Kyaio's Korner Sept 2020

Words From Our Founder/CEO

Why are we always at the beginning of the diversity conversation?

The Black Lives Matter protests throughout the world have generated a focus on the ideas of equity, respect, and inclusion. Here at With Respect, we have had many organizations and individuals contact us looking for support and resources. We are always happy to provide tools and resources through our full spectrum of services: coaching, consulting, and professional development training.

What continues to fascinate me is that, while diversity training has been a focus in most industries for somewhere between 40 and 60 years, WE ARE STILL ONLY HAVING THE BASIC CONVERSATIONS. Why, after all this time, are we still at the beginning of the diversity conversation?


I have a few thoughts that I wanted to share.

With Respect has had the opportunity and honor to be invited into many organizations as they continue their diversity journey. In more than a few of those organizations, we have been asked to adjust and/or support recovery from the previous diversity training project. There are some common ways this happens

What we have found is, if the design and delivery of the training doesn't align with the learning process, things can go wrong. in my blog you can find here. Understanding how the learning process requires tools  - that aren't always provided and/or practiced during a training - is one of the biggest barriers to getting deeper in the conversation.

I also think, however, it is related to a lack of common  language necessary for diversity work. 

What does that mean?

It all starts with understanding the vocabulary so we are speaking the same language. Words like prejudice, discrimination, privilege, racism, oppression...   These are words I have seen used inconsistently and even weaponized.

If you have ever been in a training with me, you know we spend time at the beginning making sure we are all talking the same language with common vocabulary. Diversity dialog requires the same thing.

It isn't until we are confidently saying what we mean and confidently know what others mean that we can dive into the depth of diversity issues: negative implicit bias, policy/procedure/practice,  the system of oppression.....

Until we all come to some basic understandings - on social media, in our personal conversations, and in our organizations - we will find it difficult to take on the systemic components of oppression. How can we when our arguments remain more related to the words we use than the concepts, ideas, attitudes, and strategies that we need to understand, dismantle, and restructure?

It is my goal in With Respect to make the basic vocabulary and understanding of the system of oppression something that is accessible for all. To that end, we offer a FREE foundations course on our Virtual Learning Platform (as well as an upcoming "pay what you can" course).  Go here today to register so you have access to brush up, learn more clearly, or really begin to understand the basics of vocabulary and the system of oppression.

Can't wait to see you there!

As always, if you have any thoughts, ideas, or want to reach out to me directly, please don’t hesitate. My email is below.

Until next month...

With Respect,

Leah R. Kyaio, Founder/CEO

With Respect, LLC