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DEI: Safe and brave spaces

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Imagine a world where you feel safe and protected all the time. It’s perfect - always the right temperature, time of day, season - everything is exactly to your liking. Consider, how did you learn what temperature you liked? What season was perfect for you? What time of day made you feel at your best? Learning these things without a doubt took some trial and error - you would have had to experience a temperature too cold as well as too warm to know what was perfect

Safe & brave spaces

Learning how to hold Save and Brave spaces can be similar. In finding what your personal “perfect” is, you’ll likely first want to feel safe enough to try something new, but will need to be brave enough to be willing to come in contact with something unknown and different. In this session you’ll learn more about being safe and brave, constructive discomfort, the danger zone and the learning edge.


Your team will become stronger when each one of you learns how to move outside of your comfort zones and lean into the opportunities presented while in the learning edge. The ability as individuals, who are part of a team, to speak up (brave) and be vulnerable (safe) are essential in building a more inclusive environment.

This kit may feel a little different from previous ones, as the experiences you choose to share during this session may bring up a range of feelings for you. We want to encourage all of you to remember to take care of yourself, share only what feels safe, and to bravely lean into your learning edge whenever possible. Confidentiality is also an important part of creating a safe and brave space. We like to say, “What is said here stays here, what is learned here, leaves here.”

Social identity

We dig deep in this session on what social identity is and its effects on how each person sees themselves and experiences the world. Your social identity can impact how you feel about interactions with others of both similar and different backgrounds than you. Remaining humble and curious about those around you - even those who hold a similar identity - can help raise our awareness and understanding of others.

Many of us have been led to believe that diversity is solely defined by background, culture and gender. However, there are many other forms of diversity that often go overlooked. Disability, language, neurodivergence, parenting status, and citizenship status are just a few of many identities that can deeply impact our everyday lives. Expanding our concept of diversity helps us appreciate the richness of our backgrounds and differing perspectives. The research shows that diversity is an asset, making for a better team and overall a more effective organization.

Inclusive communication

Everything communicates something - our body language, our words, and yes, even our silence. When individuals feel included, teams are healthier and more productive. As we consider what it means to create more inclusive teams, learning how to be better, more thoughtful communicators can play a big role - especially as it relates to communicating through something as personal as the identities we align ourselves with.

Most of us have felt the sting of exclusion - whether as a child on the playground or perhaps as a result of religious clothing, political affiliation, or socioeconomic status. Striving to be inclusive in our communication isn’t easy. Mistakes and microaggressions will happen, but knowing what to be conscious of when communicating with our peers, both in writing and speaking, will help us avoid exclusionary behaviors.

Inclusive mindset

Brave - Humble - Dedicated -are the three tenets that make up an Inclusive Mindset. In our workshops, we define this concept by saying, be brave enough to take risks outside of your comfort zone and lean into the learning opportunity. Be humble enough to listen and respect perspectives that are different from your own. Be dedicated to a lifelong commitment of accountability, raising your awareness on where bias shows up, and advocating on behalf of others.

Learning to have an Inclusive Mindset is just like excellence or innovation, it takes work on a continual basis. Training our minds to hold this mindset as a baseline of how we interact with those around us can lead to true positive changes within ourselves as well as in our interactions with others.

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