From the Podcast Archives: A Conversation with Leadership Coach Beth Napleton

Welcome back to the Cultural Curriculum Chat. I am so excited to share with you my discussion with Beth Napleton, leadership coach, consultant and founder of Beth Napleton Consulting. Beth offers senior leaders in education and mission-driven organizations a clear path to excellence through individual executive and group coaching experiences. She is a national award-winning educator and has been in the field for over 2 decades, having trained over 1,800 teachers and leaders to success.

 

About Beth Napleton

Beth grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, where she experienced a mostly white and Catholic environment. In her childhood and beyond, she found herself relying on reading as a form of escapism into other cultures and histories of the world. She began to feel like there was so much more out there in the world than her current space at the time, and it became her entry into multicultural education, which she would pursue later on.

 

As she made her way into college, she immersed herself in American Studies, “focusing on what Dr. King called ‘the art gap,’ righting the ways things maybe are and ought to be,” she says. Beth began to feel as though it was where she belonged and that there was no better environment for this than in the classroom. So, she joined Teach for America and became an educator in the Washington Heights Community in New York City when she began her career. 

Beth’s Education Experiences

Beth happily touches on her teaching experiences, saying that when she started teaching in communities with 90% of her students being immigrants from the Dominican Republic, the largest community of Dominican students outside of the capital of DAR at that time. She started to notice how hard it was for students within the Washington Heights community versus her sister, who had a more rigorous education at the time and how the odds of being able to get into a good college, SAT scores or even medical school were a lot harder and a bigger hill to climb for those at Washington Heights and how backgrounds, family income and other factors affect education where it shouldn’t.

 

Since then, Beth has tried throughout her career to right the wrongs of the system, advocating for children and the education and experiences that they should be entitled to and not shooed away because of their family’s income or lack thereof. Beth recognized the tremendous gap in experiences for students based on their backgrounds alone and how problematic it has become. 

 

The Role of Teachers

Similar to my thoughts, Beth understands the need for more diversity within a classroom. Not every book that is read should be from a non-POC author. Dive from Dominican authors, and don’t stop there. Go to Asia, Australia, and Egypt; take your kids somewhere they’ve never been before through the literature you introduce them to and teach. Help them understand how big the world can be. 

 

Beth’s Advice

Beth reflects on her experience working with a charter school in rural North Carolina, where she watched her students grow as the years went on, which impacted her greatly. Her advice to young teachers, they think they’ll experience the gratification of teaching for one, two or three years when teaching but it comes after that when your students are alumni and come back from high school or college, and you find them working alongside you. Beth says, “This is really when you feel that sense of fullness or completion and the arc of development and the interconnectedness of life and all the magic of it”

 

If you want to learn more about Beth, her website is bethnapleton.com which includes resources, videos, blogs and more.

 

Thank you so much for listening to this installment of the Cultural Curriculum Chat. If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, subscribe to my YouTube channel at Mrs. Edmunds’ Cultural Corner for more podcasts, videos, and other multicultural and educational content. 


See you next time!

 

Learn more about Beth Napleton here:

Website:  https://www.bethnapleton.com/
Take her leadership quiz: https://bethnapleton.involve.me/leadershipquiz

Instagram: @beth.napleton

Listen to our Podcast interview below: 

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1495555/13288453

Three Free Ways of Understanding DEI

Are you struggling with the concepts of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) without emptying your wallet? Here are three FREE resources for you:

Podcasts

Podcasts are a great resource for anything, whether for informative or entertainment purposes, and DEI is no exception for multicultural education content. My own podcast, The Cultural Curriculum Chat, is one of many podcasts that focus on the subject of DEI. Don’t be afraid to research and find BIPOC podcast hosts like me who resonate with you to give you a more whole, authentic perspective.

Journalism

Understanding your feelings and the role of DEI in anti-racism and social justice takes time, and this is where journaling is a great resource. Understanding the journey you begin in incorporating DEI and where you’re going is essential in taking up this work. So when you have an idea or a spark, remember to write it down somewhere.

My Free Workshop: 3 Massive Mistakes to Avoid When Learning About DEI

I have conducted a workshop to help those just like you who may not know where to start or struggle to understand DEI. I also understand companies’ biggest mistakes when implementing DEI efforts and provide actionable solutions to avoid them. I understand how overwhelming you may feel entering this space, but these tips are here to help you get the ball rolling and take action in ways that won’t cost you a single cent. 

If you’re looking to hear more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, check out my YouTube channel at Mrs. Edmunds’ Cultural Corner.

Last, I have also conducted a free workshop titled  3 Massive Mistakes to Avoid When Learning about DEI. Our workshop is designed to help you understand companies’ biggest mistakes when implementing DEI efforts and provide actionable solutions to avoid them. There’s no way to be overwhelmed in this process, but I can understand how you might feel that way. These tips can help you get the ball rolling in taking action that doesn’t cost you a dime.

 

The Kindest Red Book Review

  

 My name is Jebeh Edmunds, and welcome to my blog if you’re new here. I’m an educator and love sharing my insights on Multicultural Education. 

Speaking of sharing, got to love that segue. I am so excited. I have created. A self-paced, self-guided digital course title. How to be a culturally competent leader. You’ll have four weeks of self-paced work, quick, 15-minute videos, and a couple bonus podcast episodes. 

And a digital guidebook and a certificate that shows all your hard work. This is something that I created and that will help you in your busy life. Understand our diverse society. What to say, what not to say, what to read up on, and with this guidebook, you get to journal and self-reflect with the prompts I have for you. So there’s more information in the show notes below. 

Be sure to check it out here: 

https://jebeh-edmunds.mykajabi.com/offers/LMwntaji/checkout

    

It is so important that we read authors from diverse backgrounds to better understand their cultures. Their traditions and understanding them as human beings, especially in our daily lives. So I wanted to share with you another great title. The Kindest Red was written by Ibtihaj Muhammed and S K Ali. 

Art by Hatem Ali and Ibtihaj Taj wrote a book that I showcased last year. Titled The Proudest Blue, and this is her second, don’t quote a second story from this dynamic team; it follows these sister characters and their journey.

 Now the premise of this story, I don’t want to give away too much. But it talks about these two sisters, again, Faizah and Asiya. And they’re getting ready for picture day. Of these two sisters, Faizah has a hijab on, and, Asiyah doesn’t have one yet. But she is rocking her red dress. And what I love about this story is that it talks about how our educators write about what they would love for our students with these open. 

Questions of what would you like to see the world? As educators, we are eager to write down all our students’ responses and try to get as many answers as possible on our boards. So what I love about this book, it parallels that excitement; it parallels children in their minds of what they view the world as should be. 

And how they would feel in that world. I really want you to talk about this book with your students. It has excellent references to representation. Ms. Ramirez is the educator. So you have a teacher of color and a very diverse classroom. And you see the similar games that you probably grew up in elementary school playing tag. 

And solving problems and talking things through. The tradition of picture day and the excitement behind picture day in elementary school, especially. Um, yeah, my youngest son wore his Phy Ed uniform for picture day. So yeah, I wasn’t pleased about that. 

But this talks about the excitement of picture day. And the choice of color and being oneself. How. The color red makes you feel and how you would like the world to portray you. And. What I love about these two sisters and their bond. Faizah has always looked out for her little sister. But it also showcases how everyone else looks out for each other. And that is the goal of an educator in their classroom community.  

 I just remember being that. Little black girl in my elementary school and getting excited about a new dress. My mom got me and my hair done. Just that pride of me in this particular grade every single year. 

And, you know, smiling big and also that boost of confidence. 

 Everybody helping you feel like your best self is an excellent illustration of how this little girl’s world wants to be like an Asiyah. 

 If a person only knows. People of a particular cultural group, especially the Islamic community. , need to continue to educate themselves more. The negative biases are kept at bay on these diverse characters and their attributes. Everyone can relate to picture day when we’re looking at these stories. Especially at school, everyone can relate to playing at recess. Everyone can relate to solving problems together and writing what our view is. 

Points of what we see and writing our hopes for the future of what we would like to see our world. I remember when I taught, we had an extensive list of our hopes and dreams our personal. And community goals in the classroom. So these are just some excellent examples of The Kindest Red. I highly recommend it. 

This book is perfect for Kindergarten to Third grade, and I even enjoyed The Proudest Blue. I highly recommend both titles if you want to have both in your classroom library or even in your home library collection. They both have a charming message. And also showcases and validates the Muslim American experience. 

That’s all that I have for you today. Just a quick, short episode. Have a really great book. The Kindest Red, written by Ibtihaj Muhammed. And S K Ali illustrated by Hatem. Ali, check it out. 

Cultures of Belonging Book Review

Another great book for your professional development is titled Cultures of Belonging: Building Inclusive Organizations That Last by Alida Miranda-Wolff

When we are talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Belonging is the next step of sustainability. In your DEI work, Alida just really crafts this in a way where she talks and walks you through what belonging actually looks like? She even goes further into who the stakeholders in your organization are and how you can get from point “A

To point B”. No pun intended. When I’m talking about being and belonging. So one of my most important things is when you’re talking about inclusion, you really have to get to that foundational piece of what it means to include and trust me, people that look like me and other BIPOC
folks, we can see the BS from a mile away.

So make sure you have the best intentions authentically, and Ali’s book will help you walk through that. When we’re talking about cross-cultural connections and building them stronger, she talks about. To make your own onboarding team. As you can see, I’ve got things dog-eared, and I’ve referenced her work because it is so well done in my own research, and she also talks about people who could resist this movement in your organization.

Remember, there’s gonna be a lot of push. When you have some folks, but if you talk about them and the buy-in and why it’s important to have everybody feel culturally and psychologically safe, they’ll get on board. And this book is a tool to get you there. As I said, it really does showcase the leader’s work in how you.

Definitely work with her research findings with her ethos work, as well as think about the policies you already have in place and how to audit it to make them more inclusive, so people feel like they belong in your workplace. She does definitely walk the walk in this book. Be sure to order her book wherever books are sold.

I found this online. As I said, it was even printed in 2021. So this is the most cutting-edge research-based book you can find to help sustain your thriving organization. Remember that I’ll send you a new find in this multicultural educational space every week. That’s all that I have for you today. Have a great one

Bella the Scientist Goes to Outer Space Book Review

I cannot wait to share my passion for another fantastic multicultural educational read, and today I can’t wait to share with you all. It is titled Bella, the Scientist goes to Outer Space. It’s written by Silvana and Isabella Spence, her daughter, and it’s illustrated by Darwin Marfil.

I love this book because it talks about two sisters, Bella and Vicky, and Bella and Vicky have this love and passion for all things science. And the cool thing about it is that these two sisters go on an adventure, and they’re trying to find different roles for other scientists out there.

I love the illustrations and how it shows these beautiful African American girls and their natural hair. And it also talks about looking over a list of various sciences you could become. Savannah and Isabella do an excellent job in these girls venturing into outer space. I’m not gonna give away too much because I want you to get this book, and it even talks about the planets in actual scientific facts.

So your students can also get involved in taking notes and, Oh, a teacher’s dream. Of course, cause you know, US educators love extra resources at the end of this book. She even has a rocket vinegar experiment. So you and your grownup at home, educators, can do this in the science lab at school to take this book to another level. Another cool thing is that she even talks about the scientific method in the book, as well as using the scientific method alongside your rocket vinegar experiment.

Love it. Love it, love it, love it. Keeping that going and having those fun facts about the solar system are also included at the end of this book. So I can’t wait to share more. Silvana is a fantastic educator that I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing on my podcast. She and her do extraordinary adventures throughout Florida in that love and passion for science and experience.

Ms. Silvana Spence. Another favorite educator of mine, I will have in my notes and description below all things you can do to purchase this book wherever books are sold, as well as follow this excellent educator’s journey in her classroom on Instagram. You can follow Sil’s journey below and order her book here: https://silsteps4success.com/

Just Like Me Book Review

Another great Vanessa Brantley Newton book is called Just Like Me, and this title is really a book of her poems, and it is very self-affirming with students. She really captures self-confidence. She’s got titles like I Am a Canvas. The day I decided to become sunshineWarrior. That’s a really good one.

 Altogether, girls talk about being proud of their bodies and even pimples that come into the mix. She has a poem titled  City and Country Dreams, and the duplicity about it talks about young girls having friendships, bonds, dreams, and ambitions.

Being ourselves in the poem Weird that’s one of my favorite ones. There are so many great poems here. She really does capture things down to detail. You can even see newspaper print on the bottom of the drums. She’s got down to the stitching, ah, Meemaw’s MA’s wisdom.

Also, another favorite poem is titled Memawh’s Wisdom, thinking about your own elder and having those face-to-face conversations and the bond you have. Everybody’s Memaw is unique and kind, and it just brings back fond memories, talks about feelings, and is one of my favorite ones. Like I tell you, I have them all.

 But even sharing the poems,  Hair and My Crown. It’s just beautifully done. And what I love, this last one, that culminates everyone together, is called paper chains and how it talks about everybody uniting together. We can only do it once everyone joins, once we are all invited.

Won’t you be a link in our paper chain for the change end quote? Beautifully done. Vanessa. And remember to share and subscribe so I can share more books like these with you.

Get this book, Just Like Me, by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Wherever books are sold. There is a lot of great content that you and your students can analyze in your poetry units. So be sure to check it out. You know you’re gonna love it.

Everyday MAGIC Book Review

Hello everyone. I can’t wait to share another excellent book for Personal Development written by Mattie James, influencer extraordinaire. The title of her first debut book is Everyday Magic, The Joy of Not Being Everything, and Still Being More Than Enough. This is a beautiful personal development book, and in this book, I really love how she. Her message of MAGIC into her own acronym, and it means meaningful, aesthetically pleasing, goal-oriented, intentional, and consistent. How Mattie lays this book out, its efficient strategies, and the system you can do and elevate it into a new task.

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed. , even our to-do list has a to-do list. And how Maddie crafts this book makes you think about the people you’re serving daily, your family, your work, and your children. And I quote, think about the ideas that matter for herself, her family, home, life, and work.

And she says, the ideas that are meaningful to me, or someone who matters to me. And that is the goal that she’s going to take. And that’s a goal that we all can take. Maddie is a successful mother and influencer and c e o of her own business, and this book shows a culmination of her tips and tricks. On her Instagram, as well as all of her other social media platforms of practical strategies from fashion and how you dress in your go-to Blazer.

I even have my go-to Blazer and even meal planning for the week. So many of us have these big ideas and what we’re gonna do, and then we end up getting stuck by our fridge, right? So what I really want you to do is think about your prior. While you’re reading alongside this book, think about what you can do to make those magical changes.

See my little pun there and also contribute to it. Finding things to get rid of. Start to find prune things that are just taking up space. Taking up space in your mind, closet, or home life.

When you’re starting off a new year and starting a new plan, think about those things that matter. And I really love that. Mattie talks about her family life, her husband and beautiful children, her traditions with her parents, and their rituals. Saturday evenings with their family traditions and how she ties that into her new generation.

I can’t tell you enough. This book is such a great read. Anybody can read this book and put this book into practice, and she lets you take that breath. 

Thank you, Maddy. Girl, you let us take that breath because sometimes when we’re in the thick of it, you know, me as a brand new entrepreneur, working, you know, on my own, raising a family as a wife, and trying to deliver and do all the things, this book maps it out just perfectly. I’m going to have to buy a new charcuterie board. 

. So remember, get this wherever books are sold. I found this book in my tiny little town in Duluth, Minnesota. So you can see this book wherever books are sold. 

You can learn more about Mattie James’ work here:

https://mattiejames.com/about/

Becoming Vanessa Book Review

Hello there! I’m a happy educator today, and I cannot wait to share with you all again another great book review, and it is titled Becoming Vanessa. It was written and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. I had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa a few weeks ago, and definitely check out her podcast episode with me on The Cultural Curriculum Chat.

I will have that link down below. Now to get started with this book. It is a coming-of-age book on the first day of school. Everybody has those jitters, especially the teachers, but we don’t wanna spill that kind of tea. Okay? So becoming Vanessa is her self-titled character, and she talks about getting ready for the first.

School, her mommy and daddy ask her, what are you gonna wear that special today? And as you can see, I got my little particular leper print cardigan on because we all have to enjoy our inner childlike energy. And what I love about Vanessa’s attention to detail. She’s got it down to the hair textures of her parents.

Even how things just come to life. Even the fashion, the feather boa that little Vanessa does. What I also enjoy in this book, it even has a mommy and a hair tie. Okay. It shows all walks of life that Vanessa brings to the pages. She even talks about her name and how long it takes to write it when everybody else is done with the day.

And you know, as a teacher, we all have those students that have those beautiful, unique, long names that take a while, but she talks about how she gets into her name. Feels in the beginning that her name isn’t that special, but her mom walks her through and tells her the true meaning of her name. You will just choke up with joy and see how this beautiful little girl takes that pride in herself.

And she sits a little taller, like I say, and talks about how her beautiful name has meaning and how she portrays herself and honors who she is just beautiful. So definitely check out this book. It’s one of my favorites. And just how colorful, bright, and childlike Vanessa has this in her book.

It’s very well done. As you can say, Vanessa is a beautiful person inside and out. And you are going to enjoy this book. I highly recommend this book, kindergarten to about third grade, for the beginning of the school year, but, Check it out now. In honor of Black History Month, she is one of the most well-known illustrators in our children’s books universe.

So definitely get this book Becoming Vanessa wherever books are sold. You can learn more about this fantastic author here: https://www.vanessabrantleynewton.com/

Barack Book Review

In honor of President’s Day, I’m going to share a great book about our first African-American President, Barack Obama.

This book, titled Barack, is a beautiful biography for students written by Jonah Winter. Illustrated by AG Ford. This story is beautiful and impactful, and it talks about our first African American president. Um, it talks about how Barack went on his own unique journey. Self-identity and belonging.

We’ve been talking a lot about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and this really does share and showcase what it means to belong. AG Ford has some beautiful illustrations about Young Barack as a baby, where he was born and grew up in Indonesia, and it parallels Barack Obama’s. He wrote a memoir called Dreams of My Father, but that’s for more grownups now.

Also talks about reuniting with his father at the age of 10 and belonging to that self-identity that many children of color have to go through. It talks about where he found himself in the community and his campaign to become the first African American president, the 44th president. So I would love for you to get this book in honor of Black History Month and to showcase another true trailblazer as our first African American president, Barack Obama.

If you’d like to learn and order more lesson plans that are culturally appropriate for your classroom, be sure to stop by my website, jebehedmunds.com/shop. You can find many multicultural activities that are companions to many lessons I’ve learned.

 

 

5 Tips to Engage Employees During Black History Month

Thinking about Black History Month,  I was reflecting on how to help you, to continue to be more engaged in this month with your Black colleagues, employees, and staff. Black History Month — also known as African American History Month — is a month-long celebration of the lives and achievements of African Americans. Every February, teachers, students, and families gather to learn about diverse historical figures who helped shape society.

The month began in 1926 as Negro History Week, an initiative by writer and historian Carter G. Woodson. Over the years, the excitement around Negro History Week programming grew too large to ignore, so many states started participating in Black History Month too! Even today, people are still striving to learn and understand the Black culture and the many contributors to our nation’s history as well as our contributors to our present society. Here are some constructive tips to keep you engaged authentically with your Black colleagues at work.

5 Tips To Keep Your Employees Engaged During Black History Month

1) Bring Speakers from your community and create a safe space for them to share and listen. Like Melody Hobson said, “You can purposefully invite diverse people into your life, and hopefully they will challenge you, and give you new insights into life. Be purposeful and respectful with your community members, you could learn a lot from them.

2) Highlight Black voices within your organization. We have wonderful resources that deserve to be recognized. You can do this in a way of recognizing their work and not their worth, clothes, hairstyle, or physical features (we’re not here to tokenize people, ugh).

3) Volunteer in your community. Take the time to be out in your community where Black people are and get to know your Black neighbors in an authentic way.

4) Support Black Owned Businesses. Black people are also small business owners. Your economic support helps them and their families thrive in our economy. Here’s a link to my favorite businesses here that you can support.

➡️ https://www.northlandbipoc.com/

5) Host a workshop by yours truly to teach you about Implicit Bias and Inclusive Workplace Strategies. If Implicit Bias & Inclusive Workplace Strategies is something that has been of interest to you, then this is your opportunity to learn ways you can help others maintain their identity while also interacting effectively with teammates and customers. Fill out my potential client questionnaire right here ➡️https://forms.gle/Eb7NpH6TewmBG8Bq6

The ABCs of Black History Book Review

Today I’m gonna chat more about this book, The ABCs of Black History, written by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer. This is a wonderfully made book inspired by the late great James Baldwin.

You can see. “History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.”- James Baldwin. I just love this. Whenever we talk about black history, it’s more than just the month.

Throughout the year, we must learn about all our country’s innovators, explorers, organizers, artists, engineers, scientists, and diplomatic people. I always did that in my classroom, and I know you can do it for educators. It starts with A is for Anthem, lifting our voice strong, and it does ring true to the black national anthem.

It continues and the illustrations that Lauren has created. It reminds me a lot of Faith Ringold. I loved her book Tar Beach and Dinner at Aunt Connie’s house, which I believe was the one. Also, another black history book, one of my favorites from back in the day. Rio also talks about the diaspora, what that means, um, and it continues through.

F is for folklore, and H is for Harlem. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. My husband and I went to Harlem on our honeymoon, eh, another H word. It’s a beautiful neighborhood. It even talks about J’ouvert and Juneteenth, how the people organized and marched and stood up for themselves, and the different queens throughout Africa and our American history.

Just wonderfully done. Ooh, this is such a well-done book. Talks about, like I said, our scientists, our astronomers, our writers. It’s a good launching pad. For your research studies, every year when I taught, we did African American biographies throughout the year with my students, and I would have a list of African American contributors from the past president in the future, and my students got to pick, and this is a great launching pad to start that project as.

And then it ends with Z for Zenith, the highest peak always reminded me of Dr. King’s speech. I’ve Been to the Mountaintop. Another beautiful one is that we’ve got much more to do, grow, and thrive. Love this. It even has a glossary people of the terms and the. And figures from this book. Very well done.

I am so proud of this book, and I recommend you get it as soon as possible to kick off your learning for Black History month and beyond.

Nicole and the Fifth Grade Desk Book Review

I’m here to share another great book for your classroom and homelife: Nicole and the Fifth Grade Desk by Tiffaney Whyte, Illustrated by Christina Rudenko. 

First of all this book is really well written it talks about a little girl named Nicole who is all ready for the first day of 5th grade but still a little nervous to start a new grade. She meets her teacher who greets her with a smile and on her face Nicole feels like she could be ready but she’s just so nervous to get started.The book is perfect because it talks with a talking desk and the desk guides Nicole into what to expect in this new grade in 5th grade. It talks about lots of affirmations that are true to her as a 5th grader how she is, I quote, “special unique and beautiful” and how she will accomplish great things in life.

 What I love about this book is the desk even gives her insights of what to expect in fifth grade as far as figurative language. Which is one of our 5th grade standards for understanding what similes and metaphors would be like and helping her know even the events that she’s going to be going through, dressing for Success day and school fundraisers and fun, engaging activities that she’s going to be learning alongside her classmates. 

 Jitters and. I remember talking to Miss Tiffaney Whyte on my podcast. Go back and check it out, season 2, episode 21 and listen to my conversation with Tiffaney. 

You can listen to the episode right on the link below.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1495555/11874324 

  Let’s face it, everybody has jitters no matter what grade level you’re going through, and I love how Tiffaney writes in this book that it’s a celebration of starting a new grade. You can begin this book with a new student that comes into your classroom because that new student is going into a class that already has their routines and norms set up significantly in the middle of the school year. Educators, I’ve had students come in the last week of school, and it’s always very intimidating to be the new kid on the Block, but this is a great tool to start that conversation of what to expect in fifth grade. You could read it and any grade-level to open up that conversation. I recommend ordering the book Nicole and the fifth-grade desk, written by Tiffaney Whyte and illustrated by Christina Rudenko. You can purchase this book at the link below. 

https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Fifth-Grade-Tiffaney-Whyte/dp/B0B8BPKFZ6

All Are Welcome Book Review

All are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman is a New York Times Bestseller. It comes with the cutest poster in the jacket I used to put up in my classroom.

 

 


I love how this book even starts inside the author. Suzanne got inspiration from her daughter’s school Kimball Elementary where I love that she wrote about where diversity and Community are not just protected but celebrated. I love how this book shows the excitement in the energy that families, students, and parents are also excited that I love about it. The ending sentence of each prose says, “All are Welcome Here,” for example, and I quote. “Pencil sharpened in their case. Bells are ringing. Let’s make haste.”

It’s a new family created every single year, and I feel that energy when I am with my students, so this one was fantastic to show the illustrations. They’ve got mothers in hijabs and dads wearing their religious Sikh Garb and parents of all shapes and combinations; it’s just such a joyful book. It talks about how far everyone comes, how everybody starts their day no matter how you start your day, and I quote, “What you wear when you play” it just shows that inclusivity is at the forefront of where our society is going. I love how the illustrator Suzanne’s imagery.


She’s got beautiful kids with human colors in their hair that are different textures and different styles. You know, children even wear yarmulkes in there. It was starting so students would see representations of themselves which is a very, very powerful talk about how people celebrate all cultures. You see dragons in the Asian Pacific culture and dancers in the gym. You see Lil darlings with backpacks on and getting excited about getting home to rest and starting the next day again. I would love that if more of us had these books in our classrooms. Children would be able to identify with students that maybe not reflect their own identity but show that other identities and cultural lenses exist. All people are welcome. Thank you so much, Suzanne and Alexandra, for creating an excellent book. This book is one of my favorite books.

I suggest sharing this book at the beginning of the school year and whenever you get a new elementary school-aged student in your classroom.

Inclusive Workplace Environment: The Best Way To Create It And Maintain It

“Another thing I want you to remember when you are trying to be more culturally inclusive is that your colleagues of color are not hired to do the work for you.”

When we talk about an inclusive workplace environment, many words are thrown out to intimidate you. But that’s not what the process is about. When working with my business clients, my most significant push for them is to find ways of holding themselves accountable and sustaining this protocol when we move forward. Now, I will give you a taste of what I have proposed to my clients. I’m a big fan of Dr. Brene Brown, especially her hard work on vulnerability and shame and understanding us as humans. And I really love when she says, “I’m here to get it right. Not to be right.”

And that quote resonates with me to teach businesses and organizations how to get it right. And not to be correct. When we are working together, I feel that I don’t want to offend anybody or make it work. I want to make it right, which is excellent. But we know that, as human beings, it takes time. It takes a lot of self-reflection. And when we go through these practices, we must remember that we are all human beings. We will stumble. We need to give ourselves some grace. But then we also need to correct our behavior. So we’re not causing more harm to the people we work with. An excellent thing I want you to focus on when we’re talking about an inclusive workplace. It would be best if you thought about your own implicit biases in your own actions. How Let’s get inclusive at work.

Did your life experiences shape you into the person you are now? How have the attitudes you have perceived about different groups of people affected you in your workplace? So those are some questions I want you to take with you on doing your own self-work and understand that you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is a tricky subject. This is a difficult way of getting those further deeper connections with people. You also have to take into account your actions and be responsible for what you have done to move forward in the future.

Another thing I want you to remember when you are trying to be more culturally inclusive is that your colleagues of color are not hired to do the work for you. When it comes to being an ethnic month, it comes to being a particular subject in your staff meetings. It is not your employee or colleague of color that is supposed to take the reins and do the work for your office. Now, many people say, well, we’re trying to collaborate. We’re trying to get our people of color involved and have that voice. But there’s an emotional tax that people of color like myself face every day. It’s a lot of mental work. It’s a lot of mental energy; we have to put on that brave coat of armor when talking about subjects that come to intercultural relations when dealing with employees and customers. We can only bear that burden for so long and for so much. So it is up to businesses. It is up to school districts and administrators to hire out that work of someone who is not exclusively tied to your business. Who is not solely tied to your school organization? I can hear my colleagues of color around the world going. Thank you, Jeb. Yes, said what we have always been saying. I have been in those situations where we’re talking about these instances. And they’re quick to ask me. So Jeb, what do you have for us? What resources do you have for us? I am not usually the one that handles providing those resources.

If I’m a staff member and hired as a cultural consultant, I’d be happy to give you all the resources I have. When doing this work as an organization and as a business, do not expect your colleagues of color, your colleagues of those diverse backgrounds, to do the work for you, for you to go back and check. We got that done, and we aren’t usually the ones that handle that. And less we have been hired specifically to do that particular job. And I know, nine times out of 10, we are not.

We are not compensated extra for bringing up subject matter or resources, and we aren’t usually the ones that handle it. So moving forward, when you want to build that inclusive workplace setting for your business or your school organization, it is up to you to do your research, hire a different voice, and do additional research to come into your setting to do the work. I was hoping you could work on getting into this inclusive model to hire and recruit people who don’t look like you by getting those multiple perspectives. Those life experiences that we all have will lead to more innovation and more credibility. And there is research about having those multiple voices, those multiple representations in your workplace, moving many things forward.

I love when we get together. And we have our measured goals we are we got Oh, I love a good plan. You know, I’m a teacher at heart. And writing down the measurable goals I want to accomplish is all fine and dandy. But the thing is, you need to hold yourself accountable to those set goals, and you have your plans in place. It would help if you thought about, okay, these are the goals that I want for my organization or my school. But I also need to take it further and hold myself and my employees accountable for these set goals. It’s all beautiful on paper, but it doesn’t move the needle further to inclusiveness. If you’re not checking yourself periodically if you need to check your colleagues and your employees periodically on these set goals. With my business, I have an excellent format for businesses and school organizations with this model already in place.

It’s all well and good when you have a list of goals for getting your business or school organization up and running. I will walk you through those steps to make those goals actionable and hold you guys and gals accountable. And when we are talking about having that inclusive workplace environment, that your leadership is there, they are also saving themselves accountable. The employees feel like they have a space to go to their leadership if things are not working. You also need to ensure that when you are working together, you recruit people from all walks of life in your business.

No excuse anymore if we’re just not that diverse, Jeb. We don’t have these people you’re talking about. Here’s the thing. We do exist. We are everywhere. I come from a remarkable, proud immigrant Liberian family who grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota. We exist. There is no excuse for, “I don’t know, I don’t know where to begin,” or “I don’t know where to start, Jeb.” And that’s where I’m here, for I am here to get you started. I am here to set this model up for your business to get the ball rolling for your school setting.

There are many people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds in every facet of every career you can think of. We are innovators, doctors, and scientists. We are in the political field, and there are so many of us in these avenues that you can actively recruit all of us. We need to dig deeper to see where people are going and feel valuable for their time. They need to think that their voice will be heard if there is a concern. And our all begins with leadership. So, leaders must step up to the plate and open their doors for everyone to come in. Because the more you have a better representation of everyone, the more your clientele will go and be discerning of Wow, they are including everybody, wow, I see me in their ad. Wow, I actually see myself behind the desk working alongside. So it is up to us to move that needle forward and get going. And if you’re stuck, I’m here to help. So make sure we have our leadership holding themselves accountable. We have our measured goals. We have our recruitment in place. And we also have an evaluative piece to evaluate our business and our organization as a whole to become more inclusive. If you want more information, I am so proud to share my Let’s get inclusive at work. If you would love more information, you can visit my website at JebehEdmunds.com.

My 3Cs of Cultural Competency

Today we’re going to talk about all things Cultural Competency, what it is, and my famous 3 C’s to keep us all in check so we can better relate to our community members of color. I can’t wait to share tips on understanding my 3cs of Cultural Competency so you can get to work.

 

 

 What is Cultural Competency?

Cultural competence is the ability to comprehend, interact, and communicate with individuals regardless of their cultural background. Cultural competency includes:

  • An awareness of one’s cultural views.
  • Working at and developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences.
  • Knowing varying cultural worldviews and practices. 

 

Typically, cultural competency regarding work environments, school systems, or some other kind of organization, where such knowledge is transformed into specific policies, standards, and practices to increase the environment and create better outcomes. 

 

 

3 Mrs. E’s 3 C’s of Cultural Competency 

1) Check

2) Correct

3) Connect

 

 “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” Stephen R. Covey.

 

 

 Check 

1. Remember the term Checking for Understanding when we’re building instruction? The same applies. We need to check our understanding of other cultures,  

2. How do you interact with other cultural groups, including immigrant groups? 

3. Have you learned from each other who their family is? If their kid plays with your kid at the baseball field?

4. Have you attended a cultural festival with which you don’t identify?

 

 

 Correct your own bias

1. We all have biases, and we know that there are systems in place in our nation that allow biases to solidify and amplify discrimination. 

2. We are all going to step into it. Have you had the feeling, oop, I shouldn’t have said that or, man, why did I ask that question?

3. Researching methods Dr. Maura Cullen “Most times, knowing what is right is the easy part; it is in the doing that tests our courage.”  

4. The last C in my method is Connect- By connecting with others who have multiple perspectives than you will help you advocate for them. There are so many hurdles for people of color and people of immigrants that hinder them from living out the American dream. Once you connect, we can speak up and say something.