Berklee Hosts Open Dialogues on Inclusion

Allen Bush
March 29, 2018

The Office of Faculty Development and the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted the first in a series of open dialogues aimed at furthering Berklee’s goal of inclusion and respect for all of its members. Moving Forward: A Speaker Series on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was held at the Berklee Performance Center Thursday, March 29.

Jamie Washington, president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group, a multicultural organizational development firm in Baltimore, and president of the Social Justice Training Institute, told the assembled students, faculty, and staff that his life’s work is creating inclusion in the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death 50 years ago.

“I am here to help prepare the next generation of leaders who can lead within, across, and about differences,” he said. “Diversity is more than race, and more than black and white. But, you can’t be an effective leader unless you do race. We need to create greater inclusion, and allow all identities to matter—gender, color, age, secularism, class, and sexual orientation.”

Maura Cullen is the author of 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say to Widen the Diversity Gap and an acclaimed diversity trainer who has educated people worldwide on how to be more authentic when communicating with others. She is also associated with the Social Justice Training Institute as the founding faculty member.

“Imagine a lifetime of feeling hurt by words, jokes, and labels. Microaggressions can stack up and become problematic for people. They can create an explosion or implosion when we treat people as a stereotype. We could do better in trying to understand one another. As a white person, ask friends of color, ‘What don’t I see?’ As a woman, ask a man the same question. Commit yourself to becoming more understanding.”