I have been engaging in conversations regarding race, gender, culture, sexuality, age and the differently-abled for over 20 years. One of my first jobs out of college was working for a company that used role playing as a means of depicting various issues and using those scenarios as a catalyst for discussion. Often we are limited in our perceptions of the world because we surround ourselves with people that look like us, think like us and believe what we believe. It’s often through engaged, honest and safe discussions that other possibilities might be considered. Changing someone’s mind can’t be the goal. Expanding one’s thinking can be!
After being a part of the team presenting these scenarios, I was asked to lead them. I began facilitating conversations for schools, companies and organizations to help them come to a new understanding regarding the participants in those environments and help them identify and explore ways that could help the organization realize it’s stated values and goals.
I have facilitated for a very wide range of companies, corporations and organizations in a variety of areas: legal, financial, merchandising, medical, marketing, advertising, insurance, theater and tech. In addition to the business realm, I’ve facilitated conversations at some of the top MBA programs. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to facilitate conversations regarding RACE, GENDER, CULTURE and SEXUALITY for businesses in other countries as well: Canada, Israel and Australia. My first time facilitating in another country, I thought, ‘no matter how much I read or learn about a country, would that merit me going THERE and facilitating a conversation about THEIR culture?’ What I discovered is that facilitating is NOT teaching. It’s engaging. It’s asking. It’s learning. It’s being open and receptive for others to be comfortable enough to share their experience and circumstances in a forum that’s safe. Those experience made me a better facilitator.