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Diversity & Inclusion are Founded on Empathy

August 7, 2020



Diversity & Inclusion are Founded on Empathy

Diversity & Inclusion are Founded on Empathy

Diversity and inclusion are best addressed with a multi-dimensional approach founded on empathy believes Siham Jaafar, President and CEO of 3D Consulting and Communications, whose training and consulting focuses on educational, law enforcement, and corporate audiences. Siham shares her perspectives and insights about how empathy-driven awareness increases our knowledge and decreases our fear of each other to bridge gaps and build connections, showing us that we are more the same than we are different.


[02:35] What drew Siham into diversity and inclusion training?

[03:48] Siham shares a vital turning point for her and how she thought about diversity and the catalyst for the Images & Perceptions Diversity Conference.

[4:35] Teachers have always been an important portion of the conference audience.

[4:40] Asking difficult questions allowed people to understand more and get comfortable.

[5:14] A vital turning point for Siham--How knowledge turns fear into enrichment about other people.

[6:40] Well-known speakers sharing their personal experiences in Hollywood and other industries brought credibility and relatability.

[8:06] Why many judges, lawyers, and law enforcement attend the conference.

[9:40] Empathy is the platform to build everything on.

[10:21] The difference between tolerance and acceptance and empathy’s role for achieving acceptance.

[11:16] The fear factor and its impact.

[12:41] The ‘need to know’ factor and getting a solid understanding of what you are dealing with.

[13:33] How COVID19 is making us all more vulnerable and aware.

[14:44] The challenge of talking about integration while staying physically distanced.

[15:25] How much are we thinking about everyone putting their lives on the line during this pandemic?

[17:48] What the pandemic and George Floyd’s death has revealed—‘when the snow melts’ you see what’s underneath.

[18:28] People want police officers to be active, present, and do their jobs in a safe way, as well as stay safe.

[19:28] What kind of training helps police officers react empathetically when dealing with stressful conflict-ridden situations so things don’t escalate?

[20:10] The need for funding to have experts available and training for police officers to be better-equipped to respond and deescalate situations such as domestic violence.

[20:42] It’s critical for police officers to understand themselves—their way of thinking and backstories—and how that affects their personal perception of what they see.

[22:01] How the ‘fear factor’ influences African American parents discussions with their kids, creating different perspectives and emotional responses, such as during a traffic stop.

[22:58] If an officer has a different perception over why someone is acting a certain way, it can deeply affect their stress levels and conflict response.

[24:01] In most situations, when people are treated with respect and dignity, it creates an environment that encourages voluntary compliance.

[25:52] How do you create a safe place for people to tell their story in your organization?

[26:24] Someone asking questions wants to learn.

[26:54] We are more the same than we are different, we face the same challenges and want similar things.

[28:28] Remembering we can agree to disagree and still appreciate other’s thinking and accept it.

[29:05] Understanding more about our coworkers by seeing into their homes.

[30:26] A lot of disparities have been revealed during the pandemic.

[33:00] Life is about connectivity. It’s about human to human connection.

[34:00] We’re all in this together, but we’re not. The snow is melting and revealing the disparities.

[36:15] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIPS: Accept others. Get to know other people’s backstory. If someone reacts differently, don’t take it personally. And lend a helping hand where you can—now more than ever.


“There’s a ‘need-to-know’ factor and there’s a fear factor.”

“I guess you fear what you don’t understand. It’s frightening, but once those gaps are filled they become more of a new enrichment process in your life.”

“Compassion and empathy can improve communications, inner personal relationships, and can even make you happy.”

“It’s definitely in the training. You wouldn’t send a brain surgeon to put out fire. When police officers go into situations and they don’t have any training or background, that’s going to be an escalated situation.”

“’Once the snow melts, the dirt shows’. And we have to address that dirt.”

“If you treat people with respect and dignity, regardless of the situation or who they are and where they came from, I believe you will instill more of an atmosphere of voluntary compliance.”

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