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Business with Purpose


Dec 22, 2021

My guest this week is Bethaney Wilkinson, a facilitator, author, and champion of race-conscious leadership. She has dedicated more than a decade to exploring the intersections of community, racial justice, and social change—specifically in the organizational context.

In her work with business and non-profits, she co-designs and facilitates learning and culture-shaping experiences for teams. As part of her work in diversity and cultural change, Bethaney is an invited speaker at major conferences and top global companies.

She is host of the popular podcast, The Diversity Gap, and is the founder of The Diversity Gap Community, an online learning platform for leaders seeking to pair their good intentions for diversity with true cultural change.

9:29 – Bethaney 101

  • She is a facilitator and racial justice educator who helps teams be more supportive of diverse groups of people.

10:14 – What led to her passion?

  • She ended up doing the work after trying to support people in her community.
  • She wanted to fill the gaps and help people work together.

12:41 – Challenges organizations faced

  • One of the biggest challenge was many leaders go-to action was let me diversify my team and board.
  • That intention was positive, but they weren’t asking If their culture supported diversity.

14:38 – Media hype versus real change

  • If you’re not experiencing the harmful effects of racism, it is very easy to turn it on and off.
  • Think of it like an iceberg. What you see is diversity, and most people stop there. Below the water is where actual transformation and reconciliation happens.

19:53 – Creating culture change

  • Culture is the stories we tell ourselves – who is the victim and who is the hero?
  • Focus on values, the ways you behave and what you prioritize.

26:03 – Fear of making mistakes

  • You will say the wrong thing, and you will do the wrong thing. After you get over that hump, the real work is being willing to receive feedback.

31:15 – Receive feedback

  • A good lesson for any leader is to be able to receive feedback.

37:22 – Get to know you

  • Best concert she’s ever attended? Rising Appalachia

FEATURED QUOTES

Do you want to do the hard work it takes to maintain that relationship?

How are we willing to change to adapt to actually serve people who we’re not practiced at serving?

If you’re not experiencing the harmful effects of racism, it is very easy to turn it on and off.

You will say the wrong thing, and you will do the wrong thing. After you get over that hump, the real work is being willing to receive feedback.

CONNECT WITH BETHANEY:

https://www.bethaneywilkinson.com/

About Bethaney Wilkinson: 

Bethaney is a writer, leader, and social entrepreneur who has dedicated more than a decade to exploring the intersections of community, racial justice, and social change. Bethaney began her career as co-founder of Atlanta Harvest, a high-production development farm on a mission to create jobs and strengthen economies in disadvantaged communities. She then founded G.Race Dialogues, a faith and community-based initiative designed to support individuals and organizations pursuing racial reconciliation. Bethaney expanded her research and broadened her reach after joining the team at Plywood People, a non-profit in Atlanta leading a community of startups doing good. As part of her work in diversity and cultural change, Bethaney is an invited speaker at major conferences and top global companies. She is host of the popular podcast, The Diversity Gap, and is the founder of The Diversity Gap Academy, an online learning platform for leaders seeking to pair their good intentions for diversity with true cultural change.

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