscious biases, and actively listening to others. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast Tony Franklin (Tony Tidbit) Bio Tony currently serves as Vice President of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships at DIRECTV, where he brings a wealth of experience to the role, boasting over 27 years in the media industry. Motivated by the events surrounding George Floyd, Tony initiated a workplace series titled "An Open Conversation on Race" This initiative provides a safe environment for open and honest discussions, aiming to raise awareness and educate individuals on various aspects of race, particularly within the context of Corporate America. Tony is the founder and host (Tony Tidbit) of “A Black Executive Perspective Podcast.” A podcast that sheds light on intersectionality, systemic racism, and other challenging issues shrouding the experiences of Black professionals in America's corporate environment. Beyond his professional endeavors, Tony channels his passion for motivation into Tony's Tidbits, a daily inspirational email reaching thousands of recipients nationwide. Outside of work, Tony prioritizes quality time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Gayle and is the proud father of three...


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Cancel Culture Unmasking the Dangers of Instant Judgment and Outrage

In this thought-provoking podcast episode, Simma, the Inclusionist, engages in a candid conversation with Patricia Mushim Ikeda, a Japanese-American Buddhist and mindfulness teacher, and Joel Davis Brown, an African-American man who is an author, an organizational development consultant and spoken word artist. Together, they delve into the controversial topic of cancel culture, exploring its impact on society and the importance of fostering dialogue across racial and ideological divides. The episode begins by addressing the viral nature of outrage and disgust on social media, which fuels cancel culture. The guests emphasize the need for critical thinking skills and the ability to engage in respectful discourse, rather than resorting to attacking and silencing others. They highlight the importance of recognizing nuance, understanding power dynamics, and promoting empathy in conversations about race and other sensitive topics. Click here to DONATE and support our podcast The conversation also touches on the complexities of cancel culture, including the challenges of determining what is offensive and who gets to decide. The Joel and Mushim share personal anecdotes and examples, highlighting the potential for growth and change when people are open to dialogue and willing to learn from one another. They emphasize the value of embracing diversity, practicing grace, and creating spaces for genuine connection. Overall, this episode encourages listeners to challenge the polarizing nature of cancel culture and instead foster a conversational culture that promotes understanding, empathy, and personal growth. It serves as a reminder that by engaging in meaningful dialogue, we can break down barriers, challenge assumptions, and build bridges across differences. Key Points: ● What is cancel culture? Cancel culture is the act of attacking and ostracizing individuals for their beliefs, actions, or statements, often on social media platforms. ● It is characterized by a lack of dialogue, understanding, and empathy, as people quickly dismiss and "cancel" others without giving them a chance to learn, grow, or change. ● Cancel culture relies on outrage and disgust, hijacking our brain chemistry and preventing critical thinking and open-mindedness. ● Joel Davis Brown and Mushim Ikeda emphasize the need for critical thinking skills, empathy, and open dialogue to combat cancel culture and promote inclusivity. ● There is a difference between unintentional errors, mistakes and lack of knowledge, and people who consciously espouse hate in their language, actions, and writing. ● Mushim, Joel, and Simma see and have experienced the potential for growth and change in individuals. ● Cancel culture can hinder progress toward a more inclusive society by shutting down conversations and alienating individuals who may have the potential to become allies or advocates. ● There needs to be allowance for grace, resilience, and empowerment in navigating difficult conversations and promoting understanding across different perspectives. ● Simma Lieberman, Joel Davis Brown, and Mushim Ikeda share their own personal stories of saying the "wrong thing," because they didn't have the right information. ● They caution against the dangers of focusing on mistakes in specific terminology, instead of addressing the broader issues of systemic inequality and discrimination. ● Canceling someone who has made an unintentional error, rather than engaging with that person, asking what they meant, and sharing the impact is lazy. It's an indication of a certain kind of privilege. ● Cancel culture can hinder the development of genuine connections and hinder the opportunity for personal growth and learning. ● Ultimately we want people to embrace inclusion, compassion, and empathy. That can't happen in an atmosphere of fear, scorn, and "lifelong punishment." Takeaway: Cancel culture poses a threat to inclusive conversations and understanding. Instead of...


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From Conflict to Compassion: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Leaders Share Their Perspectives on the Israel-Gaza Crisis

In this powerful podcast episode, Simma Lieberman interviews three faith leaders from the Faith Trio - Pastor Ben Daniel, Ali Sheikhaslani, and Rabbi David Cooper. Each of these leaders brings a unique perspective and experience to the conversation, making it even more impactful. The Faith Trio is a group that aims to foster understanding and empathy among different faith communities. They recognize the increase in Islamophobia and antisemitism in today's world and believe that now, more than ever, it is crucial to come together and combat these prejudices. Throughout the episode, the faith leaders share their personal experiences and perspectives on the Israel-Gaza war and other conflicts. They emphasize the importance of compassion and empathy during these challenging times. Rabbi David Cooper highlights the need to know each other on a personal level, stating, "When you know the other, all of a sudden, you're not dealing with some abstract collectivity, you're actually dealing with real human beings." Rabbi David talks about his Palestinian and Israeli friends that he has had for years and is concerned for their safety. Ali Sheikhaslani discusses the dehumanization that occurs during conflicts and the impact it has on both sides. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the humanity of all individuals involved and treating them with dignity and respect. Ali also mentions the need for equal rights and understanding, stating, "Unless dignity is given to Palestinians... any foreign solution... will not bring peace." Seeing so many Jewish people speak out in support of a ceasefire is inspiring to Ali and others. Pastor Ben Daniel shares his experiences with right-wing Christians who believe in supporting Israel no matter what. He acknowledges the dangers of Christian Zionism and the underlying anti-Semitism that can be present in this ideology. He emphasizes the importance of making peace and letting go of revenge, stating, "You can't fight your way to peace. You have to make peace." The speakers also discuss the need for individuals to genuinely feel and understand the pain of both sides involved in a conflict. They argue that it is not enough to simply pay lip service to the suffering of one side. Instead, individuals must truly feel and comprehend the pain to strategically act in a way that supports both sides. This understanding is seen as crucial in bridging the gap of identity and working towards a more inclusive society. The faith leaders also provide solutions and action steps for listeners to promote empathy and understanding. They encourage education about different faiths and cultures, engaging in meaningful conversations with people from different backgrounds, and actively challenging stereotypes and prejudices. Overall, this episode highlights the importance of compassion and empathy during times of conflict. It sheds light on the experiences and perspectives of these faith leaders and their commitment to promoting understanding and peace. It serves as a reminder that by knowing and empathizing with one another, we can work towards a more inclusive and compassionate world. If you want to see a peaceful, lasting solution it’s essential to understand the pain of both Israelis and Palestinians. Guests Bio Ben Daniel has served as pastor and head of staff at Montclair Presbyterian Church since March of 2014. Born in Palo Alto and raised in Mendocino, Ben earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Religious Studies at Westmont College with an emphasis in urban ministry. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1993. Before moving to Oakland, he he served as Pastor/Head of Staff at Foothill Presbyterian Church in San Jose for sixteen years. Prior to that, he spent four years as Pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church in Gonzales, CA. David J. Cooper is a co-founder of Kehilla Community Synagogue and is rabbi emeritus there. He is a...


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Unmasking the Toxicity of Racism: A Raw Conversation with The Contraband Wagon

In this episode of "Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People," Simma Lieberman welcomes her guest Will Upland (also known as Contraband). He is the creator of the show on Twitch, The Contraband Wagon. Listen to this enlightening, personal and often humorous discussion of race, racism and disruptive conversations. Will (aka Contraband) recounts times in his young life when he encountered people who tried to discourage his success, and were angry that he, the only young Black man in his class stood above everyone else for his talents and brilliance. After feeling frustrated with the discussions on race in mainstream media Will decided to start his own show. Simma and Will (aka Contraband) discuss their shared mission of disrupting the way people talk about race and how to bring people together across racial lines. Will shares a powerful story from his childhood that made him conscious of stereotypes and internalized racism. At the age of six, he had a conversation with another Black boy who believed that acting "Black" meant being disrespectful, getting bad grades, and being part of a gang. This experience opened his eyes to the impact of racial stereotypes and the struggles that come with them. Listen to this episode to find out what happened when he ran into that same "kid" 25 years later. Both Simma and Will emphasize the importance of self-esteem and a strong sense of identity in navigating experiences of racism. You'll hear examples from "The Contraband Wagon," about other Black people with different perspectives on race. You'll also hear stories of how several white people became conscious of race and racism after being in denial. Throughout the episode, Simma and Will highlight the need for open and honest conversations about race. They discuss the role of education and awareness in reducing the toxicity of our racial environment. They also emphasize the importance of empathy and understanding, using examples from their personal lives that encourage listeners to approach conversations about race with an open heart and an open mind. To take action and engage in conversations about race, Simma The Inclusionist and Contraband suggest the following: Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about the history of racism, systemic oppression, and the experiences of marginalized communities. Read books, listen to podcasts, and engage with diverse perspectives. Engage in dialogue: Seek out opportunities to have conversations about race with people from different backgrounds. Listen actively, ask questions, and be open to learning from others' experiences. Challenge your own biases: Reflect on your own beliefs and biases. Be willing to confront and unlearn any prejudices you may hold. Engage in self-reflection and actively work towards being anti-racist. Join Simma The Inclusionist and Will Upland ( aka Contraband) on their mission to change the conversation on race and create a more inclusive and understanding society. Tune in to The Contraband Wagon on Twitch and engage in their monthly private racism discussion group and book club. Remember, every conversation counts in the fight against racism. Guest Bio Will Upland, also known as Contraband, is a community college professor and the creator of The Contraband Wagon, where he is changing the conversation on race. After years of frustration watching the conversations on race in media without seeing the kind of dialogue he finds valuable, Contraband decided to create his own platform. He has had over 100 live 2-hour conversations on race and continues to have them regularly on his Twitch channel. He also hosts a monthly private racism discussion group, a book club, and live events that inspire discussion on the subject of race. Contraband hopes to increase knowledge on and awareness of race to reduce the toxicity of our racial environment Contact Info: Twitch YouTube MeetUp Twitter Instagram Host Bio Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps...


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Confronting the Lack of Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership

In this conversation on race, Simma The Inclusionist talks with Kristen Sharpe, CEO of Non-profit Makeover, and Deedee De La Cruz, Director of Demand Generation for GiveSmart. Why is there a lack of diversity in leadership roles within nonprofit organizations? Our two guests shed light on the reason that less than 20% of executive positions are held by people of color nonprofits. Kristen Sharpe and Deedee De La Cruz, acknowledge the historical overrepresentation of white individuals in nonprofit leadership positions. There is an urgent need for greater diversity in these roles, particularly considering that many nonprofits serve people of color and low-income communities. The lack of diversity in leadership can lead to a lack of representation, support, and mentorship for CEOs of color. The episode raises the question of how nonprofits can prioritize diversity within leadership roles and suggests that providing people of color with a seat at the table, opportunities to serve, and a platform for their voices and ideas can help address this issue. Both Kristen and Deedee share their personal journeys as women of color and how they achieved their high level of success in the non-profit world when neither of them came from business backgrounds. They also share how race and their economic backgrounds influenced the decisions they made to reach their goals. Both women tell stories of how they dealt with "Imposter Syndrome," and offer solutions for other women, specifically women of color who may be experiencing the same. They emphasize the importance of adopting a mindset that recognizes an abundance of wealth and opportunity. Kristen Sharpe challenges the prevailing belief in the nonprofit world that resources are scarce and insufficient to support multiple causes and organizations. Using the analogy of restaurants, she highlights the existence of numerous different establishments in every community, catering to different interests and preferences. Similarly, she argues that individuals can support multiple causes and organizations, just as they can donate to both the St. Jude's Foundation and organizations that support children in foster care. Kristen and Deedee both aim to empower nonprofit leaders of color to raise money on autopilot using technology and social media. By sharing opportunities and fostering conversations within the community, they both believe that everyone can contribute to philanthropic efforts and collectively make a difference. She challenges the notion that access to resources and opportunities is limited, emphasizing that there is ample room for collaboration and support across various causes and organizations. Deedee and Kristen both discuss the importance of leveraging technology, specifically GiveSmart, to bridge the gap and revolutionize nonprofit operations. She emphasizes that nonprofits unfamiliar with technology may be missing out on valuable opportunities. By partnering with GiveSmart, nonprofits can learn how to effectively utilize technology and maximize its potential. Kristen utilized technology, including GiveSmart, to raise over a quarter million dollars during the pandemic. She emphasizes that this achievement was accomplished without traditional methods such as ads, events, mailers, or galas. This success demonstrates the power of technology in enabling nonprofits to raise funds on autopilot. Time Stamps [00:02:27] Why talking about race is important. [00:04:24] Nonprofit leadership diversity. [00:09:32] Lack of diversity in nonprofits. [00:13:29] Generational self-confidence. [00:16:34] Community building and peer-to-peer fundraising. [00:21:30] Personal background and scholarship impact. [00:24:48] Community Brands and GiveSmart. [00:30:13] Nonprofit and technology partnership. [00:32:39] Bridging the gap in philanthropy. [00:36:19] Nonprofit diversity in leadership. [00:40:01] Lack of diversity in philanthropy. [00:44:11] Education as a privilege. [00:49:32]...


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"From Apartheid to Forgiveness" a Conversation on Race

If you were a Black man imprisoned and tortured for fighting against the brutality of apartheid in South Africa, could you forgive your oppressors? Siya Twani did just that. This is a don’t miss episode. We all need to hear his story. It is especially relevant today with the slaughter of over 1,000 Israelis and the continued bombing and killing of over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza. In this episode, Simma, the Inclusionist, welcomes guest Siya Twani, who grew up under South African apartheid and became a freedom fighter with Nelson Mandela. Siya shares his experiences of imprisonment and torture, which ultimately led him to speak on reconciliation, forgiveness, and mental toughness. The conversation explores the importance of discussing race within the context of apartheid and the impact of racial trauma on Black children. Tune in to gain insights from Siya's powerful story and his perspective on race. Siya's story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness. He emphasizes the importance of addressing racial trauma and healing the wounds caused by racism. Siya challenges the notion that talking about race is unnecessary, reminding us that those who experience racism daily are tired of living with it. The conversation delves into the history of apartheid in South Africa, shedding light on the extreme racial discrimination and inhumane treatment endured by black, Asian, and colored people. Siya highlights the stark contrast between the privileged lives of white South Africans and the poverty and oppression faced by the majority. Siya's involvement in the liberation movement and his time in prison shaped his mission to promote reconciliation and empower others to move from victimhood to empowerment. He shares his personal process of forgiveness, acknowledging that it was not easy but necessary for his own healing and liberation. Siya believes that forgiveness is a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation. The episode also explores the concept of reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Siya acknowledges that while it was a step towards healing, it did not fully address the systemic injustices and inequalities that persist in the country. Siya's work as an international speaker focuses on promoting justice, equality, and difficult conversations. He encourages education, engagement, and building healthy human connections across racial and cultural lines. Siya's message is one of hope and the belief that change is possible when we confront our biases, challenge the status quo, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable world. Don't miss this thought-provoking episode with Siya Twani, a true freedom fighter and advocate for reconciliation. His story will inspire and challenge you to examine your own beliefs and take action towards a more just and inclusive society. This episode should make us stop and ask ourselves, “what kind of world do we want to live in?” Are we willing to act from love, and kindness or do we want to live in hate, revenge, `and continuous death? Visit www.siyatwani.com to learn more about Siya and his work. Guest Bio Siya Twani is a South African Global Citizen with a passion to add value to people. A Passionate Educator, Mr Motivator and Inspirational Speaker. Siya Twani grew up in Cape Town in the 60s and 70s and experienced first-hand the pain of racism and discrimination. He was committed to the struggle and spent time in prison aged 17 for this commitment. He now lives in England and visits schools/ colleges/Universities and companies as a Motivational and Inspirational speaker to talk about his own experiences and lead workshops on a variety of themes “Siya, You are truly a wonderful person who inspired us all and brought us all closer to a better understanding of humanity. You have such a remarkable and powerful story to share with the world which is not one of anger nor bitterness but one...


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Race, Sentencing, and the Criminal Justice System: A Shocking Inside Perspective A Conversation on Race with Sean Wilson, Organizing Director of Dream.Org

In this episode, Simma The Inclusionist, is joined by Sean Wilson, the organizing director of Dream.org's Justice Team. With 17 years of lived experience and direct involvement with the criminal legal system, Sean brings insight into a system that he believes is broken and in need of reform. They discuss the importance of talking about race, especially in a society where some are trying to criminalize almost everything. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of the role of race in America's history. Time Stamps [00:02:13] Sweeping race conversations under the rug [00:06:03] Internal transformation in prison [00:09:22] Racial disparities in sentencing [00:14:17] Disparities in drug sentencing [00:19:22] Sentencing and racial identity [00:27:35] Systemic racism and incarceration [00:29:14] Challenging the criminal legal system [00:35:27] Systemic racism in criminal justice [00:43:12] Black codes in the criminal legal system [00:45:10] Racism in the criminal justice system [00:49:00] Country music and rap fusion [00:53:42] Show notes available for download Simma interviews Sean Wilson, the organizing director of Dream.org's Justice Team, who shares his deeply personal experience with the criminal justice system and the impact of systemic racism. Sean, who was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opens up about his troubled youth, including getting involved in criminal activities such as selling drugs and committing armed robbery. At the age of 17, Sean was arrested and sentenced to 50 years in prison for his crimes. He reflects on the harshness of his sentence, questioning how a judge could sentence a young boy to the same amount of time he had lived on this earth. Sean highlights the racial disparities within the criminal justice system, emphasizing that Black and Brown individuals are often given much harsher sentences compared to their white counterparts for similar offenses. He discusses the historical roots of systemic racism in the criminal justice system, tracing back to the 13th Amendment and the implementation of Black codes, which restricted the freedom of African Americans and perpetuated a form of slavery through convict leasing. Sean emphasizes that these discriminatory practices continue to target Black and Brown people, leading to disproportionate rates of incarceration. Sean also addresses the issue of racial bias in sentencing, where black individuals are more likely to receive longer sentences compared to white individuals for the same offenses. He highlights the need for judges and prosecutors to view individuals before them as human beings deserving of grace, understanding, and the opportunity for redemption. As the organizing director of Dream.org's Justice Team, Sean is dedicated to closing prison doors and opening doors of opportunity. The organization works in three issue areas: climate justice, tech equity for Black and Brown people, and criminal justice reform. Sean's role involves training and building up leaders to advocate for transformational legislation that will reduce mass incarceration. In terms of recommended resources, Sean suggests reading "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the racial disparities within the criminal justice system. He also recommends "Better Not Bitter" by Yusuf Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, who shares his personal journey of transformation and resilience after being wrongfully convicted. For those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system, Sean suggests watching the HBO documentary "Growing Up Milwaukee," which follows the lives of young individuals assigned mentors, including Sean, who share their stories to deter them from a life of crime. He also recommends the documentary "13th," which explores the history and impact of mass incarceration in America. To connect with Sean and learn more about Dream.org's work, you can reach out to him via email at...


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Everyday Conversation on Race with Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale (DEI OG for 47 years)

In this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race, I interview Rosalyn Taylor O'Neill, a highly regarded diversity and inclusion thought leader. Rosalyn shares her experiences as the former Chief Diversity Officer at Campbell's Soup Company and Executive VP of Diversity Initiatives for MTV Network. She has received numerous accolades and awards for her work, including being named one of the top 100 most influential Blacks in corporate America and one of the top executives in diversity, and one of most influential LGBTQ people that year. With 47 years of experience, and never backing down, no matter who challenged her, Rosalyn has a lot to say and share. You want to hear this conversation on race. In this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion pioneer Rosalyn Taylor O'Neale emphasizes the importance of learning how to discuss race and navigate through discomfort in order to address racial disparities in every area. Rosalyn acknowledges that talking about race can be uncomfortable and may cause anxiety, as people may fear making mistakes or offending others, but they are necessary in order to learn and grow. One example is the significance of discussing race with healthcare professionals. Rosalyn explains that if a doctor is not comfortable talking about race, it can create issues for patients, particularly those from racial minority groups. She mentions that rashes may appear differently on the skin of different races. Therefore, it is crucial for doctors to be aware of these differences and for patients to be able to communicate their specific needs and concerns related to race. Rosalyn highlights the importance of discussing race in society as a whole if we want to survive. She says that in her town, seeing a Black person is still a rarity, indicating the lack of racial diversity. This lack of exposure and understanding can perpetuate stereotypes and biases. By engaging in conversations about race, individuals can challenge these stereotypes and learn from one another's experiences. She emphasizes that it is not enough to simply listen and sympathize with someone's experiences. You must take action and support them in practical ways if you are anti-racist. Merely expressing sympathy or feeling bad for someone does not bring about any real change or alleviate their situation. Rosalyn shares personal examples. She often felt left out in her mostly all white school, and when she was having a hard time solving a problem, no one would offer to help. However, they always helped each other and acted like they didn’t see her. If you want to be an ally in action and not just words, then ask someone directly what they need and take steps to fulfill those needs. Simma, mentioned a friend who noticed an older Asian woman in their building who rarely went out due to fear of attacks during the pandemic. Instead of just expressing concern, the friend offered to accompany her to the grocery store, providing practical support and reassurance. There is power in collective action. Walking together with someone can make them feel safer and more empowered. By offering to accompany someone who feels unsafe, we can show solidarity and create a stronger sense of support. It is not enough to simply acknowledge someone's experiences; we must actively work to mitigate the situation and make them feel supported. Time stamps: [00:02:41] Fearlessness and Belonging. [00:04:25] Diversity in organizations. [00:10:52] Learning about different cultures. [00:15:08] Learning through discomfort. [00:16:31] Loudness and race awareness. [00:22:18] Overcoming stereotypes and assumptions. [00:25:06] Being black in America. [00:29:58] Asian hate and race discussion. [00:34:07] Blacks and Jews misunderstanding. [00:37:32] Asking questions and seeking understanding. [00:41:25] Slavery and acquired skills. [00:46:23] Living in a diverse world. [00:49:08] Empathy and creating...


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Race, Peace and Poverty, A Conversation with Chad Lassiter

In this conversation on Race, Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist, and Chad Lassiter, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Council, engage in a deep personal conversation about self-reflection and awareness of privileges, stereotypes, and behaviors. Chad shares his own daily process to engage in self-reflection on race, and his role in bringing people to the common table to challenge stereotypes that perpetuate inequality and discrimination. With school boards and politicians, not only eliminating African-American history and any discussion of racial discrimination under the guise of making white children feel uncomfortable, we need to find ways to flip the script and empower all children, including white children, to be agents of change. While acknowledging concerns about discomfort, Chad Lassiter says that we can help children see that they have the power to contribute to a more just and equal society. By engaging in these conversations, children can recognize each other's humanity and understand their role in promoting peace and justice. The key moments in this episode are: [02:26] Conversations around racism and division. [06:37] First experience with racism. [09:12] Police brutality and activism. [12:06] Generational trauma and racial identity. [17:04] Dismantling systemic and structural racism. [21:11] Building solidarity through activism. [26:49] Wealth and taking care of the poor. [28:00] Employment discrimination based on appearance. [33:19] The importance of conversation. [36:13] The trigger for white rage. [40:03] Talking about race in schools. [45:55] The Woman King and toxic masculinity. [48:37] Social change agents and justice warriors. Chad references the work of Paul Kivel, who emphasizes the necessity of difficult conversations about racism to uproot it. This episode of Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People needs to be heard by anyone who wants to empower people of all ages to eliminate racism and other forms of inequality. With so much foolishness about not even mentioning cultural/racial differences and pretending everyone is the same while erasing non-white people, it’s essential that we share and talk about our identities, and culture. This is how we can find common ground and learn and grow together. Chad says these conversations will help us all find a balance between preserving individuality and being open to connecting with people from diverse backgrounds. No one is just one identity, and it would be very boring to pretend otherwise. We talk about Chad’s experience of growing up in an all-black community and how his perspective initially remained narrow due to his limited exposure. However, from interacting with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds, his viewpoint expanded, and he discovered shared experiences. This highlights the idea that engaging with diverse perspectives broadens understanding and fosters connections. Simma and Chad talk about the concept of cultural pride reinforcement, particularly within the context of the Black Lives Matter movement. Cultural pride does not entail valuing one culture over another but rather celebrating and affirming the importance of one's own culture while also respecting and acknowledging the significance of other cultures. This supports the notion that maintaining one's identity and culture does not necessitate rejecting or disregarding others. Listen in as we touch on the significance of having conversations about race, racism, and other issues that some may see as divisive. While recognizing the importance of addressing these topics, we also need to incorporate discussions around peace, justice, truth, love, and kindness. That's how a more inclusive and compassionate society can be created. Without that, we'll be even more divided racially and in every other way Overall, the episode underscores the importance of maintaining one's identity and culture while also seeking common...


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Jewish, Black, and Native American: Dr. Lonny Avi Brooks

In this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race, host Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist, invites Dr. Lonny Avi Brooks, a professor of communication and Afrofuturism, to discuss his unique background as a Jewish, Black, and Native American individual. Avi and Simma explore the intersectionality of race and religion considering recent conversations on anti-Semitism and racism. The conversation also delves into the concept of Afrofuturism and its significance. Tune in to gain insights and engage in an Everyday Conversation on Race. Dr. Lonny Avi Brooks emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and respecting the rich cultures and dignities of others for personal growth and self-understanding. When you disregard or suppress someone else's culture, you limit your own potential for a fulfilling life. He shares what it means to him to be Black, Jewish, and Native American in his everyday life and the impact it has had on his relationships, and the actions he has taken to eliminate racism, antisemitism, and all forms of hate. He recounts his earliest memories of going to synagogue with his brother and how he integrates and loves who he is today. Lonny Avi Brooks is busy traveling and speaking on Afrofuturism, is active in synagogue and Jewish life, as well as involved in Native American communities. Key Points in this episode: • Recognizing and appreciating diverse cultures, allows individuals to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. • How systemic oppression, crime, and homelessness are all results of a lack of understanding and respect for differences and denial of opportunities and inequality. By disrespecting and trivializing other cultures, people who subscribe covertly or overtly to white supremacist culture not only harm others but also hinder their own growth and understanding of the world. • Experience of being Black and Jewish in a mostly white Jewish synagogue • Dismantling the myth that all Jewish people are white and looking at the depth, complexities, and similarities amongst Jewish people across the world. • How Afrofuturism serves to preserve and expand Black culture. Guerrilla tactics are used to showcase the existence, power, and potential of Black people. By appreciating and valuing the culture and history of others, individuals, both Black and non-Black, can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. • Why acknowledging and respecting the rich cultures and dignities of others is not only essential for personal growth and self-understanding but also for creating a more just and harmonious society. • The way that Afrofuturism and other futurisms empower individuals and communities by fostering self-esteem, creativity, and innovation. • Why it's essential that all individuals know their own history and cultural background to have a sense of identity and motivation that will guide their success. Afrofuturism, along with Indigenous Futurism, queer futurism, Jewish Futurism, and Arab Futurism, provides diverse visions of the future that inspire and empower young people. • When people know where they come from. their history and the contributions of "their peoples," it encourages them to be more self-confident and creative. • Why Afrofuturism plays an important role in reclaiming lost cultural heritage erased by colonialism. By leveraging the past and projecting it into the future, Afrofuturism allows individuals and communities to preserve their cultural heritage while envisioning new possibilities. This process is particularly important in the face of attempts to erase the history of Black people. • The crisis in the US with some state governments and school boards, eliminating African American history from their curriculum. They are "rewriting American history," even claiming that there was "personal benefit from slavery for enslaved people." • Futurism movements offer diverse visions of the future that represent marginalized communities and encourage...


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Breaking the Chains: Fighting Caste Oppression with Thenmozhi Soundararajan

From grassroots movements to political advocacy, explore the powerful journey of Dalit activists working towards dismantling caste oppression. In this episode, you will be able to: ● Shatter the silence surrounding caste discrimination in US-based South Asian communities. ● Delve into the world of Dalit rights activism to understand the struggle against centuries-old caste subjugation. ● Grasp why legislation against caste discrimination in California could be a game changer. ● Realize the paramount importance of caste equity competency in breaking down workplace barriers. ● Get attuned to how somatics can mend the psychological wounds inflicted by caste discrimination over generations. My special guest is Thenmozhi Soundararajan Joining the conversation is Thenmozhi Soundararajan, a Dalit rights activist born in the heart of East Los Angeles, bringing a fresh perspective to igniting change for Indian Americans and marginalized communities. Raised in the harsh reality of structural casteism, she uses her lived experiences as the foundation of her fight against this persistent issue. Additionally, she is admired for her talents as a transmedia storyteller, songwriter, writer, hip-hop musician, technologist, and author of The Trauma of Caste: A Dalit Feminist Meditation on Survivorship, Healing, and Abolition. Her story and experiences form an intricate tapestry of struggle, resilience, and commitment, making her an invaluable guest on the topic of Dalit rights and caste discrimination. The key moments in this episode are: 00:00:02 - Introduction 00:01:19 - Guest Introduction 00:03:40 - What is Caste? 00:07:19 - Caste Discrimination in the US 00:09:19 - Personal Experience and Hiding Identity 00:16:46 - Addressing Misconceptions about Trafficking 00:17:20 - Structural Caste and Sexual Exploitation 00:18:19 - The Need for Civil Rights Organizations 00:19:35 - Discrimination and the Fight for Caste Equity 00:24:35 - Caste as a Protected Category 00:32:28 - The Impact of Caste Oppression 00:34:09 - Changing Hearts and Minds 00:35:11 - Discrimination within South Asian Communities 00:37:54 - Groundbreaking Conversations and Unity 00:39:10 - Responding to Denial of Caste The resources mentioned in this episode are: ● Go to the website www.RaceConvo.com to listen to more episodes of the show and engage in conversations about race. ● Please share the show with at least one or two other people who may be interested in having conversations about race. ● If you enjoy the show, please leave a review to help support it. Don't forget to give it five stars if you think it's a five-star show. ● If you'd like to help support the show, you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking on the donate button on the website. ● To understand more about caste and Dalit rights, visit Equality Labs, an organization fighting for caste equity and civil rights. Learn about their work and support their cause. ● Support the coalition led by Equality Labs and Senator Ayesha Wahab to make California the first state to ban caste discrimination. Stay updated on their progress and join their efforts. Guest Bio Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit rights activist based in the United States. She is a transmedia storyteller, songwriter, hip-hop musician and technologist. She founded Equality Labs, which “is an Ambedkarite South Asian power-building organization that uses community research, political base-building, culture-shifting art, and digital security to end the oppression of caste apartheid, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious intolerance.” Her work and writings against caste oppression in the United States have been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Host Bio Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.” Contact...


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Breaking Barriers: John Blake on Racial Reconciliation

In this conversation on race, Simma talks with John Blake, a well-known author, and journalist with CNN. He reports on race, religion, and politics. His most recent book is, More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never Knew John Blake's story begins with a familiar narrative of a biracial child struggling to find their place in a racially divided America. But just when you think you know where the story is headed, a surprising twist throws everything into question. What happens when John meets his estranged white family members as an adult? Will he reject them as he did with his white heritage? Or will he embrace them, leading to a transformative journey of empathy and forgiveness? Join us as we explore John's journey of racial reconciliation and the power of relationships in bridging seemingly impossible divides. Why Race Is Important Race is a central theme not only in the personal lives of many individuals but also in the larger context of American society. Understanding the importance of race requires recognizing that it shapes people's experiences, opportunities, and challenges in significant ways. By talking about race and valuing the various perspectives and experiences that come from different racial backgrounds, people can grow in empathy, cultivate meaningful relationships, and foster a more equitable and just society. In the conversation between Simma Lieberman and John Blake, John shares that his own experiences growing up as a biracial child with a white mother and black father has had a profound impact on his life, shaping both his personal struggles and his professional pursuits as a journalist reporting on race relations in America. He emphasizes that race is a key element in understanding and addressing social issues and that acknowledging and embracing diversity can ultimately bring people together and create a better society. In this episode, you will be able to: Realize the potential of building bridges across racial divides for a more inclusive society.Grasp the impact of compassion and pardoning in breaking the shackles of prejudiced thinking.Appreciate how knowledge can be a catalyst for change in combating racism.Understand the intricacies of racial outlooks and the space for growth and transformation.Appreciate the value of purposeful diversity and interaction in minimizing bias. The resources and solutions mentioned in this episode are: Purchase John Blake's book More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never KnewRead John Blake's articles on CNN about race, religion, and politicsParticipate in Simma Lieberman's facilitated dialogues to bring people together across racePractice empathy and forgiveness towards individuals who may hold racist attitudes or beliefsRead books by authors like Ibram X. Kendi and Jon Blake to educate yourself on race and racismTake action towards creating a successful multiracial, multireligious democracy by working towards racial justice and equality in your community. The key moments in this episode are 00:00:02 - Introduction 00:01:53 - Why Race Is Important 00:03:54 - Discovering His Mother's Race 00:05:49 - Meeting His Mentally Ill Mother 00:11:02 - Lessons About Empathy and Forgiveness 00:15:52 - The Importance of Relationships in Combating Racism 00:17:47 - The Need for Intentional Diversity 00:19:19 - Telling Optimistic Stories 00:21:57 - The Continual Conversion Process 00:26:45 - Creating Opportunities for Meaningful Contact 00:30:28 - Importance of Diversity in Communities 00:34:52 - The Capacity for Change in Racism 00:37:57 - Cancel Culture and the Importance of Listening 00:41:01 - Personal Music and Book Recommendations 00:42:08 - Recommended Readings and Eric Liu's Work Guest Bio John Blake is an award-winning journalist at CNN.com, the online site for CNN and an author. He has been honored by the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the...


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Why We Must Bridge Divides: A Conversation on Inclusive Leadership with Sally Helgesen & Mercedes Martin

Join Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People, the podcast that brings real talk and real change to the forefront. In a society where race, culture, and identity are often sources of division, bridging the conversation on race and equity is imperative. By fostering open and honest dialogues, organizations can create safe spaces for employees to share their experiences and perspectives, ultimately leading to a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Simma Lieberman, Sally Helgesen, and Mercedes Martin explored the importance of bridging the conversation on race and equity during their discussion. They acknowledged the challenges of fostering these dialogues and shared their experiences in navigating the complexities of identity, race, and belonging. Sally reflected on her close relationships with African Americans throughout her life and the impact of their struggles on shaping her understanding of race and equity. Mercedes, an Afro-Latina woman from Cuba, spoke about her purpose in helping organizations tackle diversity and inclusion by shifting mindsets and embracing collaboration. In this episode, you will be able to: ● Discover the significance of uniting as a team to create an all-embracing workplace environment. •Embrace the benefits of acknowledging various personal histories and experiences. • Acquire tools for seeking common ground and defusing challenging situations to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings ● Explore the expansion of diversity beyond gender, focusing on race and values. ● Recognize the importance of appreciating different backgrounds and experiences. ● Understand the role of individual change in sustaining diversity and inclusion among leaders. ● Learn how to identify commonalities and navigate through difficult situations to overcome division and polarization. During the episode, Sally Helgesen and Mercedes Martin shared their personal experiences and emphasized the importance of fostering a sense of belonging within the workplace. They discussed the power of embracing people's diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in order to build stronger connections and more effective workforces. Simma Lieberman highlighted the need to support one another and rise together in the pursuit of inclusion and equity, sharing insights from both Sally's and Mercedes's experiences in the field. Sally, Mercedes and Simma discuss the urgency of sustainable change and emphasize that in order to sustain change, it is necessary to start from within. They talk about the importance of transforming oneself along with the organization and how change management needs to involve everyone in the organization. They also talk about the fear of leadership in addressing diversity and inclusion, especially pertaining to race, and how it needs to start with a clear why and work with the leadership in understanding the need for change. The key moments in this episode are: 00:01:13 - Introduction of Sally Helgesen 00:02:26 - Introduction of Mercedes Martin 00:06:49 - Sally Helgesen's motivation for writing "Rising Together" 00:09:53 - Introduction of Mercedes Martin's background and cultural identity 00:19:07 - Creating a Culture of Inclusion 00:22:23 - The Importance of Inclusive Leadership 00:24:10 - Bridging the Conversation on Race and Equity 00:27:20 - Multiple Identities and Belonging 00:35:33 - The Importance of Self-reflection 00:37:24 - Importance of Authentic Leadership for Inclusion 00:39:05 - Characteristics of Inclusive Leadership 00:42:43 - Sustainable Change: Individual and Systemic Change 00:48:00 - Inhabiting the Middle Amidst Polarization Guest Bio Sally Helgesen is a renowned expert on women's leadership and an internationally bestselling author, speaker, and leadership coach. Honored in Forbes as the world's premier expert on women's leadership, she has been inducted into the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame, which recognizes influential leaders in the field of...


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Rising Above Racism: Dr. Randal Pinkett's Journey to DEI Expertise

From being called the N-word as a child to becoming a successful entrepreneur and leader in the pursuit of racial equality and justice, Randal Pinkett's very personal story is a testament to courage and resilience. Yet, despite his success, Randal still faces an unexpected challenge: convincing organizations to embrace the power of race to drive meaningful change. After 30 years in business, Randal Pinkett, a trained computer scientist and DEI expert, faced an ironic twist of fate when an acquisitions editor at his publisher challenges him to confront his own deeply held beliefs and write a book on Data Driven DEI, forcing him to embark on a journey to change the people, and ultimately the organizations, around him. Are you frustrated with trying to improve DEI in your organization, only to be met with stagnant results? Discover how to break through the status quo by leveraging data-driven solutions, targeted universalism strategies, meaningful conversations about race, and effective leadership to cultivate real change. Key Takeaways: Harness data-driven tools to effectively measure diversity, equity, and inclusion. What it means to apply targeted universalism strategies to fight systemic racism and promote equality. Navigate challenging racial conversations for constructive and positive outcomes. Comprehend the critical role of leadership in cultivating inclusive work environments. Investigate the effects of social media echo chambers on society and individuals. 00:02 - Introduction, Simma Lieberman introduces the podcast and the guest, Dr. Randall Pinkett, who is an entrepreneur, innovator, and DEI expert. She also talks about the purpose of the podcast, which is to have comfortable conversations about race between people of different races. 02:47 - About Randall Pinkett and Data Driven DEI, Randall Pinkett talks about his background, growing up as a Black person in a predominantly White neighborhood, and his experience of racism at a young age. He also discusses his book, Data Driven DEI which focuses on personal and organizational assessments to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 08:10 - People Change, Randall Pinkett emphasizes that organizations don't change, people do. He explains that for any organization to transform, individuals must undertake a personal journey of self-reflection and growth. He also talks about the importance of targeting his book towards everyday people, who want to foster more diverse relationships and inclusive behaviors. 09:10 - Randall Pinkett's Entrepreneurial Journey, How his entrepreneurial journey, began at the age of 21 when he started a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training company with three other Black men. He talks about his desire to make a difference in the world and how he centered his company on addressing societal issues as an outgrowth of his lived experiences. 14:30 - Making a Difference in the World, College years in the 1990s, a time when hip hop was coming of age, and there were growing conversations around black consciousness and black economic empowerment. He and his business partners wanted to make a difference in the world and they used their entrepreneurial spirit to address societal issues. 16:26 - The Importance of Giving Back, How growing up in a religious household and being a man of faith has taught him to use his talents and gifts to benefit others. Randal Pinkett believes that success is what you do for yourself, while greatness is what you do for others. 18:20 - The Importance of Addressing Racism in DEI, Pinkett highlights that race is a key identifier when looking at differences in how people experience the world. He stresses the need to assess ourselves for racial biases and preferences and to address them head-on, as they are often the most challenging and polarizing factors in DEI conversations. 24:39 - Taking a Nuanced Approach to Inclusion, Pinkett discusses the importance of breaking down data by...