March 2019
Issue #5

In this issue of Speaking of Diversity ...

We look deeper into understanding race and privilege, jury selection and race, and how conversations about racism need to be transformed "from the inside out."

We also have a great Q&A with the innovative Rabbi Wendi Geffen; we hear from the author of Whitopia about his road trip through the whitest towns in America: and we share with you a chart that will help you rethink your diversity program.

We love to get your feedback - email us at Your comments may be published in an upcoming newsletter. 

Thanks again for your interest. We look forward to continuing the conversation,

Todd Logan
Creator | Executive Producer | bio
The Defamation Experience
“These are the conversations that force people out of their comfort zone and into the space of potential listening and learning about other perspectives and experiences; and that environment is the best one for learning and growth.”
Dialogue On Diversity

Q&A with Rabbi Wendi Geffen,  Senior Rabbi,
North Shore Congregation Israel, Glencoe, IL
Dialogue On Diversity, a conversation with leaders in the field of diversity and inclusion, is designed to help better understand the issues they face in today’s challenging times.

This month, we talked to Rabbi Wendi Geffen about the challenges she faces as the senior rabbi in a large Reform congregation on Chicago's affluent north shore. Her vision for NSCI is redefining what a 21st century synagogue can become—synonymous with thriving and transformation, developing relationships of significance, and a larger sense of purpose and impact in the world’s repair. and how she is dedicated to empowering each person to define their Jewish identity and Jewish journey. 

Watch Rabbi Geffen give a powerful invocation at the Chicago Interfaith Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the historic Stone Temple Church in Chicago.
"Recognizing that you have privilege does not require feeling guilty for your privilege. Rather it is an essential step toward understanding how that privilege might shape your views or negatively affect others, even unintentionally, and what steps we can take to break down barriers created...:"
Understanding Race and Privilege

This article is part of a series of resources developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in response to recent acts of racial violence and the increasingly uncivil discourse occurring across our country.

In today’s American society, each of us has an identity
that shapes how we see ourselves and others. Not only
do our social norms and cultural underpinnings
influence our experiences, they also set the course for
how we view the world. Differences in identity—and
related struggles for place and power—are woven
throughout our history and social and political culture.

Illustration Credit:
Mallory Brangan / Vox

"Let’s talk about race – in a courtroom – as part of a criminal or civil trial. Can you create a more uncomfortable situation? No one likes to talk about race, especially in public."
Jury Selection And Race - Discovering The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

"The justice system is perhaps the most volatile forum for a discussion of race."

ACLU Deputy Legal Director and veteran criminal defense attorney Jeff Robinson explains the importance of discussing race with jurors and includes several pages of specific questions and techniques that have proven effective at getting jurors to share opinions about this sensitive subject. It also contains a memorandum of law in support of a motion for individual voir dire, sample jury instructions on racial bias, and a sample legal argument in opposition to the introduction of a defendant's immigration status.

"I urge us all to be open to really looking at race and our life choices, and for us to acknowledge where we might all do better."
Road Trip Though The Whitest Towns In America

As America becomes more and more multicultural, Rich Benjamin noticed a phenomenon: Some communities were actually getting less diverse. So he got out a map, found the whitest towns in the USA -- and moved in. In this funny, honest, human talk, he shares what he learned as a black man in Whitopia.

by Amber Madison for Fast Company

Everyone’s in a different place when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

This handy matrix identifies 4 different kinds of archetypes:can help you utilize all of them:

  • The Champion
  • The Newbie
  • The Bigot
  • The Bystander

This chart provides a framework for how to best utilize each one of these archetypes to advance diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals.

"Racism is a heart disease...and it's curable. That word picks at an existential scab, some level of dis-ease at the mere insinuation of the word, some itch that we can’t seem to scratch, or some fear we believe will harm us."
Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

An Interview with Ruth King
By Kristen Noel, Co-Founder, Best Self Magazine

Ruth King is a meditation teacher, author, coach, and diversity consultant. Her latest book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, has been referred to as healing medicine for the suffering of racism. In this interview with Best Self Magazine, she talks about beginning the difficult conversation about race.

"At the individual level we can all have biases. At the racial group identity level, we can all discriminate; but racism is part of the institution. It’s part of the policies, practices, social norms, the body in our culture that influences standards and what’s in, who’s in, who’s out. That’s where racism lives."

THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE is a unique interactive diversity program in three parts: a courtroom drama, an audience deliberation, and a post-show discussion.
THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE is an interactive diversity program appropriate for a myriad of diverse audiences including Corporations, Colleges, Universities, High Schools, Law Schools, Bar Associations, Civic, Cultural and Religious Organizations. Discover why countless diversity & inclusion experts are calling it one of the most relevant and compelling programs they have ever scheduled.

MIDWEST: September 23 - October 6
MID ATLANTIC: October 14 - 27 
NEW ENGLAND: October 28 - November 10

NORTH CAROLINA: February 3 - 9
GEORGIA: February 10 - 16
FLORIDA: February 17 - 23
To find out how you can bring THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE to your venue, contact Kimm Beavers, Managing Producer, at
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