Managing Difficult Conversations Around Equity

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Cliff Jones, Senior Consultant
Nonprofit Association of Oregon

Continental Breakfast & Networking at 8:00
Presentation at 8:30

Why do organizational conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion often become difficult? Here are some of the challenges that we’ve heard:

“I’m scared. I’m angry. You insulted me. I can’t believe you said that. I don’t know what you want to be called. What difference will it make for us to talk about this? Why is everyone so quiet? This is hard. How do we have this conversation in a way that builds connection? We need to take action. What are the key outcomes we are trying to achieve? How do we deal with power differentials? How do we deal with folks at different levels of awareness? How do we deal with folks with blind spots about their own challenges who feel their key role is to teach others? How do I increase my skill level? How do I lead this work? What has worked for other people? Why do I avoid this topic? How do I build on what I already know? What if I make a mistake? I don’t like conflict. Don’t tell me what to do. Ask me what I need. This is too touchy feely. I don’t want to be criticized. Why are you so defensive?”

Does any of this sound familiar? Most efforts to advance organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion involve very challenging conversations. The more we are equipped to engage in and guide these conversations the more success we are likely to have in moving from talk to action to desired outcomes.

This session of DLN will focus on skills for engaging in and guiding difficult conversations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will explore:

  • Three baseline skills for advancing diversity and equity
  • Seven strategies for engaging in and guiding these difficult conversations
  • Applying skills and strategies in actual conversations
  • Guiding conversations with Board, staff members, and clients or within the community

About the Presenter

Cliff Jones is a human rights activist with over 30 years’ experience in social services, community education, and human rights advocacy. He has experience as a frontline staff, supervisor, project manager, and executive director. He is co-founder of Tools for Diversity, a comprehensive curriculum led by a multi-cultural team that addresses problems caused by discrimination and prejudice and supports building culturally competent organizations.

Cliff has served on the Boards of McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, Funding Exchange Foundation, Oregon Minority AIDS Coalition, Multnomah Legal Service Workers Union, and Peer Counseling Community. He has been a trainer for the Black Leadership and Community Development Institute and is a recipient of Nordstrom’s Cultural Diversity Community Service Award.

About the Network

Diversity Leaders Network is a proactive, comprehensive approach to institutionalizing cultural competence at your organization. This Network is designed to help leaders better understand the cause and effect of varying viewpoints and to inspire open-mindedness and a willingness to learn from those with diverse backgrounds.

February 14th, 2013 8:00 AM   through   12:00 PM
Ecotrust Conference Center, 2nd Floor
721 NW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Multnomah
United States
NAO Members $ 45.00
Nonmembers $ 50.00
Event Particulars
City Portland
Topic Cross-Cultural Effectiveness and Human Resources
Presenter Cliff Jones
Event Region

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