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1/31/24 – Confronting the uncomfortable (being an ally and the first domino to fall)

“Say the Right Thing: How to Talk About Identity, Diversity, and Justice” by Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow

In this book, Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow (founders of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at NYU School of Law) provide a guide with practical tools on how to be an ally. The authors recognize that there is not a lack of desire to be an ally, but there is lack of tools and understanding how to use them effectively. Sometimes we don’t know what to say or how to say something because we are concerned about how it might be received or make someone feel. In this effort to understand, uplift, and be an ally, we will inevitably make mistakes. Yoshino and Glasgow believe that the key to growing through these mistakes is by having both accountability and compassion for yourself. Whether it’s at work, at school, or a family gathering, this book offers clear guidance on how to engage in these challenging conversations.

To listen to the authors discuss the book, please visit the YouTube link below.

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

It’s natural to want to avoid uncomfortable situations and conversations. In her TED Talk, "Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable," Luvvie Ajayi Jones states how her purpose is to effect change by “speaking up, by being the first, by being the domino.” By being the first domino to fall, she paves the way to inspires others to make a choice and follow in creating positive change.

Jones recognized that being the domino does not come without fear of consequences, but there are too few people willing to be the domino that we must speak up despite the fear. She shares how she pushed herself to do things that made her scared or uncomfortable by follow the principle, “Do it anyways.” With this in mind, she took her first solo-trip where she also zip-lined, wrote her book “I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual," and skydived. Jones compares staying on the plane before jumping out to being comfortable and staying quiet. Staying comfortable only maintains the status quo and “silence serves no one."

She urges, “We've got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable by speaking these hard truths when they're necessary.” Jones ends the talk with “It is our job, it is our obligation, it is our duty to speak truth to power, to be the domino, not just when it's difficult - especially when it's difficult.”