Interacting and Understanding Diverse Humans

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Date(s) - October 4th, 2017
11:45 am - 1:45 pm

Terminal City Club


Presentation Description: All humans habitually categorize and group others who are “different” from “us,” which often lends to black and white thinking, as in “good” versus “bad” or “native” versus “immigrant” and a host of other isolating labels. With this inclusivity presentation, Ellen (Ellie) Krug offers a toolset—Gray Area Thinking™—for interacting with diverse humans in a mindful and compassionate way. Attendees will appreciate and value how it’s necessary to consciously engage in Gray Area Thinking™ in their daily activities. Doing so will lead to a more inclusive life.

Gray Area Thinking™ is a simple three-part toolset for interacting with diverse humans: (1) awareness of another human’s vulnerability or suffering; (2) risk-taking to alleviate or lesson that vulnerability or suffering; and (3) compassion and kindness for both self and others.

Why this Presentation Works: Most diversity and inclusion trainings address unconscious bias by educating audience members about neurobiology and the human tendency to deny being biased. However, audience members often aren’t given easy-to- understand “tools” to employ in their day-to-day interactions with diverse humans. Moreover, by using the word “bias” in standard D&I trainings, there’s the risk of the audience member feeling judged.

With Gray Area Thinking™, Ellie utilizes the phrase “grouping and labeling” to avoid any judging connotations; indeed, humans are wired to “group” and “label” other humans—it’s part of our evolutionary DNA and how we’ve been able to get to where we are today as a species. Ellie simply reminds the audience of this and other things (such as that we are a tribal society). At the same time, citing various studies, she also reminds that humans are hard-wired for empathy; it’s just that most of us don’t know how to employ that empathy due to fear or habituation.

By utilizing memorable training tools (the “Identity Game,” the Darnell Barton video, “The Four Commonalities,” Ellie’s voice and story, etc.—see below for all of this), this presentation “sticks” particularly well with listeners. This presentation also provides an easily understood/remembered toolset that can be utilized by audience members as soon as they walk out of the training room.

Guest Speaker:

Ellen (Ellie) Krug, while an Iowa civil trial attorney with 100+ trials, transitioned from male to female in 2009. She later became one of the few attorneys nationally to try jury cases in separate genders. From 2011 to 2016, she served as the executive director of Call for Justice, LLC, a Minneapolis legal nonprofit that was conferred an American Bar Association award for innovatively increasing legal access.

The author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change (2013), Ellie currently speaks, trains and consults on diversity and inclusion topics to governmental entities, court systems, corporations, law firms, social service organizations, and colleges and universities.

In 2016, Advocate Magazine named Ellie one of “25 Legal Advocates Fighting for Trans Rights.” Ellie views herself as an “Inclusionist” and founded an inclusion-oriented consulting company, Human Inspiration Works, LLC, in late 2016.

Payment Information

Cheques payable to BCLMA Mail to BCLMA, PO Box 75562, RPO Edgemont Village North Vancouver, BC, V7R 4X1

Reserve your tickets before October 2, 2017


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