February 11, 2019

From Classroom Teacher to Teaching Inclusion, with Aaron Kesher

Episode 1:

Aaron brings a great deal of energy and a necessary sense of humor to the discussion around difference. He comes from a background in education, having taught English and Theater to high school students in both inner-city and suburban schools. He has also worked with adults learning English at the Lehmann Center in Minneapolis, as well as in a variety of after-school programs serving academically struggling students. A certified Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Administrator, his training work has centered on issues of diversity, with a special focus on managing across differences. He has authored articles for diversity-centered websites and newsletters, including co-authoring a manager’s toolkit for dealing with religious diversity in the workplace and a half-day workshop on both leading and working across generational difference. He is also a certified Insights™ Discovery Licensed Practitioner. When not at work, Aaron can often be found fighting lightsaber battles with his three boys in the front yard of their Minneapolis, Minnesota home. He rarely wins.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Aaron’s background in education eventually led him to work in the field of diversity and inclusion
  • How an eye-opening experience with a student in Aaron’s first semester as a teacher changed his perspective
  • Why Aaron believes cultural competence is the “missing piece” in accepting diversity and promoting inclusion
  • Why diversity is an incontrovertible fact of any modern organization, rather than a path to inclusion
  • Why modern polarization has promoted people to more openly voice their frustrations with inclusion
  • What the “five stages of cultural competence” are, and why progressing through them matters
  • Aaron explains his “punch a Nazi syndrome” theory and how it relates to modern attitudes on diversity
  • Why leaders set the standard for cultural competence that becomes reflected throughout the organization
  • What individuals experience when moving from the first three stages of cultural competence to the later stages
  • Why cultural competence builds upon itself and can lead to self-awareness and positive change