Moorefield W.Va. – ‘Crucial and Courageous Conversations Training’, a workshop led by Justin L. Brown, was held at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s campus, on March 28, 2023. Brown discussed diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace and how biases present themselves in many forms. He discussed how subconsciously blaming others or needing to have someone to blame is one form of how this presents itself. It shows the need a person may have for control and if there is not one thing or person to blame, they may try and find a person to blame it on. Issues can arise, whether in the workplace or in any setting, where this occurs, it can cause bad feelings and division amongst peers or groups. Also discussed in this workshop was checking your intentions for your actions and words toward others. Is what you are about to say or do, help someone, discourage them, or make them act out of character, so they show themselves in a bad light?
Throughout the training, Brown created scenarios by pairing students up with other students. In one instance, he paired up students, who didn’t know each other well, as a way to show how we don’t know what others have been through. In this instance, the students were to share a vulnerable detail of their life with each other. Brown’s reasoning for this was it allows empathy to enter the room and it brings an understanding of who you work with, as well as an extra piece of knowledge to know why someone acts the way they do. “Making intentional relationships is the most fundamental aspect of doing this work,” said Brown, “Try to use empathy and understanding to relate to how others may feel. Life and experiences change everything, there is always more for us to learn.”
This free program is supported through Eastern’s Diversity Through Equity Grant.
Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, based in Moorefield, serves six rural counties in West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands by offering affordable academic programs, including five online degree programs, and a variety of flexible workforce trainings. Eastern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit https://easternwv.edu or call 304-434-8000.