Archive by Author

CEOs: Avoid Elephants on Parade

Avoid Elephants on Parade I spent the majority of my career in the people business: helping executives to grow, to manage change, or to manage high stakes conflict. A commonly used phrase was “the elephant in the room.” Either someone was brave enough to acknowledge there was an “elephant” in the room or some people tried not to see the “elephant” at all. The “elephant” was the uncomfortable, the issue that, if not addressed skillfully, could blow up around the board table or in the conference room.

My job as a skilled facilitator who was often called upon to not only support executives and managers to see the “elephant” but to also help them smell it, touch it, name it, and reframe it. In essence, it was to ease executives from an avoidance perspective to having the skills and courage to do something about “the elephant.” Many times, the “elephant” highlighted an area of diversity. Diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and/or values. When layered with diversity of race, gender, role, status, sexual orientation and, sometimes, location–since a teleworking culture was evolving–things could get complicated.

In today’s workplace, “elephants” are parading everywhere we turn. We are bumping up against divides that require leadership at the highest level, the CEO, to be aware of the cultural shifts, more cognizant of how people are showing up to work. A recent Harvard Business Review survey (https://hbr.org/2017/10/a-survey-of-how-1000-ceos-spend-their-day-reveals-what-makes-leaders-successful) of 1000 CEOs revealed that a significant part of their day is spent alone or with one other person. This number varies by industry but the point is this: the wise CEO may want to really know the temperature of employee morale to prevent a virus of negativity permeating the organization. Elephants are big. To control them from taking up too much space and sucking all of the air out of the workplace, the CEO may need to become the organizational doctor and check on the well-being of employees.

The best parade for elephants is in the circus.

Diversity and Inclusion: The Village of Dangling Threads

Diversity & Inclusion: The Village of Dangling Threads
By Tamara Smiley Hamilton

Some call it the law of attraction. Some call it faith. Some call it hope. Whatever we call It, somewhere there has to be the belief that each of us can make this a better world. The time for fear has run its course. The waiting that someone else will step up is gone. We are living in such fragile times that each of us needs to attract the energy to reach across lines of differences and finally see the “other.” Why? Some might actually ask that question. When they do, the rest of us need to embrace the energy that launches the question, because at least there is an opportunity for engagement. There is an opportunity to sew up a gaping rip.

All of us embrace or reject differences in our own way and style. Some of us give benign smiles but don’t speak. Others lend a helping hand but won’t expose a heart. Some make noble speeches and proclaim: “My best friend is Black.” Or, announce I have the Koran on my bookshelf of sacred books. We wear various badges of honor to keep us from being like them. But who are they? Who are the ones dividing us from the vision of peace and harmony some of us expected to see in our lifetime, especially if you saw the fires despair that defined the sixties, and all that came before. Tulsa in 1921. Now Charlotte and Charlottesville, Berkeley and Washington State sound like remixes of nightmares we had shoved under the bed.

We are in a season where to call is not for arms, but for hearts.

Hearts open us up to hear each other’s stories. Hearts open us up to embrace a new food that comes with a grandma story. Hearts help us see mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends and families that make up the human village. There is an African proverb that says: “It takes a village to raise a child.” I offer that it will take a village to save the values, the hopes, and the dreams we so delicately place in our children for safekeeping.

What can each of us do now?

We see the seams unraveling.

We feel the smoldering conflict of values.

We see the threads dangling at the hemline of our nation.

Does anyone have a needle and thread???

Are we standing by letting the cords rip?

 

It’s not too late to consider: What is one small step to reach across lines of difference so that we can sing at least one song in harmony? Perhaps the song has a simple refrain: “I SEE you and you matter to me.”

Tamara S. Hamilton is an experienced and sought-after speaker on diversity and inclusion whose wise words lift the spirit, hug what hurts, and models hope and resilience. She is an eloquent and heart-centered communicator. Contact Tamara for consultations, speaking at your event, group facilitation or coaching.

Stay inspired with Tamara’s 7 Steps to Building Bridges.

See It to Believe – From ToastMaster to Accredited Speaker Finalist

tamara s hamilton accredited speaker finalist

A year ago I attended my first Toastmasters International Convention and launched a dream to become an Accredited Speaker. I had read about the program over my nine-year membership. Every year I looked at the requirements and thought it was out of reach for me. At best, I could aspire to be a district officer and a DTM, very noble and service-filled aspirations. I could not see myself as an Accredited Speaker, the highest designation for a Toastmaster.

The only woman in the world

But everything changed when I saw Rochelle Rice present a brilliant four-minute speech at the National Speakers Association’s annual meeting in July 2016, just a month before the Toastmasters Convention. It was the introduction that grabbed my imagination. “And now, Rochelle Rice, the only woman in the world to hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) from NSA and the Accredited Speakers Program!.” The only woman in the world rang in my ears. Only?

But everything changed when I saw Rochelle Rice present a brilliant four-minute speech at the National Speakers Association’s annual meeting in July 2016, just a month before the Toastmasters Convention. It was the introduction that grabbed my imagination. “And now, Rochelle Rice, the only woman in the world to hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) from NSA and the Accredited Speakers Program!.” The only woman in the world rang in my ears. Only?

Little did I know that they were no black women holding the Accredited Speaker designation — period. That realization came when I sat on the edge of my seat watching the smiling faces of all sixty-seven accredited speakers. I kept looking for me. I wasn’t there after three repetitions. I guess she did not submit a photo, I concluded. In that moment, I decided to become the only Black woman in the world to do both. (My third application to the CSP will be submitted on Jan.2018)

My Vision as an Accredited Speaker Is Clear

Rochelle and Sheryl Roush (author of The Heart of Toastmaster) were larger than life on the stage and on the jumbotrons. I was whisked away in a vision of being on that big stage. Afterward, I asked a stranger to take my picture in front of the Accredited Speaker logo on the big screen. In that moment, I could see me clearer. During the business meeting, I introduced myself to Sheryl Roush and told her of my vision of being an accredited speaker. “I will help you!” She beamed. My knees buckled.
Foaming at the Mouth

In my hotel room that night, I read the requirements with new eyes. I had a vision. My picture became my screen saver to empower my confidence. I now had to get paid engagements! I did what I knew how to do best. I asked for help and it came. I began collecting checks. Next, I hired a videographer, Andrew Rougier-Chapman (a Toastmaster), to get a professional video. Fairfax County Health Department paid me $100 to do a presentation on bullying and implicit bias. Last week, I had professional photos done. Now I am studying Rochelle and Sheryl’s wardrobe so I can be appropriately dressed for the biggest day of my life: August 26th!

I now dream of being in the crowd of accredited speakers when they join the stage at the end to welcome the inductee!

My call to action:

  1. Have a vision
  2. See it daily
  3. Ask for help
  4. Tell yourself the story you want to live!
  5. Keep a gratitude journal
  6. Speak the vision in 5-7 minutes as often as you can!

When we came back to our Toastmaster GUTS meeting. Bob Snyder did an evaluation of a speech. In his introduction, he said: “Tamara belongs on the big stage!” I kept his words in my heart.

Before Age Twelve: Reflecting on My Socialization around Race, Part 1

Race Pride Socialization around Race

Today an article came across my desk about raising race conscious children. I clicked on it because my six-year-old grandson is sitting across from me playing video games. As a grandmother, I am committed to him being equipped to live in a diverse and complex world. As I read through tips and stories, advice and commentaries, I paused to think about my own socialization around race. It influences who I am today.

“No one is better than you.” Those words were branded on my young mind as one of my earliest memories about race. My parents never said White people will try to make you feel they are superior, but it was what they meant. Around the dinner table or while ease dropping, I heard adults talk about Dr. King with sheer adoration mixed with sadness, always fearing for his life. My conversations with my father stand out vividly because he always seemed like it was urgent for me to get certain lessons from him. From the age of seven to eleven, I worked with him to earn extra spending money above my allowance. He cleaned an office building on Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles. While I emptied ash trays and dusted the desks, he vacuumed the floors and emptied the trash cans, always exhorting over his shoulder some lesson for that day.

He drilled me on what ifs. “What if someone stole your wallet, what would you have left? “My education” was the proper answer. He cherished education and migrated his small family to Los Angeles so that I would avoid a Jim Crow life in Montgomery. Later in life I learned I was one of 3.5 million African Americans who left the South between WWII and 1970. It was 1957 and I was almost five when we settled in our new land of opportunity—the place where education was free.

He would tell me that most people were good, including White people but he quickly followed up that there were “some mighty bad White people, too.” He urged me to treat people well and to become a citizen of the world. He told me White people respected education and I needed to get all I could.

He sought out opportunities for me to be with White people because there were none in our neighborhood around Central Avenue (the Black Hollywood of LA) and 23rd Street. The only differences I saw were the Mexicans who sold buckets of oranges from door to door for fifty cents a bucket. My mother was always ready to accept a bucket and hand over a fifty-cent piece. There was little eye contact from either party, just genuine politeness. The Japanese people did not live in our neighborhood but were there every day trimming hedges and manicuring lawns. As kids, we thought that’s what they do. I did not know all had lost homes and businesses during WWII, during the internment period. Eddie and Tony, the Koreans, owned the small grocery store on 25th Street where I bought comic books and the magazines with all of the pop song lyrics. They called me “Little Girl.” Frank drove the Helm’s Bakery truck a few days a week and he was the only White man I would see regularly in person other than on television and in stores.

Television was a trip. If a Black person appeared on television the phones blew up with: “Hurry! There’s a colored person on channel 2.” You knew to call all friends and neighbors. It showed how invisible we were and how powerful the medium was. To see ourselves on television was nothing short of a miracle. It dominated the playground news for the next day.
I first came face to face with differences when my father sent me to the Hollywoodland Camp for Girls. There was a sea of blonde hair, freckles, and braces. I don’t remember feeling different until it was time for bed and all the girls where brushing their flowing hair and I as putting mine up in pink sponge rollers. They asked if it hurt and I said no. I asked if the braces hurt, and they said sometimes. Many had acne and pimples and spent a ritualistic evening with Noxzema and Clearasil. I had clear smooth skin that they seemed to admire. I made some friends for just the week we were there. Once we came back to the real world, I never heard from them or thought of them again. I think we instinctively knew we were in an artificial land at camp.

Hair was an issue, though. I wanted to swim every day and was good at it. Back home the summer was not complete without a daily trip to Twenty Second Street Playground where there was a nice size pool. When I left for camp, my mother’s parting words were probably: “You better not get your hair wet.” Once coarse black hair was wet, nothing could tame it but a hot straightening comb. I was not of the age to use one and was totally dependent on my mother to tame my wooly and unruly hair once it was wet. I often wondered what it would feel like to a Breck Girl who could get her hair wet and shake it off.

I am grateful I grew up with race pride that did not have to demean another group for me to feel worthy. My parents dreamed of a world where my friends would represent the real world. If only they could see me now.

~~~
*Years later when my husband and I bought our first home from a Korean family, we discovered a covenant in the documents: illegal to sell to Negroes and Indians.

To be continued…

Stand in the Middle of Your Own Miracle

Tamara Hamilton Accredited Speaker award stageIn just over a week, I will stand in the middle of my own miracle. I will stand before fifteen hundred international members and guests at the Toastmasters Convention in Vancouver, Canada and vie to become an Accredited Speaker. It is the highest distinction Toastmasters International bestows upon a professional speaker. For years, I have dreamed of being an Accredited Speaker with Toastmasters International. But, I never took the first step. Year after year, I gazed upon the requirements and told myself a false story. The story was that I was not good enough, not polished enough, not ready to be considered as an Accredited Speaker. After all, there are only sixty-nine in the world as of today.

I got caught up in my own story of inadequacy that I never took that critical first step. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us that “We don’t to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Never mind that I had been a professional speaker in my world of work for thirty years as a leadership trainer and executive coach. This just seemed to be at another level of competence that was beyond my grasp.

toastmasters international logoIn some ways, I was right. My style of speaking in the world of leadership and organization development was one of giving presentations with a professorial style. I had been a professor for over fifteen years. It was a hard habit to break. Being a Toastmaster over nine years has helped me to gain “platform skills,” the precision of using the stage as performance and engaging audiences to be of service to them. It was not about how much I knew and displaying my knowledge and expertise for all to marvel.

It was now about connection and transformation. It was also about inspiration, motivation, and influence. It was about mastery of the spoken word. I begin to ask first, as recommended by my mentor and Accredited Speaker, Dr. Dilip Abayasekara, “What does the audience need from me?” This journey has changed how I prepare and deliver a speech. I have reached a new level of discipline and practice that defines expertise.

accredited speaker logo toastmasters internationalIf you have ever had a dream without a plan, it is no wonder you might feel stuck, like me. Once I decided to pursue this big, audacious goal, I mapped a strategy. But, first, I had to see the vision. I had to see me on the big stage. So, I took a picture last year of me in front of the big jumbotron screen with the Accredited Speaker logo in the background. This picture anchored my vision. I would be on a journey like any (s)hero in a story. I needed help and I reached out. I found many hands reaching back to me to support my journey. When I received less than great reviews on my practice speeches, each critique made the speech stronger, made me more resilient.

I am now almost there: ready to stand in the middle of my own miracle.

Note: The Accredited Speaker finals will have a live feed around the world on August 26, 2017 at 8:30 am Pacific Time.

Speaker on Conflict Analysis Takes a Journey as a White-Haired Graduate Student in the Age of Blackboard

speaker on conflict analysis basks in learning

When I began the out-of-body experience of returning to “school” in January of this year to study conflict and race at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, I had no idea of the wonderment of the journey. At 65, I was filled with the fear of the unknown: what would it be like to be in class with my grandchildren??? Would I remember how to read academically? Could I still write a research paper? What if I am just too slow? In our senior years, the brain cells are not what they used to be.

I remember the first day of the Conflict 600 class and hearing students talk about the reading assignment. I had arrived early for a seat in the front—the old-school way. I had a new spiral notebook and colored pens. Most had laptops and iPADS. They chattered about the syllabus.

“Excuse me.” I summoned the courage to intervene in lightning fast conversation.
“Uh…you already have the syllabus?” Gulp.
“There was an assignment already??” I must have sounded incredulously out of touch. That’s when I realized Blackboard had to become my best friend. Everyone had logged in, downloaded the syllabus, prepared the first assignment, and entered ready to go. I sat in silence as the discussion swirled around me. The invisible dunce cap was a perfect fit.

One student, all of twenty-four years old, sensed my dread and whispered: “Don’t worry. I will help you with Blackboard.” She emailed me articles that escaped me no matter how I searched.

When I missed a class, another shared her notes. For a final group project, my partner was twenty-one and had graduated from my children’s high school. But, our team work was genuine and the result pleased the professor.

The Happy Report after a few short weeks:

The “kids” were amazing! My white hair was an instant magnet. One day I was late, a classmate approached me after class and said: “We get nervous when you are late. You drop such pearls of wisdom every time you speak.” I just melted. All of my fear and angst floated away—even my fear of Blackboard!

As the weeks rolled by, I adapted to the pace of learning. I always felt behind in the reading until I relearned how to read research articles again after forty years. My questions got better and the angst subsided. I went from drowning to floating to swimming through the material by the last week of classes.

The professors treated me like living history. Rich Rubenstein, who wrote books on urban unrest, saw me as a valuable oral historian as I described the nights I watched Watts burn from my back porch. Many times, he would say: “You guys won’t remember this because you weren’t born, but Tamara does!” We would then go into an enchanting dialogue about James Baldwin, the Black Panthers in Los Angeles, and the gentrification occurring in Watts and Crenshaw. The class sat in wide eyed wonder.

Tehema Lopez Bunyasi gave me the honorable title of “The Forest Gump of the Class.” I wear it proudly as someone who has lived a full and adventurous life: teaching poetry in a minimum men’s prison, living in a German village for seven years (no military), traveling with female ex-gang members as they taught courses in nontraditional careers for displaced and battered women, to teaching public speaking skills for the Obama White House.

The icing on the cake:

I was humbled when my name was called to receive the James H. Laue Scholarship Endowment. Dr. Laue was a founder of the field of conflict analysis. He stood on the balcony with Dr. King that awful day in April 1968. The recognition fueled my passion to contribute to the field and continue being a speaker on conflict analysis and resolution.

This whole experience remains magical. I am not wondering what I will do when I grow up and graduate. I am basking in the joy of learning and being without the pressure of what’s next?

As the new school year approaches, I look forward to empowering experiences with Blackboard.

Expert Panel Provides Tools for Successfully Navigating Race in the Workplace at Local Conference May 15-16

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The “3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics” Offers Open Discussion and Workshop for HR Representatives, Managers and Business Professionals Alike

WHAT: It’s no secret that race is a confusing and difficult topic for most to discuss and address in the workplace. Award-winning leadership and diversity speaker, Tamara Hamilton of Audacious Coaching, LLC will be creating a safe place to talk about race May 15-16 at the 3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics. The two-day event, led by Hamilton and a panel of experts in this arena, will equip working professionals at all levels – as well as other community members – with a better awareness of the invisible nuances that go unnoticed by the many socio-cultural groups which make up our country’s very diverse melting pot.

Chair of Health and Wellness for the Coalition for Change, Arthuretta Martin and MBTI specialist, Dr. Dennis Slaughter, join Hamilton to lead a case study in tandem with breakout sessions to challenge participants to stand in their own power. Attendees will walk away feeling empowered and confident to employ these newly learned tactics to discuss topics of race with their colleagues, families and friends. Guests attending the event can also receive ICF credit and SHRM recertification credit.

WHO: 3D Global Summit produced by Audacious Coaching, LLC

WHEN: Monday, May 15: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.   

Tuesday, May 16: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m

WHERE: Embassy Suites Dulles Airport – 13341 Woodland Park Drive, Herndon, VA 20171

3-d Global Coaching Framework with Tamara Hamilton board room Embassy Suites Herndon, VA

Conference Room Embassy Suites Herndon, Virginia

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Arrive early for the May 15-16 2017 3-d Global Coaching Framework with Tamara Hamilton board room Embassy Suites Herndon, VA

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MORE: Founded in 2012 by Tamara Hamilton, Audacious Coaching, LLC helps organizations address issues of diversity, bullying, and macro-aggression, which many see as the new face of racism. Helping workplaces be safe places, Tamara Hamilton uses inspiration, humor and story telling to help facilitate tough conversations and discuss the un-discussable. The full 3D Global Coaching Summit details and schedule can be found here.

MEDIA Elizabeth Ackerman

CONTACT: Decibel Blue Creative Marketing & PR

Cell: (360) 927-6712 | Office: (480) 894-2583

elizabeth@decibelblue.com

3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics

3-d Global Coaching Summit Dimensions in Diversity

3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics May 15-16, 2017

Its Inaugural run will be during International Coaching Week: May 15-16, 2017.

The first day, Monday is from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. We reconvene for a group dinner at 5:30 pm and an experiential RaceLab session from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. RaceLab is required to participate. This is not to be missed!

Tuesday, May 16 runs from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, includes facilitation practice and closing luncheon.

The entire session is 12 contact hours. Coaches can receive ICF credits and human resource professionals can receive SHRM recertification credit.

This is a deep dive into the foundations of race theory, policies, practices, and conflict, and how it shows up in today’s workplace and institutions. Such a foundation will equip participants — especially coaches, HR professionals, therapists, counselors, organizers, educators, leaders, and consultants with a deep awareness of how to talk about race and differences. Participants will learn how to facilitate conversations in this sensitive area and recognize nuances readily grasped by people of color that may elude those from the dominant socio-cultural frames of reference.

  • This groundbreaking session is built upon adult learning theory, organization development, applied behavioral science, leadership coaching, inclusion challenges, and the dimensions of diversity dynamics.
  • In a safe and intensive learning environment, participants will engage in experiential RaceLab activities to expand points of view and to raise awareness of why coaches and human resource professionals sometimes stumble and fumble through conversations and interventions on race and implicit bias.
  • Practice sessions on coaching across lines of racial differences will be demonstrated.
  • Pre-work is required to maximize learning and application of frameworks.
  • Sessions will be in Reston in a location within a short walk of Embassy Suites. Monday night will be an extended day with a group dinner in the Reston Town Center.

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY

Monday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Program from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. • Diversity Reception 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm • RaceLab at from 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Registration: Building the Community
  • Setting the Context–Race, Racism, Ethnicity, Immigration: Foundations of Difference
  • Talking about Race in Safe Space
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Breakout sessions
  • Group dinner: Reston Town Center (Transportation included)
  • Experiential RaceLab session from 8:30 pm to 10:00  pm.  (RaceLab is required to participate. During this segment, participants will experience the impact of race and difference in an innovative game format followed by facilitated small group authentic conversations.)  This is not to be missed!

Tuesday, May 16  9:00 am to 2:00 pm

  • Registration
  • Breakout sessions
  • Closing luncheon

Registration for the Fall 2017, Winter/Spring 2018 sessions will be $2500 and 2.5 days.

The inaugural session is discounted at $995.00 and includes a wealth of take-away resources that can be used immediately.

Registration is capped at 30.

The event will be held at Embassy Suites, Herndon, Virginia
Quick and Easy Reservations for Attendees

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY!

Learning facilitators are:

Dr. Dennis Slaughter, Harvard Negotiation Program and MBTI Specialist, Milton, MA

Arthuretta Martin, M.S. CFCM, DTM, Trainer, Washington D.C. Metro Area

Guest presenters:

Guest presenters will be pioneers in the early entry of African Americans into corporate management which occurred in the mid-seventies and early eighties. They will share personal stories.

Tamara S. Hamilton, Leadership and Diversity Coach

(Facilitators subject to be expanded depending on enrollment)

RESERVE YOUR SPACE BEFORE APRIL 1, 2017!

Bridging Troubled Waters Through Diversity and Inclusion

Bridging troubled waters diversity and inclusion speaker tamara hamilton

As a professional speaker on diversity and inclusion I am moved to speak.

America needs a group hug right about now. Corporate and universal diversity and inclusion can not be reduced to lip service. With a splintered America becoming a part of a new reality, someone has to step up and offer solutions for bridging troubled waters. I am stepping up and equipped to serve our nation to deal with some tough stuff. Seeing today’s youth with fire in their bellies jolts me back to six hot August nights in 1965 when I was an eyewitness to the Watts Rebellion.

As a thirteen-year-old girl, I saw Watts burn as I stood in my backyard feeling unsafe. As I watch the news this week, I am jolted back to a feeling of fear and hopelessness that engulfed my friends and me. I wondered what would happen to my home, to my life, as embers from the fire floated in front of my face. We lived on 89th and Compton Avenue, and the downtown blocks of Watts on 103rd Street, were lit up like fireworks. Orange, red and yellow flames streaked across the night sky.

The events of 1965 shaped my future.

Those events led me to study race relations and to major in Black Studies at Scripps College. I dove so deep that I spent a semester of my senior year with the Experiment in International Living, studying and working in Ghana. I wanted an international perspective. I found that in a masters’ program in African Studies at Howard University. Little did I know I was being equipped for today.

Over years I facilitated work groups that grappled with race and gender issues. Sensitivity workshops helped educators and students to reach each other’s’ hearts and minds across racial and cultural fault lines. Studying communications management at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, helped me to develop the language and frameworks for purposeful dialogue.

My unique capacity to engage opposing forces led to the appointment of the Executive Counsel for Leadership and Career Development at the National Education Association. Designing and implementing employee morale initiatives became the focal point of my work.

The fires of Watts still burned inside of me. I am now channeling this burning desire to help figure out this race thing, the what and why, the impact.

Today, I know my purpose in life. I am equipped for the times we are experiencing today.

As a professional speaker and executive coach, I have fire in my belly to help people find their path across the deepening racial divide, especially our students. Today, I help organizations to address issues of diversity and inclusion as well as bullying, and macroaggression, which many see as the new face of racism. I try to help workplaces be safe places by facilitating tough conversations, to discuss the undiscussables. Perhaps the fires came to me early in life so that I would be unafraid to help build a bridge over turbulent waters, to intervene into tough situations, to help those in conflict see “the other.”

We are now swimming in new waters that will call on us to find those islands of grace, to reach across the pond. The key is for us not to drown but to figure out how to wade to safer ground. As I watch Latino, Asian, White, Black, and Native American middle schoolers march through the streets of San Francisco seeking “help,” the fires are burning now in their souls. They will need to swim harder and faster to safer shore.

I want to be lifeguard for them, workplaces, and for our future. Please reach out to me if I can assist your organization, group, corporation, or school to emerge through the often murky waters of diversity and inclusion.