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What is the most significant challenge you faced in the DEI space?

By far, the most significant challenge I have faced in the DEI space is silence. Without dialogue, there are no opportunities to learn. Repeatedly, I found that, when necessary, conversations needed to be held about racism, discrimination, or diversity, oftentimes, the room (mostly filled with upper-management leaders) would go completely silent. Crickets. One of the reasons why management avoids the necessary conversations that push for change is the fear of making people feel uncomfortable. In order to have change, we have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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Maybe it’s strange that a Black man, who grew up in the newspaper generation, would regularly review advice columnists Ann Landers and Dear Abby to determine if I agreed with their responses? Well it’s true! I have always enjoyed serving as a mentor for others – as someone that family, friends, colleagues and students can come to seeking advice. With AskOvell.com, I’m taking mentorship to a new level of outreach.

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