Race and Truth

Race.  A human contrived classification to explain our differences.

From all I have read and experienced our biological make-up is the same. Our natural variations are from the geological regions in the world. There are some scientific reasons we are varying colors and that has to do with the equator, not status.  Obviously the closer to the equator the darker the complexion (and it is the same for the poles). These facts are lost on the majority of people and it can blatantly been seen in the way  Race has been defined.

Unfortunately, Race is used as an excuse to hate.  Ignorance of what Race is and the and history behind it is what divides us. We develop ill-conceived perceptions and notions that warp our worldview and opinions of those who are different.

All those things can be overcome if we desire. How? Let’s start a real conversation about each other with one another. Common ground will prevail.  Talk to a person you never thought about having a conversation with (that’s right, the person who doesn’t look like you!).  One question is all it takes.

Step Out! is an open and honest world-wide movement, encouraging individuals to ask pertinent questions to those who are different than themselves. The goal? To recognize that our differences actually unite us, instead of divide.

When engaging within this group, our main and only rule is to be respectful.  If not, you will be kicked out.  Use everyday questions to learn about those who don’t look like you, making every effort to really listen and understanding their response before commenting.

Be bold and step out by connecting with someone who is different than you, today!

Let’s #BreakThroughHate, together, one meaningful connection at a time!

Be Bold. Step Out!

Cultural mindsets, deep-seeded hatred, unconscious biases and profiling tendencies. These things are rooted from within, a part of our daily thought processes and every-day perceptions. They didn’t happen overnight. Each stereotype or bent towards discrimination was planted a little at a time, until it permeated the way in which we view the world around us.
 
Biases, racism, prejudice, profiling… we all (yes, you too!), engage in and hold onto stereotypes and different, varying levels that affect the way in which we communicate with others.

What if we were to break those?

What if, we recognized one another’s differences, and rather than view them as a means to divide, found them to be a means to unite us?

We are all human after all, with a heart bent towards love, and a desire to feel valued and cared for.

Can that bring us closer?

Can our basic desires of wanting the best for ourselves and our families, our faith, our wanting to laugh, live and process change to the fullest invoke a sense of togetherness?

I think it can.

Infact, I know it can and believe it will.

My new movement, Step Out, has started up on Facebook. It is a group comprised of people of different ethnicities and backgrounds across our country, placing themselves in a position for open and honest dialogue.

Why?

By partaking in discussions with others who are different, I am certain people will begin to embrace those differences as a means to unify.

Will you join us?

Be bold and Step Out, today!

Let’s #BreakThroughHate together, one meaningful connection at a time.

Are Your Kids Rats?

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I didn’t think so. I don’t know any parents who consider their kids rats.  Why would someone call a child, ANY child, rats?  Who indeed…

In Jacksonville, FL a mother of a fourth grader made a complaint about her daughter’s teacher who
allegedly called her and other Black children rats.

Very few of us are immune to hate.

We all have prejudices.

Teachers have a strong impact on child’s socialization, and unfortunately, not a good one in this case (if true).

Socialization is the process of passing culture from one generation to a younger generation.  We’re all socialized by the people and things in our lives, including teachers. Imagine what the other fourth graders thought when she allegedly called the Black students rats and allegedly said the rats would infest the classroom.  

Think about the power a teacher has over his or her students.

Think about the power we each have when speaking around a child.

Think about what it is we say and do… Do we promote inclusion or do we promote hate?


I know for me, when I was in elementary school I totally trusted what my teachers told me as being absolute truth.  As well as my parents, extended family, those in my community…

What are you teaching someone today?

May we teach the next generation to celebrate our differences.
They are, in fact, what unite us.

Dangerous Liasions

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Police Departments and Sheriff Offices encounter internal and external challenges each day, such as use of authoritative power and profiling, as well as patrols in highly sensitive areas. Finding a resolution to these problems and others can be frustrating. Consultants are always readily available, giving the issue a glance and offering a solution deemed “perfect”. These methods are typically “off the shelf” and easy to implement. But an “off the shelf” product is just that—”off the shelf”— providing a one size fits all fix with little or no customization.

Unfortunately, there is a gamble with an off the shelf product because it may or may not provide the real solution required. That creates a dangerous liaison, because challenges can continue and worsen. So what should a leader look for when searching for the right solutions for law enforcement professionals? The leader needs an Outside Trusted Advisor (OTA), who has the organization’s requirements, strategy and desires at the forefront,  not their own personal business agenda.

There are three areas to be clear about to ensure the OTA is a good fit. First, how accurate is the data collected? Next, do solutions support and align with the departments strategy and culture? Finally, can leaders authentically and totally support the solutions?

First, gathering the right data will start the process of getting to the right solution. Generally speaking, consulting firms have a plethora of off the shelf items that collect different types of data which may or may not be what the leader desires. An OTA will adjust their process to collect accurate, unbiased data to formulate an effective solution.

Next, it is critical that answers are precise—adapted to fit the organization’s culture since alignment with the organization’s vision is key. An off the shelf product can generalize adaptation but it will be difficult to align precise solutions to any strategy the organization uses for success.

Finally, leaders will authentically and enthusiastically support a process they know is personalized to meet their needs. A customized product facilitated by an OTA helps transform an organization from great to phenomenal.

A Dangerous Liaison can leave an organization even worse than it was to begin with. Be wise. Use an Outside Trusted Adviser to develop customized methods, guiding your department towards lasting changes and transformative growth.

If you want to experience something amazing, contact me at  757.748.2590 or email: tresteloving@tiredofhate.com. I’m a Racial Divide Expert, dedicated to developing the strategies you need to effectively serve.

Tresté Loving: Let’s #BreakThroughHate together.®

The Impossible

The Impossible

Will race always be extremely divisive in the United States?  If conversation is the only action taken to alleviate divisiveness, things will not improve. Quite frankly, they will worsen. Proactive and intentional measures must take place on an individual level in order to heal the racial divide within our country. Talk isn’t helping. Why? No one is listening. Inclusion measures aren’t helping. Why? We have preconceived notions based on appearance. What needs to take place in order for change to happen? Two actions, so simple in word yet so difficult to achieve: a genuine willingness to listen and a strong desire to stop judging.  We must listen. We must learn. We must love.

Having an open mind to truly understand and listen to someone who has a different thought process is challenging, especially when a discussion is emotionally charged.  Race is certainly one of those topics, fused with deeply embedded notions about how we perceive society, ourselves and the world at large.

How we have learned about race directly impacts our desire to discuss race in a calm, collected manner.  As we grow, our social circles provide us with ideas about others. Our parents, grandparents, religion, friends and neighborhoods teach us how we should view the world from a very young age, making unhealthy, inaccurate thought processes incredibly difficult to break. After 18 years of being told that a particular race fights, is lazy, lacks intelligence or [INSERT OTHER NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE HERE], how easy is it to listen to attributes that are the total  opposite?  Changing your belief is not simple.  Only when you are willing to listen, truly listen, are you able to broaden your horizons and experiences.  Keeping an open mind helps move beyond limiting beliefs to create possibilities for new relationships — even with those who are different than yourself.

Additionally, no one should be judged based only on their appearance. Not easy when we have certain stereotypes in mind. But remember,  we can never know a person by drawing conclusions without evidence or substance.  Judging is unfortunately  part of everyone’s lives, whether they are judged or doing the judging.  “Never judge a book by it’s cover” may be an old cliché, but it’s very true.

Here’s a great (real life) example:.  A young white lady was driving slowly in a black neighborhood around 10:00pm.  She stops periodically.  A white police officer starts following her and after about two minutes the officer pulls her over.  He asks her why she was driving so slow in that neighborhood so late at night, questioning if she was there to buy drugs.  The young lady, puzzled by his questions, told him she was looking for a good friend’s house that she had never been to before.  Now, why did the white police officer pull her over and ask her that question?  He judged her by how she looked.  A young white lady driving slowly in a black neighborhood late at night? She must be there to buy drugs. There would be  no other reason, right? Black neighborhoods are “bad”, white neighborhoods are “nice” and accordingly, this young white lady couldn’t possibly be in association. This maintains a racial divide, all based on ignorant stereotyping.

Racial divisiveness doesn’t have to be so prevalent in the United States.  We are more racially diverse than ever but there is not much movement to improve our relationships.

There is nothing to lose by listening to others or and stopping our judgmental behaviors; and a world to gain by experiencing those who are different.

Start today.

Contact treste@trestelovingconsulting.com to learn more.

 

Race – A Four Letter Word…

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Race – A Four Letter Word

Blank stares.  Silence.  Incoherent sentences.  What is Race?  Is it just a color?

Just saying the word “Race” conjures up thoughts and feelings not usually in the conscious mind.  The mind links Race to color, bringing up what we were taught, have seen, have heard and have experienced.  

Conversations about Race are usually charged with emotions. At least one person must remain calm and focused on what the dialogue is hoping to achieve, as tempers quickly escalate and people become more and more uncomfortable.

If you want to know three ways you can have a comfortable conversation about Race, feel free to contact me. As a leading Diversity & Inclusion expert, I can help your conversations become more targeted and productive, accomplishing great things.

Race should be something we embrace, not something to be feared.

Let’s chat.

treste@trestelovingconsulting.com / 757.748.2590

Don’t get your P’s mixed!

Professional and Personal. When those two get confused it can create strife, a decrease in productivity and a loss of revenue. I’ve seen it, and it gets ugly! We interact with our colleagues for the vast majority of our day, every day. Whether a leader, manager, executive or employee, it is sometimes difficult to remain professional at all times. However, when our personal opinions, preferences, thoughts, mannerisms, etc. affect decision making, it can create an unfavorable work environment – hindering success!

So, how is it possible to keep your P’s separate? First, self-control. Understanding your limits, motives and intentions – ensuring you are working within proper, professional parameters at all times. Second, understand your fellow employees. It is imperative that you are sensitive to others strengths, weaknesses and personality traits. Third, be mindful that not every person thinks the same way you do. Others hold different opinions, viewing things from different perspectives – and that’s okay!

What should you do if things get personal at work? Confront the situation and correct it immediately. Keeping the workplace harmonious benefits everyone. A positive work environment brings out the best in each individual, allowing an organization to succeed.

Keep things in perspective – mind your P’s!

Want more information on achieving success through a professional, productive, diverse workforce? Call 518.756.2355 or E-mail: treste@trestelovingconsulting.com.

Are you sure that’s Discrimination?

Some say they are discriminated against because of their weight. Others say they are discriminated against because of their hairstyle (not mainstream enough), or their clothing choice (too sexy, not sexy). Some others say they are discriminated against because English is not their first or sometimes not their second language. Is all that really discrimination? Discrimination is not a matter of perspective it’s a matter of law.

Many employees receive misinformation about discrimination because some organizations are afraid to give employees too much information. I worked for too many leaders who did not want their employees to know more than he/she knew. Organizations need to be open and honest about discrimination especially in definition because that will keep a productive work environment and save time, possibly money, on frivolous complaints. Additionally, explain the purpose of Affirmative Action Policy that can help with discrimination. Finally, provide clarity about unfair treatment and remedies for it.

Discrimination is defined in the following laws:

– Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
– 1991 Amendments
– Rehabilitation Act of 1973
– Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Americans with Disabilities Act 1990
– The No Fear Act of 2002

The bases for discrimination are:

– Race
– Color
– Religion
– Sex
– National Origin
– Disability
– Age
– Creed

According to Title VII, “it is unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges or employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The final bill also allowed sex to be a consideration when sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job.”

So why is Affirmative Action (AA) still a viable policy? Many leaders consider AA to be a negative policy without truly understanding how it is designed to work. The policy is intended to create a diverse workforce at all levels because of past discrimination practices either intentionally or unintentionally. Unfortunately, over time the Affirmative Action policy was horribly misused by choosing minorities not qualified just to meet “a self-imposed quota” creating something no organization wants to use. However, when used correctly the AA policy is a great way to help avoid discrimination issues while creating a fair and equitable work environment.

Finally, defining discrimination is great but, defining unfair treatment is just as important. When leaders make the distinction between unfair treatment and discrimination corrective steps can be taken without wasting time and money on issues that are not deemed as unlawful. Take one of the examples in the first paragraph, being treated unfairly because English is someone’s second language. The only time an organization can use English only in a work environment is when it is a business necessity which the leaders must prove. When leaders know this their decisions in these situations should be the most appropriate and fair.

Fair and equitable treatment in the workplace is all anyone can ask from their leader.

Leaders understand employees are more productive, committed, and totally engaged when their work environment is is fair and equitable. Let’s get your entire organization moving in the same direction – forward and up! Contact Tresté at 757.748.2590 or treste@trestelovingconsulting.com.

Intent vs. Impact – “That’s not quite what I meant…”

Intent vs. Impact – “That’s not quite what I meant…”

There are numerous comments uttered every day based on the premise, “That’s not quite what I meant”. Statements such as, “I don’t see color” or “Oh you are too sensitive”, or “You take things the wrong way”, can cause huge misunderstandings and frequently cause major rifts in work environments.

Take the Italian Vogue slavery statements about their new trendy jewelry idea. They created a line of earrings with the accompanying text, “If the name brings to mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.” Huffington Post 2011/Aug/23

They attempted to fix it but made it worse, so they finally stopped the campaign. Why did Vogue’s fix not work? They never asked anyone for help or didn’t ask the right people for assistance. These comments were not intended to be an insult, rude, or anything other than good intentions and to sell jewelry. Unfortunately, when ignorance disguises itself as outward opinion, it will create friction and polarize a work environment. Once words are out there, they cannot be taken back. Unlike a movie production, you cannot splice life.

Additionally, intent versus impact does not only apply to comments. The intent of actions are as powerful as comments, sometimes even more so: shunning others who are different, leaving certain employees out of plans, lunches, and exclusion from certain teams. Some intentional acts are done just for comfort: people like to be comfortable so they choose people who look like them to engage in activities with. For example, when a person finds themselves alone in public they will stand or sit with others who look like them. Cultural mistakes are inevitable when building a successful organization; however, once mistakes are realized, immediately correcting them usually lessens the sting of the blunders.

How do organizations successfully handle the problem of intent versus impact situations? First, assess the organization’s communication strengths and develop a plan to boost weaknesses. Additionally, address the behaviors when they happen and ensure a change is implemented to alleviate such behaviors, e.g. training, counseling, focus groups, etc. The ultimate defense against intent versus impact is the CEO, key Executives, and business owners to take decisive actions to alleviate these negative situations. Leadership must not only speak about this, but they also should make it clear that any intentional use of intent will be handled appropriately.

Intent versus impact is a situation that if not handled correctly or is ignored will fester and affect all facets of the organization. Ultimately leaders should make their own positive intent versus impact commitments to ensure success within the organization.

Treste Loving is a Global Market Consultant with a specialty in Diversity and Inclusion. She can be reached at treste@trestelovingconsulting.com or 757.748.2590.