Catherine Perry, Fostering Brave Conversations on Race

Catherine Perry from Inward Bound Center for Nonprofit Leadership joins us to talk about how to have conversations on race and healing the racial divide in America.

  • Her workshop, “Racism in America: What is mine to do?”
  • How to break down barriers and start conversations in faith communities, at work and with neighbors and friends
  • Being brave and using humor to engage and make an impact in your community
  • Setting the tone for risky conversations with and edge
  • Race relations in faith-based communities
  • Reconciliation vs. Forgiveness
  • Recommended reading: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • For more info about Catherine’s workshop or to contact Inward Bound, email

Episode Transcript

Susan Cooper  0:00 

Welcome to Inclusion Catalyst with your hosts, Mickey Desai and Susan Cooper. We invite diversity leaders to the table to deconstruct complex social justice issues and showcase the best inclusion practices in our workplaces and our communities.

Catherine Perry  0:14 

You know, my picture is that America is kind of frozen. Because we don’t – we just, it’s just too risky…

Mickey Desai  0:23 

To say what you got to say…

Catherine Perry  0:24 

To say what you got to say. Again in order to get to the other side of “so how are we going to spend the budget and how are we going to design our neighborhood? And how are we going to – Who are we going to invite as new people into our parish community”. And we’re putting off all those conversations because it just feels like a minefield.

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Woke Wednesdays and Public Discourse

Hanna Mason, Host of the Woke Wednesdays podcast, joins us to talk about her show and the state of social justice and politics in America. We discuss:

  • How she got started podcasting
  • Her presentation on How to Evoke Change at the Advertising for Change event in Atlanta
  • Are we in the most divisive time in American history?
  • The state of progressive voices and politcs in the US
  • Under-represented voices that need to be amplified, such as black trans women
  • 2020 Democratic candidates
  • Hannah’s plan to become Secretary of Education

Woke Wednesdays podcast –
Advertising for Change –

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Brian Kammer on Capital Punishment in Georgia

Brian shares his expertise on capital defense, habeas corpus and the death penalty in Georgia.

  • The importance of responding to the injustices within the criminal justice and capital punishment systems.
  • Constitutional violations that led to the wrongful conviction
  • Reduction of death sentences handed out
  • Federal habeas corpus appeals and overturning cases
  • History of Habeas corpus and due process
  • Lack of resources for poor Georgians
  • Current death row statistics and impact of the Georgia Resource Center
  • The capital punishment system is embedded within a racist culture
  • Influence of national “tough on crime” culture
  • Mercer University’s ABS Project
  • Resources to get involved:
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Soon Mee Kim, Global Diversity Leader

Soon Mee shares her expertise on building trust within organizations to create a diverse culture and how to diversify your own life.

  • Diversity as a business and a moral imperative
  • Desegregating your life with intention
  • Empathy when working in teams
  • Conversations about bias at work and being open to honest discussions
  • Developing a culture of trust at the workplace
  • Imposter syndrome and Code Switching at work
  • How an organization’s values and purpose have to mean something
  • The desire for deep connection in our society
  • Consuming media from different points of view than your own: Netflix, podcasts, etc.
  • Asking questions about representation and diversity in schools, places of worship, other organizations in your life.
  • Organizations don’t need a lot of formal programs in place to foster diversity, they only need people who care.
  • Initial connections. Network. Reach out, make a friend, be a mentor.

Julius Pryor on Leveraging Diversity to Drive Outcomes for Businesses

Julius shares his professional experiences with leveraging diversity in the pharmaceutical field to treat prostate cancer.

Show notes:

  • Julius shares his case study on working with a pharmaceutical company to work with African American urologists to target populations with a greater incidence of cancer.
  • How the importance of empirical data lead him to his current professional focus
  • Working with C-Suite leadership to make the business case for diversity
  • The true meaning of “diversity and inclusion” and the importance of actual outcomes
  • How Diversity leaders fall into an organizations structure
  • The need for courageous conversations
  • His book, Thriving in a Disruptive World: Six Critical Concepts for Navigating the 21st Century

Lauren Camdzic on the need for inclusion of the disability community

Lauren Camdzic joins us to discuss the need to include disabilities in corporate board agendas and conversations of diversity. She also shares her personal journey of adapting to life in a wheelchair and the importance of ADA compliance.

  • Lauren discusses the Valuable 500 and the companies who have pledged to make disabilities a part of their diversity conversations
  • How companies can modify their spaces to provide access for those with mobility impairments
  • How to respectfully open up the lines of communication with people in the disability community
  • The need for organizations to have emergency plans in place for people who are disabled
  • Lauren’s journey into the spotlight as an advocate for the community during her recovery
  • Call to action: learn about the ADA policies and include people from the disability community in conversations about diversity
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Christian Zsilavetz on Affirming LGBTQ Youth

Christian Zsilavetz joins us to discuss the importance of being an ally and advocate for LGBTQ kids and his personal experiences as a transman and educator.

  • Christian discusses the school he founded
  • The risks LGBTQ youth face in their schools and personal lives
  • Civil rights for the LGBTQ community
  • Available resources in the Atlanta community
  • The importance of providing support to LGBTQ youth because of the prevalence of homelessness, drug addiction and risky behaviors
  • LGBTQ Rights in schools
  • Changing perceptions of the trans community
  • Call to action – what everyone can do to support LGBTQ youth and be an ally
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Fallon McClure on Criminal Justice Reform

Attorney and Community organizer Fallon McClure joins us to discuss the complexities of the Criminal Justice system and why reform is needed in Georgia and nationwide.

  • Fallon brings up the enormity of the varying issues from a Federal, State to locality level
  • The current state of the criminal justice system in Georgia
  • Bail, probation and parole issues, voting rights
  • Restorative vs. Punitive justice
  • Profit motives: Privatization of Prisons, Bail Bond lobby
  • Supporting the work of non-profit organizations such as Southerners on New Ground, Ebenezer Baptist church, ACLU, Southern Center for Human Rights, Reform Georgia
  • Criminal Justice in pop culture as a starting point to shed light on issues and invoke empathy
  • Reform issues and how they affect the economy, race, class, the school to prison pipeline
  • What individuals can do to make a difference

Dr. Heather Heckel on Environmental Diversity

Dr. Heather Heckel discusses environmental initiatives including wildlife conservation, ecotourism, climate change and what individuals can do to support these issues.

  • Dr. Heckel discusses sustainability and diversity & inclusion in global and local communities
  • Wildlife conservation & consumerism
  • Understanding local impact
  • Ecotourism and fair trade
  • NGOs as change agents
  • Climate Justice, activism and higher ed classroom initiatives
  • Small things everyone can do to support environmental issues
  • Individual responsibility to create change
  • Offsetting your carbon footprint
  • Climate Change as a crisis and the impact on public health
  • Advocating to political & business leaders

Dr. Tarece Johnson on Diversity & Biases In Education

Dr. Tarece joins us to discuss her book, The Global Purpose Approach, a guide to enhancing multiculturalism in education. She also addresses issues of representation, equity and biases in the public education system.

  • Dr. Tarece discusses her book, The Global Purpose Approach, about multiculturalism, exploration of culture, policies and appreciation of differences. Includes guidance to educators on how to implement these themes in the classroom.
  • Representation in schools and the lack of male teachers of color in public schools.
  • Equity between school districts
  • White Supremacy and how it effects everything from income inequity, to immigration issues in education
  • Financially stability in families, training opportunities for parents
  • School to Prison Pipeline and forms of discipline, zero tolerance policies
  • Teacher & Administrator training: Empathy & Diversity training, understanding biases
  • Tools & Guidelines for Administrators
  • Parenting & Advocacy