Joel interviewed on the Learning UNLOCKED podcast

As a director, I’m most comfortable behind the camera. I enjoy interviewing people, asking questions and drawing out their stories. So, it was with a good deal of anxiety that I accepted the invitation to be interviewed on the Learning Unlocked podcast, sponsored by OpenSesame.

You can hear the 26-minute interview here or wherever you listen to podcasts – search for Learning UNLOCKED.

https://go.opensesame.com/learning-unlocked-podcast-joel-lesko

I was nervous when I dialed in for the recording but host Brian Berger put me at ease right away by reminding me that this will be out there on the worldwide inter-web forever…. Just joking. Brian really is a pro. He has over 17 years experience as an interviewer and host. His main gig is the Sport PR Summit where he’s interviewed celebrity athletes and owners, including Jack Nicklaus, NBA commissioners, Mark Cuban, and hundreds more.

With Brian’s first question, we plunged into a conversation about my work at SunShower Learning developing diversity, equity and inclusion programs. It morphed into a broader discussion of what diversity, equity and inclusion are and what we’re asking of people when we work with them around DEI topics. We are inviting people to explore their inner worlds – who they are with regards to race, ethnicity, culture, for example, and how they might have been conditioned through their education, family, religion, social media interests… and how that conditioning shaped them in their views and assumptions about people who are different from them.

In our Workshops via Zoom and the online unconscious bias e-Learning course, education around DEI is not like learning how to use PowerPoint or how to be safe with a piece of machinery. As Dr. Derald Wing Sue likes to say, “DEI work requires each of us to ask who we are as racial and cultural beings, what are the forces that shaped us and what privileges has society given us or denied us.” It’s important, deep and it takes time.

Brian asked me about microaggressions and our e-Learning course – what are microaggressions? I shared Dr. Sue’s definition that microaggressions are the everyday slights, insults, putdowns and invalidations and offensive behaviors that people of marginalized groups experience in their daily interactions with people who are generally well-intentioned – but are unaware of their impact. I’m glad Brian gave me the chance to define microaggressions because there’s a lot of misunderstanding. “Where are you from?” “You’re so articulate.” “I don’t see color.” These are all covered in the Disarming Microaggressions course.

Towards the end, Brian asked me about the power of stories to effect change. I could talk for hours about this! I shared about feelings and emotions as deep motivators for change and, well, hold on – you’ll have to listen to hear the rest! I hope you enjoy the conversation – please let me know what you think!

More From Our Blog…

Microaggressions… We have a lot to Learn

Microaggressions… We have a lot to Learn

To be human is to be flawed, but our struggles have the remarkable potential to transform us.  By addressing our mistakes and remaining open to learning, we broaden our understanding, increase our empathy and build our capacity to do better the next time. ...

read more
Focus on DEIB to Thrive During the “Great Resignation”

Focus on DEIB to Thrive During the “Great Resignation”

The “Great Resignation” continues along its historic path with 47.8 million workers quitting their jobs in 2021, which represented a record-setting average of nearly 4 million each month.  As of March 2022, 8.6 million people quit their jobs this year. ...

read more
How To Be an Ally in the Workplace

How To Be an Ally in the Workplace

Article written by Gina Miller: Gina Miller has committed herself to social justice for over a decade through her writing and community activism.  She and her husband have led educational programs, service projects, dialogue workshops, blogs and rallies through...

read more
SunShower is a Communicator Award winner

SunShower is a Communicator Award winner

The 21-Day Plan for Disarming Microaggressions with Dr. Derald Wing Sue has been selected by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts to be recognized as a Communicator Award winner!  It’s a wonderful honor and we’re thrilled that this online,...

read more
Toxic behavior that affects morale and retention

Toxic behavior that affects morale and retention

I came across an article in Fast Company (LINK) by Melinda Briana Epler, the author of How to Be an Ally: Actions You Can Take for a Stronger, Happier, Workplace. Melinda makes many excellent points about microaggressions and non-verbal bullying. She writes about the...

read more
Wait, was that a microaggression?

Wait, was that a microaggression?

I just discovered a new online encyclopedia of microaggressions. It lists specific examples of microaggressions and debriefs why they are harmful. Check out Micropedia here. I found it to be very interesting and useful. Micropedia lists microaggressions pertaining to...

read more
25 Stories About Racial Microaggressions At School

25 Stories About Racial Microaggressions At School

BuzzFeed asked its readers to share stories of racial microaggressions when they were in school. The response is published in the article, People Of Color Are Sharing Their Experiences With Racial Microaggressions In School, And Honestly, None Of These Stories Should...

read more