When you think about what the best diversity speaker can bring, you might think: insight, tips, strategies for inclusion…
But what about fun?
That’s what my Good Old Boy diversity presentation is about: making empathy easy by making it fun. It is an innovative approach to diversity training that makes people more receptive by making them feel less like they’re being lectured AT, and more like they’re simply getting to know a new friend (one of the best thins I learned during my time as a college professor).
I’ve seen how people are good and kind and “inclusive” without even trying. When we get to know each other, we can see life from each other’s perspectives, and things smooth out with that little injection of friendship.
My life is my example. The life of a biracial LGBTQ+ Texan whose best friend was an old, white man. He was the Andy Griffith (Sheriff Taylor) to my Opie. He was my grandpa, a farm-raised country boy, named Glenn.
And he taught me everything about Life.
Some things were great, like having integrity and standing up for the little guy. And other things were… umm… a little skewed, and made me into a tiny bigot for a good long while. Straight-up, I was prejudiced and callous and ignorant to many things about Life without even realizing it.
Higher education changed me as I grew up . Doing research on socialization as a Master’s student and learning about the history of discrimination and the evolution of rights during law school helped me see the world from a different perspective. And, of course, the natural growth that occurs as one ventures out into the world… it all helped me evolve as a person. It helps me be less angry and more curious about hateful views and inherent biases. It helps me see others better. Learn more about me.
It helped me see myself better (which lets me laugh at myself and fund ways my life overlaps with others’)
And it has helped me understand that there are some universal themes to which we can all relate. regardless of demographics. One such thing is that we all enjoy a good laugh, and I seek to provide the most effective diversity education by being the intersection of diverse viewpoints and friendship and humor.