“Attending the Dialogues on Diversity session , I was expecting to just sit and talk about different aspects of diversity. I had no clue that the session would be as engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking as it was by simply playing games! Ron made the session more entertaining, and educational, than I could have hoped for. I would definitely love to see more of this program on my college campus!”
-Acea S. Holland
Hanover College ’15
“Your workshop was great!!!”
Social Justice Educator/ University of Kentucky
“Students were energized, motivated and better equipped to wrestle with diversity issues.”
-Willie “CJ” Harmon
Program Advisor/ South Dakota State University
What Our Workshops are About
They are about literacy
What we are about is individual and cultural knowledge, respect, and intercultural understanding. Put in a simple word, our workshops are about beginning a new process of literacy.
Think of it in terms of being a traveler. If you know the language of a new land in which you find yourself, you are far more likely to move through that land with an ease, confidence, and understanding that someone who is illiterate will lack. You will have a deeper understanding of cultural differences and the impact they can have. We live in this concept every day. As we move through our lives there are the different languages that we have learned over the years, which allow us to most effectively negotiate our world. There is the language of the BOSS / SPOUSE / PARENT / CHILD / FRIEND / Etc. We do not speak to our parents the same way we speak to our friends, or to our boss the same way we speak to our child. We refer to these as “micro-literacies”. We enter into each of these dealings with the understanding that to maximize our desired outcome, we must use the literacy that is the most effective.
They are about knowledge
When we gain greater “true” knowledge of an individual, we are far less likely to stereotype or pigeon hole them. Through this multicultural understanding and respect we gain for an individual, we are more likely to work from a posture of understanding and cooperation with them.
They are about behavior
What we hope to give participants in our workshops is a glimpse of our behavioral patterns and how they can stand in direct conflict to our business, social, religious, and personal interests.
They are about HUMAN behaviors
More than anything else these workshops are about identifying ideas and behaviors. The long and short of how we move through the world is about what we think and how we act on it. Our hope is to give participants some tools for examining some of their cultural ideas and how we all act on them. Additionally we hope to give you a chance to test some of those ideas and experience behaviors that my take you a bit out of your comfort zone. No idea is as weak as the one that refuses to stand up to scrutiny. All we ask is that you look at some of the belief systems that govern your behavior. These workshops are not about making anyone feel wrong for what they believe, but there are surely some ideas that have far less validity than others.
They are about fun
Contrary to popular belief, you can have a good time dealing with difficult issues. The most unique quality of DOD is our “on your feet” activities. Most diversity programs are content to talk to you about facts, figures, and workplace dynamics. This is all well and good, but for most, true learning is an active process that happens not just in your head.
In addition to sharing facts and figures, we use engaging exercises, fun role-plays and team-oriented games, which encourage attendees to stretch out of their comfort zone. This usually leads to discussions and insights that would be impossible to reach otherwise. The result is to introduce you team to a new paradigm of management which will make them more receptive to moving into a 21st Century work place; confident that they have the multicultural and intercultural understanding, skills, and insights to master it.
What Our Workshops Are Not About
Our workshops are not about acceptance.
We do not expect that at the end of the day you will throw your arms open and give everybody a big accepting hug (that would be nice).
Our workshops are not about tolerance.
We do not know a single person who would be happy if the world around them just “tolerated” them.
Our workshops are not about blame
Contrary to the belief of some, our workshops are not about assigning blame. It is about addressing behaviors to which we are all subject. History gives us abundant examples of how we all carry the potential to be cruel, selfish and savage to one another. This is usually a facility of fear or power (or both).