When we think of our aspirational climate, what does that mean? What type of climate, culture, and environment do we want to live, learn, and work in? Our ideal or aspiration environment on campus or in a workplace is one that protects intellectual exploration, advances mutual respect, promotes inclusivity in and outside of a classroom or office, and allows community members to thrive. We invited James Childs, a Learning Partner in D&I Learning for Facebook, on our podcast to share his experience and expertise on how we can create an environment and culture that fosters inclusivity, promotes diversity, and celebrates a supportive community.
- We are more alike than we are different.
- Diversity can be viewed in 3 ways:
- Characteristics we were born with
- Experiences in our life
- Choices we have made
- Diversity is the ‘what’ and inclusion is the ‘how’. There can be diversity and not inclusion, inclusion but not diversity.
- The need to decouple diversity and inclusion
- Increased diversity helps people and companies make better decisions and enhances the richness and value of a classroom discussion
- Humans are creatures of comfort. We will not stay if we are not comfortable. How do we create comfort?
- Create a space where everyone is encouraged to participate, curiosity is supported, and the art of debating respectfully is celebrated.
- When looking at schools, choosing a school that is an academic fit is important but look at the other aspects of campus life to make sure there is a fit as well. Are there opportunities for you as a student to connect with people of different backgrounds?
Important Resources and Links:
Meet James Childs
James is a consultant and facilitator in diversity & inclusion, leadership training, strategic planning, conflict resolution, and mediation. His background includes extensive work with audiences ranging from elementary & middle school to high school and college, adult staff, administrators, and executive leadership, dealing with the challenges presented by race/ethnicity, generational differences, sexual orientation, gender, and religion & spirituality.
With an extensive background in a broad range of Fortune 100 companies, banking institutions, various levels of academia, and nonprofit organizations, James brings to his training and facilitation a keen understanding of the need for diversity, inclusion, and conflict resolution skills in all sectors, as well as the positive impact of effective leadership, and the need for strategy as individuals and organizations serve their communities. Through both experiential exercises and open forum discussions, he brings to the surface important issues of multi-cultural awareness. His open and often humorous style of communication energizes and challenges participants as he fosters the” unlearning” of foundational concepts upon which many of society’s problematic interactions are based.
James received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the State University of New York – College at New Paltz and his Master of Divinity degree as well as a Master of Arts degree in Human Service Counseling from Regent University – Virginia Beach, VA. James currently works as a Learning Partner in D&I Learning for Facebook.
Thank you James for joining us today. As someone who has worked throughout his life to help companies, organizations, and people create an environment that fosters inclusivity, promotes diversity, and celebrates a supportive community. We welcomed his thoughts on how to create, promote and embrace a culture that blends diversity and inclusion into their culture and environment whether it is on a college campus, in a workplace or in our community. Diversity can be viewed in 3 ways: characteristics we were born with, experiences in our lives, and the choices we have made. When looking at schools, take a look at the makeup of the faculty. Are there people who look like you, who you can relate to or reach out to? Research the clubs, programs, and surrounding community as we are creatures of comfort so make sure you have some of the necessary living items that will make you feel at home – places of worship, personal care services, and restaurants.