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HCI Webinar: Why Leaders Must Prioritize Empathy and Belonging amid DEI Challenges, with Jerry Colon

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Jerry Colonna about why leaders must prioritize empathy and belonging amid DEI challenges. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Diversity, Empathy, and Inclusion in the Workforce


Jonathan and Jerry discussed the topic of diversity, equity, inclusion, and the importance of empathy and belonging in the modern workforce. Jerry, an executive coach, shared his perspective on these topics and his experiences as a venture capitalist. They also touched upon the challenges facing organizations in today's social and political context. The conversation was set to be recorded for about 25 minutes, after which Jerry would provide information on how to connect with him and learn more about his work.


Personal Development in Leadership


Jerry and Jonathan discussed the significance of personal development in leadership. They highlighted the need for leaders to be authentic and genuinely listen to others, while also acknowledging the potential challenges that can arise due to different levels of personal development. Jerry emphasized the importance of confronting one's shortcomings through leading others and the negative impact of toxicity when in power. Jonathan stressed the value of aspirational goals and starting somewhere, despite potential shortcomings, while Jerry suggested that vocalizing aspirational goals and practicing new behaviors can help create a more inclusive culture. They also discussed the concept of radical self-inquiry, which they believe is crucial for personal development and effective leadership.


Promoting Equality and Justice: An Urgent Conversation.


Jerry and Jonathan had a discussion about the significance of being active allies in promoting equality and justice. They stressed the importance of individuals taking action and speaking out against systemic racism and other forms of unfairness. Jerry emphasized the urgency of addressing these issues and using his power and privilege to make the world a better place. Jonathan acknowledged his privilege and the need to use his platform to support marginalized communities. The duo agreed on the importance of creating safe, inclusive communities where everyone feels valued and respected. They also highlighted the challenges of being an effective ally and the need to overcome fear and uncertainty. The conversation concluded with a focus on the importance of serving underserved and marginalized communities in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts. They agreed that fair and equitable systems and processes will create a better workplace for everyone.


Reunion and Reunification: Stories for Empathy


Jerry and Jonathan had a conversation about their book 'Reunion' and the concept of reunification with oneself and ancestors' stories. They emphasized the importance of listening to each other's stories and pushing against dehumanization to foster empathy towards others. The website reunion.reboot.io was introduced as a platform for learning more about this concept and contributing to the work. Jonathan also announced a new book release next Thursday and encouraged Jerry to utilize and repurpose it. Both agreed on the significance of their roles in extending their reach.


Listen to the episode here:



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