The Mindful Midlife Crisis

Episode 55--Anti-Racist Conversations with White People with Jesse Ross

April 20, 2022 Billy & Brian Season 5
The Mindful Midlife Crisis
Episode 55--Anti-Racist Conversations with White People with Jesse Ross
Show Notes

Billy talks to Jesse Ross, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, executive coach, and international speaker who has delivered over 400 speaking engagements at colleges, conferences, corporate and nonprofit companies, with a large number of those being Fortune 500 companies including LinkedIn, General Mills, and the NBA.  

Jesse offers trainings, workshops, evaluations, assessments, and strategy development for schools, businesses, and organizations. Jesse has been engaging his audience with his Morning Minute calls-to-action on his Instagram and LinkedIn page since before our world went into civil unrest. 

He is here today to talk about his diversity and inclusion work as well as the anti-racist conversations he has with white men and white women each week, which you can sign up for here. 

Billy asks Jesse:
--You alternate hosting anti-racist conversations with white men and  white women each week. What differences do you hear in those conversations (if any)?
--How do you get in front of people who would benefit from engaging in anti-racist dialogue in a way that doesn’t activate a fight/flight/fright response from them?  Or is that just simply impossible?
--You've mentioned that at times you feel like you’re put in a position to answer on behalf of all of Black America during interviews/conversations around race, and my theory on why people do that is because we’re oftentimes looking for just one solution to a complex issue without having to dissect the nuances of human behavior because then we can cling to an opinion that suits our narrative.  How do you help people see these nuances during your sessions/conversations?
--What are some examples you’ve seen lately of good-intentioned white people being tone-deaf when it comes to issues within the Black community?
--You've talked about “navigating white spaces.  What is that experience like for you and what is that experience like for the people of color you talk to that someone like me might take for granted.
--You've talked about asking a few people of a community to get a better understanding if you're unsure about how something might sound so you don’t do damage or come off as tone deaf,” so here’s my question to you:  we started this podcast to normalize conversations around mental health.  Through our research, the data from the AFSP shows that middle-aged white men have the highest rate of suicide, and white males account for 70% of all suicides.  We  want to be mental health advocates and focus on this demographic because we’re members of this demographic.  How would you suggest we package that messaging so that we don’t come off as tone deaf?

Like what you heard from Jesse Ross?  Contact him using the links above!

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