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Sigh. Are You Exhausted Listening About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

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One of the hottest topics of our time! Rightfully so, as we attempt to overcome prejudice, inequities as we fight the bully mentality and work at being better collaborators that are respectful and inclusive of all humans. We can’t get enough reminders and coaching if our world is going to change.

Given that this intense topic seems and is sometimes delivered with great judgment and condemnation, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed.  In addition, if the people in the audience are skeptical, cynical, and negative it can feel like eliciting change is impossible. Dr. Tiffany Jana is a speaker who is guaranteed to get you smiling and shifting your thinking.

I listened to her upbeat presentation. Funny, personable, and highly relatable, you feel like you are listening to a best friend. She has a way of building up trust and confidence, then bam, she gently is the provocateur challenging the audience to examine their role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She gently and humbly calls our participation in the judgment of others to task. Dr. Jana urges us not to focus on the negative, guilt, victimizing but to celebrate our failures, see all our privileges then use these experiences to effect positive change. I turned off my device feeling inspired and to research for other Dr. Jana presentations.

I came upon her TED Talk which is a great reset! Dr. Jana vulnerably opens by sharing some of the challenges in her past. She is incensed at society’s level of prejudice against skin colour and race. She explains that for a long time she fixated on her disadvantages, not on her privileges. She asks, “What are you missing that is right in front of you? Sometimes you need to change your frame to really see people.” This statement was particularly relatable for me as I am just working on self-publishing a children’s story about an optimistic child named Max, who finger frames various scenes throughout the day, resiliently moving from one activity to another. The finger framing is a reminder to the reader that sometimes we need to frame and reframe our experiences to get new perspectives. It’s what artists do all the time.

I then went on to check out her medium link and read some of her blogs. They are varied dealing with not just diversity, humour (Survival by Silly), self-love, and even poetry. This quote from her particularly made me smile given the last week of blogging in the rain, working at keeping an optimistic mindset.

“I’m in the camp that believes the pain makes the joy that much more precious.”

We need Dr. Jana’s in our world. Strong outspoken women who can challenge us to our core to look at our world from a positive mindset. To embrace our points of privilege and use them to make our world more equitable, inclusive, and respectful of diversity. Bravo Dr. Jana!

Quick Take Away Links:

Dr. Tiffany Jana on Medium