Unlocking Inclusion Through Action With Justin Ponder


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Episode Overview:

"Unlocking Inclusion Through Action With Justin Ponder" likely discusses the topic of fostering inclusivity through practical measures, with insights from Justin Ponder. This piece likely emphasizes the importance of active steps and strategies for creating a more inclusive environment, whether in the workplace or society at large. It probably delves into Ponder's experiences and expertise in this area, offering valuable insights and actionable advice for individuals and organizations looking to champion diversity and inclusion.

Additional Resources:

* Website

Skot Waldron (00:01.595)
Justin, hey, what's up?

Justin Ponder (00:03.873)
Hi Scott, how are you doing?

Skot Waldron (00:05.351)
I am great. Man, you have got a great smile decorated by a beautiful beard. I mean, if people are watching the video, they know what I'm talking about. So I'm just saying.

Justin Ponder (00:13.654)
Thank you very much. I'm liking the shirt and I'm liking the Minnesota behind you. I'm in Wisconsin, so Midwest.

Skot Waldron (00:17.923)
Oh, yeah, there you go. There you go. We lived in Illinois for a little while and as a graphic designer and managing a design firm, I got a bunch of free posters because paper companies always wanted us to use their paper. So they'd send us cool stuff printed on their paper and I just get to hang it as wall art now.

Justin Ponder (00:34.742)
Yes, that's very cool, very nice.

Skot Waldron (00:36.647)
So, so let's, so I've, I've had, I'm gonna preface this conversation by saying I've had D and I people on the show, whether it was, you know, working on gender disparities or whether it was sexual orientation and other, other types of content that we've racial stuff. We we've talked, we've covered some different things on the show, but.

I want to bring unique perspective to this because it continues to be something that we need to focus on. And it continues to be something that is discussed in the workplace and in the world in general. So I want yet another voice on the show because it's been a little while and I don't want us to ever forget how important it is. What's your spin? What is your unique angle to D and I?

Justin Ponder (01:25.367)
Thank you.

Justin Ponder (01:33.154)
Well, my background coming to it, I was a professor who taught in this area across two decades. So I bring kind of the academic background. And in my academic studies, I understood the importance for history, psychology, sociology, cultural theory. But then I also understand in the workplace that oftentimes people are like, hey, if I've got a 90-minute training, I don't know if I'm necessarily here for a history class. I want to know how can this help me do my everyday work better.

And so what's been interesting and perhaps the most educational part of my DEI journey is finding the pinch points. I came into the work assuming it was going to be the broad philosophical disagreement about what DEI is or what it isn't. By the end of the day, I find lots of people, they're much more concerned about everyday small level issues. The number one thing I find people resistant about is this sounds hard. This sounds confusing.

This sounds like a threat, not necessarily on some broader existential level, but it seems like a threat to my sense of myself as a worker. I feel competent in this area, competent as a leader. And all of a sudden now I feel like I'm getting a pop quiz on stuff related to whether it's sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, religion, disability, family care status. I feel like I'm getting a pop quiz on this about stuff people have been studying for decades.

So helping people understand how to create inclusive cultures and environments in the work that they already do, through micro inclusions, through a few policy changes, through a few cultural practices, that actually help them do their work better.

Skot Waldron (03:14.215)
What's a micro inclusion?

Justin Ponder (03:16.062)
Yes, thank you for asking. So lots of times when there's conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, first of all, most people focus on the diversity side and they focus on demographic diversity numbers, the quantitative numbers, how many people from which backgrounds do we have in these positions. But when we talk about inclusion, we're talking about what are the, what is the cultural environment? Study after study shows diversity is not enough.

And when you bring in different ideas, different perspectives, different opinions, there's actually a whole long time of things grind to a halt. Whether it's when we're bringing in people from different ethnic backgrounds, different national backgrounds, different language backgrounds, or just plain old, my company acquired your company. And we have different company cultures. There is a moment of productivity that grinds to a halt because stubborn human psychology is resistant to difference.

We're suspicious of it, we don't like it, even when it's good for us. It's like the Brussels sprouts of cognitive growth. It's good for us, but we're suspicious. To continue that metaphor, I guess we can say inclusion is the cheese, the salt, maybe the little dressing that makes the Brussels sprouts more palatable, because there is the guardrails, the little things that we do to invite different opinions.

Skot Waldron (04:18.587)
But you can put cheese in balsamic vinaigrette on a Brussels sprout, right?

Skot Waldron (04:31.81)

Justin Ponder (04:39.214)
Because there's nothing in human psychology that says, hey, you're one of the few people from your group, or you have an unpopular opinion. You should speak that unpopular opinion. We don't want to. But if we have little guardrails like anonymous contributions, or we make anonymous polls, or we have committees and groups that bring forth these ideas, that help nudge us forward. And when we talk about micro inclusions, it's the everyday little things that we can do. It's in the meeting, if I'm leading the meeting, simply saying,

Alright, before we start having an open conversation about this, we're going to take three minutes and I'd like you all to free write non-stop answering this question on your own. Then we, after that, let's have a small group and let's all talk about it and slowly build up the ideas and it creates an opportunity for people who would be shy or are neurodiverse or have been socialized, they're from groups who've been socialized, oh, do not speak the truth in public, especially when it's unpopular.

It creates little things that nudge people to share how brilliant they actually are.

Skot Waldron (05:44.007)
Love that idea. That's good. That's really good. I think that when we talk about, when I talk about intentional leadership, I always tell people it's the millions of micro moments that are going to build your influence and ultimately build your brand over time. It's usually not the grandiose mega moments. It's really those.

Justin Ponder (05:45.623)

Skot Waldron (06:13.051)
those micro moments that are gonna happen. So I love that perspective and how we implement those in our workplace and in our lives is going to show the kind of leader or the kind of person we are.

Justin Ponder (06:26.606)
Absolutely. And one of the things like, you know, people get really intimidated. DEI, oh, this is this huge thing. I have to completely overhaul. One thing that people can start is to learn how to ask questions, especially if you are a leader. The number one trip up we see, where people are like, what can I do today? That's an actionable next step. That costs me nothing in time, energy, or money. Learn how to ask questions properly. Here's some of the characteristics of bad questions that we see leaders do all the time.

We should paint the break room blue, right? And they think they've asked a question, but they have a question tag on the end. It's a statement, right? And we think it's a question. We lead the witness, we put our thumb on the scale, or we even let our opinion be known first. And again, bandwagon bias is this pernicious thing that hijacks the human cognitive function, where we don't want to tell the truth. We do not even want to understand our own perspective on things.

We are looking for the safest answer to give. So when our leaders come to us and say, we should paint the break room blue, right? We are 99% of the time going to say yes, as opposed to a micro behavior that a true leader would have when asking questions is, what color should we paint the breakout or the break rooms? Starting with what, why, how, making sure there are questions that are open and open for debate.

asking clarifying questions that show, hey, I really care what you have to say, rather than I want you to reaffirm the assumptions I already have. So those are some of those micro behaviors that leaders can do to be more inclusive and better leaders.

Skot Waldron (08:06.535)
bandwagon bias. Hmm, that's good. I like that one too. You're dropping little gold nuggets on me today. This is awesome. Justin, all right. So let's go into this next idea of inclusion. Okay, so we're hitting on the I of D and I, okay? Let me ask you about, this is a personal thing I'm curious about, okay? So we've heard D and I, that's kind of the foundational acronym, okay? We've heard of, but.

Justin Ponder (08:08.234)
Yes. Oh yeah.


Skot Waldron (08:36.099)
Some people are now adding in the belonging and some people are adding in the accessibility aspect of that. Do you feel like that fits into the D&I scope? Or are you covering those types of things as well within your trainings? Like address that for me.

Justin Ponder (08:52.534)
Absolutely. So thank you for raising that point, Scott. There's many different acronyms that people use. Perhaps the most popular is DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion. Close second is probably D and I, diversity and inclusion. But you mentioned there's also belonging. There's also accessibility. We've worked with organizations who have J as justice on there. So it's depending on the particularity of the organization, which I think is awesome, important and essential.

that there is no one size fits all, hey, right out the box, this is what we should do in all places at all times. It's no, what is particular to your organization given its strengths, its goals, and its mission? For some, that might be DEIRJ, diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice. For others, if I'm primarily working with or I want to engage more communities with people with disabilities, then maybe it's DEIA.

diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. So these acronyms should be different according to different organizations, according to their goals and their mission and their core authentic identity. We run into problems when we want to think, let's streamline this, it's one size fits all, and that's where people end up running into things that are inauthentic and detract from who they already authentically are.

Skot Waldron (10:16.975)
Okay. So I love that. I love that perspective. Let's, let's shed more light on being who we are and not trying to be. What they say we need to be. And I think one of the kickbacks I hear when I am in spaces where people are like rolling their eyes, another D and I, DI training, right? It's like, Oh, we got to do this again. Like, Oh, we got to go this again.

I feel like I'm being bombarded with this language. I'm trying to, you know, I have to tiptoe around things and I have to be careful about what I say. And I'm kind of going, well, yeah, like, isn't that just intentional personal leadership is, yeah, we should have filters at times. And yeah, we should be sensitive and we should be mindful of who we're talking to and what we're saying at times.

Some people are just like, well, I just want to just say whatever I want to say. You know, like, why shouldn't I just be able to be me? Why can't just be me? Why are you telling me I have to be somebody else just because I'm talking to somebody else? What would you say to that?

Justin Ponder (11:23.886)
I'd say we already do it all the time. We talk differently to our children than we do to our worst enemy, than we do to our best friend, than we do to our boss, than we do to our partner. We are always filtering what we say. And when people express, I hear you saying like maybe, cautiousness around language. Why do I have to tiptoe? It's really, I understand and I hear a certain amount of genuine fear.

from people who've never had to do it before, who are probably from very homogeneous backgrounds where everyone looks like me, everyone walks like me, talks like me, thinks like me, and stinks like me. So of course, we have a smaller pool of how we talk, the words that are acceptable, the jokes that everyone gets. We all talk the same. But now in a changing world, oh my goodness, how do I talk when there's different groups of people around?

And that is very new and frustrating for some people who've grown up with the luxury of not having to consider that before. Me, I am a person of color. I spend 99% of my professional life in rooms where I'm the only one or one of the few. I am always code switching. I am always image managing. I am always aware not just of what I am doing, but how am I being perceived? How what I would say in my black communities.

would be different than what I say in a predominantly white community. I'm always aware of that. And that is just plain old intercultural competence. That is not thought policing. That is not prohibiting people from being their best selves. That is intercultural competence. That is compassion. That is empathy. That is manners. That is respect. That is basic human decency. And it is an essential professional skill for anyone who wants to be in any profession.

that wants to grow and the rise of globalization, the rise of difference, the rise of a workforce that in the next three to five years is going to be from skip from being a majority baby boomers skipping generation X. So if you're in generation X, you're never going to have your time in the sun. It's going to skip from majority boomers. I know I'm with you. I'm like, wait, and it's going to be majority millennials in three to five years who have a completely different set of values, completely different set of looking at the world.

Skot Waldron (13:36.643)
Dang it!

Justin Ponder (13:47.41)
and what work is supposed to be. So there is going to be a greater priority on empathy, understanding for any leader to be a competent leader in any organization that wants to grow.

Skot Waldron (13:58.511)
Amen, Justin. Amen. I was, we were traveling, so I'm in Atlanta. I grew up east of Atlanta in suburbs. I went to a 99, 98% white high school. We had, there was one table at lunch that was like the black kids where they would hang out and talk. And there was a few of the white kids in there too that would like, you know, it was just like, it was, but that was the table.

You know, and so, and we didn't think of it. It was just what it was. And so much we, we had the black, but there was always just the one black kid, maybe in your class. And so I just grew up around that atmosphere. Now it's flipped. My neighborhoods kind of flipped in that way. And as middle income and, and some things are happening in those communities, which is really great to see. One thing that I did this past weekend, and I'm getting to this because I never really could.

sympathize with those individuals, right? Or empathize, I guess, was what I'd say. Empathize with individuals like that. So what I did is when I was at, I was downtown, we went to a Chick-fil-A and I looked around, every employee was black. There was two other white patrons in that restaurant and everybody else was black. And then there was me too. And I was like...

I'm gonna just look around for a second and put myself in this space and think some people go through their whole lives like this. And I was going, hmm, like I didn't feel super out of place. Nobody was staring at me, you know, or treating me differently in that environment. But in that environment where I am one of the only ones and where I could

You know, what if they were treating me differently or what if they were looking at me differently or different, right? Like it just, I was just putting myself in that space. And I think that was such an interesting experience for me, um, to just go through that and I don't know, I know I truly can empathize again with somebody that grows up in that environment, but I don't know.

Justin Ponder (16:06.945)

Justin Ponder (16:14.562)
But it is an important exercise. And that'd be maybe another call to action for folks in addition to learn how to ask questions properly, ones that really inspire people to share their brilliance. I would say practice being the only one more often. Practice finding yourselves in situations where you are decentered. I think there's a certain amount of cognitive rot that happens when we get comfortable being surrounded by people who are just like us and being in places where our...

perspective, our group identity is the center, as opposed to stepping outside of those zones and decentering and empathizing as much as we can. Now I gave the example of being most often one of the only or one of the few people of color. However, there is a certain amount of difference that comes with that because it can be seen. And I think about how much more difficult it would be if I were

gay and in the closet or people didn't know or trans or if I had a disability and people didn't know that I'm always in these situations where I am one of the few or the only and people don't know it. So I think the core thing here, regardless of you know, going back to your hypothetical of the person who says another one of these, I have to always watch what I have to say. Why can't I just be me? Because at the core of who we are is greater than we are greater than what we currently are always. We are never just

Justin and who he is on the day we are recording this at the time. No, I have a contract with my future self to be better than what I am right now. No, you can't just say whatever you are just thinking. You owe it to yourself to think higher, to think more, to think better than what you're currently thinking and to say even better than what you are thinking, to grow and to expand. And the core value that I think diversity, equity and inclusion has to offer people from all backgrounds is grow.

Focus less on what you already are, your sense of being, and constantly work on becoming. Becoming more, understanding more, empathizing more, so that you can grow and be a better human.

Skot Waldron (18:23.399)
Man, okay. One more audience. What? Really? Are you really? Okay, I couldn't tell. So I'm gonna throw in one more audience that has become more apparent to me over the past year is family members of those that are different than everybody else in the room. Family members that have a child with a disability or a parent or a relative or there's a multiracial couple

Justin Ponder (18:25.054)
I get passionate about this. Yes, a little bit. Yeah.

Skot Waldron (18:53.347)
right, and the spouse isn't in there. And like, there's all types of things now where it's almost, I'm talking to not the direct person, but I'm talking to the person that is related to the individual that is experiencing that. And I know that just puts like another layer up where like, oh man, now I gotta be intentional with everybody I talk to, even enough for me, like even another middle-aged white male, I have to be, you know, it's like, yeah, I do. And like you said,

Justin Ponder (19:02.254)
to like the allies.

Skot Waldron (19:23.683)
It's just decency. It's just human respect. It's just like, why would I say anything differently anyway, you know, in that environment?

Justin Ponder (19:33.762)
And I sympathize because my career as a professor was having people, I was the first person, first of all, I was often the first person of color they had ever been in the room with. We would have polls, we would have like intake surveys, and it was like 87% of the students had never been in a room with a person of color before. And when it was how many of you have had a teacher or an authority figure or professor was a person of color, it was like 2%.

And I think those 2% were stretching the truth. And then when it came to how many of you have heard conversations about social identity, about race, gender, sexual orientation, sex, disability, nationality, religion, age, family care, status, military veteran status, any of these things. There's almost none. So I was very sympathetic with people who are having this conversation for the first time. And if you think about normal human,

cognitive development. Two-year-olds and two-year-olds, we call it the terrible twos because they throw lots of tantrums. And it's not because they are, there's something wrong with them or they are the worst kinds of human being. It's how they are at that weird age where they have the most amount of desire compounded with the least amount of vocabulary for it. So when they throw tantrums, it's literally, I don't have the words to express what I am feeling.

And what I experienced again, talking to a whole lot of 17 to 25 year old undergrads in my class, or now talking to a whole lot of 25 to 65 year old professionals who express anxiety, outrage, fear, nervousness about this. I see the same patterns of a grownup tantrum without, and I mean in the least judgmental sense, not like, Oh, you're a child, but it's I am freaking out because I have feelings and thoughts, but I don't have the vocabulary.

And the same way we wouldn't be mad at a two-year-old for throwing a tantrum because they do not know how to say, the lights in this room are too bright and they are hurting my eyes. I think I work hard to give a certain amount of patience and grace to people who are 55 years old throwing a tantrum because it is this whole race. All these things of social identity are very important in the United States.

Justin Ponder (21:57.922)
They are central to who we are. They're central to who we want to be. If we want to be a diverse country, a diverse society, and we strive to be, you're going to have some diversity. You're going to have a whole lot of issues. You're going to have a whole lot of difficult historical past to confront. So people have had a whole, I'm like, this is important to me, but I'm not talking about it. And everything from I'm a child in the grocery cart and I say, hey, mommy, look, there's a black man. And the mom says, that's rude. To.

Hey, I'm sitting in the history class in 10th grade and I said, this is really interesting. Can we learn more about the women's suffrage movement? And the teacher says, yeah, I know. But unfortunately, we have to move on to being in workplaces and saying, yeah, there's a really important thing related to social identity that's going on and everyone's thinking about it. But my leader says, yeah, let's not talk about that. These are all these points where we are told, do not talk about this. Do not develop a vocabulary for this.

And then when we're 55 years old and we're in the DEI training, we're supposed to be talking about this thing that we've had 55 years of being socialized. Don't talk about, don't look at, ignore it. It doesn't exist. Of course you're going to have people throwing clumsy tantrums because they have strong emotions, thoughts, and feelings that they don't have words for.

Skot Waldron (23:16.419)
Words create culture, right? Language creates culture. And if we can develop healthy language and healthy communication patterns, we will develop healthier cultures. And that, that is powerful. So let's talk about application a bit. Um, let's, um, because I believe information is great. We all want transformation, but without application, there is no transformation. So let's talk about. How.

Justin Ponder (23:18.018)

Skot Waldron (23:45.663)
individuals, let's start with individuals and then move to organizations. How do individuals create more inclusive cultures?

Justin Ponder (23:55.822)
How much time do we have left? Yeah. Well, I'll give maybe the top three. When we look at organization after organization, there's maybe top three things that create an inclusive culture. These translate to both the organizational and the individual. So number three we'll start with is actually surprisingly meeting culture.

Skot Waldron (23:57.579)
Well, you know, days, we have days.

Go for it.

Justin Ponder (24:18.602)
work with organizations, they say, OK, we're going to give you operational deep dive. We're going to let you look at our pay. We're going to let you look at our statements. We're going to let you look at these big things like that. But also give us insight into your meeting culture. Let us see your agenda items. Let us sit in and some of your meetings. Why those? Because that is the ritual. That is where the organization practices its culture and its values. So I would say pay attention to meetings, pay attention to how meetings are structured, circulate agenda items ahead of time so people can process information.

and be on an equal playing field. Structure meetings so people can share thoughts and share the space. So your meetings are not like the Coliseum where the gladiator that speaks the first, the loudest, the longest wins, even if they have the worst ideas. So, and even at the individual level, if you're never in charge of the meetings or the agendas, find and practice little micro scripts for elevating the ignored voices in the room. So, hey.

Patricia, I know we talked about this earlier and you had some really great ideas. Would you mind sharing with the group? Or Patricia gets interrupted by Bob. Thanks, Bob. Patricia, I know you were going to say something. Can you share? So little scripts in the meeting that help elevate people. So meetings. Number two is at the level of performance management, performance review, performance evaluation. So if you are in charge on a formal level, have them more frequently.

Have them have inter-rater reliability, either with panels, rotating reviewers, or independent review and anonymization. If you're like, Justin, I'm nowhere near that. Cool, take your organization's performance review template, it's rubric, whatever, go to a peer and say, hey, let's peer review each other. You fill out this sheet for me, I'll fill out this sheet for you. We'll gain some insight, we'll get better, we'll look at some stuff.

and it provides a certain amount of inter-rater reliability. Because if my boss or my direct reviewer does not fully appreciate the nuances and complexities of the work that I'm doing, or if I suspect the other biases are keeping them from giving a fair evaluation of me, now I have more voices. So performance review or even peer review. And the number one is mentorship. Study after study shows that the most transformative thing in diversity, equity, inclusion,

Justin Ponder (26:39.638)
is not all the other stuff we normally pay attention to. It's actually mentorship. To avoid backlash, to avoid the feelings of quote, unquote, reverse discrimination of unfair advantage given to underrepresented groups, the thing that transforms organizations is mentorships across groups. Because people in leadership provide the political, cultural, professional upskilling to their mentor, to their mentees. But mentees?

also reverse mentor and give leaders a completely new insight into what the organization is doing and what it's like. So again, if you're like, I'm an individual Justin, I have no pull in my organization. I never have the formal leadership to be a mentor. You can peer mentor. Study after state shows that the best mentorship programs are multi-pronged. It has one maybe like a long-term character mentor that kind of guard or tracks and helps people guide them through their long career mapping.

Another that is maybe more short-term that focuses on its particular skill for a finite amount of time, but also a peer mentor, someone that I can provide emotional support with and get emotional support from. So do not underestimate the power of peer mentoring.

Skot Waldron (27:56.039)
That is brilliant because I also believe the same thing. That's why it's brilliant. Not just because you said it. That's right, that's right. No, I do a keynote. I'm gonna spoil one of my keynote presentations a bit here where I talk about multi-generational workforce. And I show a really old black and white picture, more of an illustration slash photograph of like old guy that looks like, the dude from Peter Pan and...

Justin Ponder (28:01.858)
Great minds think alike, huh?

Skot Waldron (28:25.531)
than like the young boy and he's a cobbler and master cobbler and he's kind of leaning over the kid's shoulder and the kid's kind of doing something with an old shoe like a hammer and a nail and kind of, you know, there's a typical master apprentice type relationship going on there. And I ask people what they see and they tell me. And then I say, but what if the role was reversed? What if the boy is actually the master mentoring?

the older man in this scenario. Or I even say, I go one step further and I say, what if the master isn't even in the room? He just said, hey, you two, I need you to come up with a new way to make shoes because this old way isn't working, I need both your perspectives. Young kid, I need you to bring something up, like an old man, I need you to bring something up too. Like what is the thing that we can do together to bring brilliance up and to innovate together? Because I don't, you're right, no more is the mentorship like.

Justin Ponder (29:19.278)

Skot Waldron (29:24.395)
You've been here for 48 years and you've been here for two days. This is now your mentor and that's the only way it's going to be. Um, the way that cultures are working now, the way the millennials are communicating, Gen Z is starting to communicate this way and the sense that they want have more of a voice and they want to be able to share that voice and, and shape the way things are working in our workplaces. Um, so I love that perspective.

Justin Ponder (29:49.814)
And I love the way that you mentioned that. It's like, how are we, the world is changing, things are moving quickly. How are you going to thrive if you don't change with it? And how are you gonna come up with new ideas if you keep doing the same old things? And what's great about the kind of mentor or reverse mentor or diversity or inclusive cultures is that we create new things that have never been created before. If I bring blue,

and you bring, and I have a whole team of nothing but blue. We're going to have issues in a world that wants new colors. Now, if I have blue and you bring yellow, cool, now we have two colors. We have blue thinking and we have yellow thinking. Fantastic. But what happens in those mentorships or an inclusive culture is I bring my blue, you bring your yellow, but we're able to combine and create green we could never make on our own without each other.

So this diversity isn't just giving people from underrepresented groups a shot. It isn't about just simply, I bring my idea and it coexists along yours. It's about creating and combining and making new ideas that will not exist if we do not have these points of friction, collision, and combination that build new things. That's what makes humans fantastic. That's our greatest capability. It's also what we kind of are most scared of because if I'm living in a world of blue, it's really comfortable to stay there.

and yellow seems really scary. And then if we come together and create something green that neither one of us have ever seen before, we're really gonna lose our stuff. But that's actually how we evolve and get better.

Skot Waldron (31:26.299)
Yellow and blue make green, Justin. Your new t-shirt, that's your new t-shirt. It's like, oh, that's yellow and blue make green. And if they're just sitting next to each other, they don't make green. Hey, we're at the same table, everybody. Like we're doing this thing. It's like, no, let's mix it up. We're gonna mix it. And so that we can make that thing. That...

Justin Ponder (31:29.238)
Yes. Ha ha ha.

Justin Ponder (31:50.624)

Justin Ponder (31:54.794)

Skot Waldron (31:55.987)
is awesome. That made my day. I love it.

Justin Ponder (31:58.766)
And that's what's exciting about the work that I do. And I wish that people listening and the people that they know, people who are listening and the people you all know is that maybe the message to take and share is that this work can be intimidating. And I wish this work wasn't as misrepresented as it often is. It is intimidating. It is new. It requires bravery and courage, but it is also very exciting. Like to see people,

overcome those fears and those anxieties, step beyond who they are into who they can become by combining and embracing difference and fostering difference and celebrating it, as opposed to ignoring it or wanting to do away with it. That's how we grow and it's fantastic to see this as the great potential for people to be able to human better than they are.

Skot Waldron (32:50.887)
Let's all be better humans. Justin, if people want to knock down your door, where do they go?

Justin Ponder (32:52.151)

Justin Ponder (33:00.282)
So a few ways. First, I would say check me out on LinkedIn, Justin Ponder. You can also go to our website. I work with a diversity equity and inclusion firm called Uplifting Impact. So you can check out Uplifting Impact. You can also check us out at the Uplifting Impact podcast where we have conversations with DEI leaders across the entire world in different areas, all brainstorming about how to create more inclusive cultures.

And also you can check out a lot of our ideas represented in our book by our chief change agent, Deanna Singh, called Action, Speak Louder, a step by step guide to becoming an inclusive workplace.

Skot Waldron (33:41.671)
Justin slow down on change of the world, man. We need, we, we need to spread the spread, the spread, the change a little bit, so you're doing it all yourself. We need some more people. And so.

Justin Ponder (33:52.866)
Well, thank you for your help, Scott, and thank you to all of you listening for your participation too.


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