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Kevin Dua Shares Lessons in Diversity

3 March, 2017

By: Mike Parks, Waterview Conference Center Services Manager

“Do you know KIDS?”

That was the subject line inviting CEBers to hear from educator and activist Kevin Dua as part of CEB Mosaic’s Black History Month programming. Dua, a history teacher and community organizer in the Boston area, developed the KIDS (Kindness in Diverse Settings) framework to acknowledge and celebrate diversity. He shared KIDS and stories behind how the framework came to be with more than 50 CEBers in Waterview, as well as several who attended virtually.

“I was so moved by Kevin Dua’s talk and his work at Boston Public Schools around fostering thoughtful, honest self-expression and dialogue about race, identity, and diversity,” said Aditi C., a CEBer who attended the event. “Kevin shared rich lessons for schools and workplaces alike.”

Dua began his presentation by playing the United States’ National Anthem and asking the audience to stand or sit depending on what they felt was appropriate. This exercise harkened back to debates that took place in America last year, after several professional athletes used the National Anthem as an opportunity to express dissent by kneeling / sitting after being asked to stand. The exercise opened the floor for a candid discussion about race and identity. Dua gained internet notoriety for this exercise when he gave his ninth grade students the opportunity to sit or stand during the National Anthem every day at the beginning of class until each student was able to explain his or her position.

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Five Steps to Showing Kindness in Diverse Settings

The objective of Dua’s KIDS framework is to enable people to be proud of their identities and be able to communicate their narrative to others, while respectfully understanding opposing points of view. In order to do this, Dua suggests people consider five steps:

Additionally, Dua likes to use what he calls the “Platinum Rule.” While many people are familiar with the “Golden Rule” (treating others how you want to be treated), Dua suggests treating people the way that they want to be treated. This allows for people to validate the position of those whose truths aren’t necessarily compatible with their own.

The speaker, who has gained visibility for his social justice projects and been featured in media including NPR and USA Today, rounded out CEB Mosaic’s Black History Month programming. CEB Mosaic seeks to recruit, develop, and manage exceptional talent by fostering a workplace that respects and includes individuals from all races and cultural identities so that all staff can thrive and building rewarding careers. Learn more about CEB Mosaic here.

 

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