"Creating time and space for people to share who they are in a safe space is powerful. In spite of our differences, we are connected through our stories, and making time and space to see and feel these connections has the potential to be transformative."

Inclusive Leadership Pathway

The EDI conversation today has moved past the “business case” for diversity. It is well-established that gender and ethnically diverse teams, for example, create better financial outcomes for their companies. 

The conversation has also moved past the reputational sentiment…leaders get that they set the tone for culture, and motivate and retain their best talent. 

Yet, where most well-intentioned leaders get “stuck” is implementing EDI. 

That may not come as a surprise. You might have been part of conversations that brought good awareness but it was business-as-usual the next day, at best. Or they turned contentious and created more harm. Linked to our very identities, EDI topics can surface guilt, trauma, and fear around what to say, and how to say it in a way that doesn’t further divide people.  

But it doesn’t have to be this complicated.

There is a more intuitive way to navigate challenging topics like race or privilege, and it is through the timeless and intuitive tool of storytelling.

We help you elevate storytelling as a strategic competency that allows you to center empathy skill development  Our goal is to help you create more trusting relationships, so diverse teams can move EDI from awareness to action.   

If you’re ready for an experiential learning process that goes beyond theoretical concepts and implements inclusive mindsets and behaviors, this pathway is for you. It includes experiential workshops and an Online Course which lays the foundations of storytelling.

 Learning Outcomes:

– Build awareness on the basics of diversity, including concepts such as identity, intersectionality, privilege, etc.

– Reflect on your personal values and purpose as it connects to inclusive leadership 

– Understand the centrality of empathy and storytelling in creating a sense of belonging.

– Learn how to leverage empathy to create a safe space, and move into a brave space that encourages authentic communication, and dispels myths surrounding differences

– Practice allyship by deepening relationships with people of diverse backgrounds.

Navigating Differences: A Case Study on the Guided Autobiography Method

Gayathri facilitating the inaugural 'Navigating Difference' Workshop

One week after the brutal murder of George Floyd Jr., a dedicated committee of Guided Autobiography instructors came together on a vision for an inclusive curriculum that provides all participants with optimum opportunities to listen to, and share stories of race, ethnicity and difference. Gayathri joined this committee, along with other members: Cheryl Svensson, Dawn Robbins, Caroline Manheimer, Mee Joo Kim, Alberto Pulido, Mimi Holmes, Heidi Thorsen, Jean Stumpf, Jerry Waxler, Iowana Whitman-Tims, Valerie Biden, Roselyn O’Connell, and M. Esra Yildiim. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we combed through every question and word in the standard curriculum, engaged in brave and personal conversations about race; class; non-conforming genders; extended, adoptive and blended families; events that happened before we were born and more. Throughout, the questions we sought to answer were:

How do we create a brave space, where each person feels safe to tell authentic stories? How do we have conversations about race and difference without singling out an individual to represent an entire community? Where do we find implicit bias or triggering language in the curriculum?

In April 2021, we presented the refreshed curriculum and workshop series, Navigating Differences, to over 60 worldwide participants at the instructor community’s inaugural conference on equity and inclusion.

We are extremely grateful to all committee members for their tireless efforts on this important work – one that will spark many brave conversations for healing and reconciliation. We are committed to refreshing our work, as we continually learn from our students.