S2 Ep 27 Inequality by Design… What Are Your Deal Breakers? A discussion on bias, critical representation, power majority, and the audacity of voice in education.
7:52PM Jan 22, 2022
Shelli Ann Garland
Kimya Nuru Dennis
Hello, and welcome to A Dash of SaLT. I'm Dr. Shelli Ann. And I'm so glad you're here. Whether you stumbled upon this podcast by accident, or you're here because the subject drew you in welcome. SaLT is an acronym for society in learning today. This podcast was created as an outlet for inviting fresh discussions on sociology and learning theories that impact your world. Each episode includes a wide range of themes that focus on society in everyday learning, whether formal or informal. So let's get stuck in shall we.
Welcome everybody to A Dash of SaLT. I'm really delighted to have Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis on on the podcast today, she's going to talk to us about implicit and unconscious bias in society, education in the workplace, as well, and some a little bit on social and educational stratification. And I'm sure a lot of other really interesting perspectives are going to come out through our conversation today, I'm actually going to let Kimya introduce herself. So welcome, Kimya.
Thank you so much for having me. And I'm really excited to meet you and, and just interact with you as an educator. So I really appreciate what you do. So I am Dr Kimya Nuru Dennis, I am a sociologist, and criminologist, educator, researcher, and I'm founder of 365 diversity. And so the work that I do is education based when addressing health disparities, mental health, physical health and suicide, I also do work to change everything about schools, that's curriculum, that is representation of school officials and school decision makers. And I always highlight all of that it's also on 365Diversity.com, I highlight this, because when we're talking about making changes, we have to highlight what we're going to contribute in our lifetime. I want to make sure that decision makers and people who want changes, don't ever pretend that you're really changing the world 100%. Now, right, because that's how oftentimes legislature happens. And they're like, Yay, we succeeded, let's have a party. And things get reversed as soon as they fall asleep. So the work that I do in 365Diversity, and also when I teach is to explain to people how changes happen, you provide foundation for future generations to come. For as long as humans exist. That's how change has happened. It's not about one March, it's not about tearing down one statue. I'm born, raised in Richmond, Virginia, the second capital Confederacy. And so I know all about how that goes. I lived in North Carolina for 17 years, which is where I got my doctorate. And it's also where I was full time faculty. And now I am in Baltimore, Maryland. So the work I do is local, national and international. And it is difficult work. So yes, people will be uncomfortable, people will be offended, people will be all sorts of whatever. But what I do not accept is excuses. We can't complain. And then when people say here are some options. Now you want to find the problems with those options. You have to be honest about what you want to do make changes. So thank you so much.
Yes, I'm looking so forward to our conversation. And I know one of the things that you often like to speak about his unconscious and implicit bias and also unconscious and implicit bias training. And so I'd like to talk a little bit about that today. And first of all, I just would ask you to maybe just explain for everybody what implicit aka unconscious bias is, so that we have a better understanding of how it's all that we're all involved in this.
Yes, all humans have ever existed since the first existence of humans have biases. We all have biases, we all have assumptions, we all have prejudices. So that's why my work has nothing to do with that. I do not believe in implicit unconscious bias trainings. I consider those money wasters. I consider those scams. I consider those distractions from real changes. And I tell this to everyone who is making money from doing bias trainings, literally everyone, I explained there's a reason why the people who kill us the most and control us the most enjoy doing bias trainings, guess who those are medical and health professionals, police departments and law enforcement agencies, and also schools. They love doing bias trainings, because what it comes from is just talking about what's on people's minds. And then we all leave and we pretend that biases can be changed, nothing is told to be proven from that, right. And you're falsely told that for power dynamics to change for policies and actions change, you've got to change somebody's mind. Actually, no, we don't have to change their mind. We have to tell them you can think whatever you want. But the difference between thought and actions is where the power comes into play. So this is why I just always explained to people if you just want to live your life, talking about bias, that will not include me, because I actually am doing some changes. And that's whether we're talking about government entities, political parties, police, law enforcement, schools, medical and health facilities, employers and workforce development. None of that is based on pretending to read people's minds and change people's minds, instead of saying, what are we looking at in terms of your actions? And how can we change those actions? hold you accountable for those actions? Regardless of what you're thinking? What can we do to really change some stuff that we can hold on to? So that's what I always encourage people to focus on?
And do you think that you know, it is important, though, for others to be aware of implicit and unconscious unconscious bias and creating an awareness for them, so that those policies and practices can be changed? And then what would you suggest as the alternative, you know, as if you're not a supporter of, you know, explicit and unconscious bias training, you know, what would be the alternative there?
People can be aware of bias, they can be aware of their own bias. But decision makers know that there's nobody stopping the bias, right? So what I focus on if you're talking about policies, and assessments and accreditation, and what books you use for schools, beyond one class I'm talking about in general, that literally is about the decision makers. And yes, they all have bias. But this is how I always explain this when addressing this. So what schools have done, and I mind you, we have centuries of black people and indigenous people in particular, demanding changes to schools demanding that our history of sciences mathematics art, literature's because we have 1000s upon 1000s of years of works, that it be represented, factually, and instead, what schools keep doing. And this is literally every school around the world because we're talking about white controlled schools. They use white people's versions of history, what white people want to put in books, the publishers and mostly white, white people's versions of sciences, mathematics arts, literature's regardless of who created these originally, they become presented as white people are the majority of mathematicians, and scientists. You literally have people with PhDs, people with MDs, who think that the most notable people to really know about are white people, particularly white men, but also when we're talking about equity, usually, white women will say, well, we need to be represented. But that doesn't change the racial, ethnic, religious nation representation in this. So what happens though, is that schools will say, okay, we're gonna change books and stuff that we use, and what they'll present to me is a new curriculum. And I tell them, You're not looking at the demographics represented in the creators of this information. Like you can't give me a Cherokee booklet about science. And pretend it's mere coincidence that these are white people who are writing this I, Cherokee, people need to speak to their own knowledge, right. So that that is an example of bias, and that people pretend that it doesn't matter who's presenting the information as long as the information presented, but that bias is based in power. So this is why I tell people it's more than just bias because people will tell you that they had no idea that there's a problem and you will spend the rest of your life debating with people about their bias, what they're thinking, their intent and all that you'll waste a whole lot of time and resources on that. Instead, you have to just say okay, whatever you were thinking the fact remains that you did not know that equity in education and course materials requires the minoritized people to really speak for themselves. So this is why I tell people, they want to talk about bias, fine, but I always tell people, what's the measurable outcome.
And bias, just to kind of make things clear, does not is not just focused on race, race or racial differences or, you know, cultural differences. But it also includes, you know, that the bias that that when we bias internally, it's because we're favouring those who look like us, or those who act like us, or those who you know, we have formed an affinity with. And so, bias also can include issues relating to LGBTQ+ to those with seen or unseen disability. So do you want to talk a little bit about that as well?
Well, bias is for everyone. The the notion of ableism the notion of what's considered normal, so even people who have disabilities mental physical conditions, as long as they look quote, unquote, normal and act, quote, unquote, normal, then people like everything's okay. And we have many examples. I have a disability. But we have many examples of famous well known black scholars, including fellow sociologist and criminologist Dr. W. EB DuBois, who as he got older, of course, he died in Ghana the night before the March in Washington at the age of 95. And it wasn't until he got older that people saw photos of him, and he had vitiligo and a lot of people like we had no idea. That's because, again, a lot of times we're talking about disability, people are just expected to hide as much as possible to not distract from their knowledge, their contributions. But again, that's that false normality. And that ableism same thing pertains to we're talking about sexuality. LGBTQIA always interlocks with every other identity. A lot of times when people talk about LGBTQIA, they're really talking about white people. Because the moment we bring in indigenous LGBTQIA, Asian LGBTQIA, black LGBTQIA, people get uncomfortable because they think you're distracting from gender identities and sexuality. And I tell people, literally it all interlocks 24/7 365, people who are within minoritized identities within LGBTQIA, that can be LGBTQIA. People with a disability, often are told that they have to silenced one identity to highlight this one, because this is the main attention right now. And that happens everyday in people's lives, including when talking about education. It's like you have to choose something that you're going to fight for. And I told you, but that's not equity. We don't ever have to choose one.
And, and I think that, you know, you've been very clear in that that idea that attempting, or that idea of stopping bias through education, you know, is is really not effective. We can't We can't do it that way.
Well, it's it's a tactic that white people in particular use to keep us in an eternal training session. And this literally happens at every school, every school, when people come and say, here's the curriculum that we demand. Here's the accreditation change that we demand. Here's the change in publishers that we demand, guess what? They're told. Awesome idea. We need a committee. Ya'll, don't need committees. We don't need any more meetings. Literally. We can make these changes. How do I know that? Because guess what, as faculty, I created an academic programme in 2011. And I was in charge of the annual assessments, curriculum developments curriculum changes, helping the library. It's possible. It's not this impossible thing that people pretend what's impossible is getting people to understand that yes, you're going to ruffle feathers. Yes, you're going to be afraid that someone's going to threaten your career. But then the next question is, why do you want a career in that place in which you have to subscribe to their inequities? Because I tell people, if you're an employee for a school system that includes school officials, school decision makers, school teachers, if you know that there are inequities happening and you're an employer, employee, rather. And then you brag about the union maybe getting a higher salary, I will never celebrate you because you are benefiting from the inequities. you theoretically want justice. But as long as you keep a job and get paid, you're fine. Therefore I hold you accountable along with everyone else. I never allow people to do a pyramid scheme when it comes to oppression. I never allow people to tell me no Dr. Dennis, it's dumb. Well, that's this eternal thing that humans love to do. They love to point up to the sky to the dumb people at the top of the pyramid, right? That's the alien life form always tell people it's like movie Alien versus Predator. We're supposed to look up to the skies as eternal them. That's that's oppressing everyone. Right? They'll say it's a politician's blah, blah. I'm like, What do you think humans have done? uprisings, battles, fighting against oppressions for literally 1000s upon 1000s of years since humans have existed. Nothing can ever accomplish. If you always point up to the sky and say them. And people understand this when they celebrate Black people marching down streets talking about black lives. You celebrate that. But when black people are in your board meetings, your school meetings, then you're mad at us because we're telling you to challenge something. Don't just march with us. Don't just yell at police. Don't just yell at politicians. Be honest about what you're not doing in your daily life, but you're not doing at your job. So if people insist on talking about bias trainings, that could be a bias. People are biassed towards their paycheck, people are biassed towards not pissing off their family and friends and their co workers and their boss. That's their bias. People are biassed because they want to hold on to their white privilege and white power. They want to hold on to the cisgender man dominance. White women want to hold on to their ability to go on to oppressor side and the oppressed side when it's convenient. Able health people want to hold on to that power. Because they can hold on to that ableism. And when they find it convenient, they can talk about disability services. But when you do presentations for most schools, they'll ask you about changing bathroom access when talking about LGBTQA and disability, but a year later, they tend not to change anything, right? They'll pretend there's a financial problem. I always tell schools, you're the same as the government. You have the money if you want it, right. Yeah. So this is why I tell me you can talk about bias. But literally bias discussions and trainings are usually used to just distract from real changes, like the time that people use these trainings. That's why for 365Diversity, I do get work done workshops. I'm not gonna waste time y'all talking about bias, bring in some policies, and then we'll talk about how to do annual assessments of the policies, like it's part of the accreditation process, real changes, some real things going on.
But I think there's something interesting that you said there earlier on, and we're kind of going to circle back to it here is that idea of, you know, let's create a committee or let's create a board. And I have been part of those types of boards, board creation or committee creations. And one of the problems is, and maybe you can speak about this a little bit further, is the idea of tokenism. Oh, let's have a board or a committee of eight people, five of them are white men. You know, what we'll add the whatever the board is, we'll make sure that there's at least one woman represented, you know, one person of colour represented an LGBTQ plus person that's represented, you know, that kind of thing. And then it really ends up speaking to tokenism. And there's no, there's no real voice in that. I don't know if you want to speak to that a little bit.
Yeah, definitely. That's one. That's 100% tokenism. And when you call it out, they'll say we had no idea but they know. That's why I say again, we talked about bias. This is really about power. So people who are in positions of power, know what they have to do to keep that position of power. So if you're talking about race, that's white people. And we're talking about gender, that cisgender people, mostly men, but also women in that sense, anyone who could fit into that categorical powerful distinction there. And so people who want there to be a more inclusive place are usually added as tokens, meaning they're added, but they better not try to change anything. They also better not be too expressive to their identity. So like me as a black woman, I'm Pan African, and a lot of times white people will want me to come into the spaces but if I show up with my hair certain way or a dashiki or an Anch or anything that is too expressive, they're like okay, you No, don't scream too loud. They they want you to be this presence but A Silent Voice. And that also happens in every medical and health organisation suicide prevention groups. It literally happens everywhere that's controlled by the power majority. And another reason they do that is because of funding, they know that the funding is based on these places that are still going to be controlled by racial power, majorities, economic power majorities, education level upon majorities, health level power majorities, they know that most funds are not going to be given to minoritized groups. So what they want is that representation at the top, and so when people want to change schools, they will be added to a committee, because that's a silence tactic. It's happened to me when I've been on various committees as well, when you speak up, they're like, Well, we started this committee, what else do you want us to do? So it's literally like, it's kind of like a book club. You're just there. They don't expect to change any thing. And when you think something's going to change, you have odd deaths. So that's why I tell people no needs to be a very popular word. And we tell that to black women in particular, because they love to put us on committees board of directors, they'll put our name on stuff, because it's implied that if we agree, then no one should challenge it. Because that means it's awesome. That's happening. So that's why I always tell people don't put my name on anything unless I read, and I know exactly what you're doing.
Absolutely. And you do keep talking about the power of majority. And I just wonder, you know, from your perspective, how does this perpetuate social and educational stratification?
Yeah, so when we're talking about power draw as pertains to race as sociologists term colorblind racism, we talk about what it means when you pretend to be void of beliefs, you pretend to be void of power. So and this is most white people around the world will pretend that whiteness exists, but it really doesn't impact decision making capacity doesn't impact choices, the rest of us who are not white, we're told that not being white shakes everything like, like, literally, if I go to a coffee shop and order caramel macchiato, they're like a black woman orders this, you know, that's also representing the most data because a lot of times when people do research, they use white people as the comparison sample the standard, so how do we compare to white people. And that's like, whiteness is the neutrality there. And the same thing happens when gendered research happens, you compare to two men and mostly cisgender men. So that's just one thing that we always have to explain that it's similar to how research is conducted because people really come into this not really thinking about their identity, if their identity fits into the power, standard power, meaning I always explain this power. This means that you don't have to be wealthy, like a lot of powerful people are poor. They're not power, because of economics, their power, because when people see them, they will make a lot of good assumptions of them, they will assume that you're knowledgeable. And this happens a lot. When people challenge me, I have a PhD, but since I'm a black woman, I must know less than certain groups of people who might not know anything, but their power, majority identity as pertains to race and gender in particular, means that it's kind of like they're born just knowing stuff. And you say it out loud. Yes, it's laughable because it does not make sense. But that's 1000s of years of humans, we look at religion, when you look at health conditions, these are all different ways that humans have categorised. So, and you're familiar with Charles Tillys, Inequality by Design, talk about, you know, all these, we have all these different books and research, we're talking about categorical inequalities, the Fisher, et al book inequality by design. And I also explained this to people in terms of forms of capital. So you remember Nan Lin's book about the social capital, right? So we talked about human capital, social capital, cultural capital, these are all different ways that we think about how we have our own skill set how we learn this, how we're taught this since birth. How does culture come into it, which is the cultural capital part, which also ties into our demographic and cultural identities and experiences and a social capital was the networking. So that's what I do when I do presentations with students and with communities and teachers is I explained that literally, with whom Are we familiar? Who do we feel comfortable around? Who do we assume knows a lot and who do we assume does not know? And assuming people don't know can be very condescending, especially when the person has a minoritized identity. So that's how all of this shapes when we're talking about power. And so we always explain this to teachers. A lot of people want to be depicted as good teachers. But I always tell them, let's look at what you're teaching. And let's look at how you're interacting beyond smiles. Because smiles can be also very condescending. If you think there's certain demographics, so people are stupid. That's not a, let's learn to get a smile. That's a, I'm here to be your saviour smile. So that's how power is something that's important to explain. And some people will say, Well, that's a bias again, but I tell people, I mean, you can throw that word bias around if you really want to, but again, the next level has to be How are you going to change this? And, and what's the power that impacts people's beliefs into action? Because not everyone with beliefs can put it into action, right? Like, I tell people, you might hate somebody, but you can't fight them, for example, you might hate someone, but you can't get them fired from a job. That's the difference between what you're thinking and what you're able to do. So that's why the bias part, you can discuss it, but you have to say, Okay, everyone has bias, what's happening with outcome part?
And how would you recommend, you know, you've talked a lot about policies and, and, and, you know, putting those structures in place, and, and, you know, the power of majorities and all of that, but when it comes to sort of an individual, so from an individual perspective, and the wider community, so thinking about us from, you know, listeners out there, that are just coming in, you know, maybe they're, you know, listening just as part of their own self sort of directed education, listening to podcasts, educational podcasts, that type of thing. How would you suggest that we find as individuals, our voice to advocate support and protect people with, you know, underserved and minoritized identities and experiences? How would how would I do that as an individual, and, you know, that has that maybe represents, you know, I work, maybe I work part time for a living? You know, maybe I volunteer, you know, I have children who were in school, but I'm a stay at home parent, or, you know, these types of people who are coming from their own sort of independent backgrounds? How would you suggest that they advocate from an individual perspective?
Well, they have to first ask themselves, what do they want to advocate, then ask themselves, what are their own demographic and cultural identities. So there's not a universal approach to that, because I often have to tell people to spend less time on social media, unless they have a health condition that does not allow them to get out of bed, get out the couch or leave, I tell a lot of people to get off social media, because a lot of people have thought that doing a hashtag posting stuff on the internet is a voice. And, and also, a lot of people pretend they don't have the time to do this. So this is where demographics and cultures are relevant as well. Because if you're looking at it as pertains to white activism, it's very common for white people to claim they only have time for hashtags. And they don't know what to do, they need advice on what to do. But then exploiting that a lot of times, particularly white middle class, know what to do when the recycling bin is not getting picked up. They find the city's contact information on their own. And the post that on next door app or Twitter. So this is why I tell people they have to look inward and challenge themselves. What do they already know how to do, and they're afraid to do. And I say that because a lot of black people have tried to spend time explaining things to people. It used to be where I would send people readings and event lists and and then I just had to be honest, when I was doing free labour as a black woman, I wasn't even getting paid as a consultant. I was literally sending white people free stuff. Because why people kept coming to me saying that, Dennis, I don't know. And then I was like, You know what? You do know. You just kind of want what you want me to do is send you a bunch of stuff, then your claim you got busy and couldn't read it. It's that whole cycle and this is centuries long. And so this is why I tell people, you have to figure out what do you want to know? Why don't you already know it? Because most information is publicly accessible now. And what are you going to do? If I don't answer the question? Like, if I don't tell you anything are you now going to use me as an excuse to not do anything. And if that's the case, then you don't want to do anything in the first place. So this is why I was challenged adults. Because a lot of times young people are very proactive, they're like, I'm not sure what to do, but I'm gonna look this up, but grown adults oftentimes will do the tactic of pretending they don't have access to information, because they don't want to do anything anyway.
So I want to ask you, you know, I'm really enjoying this, this, the, you know, having the this, what I would say uncomfortable or difficult conversation, you know, which is good for change. And we talked a little bit earlier about that, um, you know, from a sociological perspective, you know, it's critical, you know, you and I both know that, you know, sociology is a, you know, it's about those social relationships, and everybody should have an understanding of, of sociology, and even general sociological concepts, just because we all are our participants in it, the minute you walk out your door and interact with another human being, you are participating in, you know, sociological constructs, sociological, you know, it's all about relationship.
I really want people to focus on demanding real life, evidence, real life changes. So that the issue now with COVID-19 schools going back in session, they're the health department's in cities, every city, in every state is not providing factual information to people. They're saying, we'll let you whatever the school let you know what they decide. So therefore, people are not being given information. But then people say, and this includes faculty and staff and colleges, universities, they're complaining, but I say, do you all not understand the difference between theory and real life? Like every day, they will talk about theories like theoretical uprisings of the establishment, they'll teach this, they'll talk about, you know, oppressed people, uprising, but you're sitting in the classroom, man, why don't you do an uprising? Decision makers, schools, government, medical and health professionals, they don't change anything if you're going to comply regardless. So I tell people, if you are an employee for K through 12, if you're an employee for college university, even if you don't have a union, you have to really think about a cost benefit analysis here. Do you have a support system? Do you have some money that you've built up gotten on the job market so that you can tell these people No, I'm not showing up. And we're not just talking about these teachers who have decided to leave the job during COVID. These schools have been horrible for generations, I always tell people like you're mad at your school. Now, the curriculum has always been horrible. You tolerated the curriculum. You taught white version of history forever, right? You maybe added a couple of books in there, but you still kept the main topic. So you're, you're not really angry now. Because a COVID is just that COVID is the deal breaker because you used excuses stuff, your whole career to tolerate everything else. So this is why I tell people, what are your deal breakers? Like, if the problems with just school for generations weren't the deal breakers? Okay? Is COVID-19 okay, if you don't have deal breakers, the decision makers aren't going to care about you. You're literally going to be there regardless. Students are going to be there regardless. You want us to protest and marched down streets, but you don't know what it means to boycott schools. You're like, well, we can get in trouble with the law. Okay, so that's another example of being controlled by the government. Why do people claim America is this freedom liberation base place, but then you feel like you have to basically die to comply. Why I don't celebrate American flag chants and songs. I don't do that. But people oftentimes get mad at me that I don't. You're mad at me that I don't celebrate America, but now you're mad at America. You love America, and therefore America's gonna treat you however. Same thing applies to schools, if you're going to be there regardless, they're going to do regardless of what you say. Because you're going to show up frowning and crying but you're still going to be there. So this is where I hold people accountable in communities and families, school employees. Why do they have faith in these decision makers? Change your mind, eventually,
people are conforming out of fear. You know, they're they have a fear. So I don't know why people, you know, why are you afraid to step forward and to make change and to be, you know, to be part of of change? And I think it's because of this, this idea that they're more fearful of losing their job, or they're more fearful of what might change for them individually. If they try to, you know, step out, and I'm not making an excuse in any way, shape or form for that. But that I think, I think the big issue is, is that people are or, oh, yeah, I don't like the way that's done. And, you know, I think that this should, you know, there should be more conversation about, you know, this is what's being taught in the classroom. But there there needs to be that wider conversation about what what's missing in the, in that curriculum, what's missing, and people are like, Well, yeah, okay, I agree with you. But I'm not willing to take that step. Because I am more fearful about what might change for me, then what might change better for the society or better for our community or better for our education system? Yeah.
And so I was thinking about COVID, specifically, but it does tie to curriculum as well, right? Because people do have to determine what is the deal breaker. Because we have centuries, particularly in a Western Hemisphere, of uprisings. Before Karl Marx even existed that people keep citing, right? We've had Africans black people doing uprisings. Asians, doing uprisings against white people who took over this land. The uprisings are not always well organised, meaning, it's not always going to be this meeting in which everyone agrees, yes, there will be people who snitch on you. But I really want adults now to understand whether it's curriculum problems, whether it's dealing with COVID-19. This is not theoretical. So that's why I tell people critical race theory. Okay, you you like a theory or you don't like a theory, I don't care either way. Now, let's talk about real life. Because a lot of times people say, Well, you want to join our book club? No, I'm really not a fan of book clubs. I really think they're distractions from changes and actions. People need to ask themselves, what are they going to do? To not just speak out about the problems, but to say, I will not comply?
and back change?
Yeah, not comply and during COVID-19, that's something that's more immediate regarding health. But even if COVID-19 gets more controlled in upcoming years, are you going to go back to complying to the curriculum now? I tell people to always be on the job market. Because every employer, and this also ties, we're talking about economics and specific capitalism, but overall exploitation of labour. Which by the way, being wealthy does not mean you have to become a millionaire. And it does not mean you have to exploit people. Capitalism is about exploitation, not just making money, right? I always tell people, if your employer knows you're loyal, and you're just there, and you have no other options, they literally will keep doing the same thing to harm you. Because Where are you going to go? I explained this to teachers, that if you're and school counsellors like everyone.
Yeah, complacency is a killer.
Yeah, like families and communities need to understand that if this school know that they're the only school within walking distance, and you don't have public transportation, they're going to be the worst. Because they know that you're going to have to be there. Even when there's mould in the AC units, when there's no heat, when there's mould in the paint with lead in it, that should not be legally allowed. They're going to know that if they eventually get caught, it's going to become a news story. It's going to become an investigation, but nobody's going to care about your health and if you die. So this is why I always tell people that non compliance is going to be considered unprofessional. You're going to be considered non collaborative, you're going to be accused of not seeing the larger picture. Of course, you know, they need to convince you that now that's the whole foundation of getting compliance so that people can be the egg. The ants following up with the egg to the anthill noncompliant ants are killed and they're just part of the stash. And I keep telling people that that's what most people are taught to be their entire lives. You comply you can complain while you comply but you're still complying. And if you do not comply, you're criticised by the people who you thought were also complaining along with you. You got to remember a lot of people are complaining more theoretically they might be releasing the negative emotions with you, but they're not really thinking about making some changes. So when you actually start making changes, you have the audacity. And so I want more school decision makers, more teachers, more families and more communities to have the audacity because like, literally in every city, every state across the nation, there are people who are playing about the same thing. And when I've done presentations with teachers, they pretend not to know teachers elsewhere. Like, how can you possibly brag about joining these teacher organisations and attending conferences, and then when you tell are told to make changes, you pretend not to know teachers elsewhere, you literally had lunch at a conference two months ago. So I will stop there. But that's just my I just explained this because I really want people to understand the difference between not having options, and having options, but being afraid, or whatever the case may be to not take those options. Those are two different things that people learn their entire life to pretend are the same thing to make excuses. So that's all I'm saying.
And that is absolutely great way, you know, to sort of, actually naturally and organically wind up our conversation. I just have actually one final question for you. What do you hope that someone who visits 365Diversity? Um, what do you hope that they'll take? What's the like, the very first thing that you hope that they'll take from visiting your website,
although we'll have some infor information, read some ideas, some previous podcasts also. And for themselves, personally and professionally, depending on their field of expertise as well. They can think of what do they want to change for themselves? And I don't do like people oftentimes say, What books should I read? Humans have trillions of books. Do you really want another book to read, people? I really want y'all to do some changes. Like don't just throw book page citations that people when people are talking about the horrors of the world, the horrors of your school? And you're like, Well, yeah, page four, so and so I don't care about page four. So I really want people to, if they go to my website, they can just be motivated that there actually are people who are confused. They're angry. They want to save their career and their jobs. So they don't want to quit everything, right, because we can't quit everything. But they want realistic options. And this is also why I tell people, This is where you have to really be honest, because you can't complain about your school. And then next month surprise, the school officials award you, they give you some kind of teacher's award. And you have to realise they do that for a reason, right? Here's my hint, you get teachers awards, to not only celebrate you, but to give you an incentive to stay there and stop complaining, just let you know, in case you don't know, it's the same thing as any employee award. It's like, it's like Walmart, Amazon, giving people employee awards, after news stories have talked about how they harm employees and stuff like that. So this is where I want school employees to understand that schools are the same harm as every other employer. So when you go to my website, I really just want people to get rid of that hierarchy of occupations that they've been brainwashed their entire life to have. Like, I'm a teacher, I don't work in that industrial labour that you work. I'm a teacher, I'm not a secretary. And guess what? The employer, the insurance, the lawyers working for your employer, they see you're all the same way. So I want you if you go to 365Diversity, my website, I want you to get rid of this hierarchy thing that you've been taught to do. Also, based on formal education, just because you have a master's degree or something, PhD that now you're just more awesome, and you're treated better, you're not even with higher salary, the people who hired you have higher salary than you. And so I just want people to really be motivated to find other options, so that they don't feel trapped because you can't complain about being trapped, but you comply with being trapped. It can't coexist. But then you're teaching children for example, about ways to choose good life decisions. You're not doing that. So why you teach it? So I'm just challenging folks. You can have nightmares about it. That's fine, but I really want you to really think what are some things realistically you can do that won't ruin your whole life and you can contact me anyone can contact me with questions. And you can also hire me if your school actually really is changing curriculum stuff, if they really want to do it not theoretically, I'm not going to do just a training to define racism and sexism. If you really want to change some stuff, let me know.
And I'd like that I really, really love that the name of your, your website, and the name of your programme, if you will, you know, that 365Diversity, because it really resonates that idea of, you know, at least from my perspective, you know, nobody's asking all of us to, to actually change everything in a 24 hour period or in a day. But if we can make one change, and then progress on that each day, for 365 days, imagine the change that could happen if you just, you know, decided to just change one thing a day, you know, make one simple change in individually or part of your professional career, you know, that type of thing. If you could just make one change a day, imagine the possibilities in 365 days.
Yeah. And just also know that when you change something, there's somebody waiting for you to change it, they can change it back. That's how schools operate. That's how businesses operate. That's how medical and health organisations have facilities operate. That's how politicians government operate. When changes happen. What they want is for people to celebrate the change and not check for follow up. Like, I'm from Richmond, Virginia, the statues being removed, what they want is for us, particularly black people, but everyone to celebrate, and not ask where's the funds coming from? Who are you sending this bill to, because it wasn't free to remove it? Well, we know that money is going to be taken from somewhere, and it's going to disproportionately impact black people in Richmond, my motto is to discuss diversity daily, not we took the diversity training, I'm not here to take everyone at lunch, we can hug it out. I'm literally here to make sure we make changes and do annual follow ups to make sure these changes are not being changed again, to take it back to where it started.
And you know what I really do appreciate the difficult conversations and the challenges that you presented for us today. Thank you so much Kimya for being a guest on my podcast. And I'm hoping for so many I know for myself, you know, just just having that real eye opening conversation and establishing that relationship with, you know, these difficult conversations. So thanks so much.
I hope that you've enjoyed this discussion on A Dash of SaLT, a space where you'll always find fresh and current discussions on society and learning today. Season with just the right touch of experts in education and a dash of sociological imagination. Please be sure to like and share this episode. And don't forget to subscribe to A Dash of SaLT on PodBean, so that you don't miss the next episode. Thanks so much and we'll chat again soon.