The First Blog from My New Associate Deanna Jones – Changing Narratives

I recently read “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb for our book club. A fascinating book where the author takes us on the journeys of 5 of her patients (including herself). In each of these stories, we are introduced to characters that each have what they consider established truths about themselves. Through Lori’s therapy sessions, she uncovers key parts of each person’s established truth and how that might not be serving the patient in making future decisions. She helps guide the patients to see something they had not seen before. This is part of Lori’s powerful message from her very popular TED talk, “How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life.”

Recommended Reading from Deanna Jones: “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb

This core of this message is that we’re not reliable narrators of our own lives. Her quote from the book: “the art of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”

Are you telling yourself stories that might be unreliable? Are there any unreliable narratives we tell each other as a individuals, a country or in our companies? Without a doubt we all find stories to make sense of our histories that influence our future decisions.

I have always told myself that I was a strong advocate for those who are marginalized. Invariably, this changes my focus for the future and lessens my call to action. . “I don’t need to focus on that, I’m already have it as my story.” However, whenever I think of that image where we are all at the Pearly gates and our lives are reviewed, St. Peter might look at me and “meh”. Yes, in all honesty, I was just “meh”

For 2023, I want to stop relying on my inflated stories I tell myself. Our country, our community and more to the point, our businesses, need strong advocacy for marginalized groups this year.. In our country alone, over 300 anti-trans bills were proposed in 2022. States passed more than 15 bills targeting transgender people. Over 30 transgender people have been killed this past year.  (Note from Stan Link to my blog about corporations once again being called to take the lead around diversity, equity and inclusion)

Deanna Jones, Total Engagement Consulting new Consultant on Call

I know our country can be better than this. What can we all do to make this a more inclusive place to live and work? Our call to action begins by examining our outdated narratives that what we‘re doing is good enough.

Do you feel you or your company has some false narratives that allow you to be “meh” in the DEI space? Is there room for you to do more? At the end of 2023, for myself, I want to know I did more, I hope you can find that for your business as well. Let this be our new and honest start to a better and more inclusive world. It all starts with our introspection. Let’s begin a new story for 2023.

Happy New Year.

* * * * * * *

This was the first of many blogs that will be provided by my new associate, Deanna Jones.  Link to my announcement of her joining my team.

LGBT Pride Month – Five ideas for your organization to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall

With lots of useful links!

50 years ago on a weekend in late June in the Greenwich Village in New York City, a revolt took place that changed the course of history for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people all over the world. Patrons of the Stonewall Tavern, led by several transgender women and drag queens stood up to unfair police brutality and stated that they would no longer let their human rights be unfairly trampled. Since that fateful night, most LGBT pride celebrations are held in late June.

This blog contains five suggestions for engaging your corporation or organization during June Pride Month, followed by a short history of major LGBT milestones in the US, starting with Stonewall 1969!

    Five ideas to recognize and celebrate LGBT Pride Month:

1) Bring me in to speak and train. I continue to offer myself as a nationally recognized LGBT diversity speaker and trainer for your employees, management training, or employee resource groups, with a broad range of 9 LGBT diversity workshops from the business oriented to the more lighthearted (including culture and history of LGBT in the US) to the more personal. In fact, why not invite me in for a day and I can do various meetings with HR leaders, managers, employees and your employee resource groups? Use this link to download my speaking packages that include topics and bio, or Email me at [email protected] to request the info.

2) Start a productive group dialogue around transgender people. Check out my recent blog, “Explore transgender diversity through a cool one-woman show,” about how JJ Marie Gufreda uses her edgy thought provoking show, including original music, to share experiences and to create open dialogue about transgender people.

3) Financially support the Pride in the Triangle’s LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Toolkit, which we hope to launch this summer if we can raise the rest of the funds soon. Even if you are not in the Triangle region of North Carolina, you can still support this project and send participants to our 2-day “Training of Trainers” to be held in our area.

4) Take an online crash course. Whether you just want to be a better ally to LGBTQ people, or want to create a better workplace, home, or organization for everyone, consider this online LGBTQ Diversity Training Crash Course (link) from one of my business associates, Sean Kofosky. This inexpensive yet valuable offering covers basic LGBTQ terminology / definitions,the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, ways anti-LGBTQ attitudes and behavior reach into many corners of society, and simple actions you can take to be an ALLY!

5) Make a contribution to your local LGBT Center. Google “LGBT Center” and find one in your city or town or nearby, and make a corporate contribution in honor of the Stonewall 50th anniversity. Or consider a similar contribution to your state’s LGBT Equality group.

The Stonewall Tavern, Circa 1969

    Very Short List of Selected Major Milestones

June 28 – 29, 1969: Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, New York City

June, 1970: Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago.

December, 1973: The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

1993: Minnesota became the first state to ban employment discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity when it passed its Human Rights Act.

October, 2002: The Human Rights Campaign introduces its Corporate Equality Index to measure corporate support of LGBT equality.

2009: Sexual orientation and gender identity added to US hate crime legislation.

June, 2015: The US Supreme Court rules for recognition of same-gender marriage in all 50 states.

June, 2016: President Obama announced the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument, a 7.7-acre site in Greenwich Village to be administered by the National Park Service.