July 28th, 2009
by Tod Ewing

Services provided by Tod Ewing
Author of “Seeing Heaven in the Face of Black Men”
and owner of Hanna, Ewing and Associates

“Building Unity in Diversity”

All consulting and training Services from Hanna Ewing and Associates are designed to “Build Unity in Diversity” and focus on the transformation of consciousness necessary to build bridges of unity.  That consciousness may be called a spiritual consciousness, or one that taps our highest and best self. The term “spiritual” often makes people run in the other direction but please read on.  By spirituality I do not mean a particular religion or belief system, but rather that ability to draw on a depth of consciousness that allows one to transcend challenging emotional and ego based struggles and operate from “higher” ground.  It is an element of human capacity that professions across the spectrum are acknowledging as one that can improve the quality of life, both in and out of the workplace. Particularly it can provide the strength to transform and transcend (not deny) the emotional pain often associated with racial and other diversity challenges, into the motivation, will and strength to build unity and justice. Too often we admire that ability in others, yet fail to choose it for ourselves. It is time to make new choices.

Two premises guide all of our training and lecture sessions. The first is that we as a human race, in or out of the United States, have never lived in a society that has been unified and just across social lines of race, ethnicity and other diversity factors. Therefore none of us owns the truth in how to achieve unity in diversity. We must humbly learn that together.

The second premise is that the body of humanity, as a whole, may be likened to the human body. Every limb and member has a part to play and the strength of part impacts the strength of the whole. If one part is allowed to suffer the whole body will suffer. We therefore must ensure all parts are strong and connected. Unity in diversity then is the key. Our services are predicated on the belief that we are all interconnected and that our thoughts and actions have an impact on the whole; mentally, emotionally, physically and spirituality.

All subjects can be presented in a lectures or workshops. (See below for details) Lectures also include interaction with the audience. All sessions are tailor made to suit the needs of the audience.

Here are titles of workshops and lecture presentations. Details of presentations follow this listing.

  • Bridging the Great Divide
  • Seeing Heaven in the Face of Black Men
  • Tapping Your Transpersonal (Beyond Personality) Self
  • The Practicality of Spirituality
  • Building Unity in Diversity with Young People
  • From “Other” to “Brother”
  • Transformational Communication
  • Facilitating Sensitive Dialogue

Bridging the Great Divide: The divide between many social groups in the US of America has historically been deep and wide; of late more subtle than overt. However, “the times they are a changin.” Transforming our consciousness from one of separateness to that of oneness is the only road we can ride on in the 21rst century. So then what are the attitudes, behaviors and skills that will align or actions with the reality of our newly found consciousness? How can we cause a shift in our vision and actions to thrive in our new found reality? We can explore this with dignity together.

Seeing Heaven in the Face of Black Men: When (US) Americans expect to, want to and see heaven i.e.: dignity, honor, strength and beauty, in the face of Black men, the very opposite of what has been the case historically; a profound milestone will have been reached in the journey toward racial unity and justice. Only when both Blacks and Whites make the choice to transform the pain and the emotional pain and anger associated with race, into the motivation, will and strength to build unity and justice can lasting progress be made. A transpersonal (beyond personality) spiritual approach does not preclude an honest approach it simply moves the issue to a higher ground. This workshop will focus on how to address the traditional roadblocks between Whites and Blacks in a spiritual/transpersonal manner.

Tapping Your Transpersonal (Beyond Personality) Self: Each of us has a high road self (selfless) and a low road self (selfish). Every minute we make decisions on whether to tap into one self or the other. Ultimately what are lives become is the sum total of those choices. It is our premise that none of us wants to sacrifice a high road quality for a low road quality in any situation. However we often do just that and to the detriment of ourselves and the situation. We can learn to do better as we learn more about who we really are and how we best function; beyond our ego self.

The Practicality of Spirituality: Spirituality can dramatically improve the quality of our life and the quality of our relationships at home, in the community and in the workplace. Spirituality is not necessarily connected to a particular religious affiliation. It is an inner quality and depth of consciousness that realizes interconnectedness with all humanity. When drawn upon it impels us to act from a higher and nobler self. It is that quality we so admire in others but too often fail to choose for ourselves. It can be a source of strength and motivation in addressing equity and fairness issues in society and for addressing our own prejudices. By our admiration of those who exhibit spiritual qualities we acknowledge their truth and reality. We only need to make the choice to integrate spirituality more fully into our lives?

Building Unity in Diversity with Young People: This training is based on the Building Cultural Bridges (BCB) curriculum, now in its third edition. Though almost ten years old it is as relevant now as when it was written. The material contains a student workbook and leaders guide for teachers. Students and teachers will see themselves in a new light with a new spirit to build bonds in unity in the school community.

From “Other” to “Brother” Collectively, the human race has gone and is going through stages similar to a child coming of age. For simplicity, there are three overlapping stages. There is a period of infancy where the child develops, is dependent and acquires qualities of dependency. There is a period of often turbulent adolescence where the qualities of independence are developed; those related to personal separation from adults, personal power and distinction and often, in group/out group thinking. Finally there is a period of adulthood where qualities of interdependence and cooperation are developed. Humanity is emerging from it’s adolescence into maturity. The qualities of independence which are often based on self centered acquisition of power, must give way to a whole new set of qualities based on a consciousness of oneness and interdependence. What are these qualities, how do we develop them, how can we use language that is unifying and not dividing and separating? What is the framework that can guide our actions? We can learn this together.

Transformational Communication

Communication is both an art and a skill and constitutes “the essential human connection.”(Paul J. Meyers) Human beings are part of an interdependent set of relationships that require communication, “connection” to thrive. In that sense connection is life and disconnection negates life, unity is life and disunity is death. This is true in families and organizations specifically. Yet organizations are under tremendous pressure to achieve goals, meet deadlines and accomplish tasks. It is often pressure that leads to the kind of stress that manifests itself in poor communication. It is at such times we forget that communication is “the essential human connection” or the source of disconnection. Stress brings out ego and ego thinks only of satisfying itself. Additionally some individuals are challenged with underdeveloped social and communication skills. Since we live in a competitive society, communication, even at its best, can result in power struggles which can then result in the struggle superseding the overall family, community or organizational goals. And in fact the goal can get lost because of the emotion of the struggle. The goal becomes consciously or unconsciously to be right or to win. The greatest need of this day, in and out of the workplace, is the conscious realization of our interdependence and then the development of the necessary qualities, attitudes, knowledge and skills to sustain such interdependence. If we view our workplace as analogous to the human body where every limb and member has it part to play and must operate in harmony to be effective, we can begin to think about how to develop systems of communication that sustain unity in diversity.

Facilitating Sensitive Dialogue: Facilitating dignity based consultation and dialogue with the purpose of searching for truth and solution finding is both an art and a skill. Though techniques are important, equally important is for potential facilitators to understand the spirit they convey which ultimately comes from a deeper and even unconscious sense of how they view themselves and others. Spirit, energy and skill are all key factors in the success of any enterprise and are especially essential to the facilitation of sensitive dialogues.

Workshop/Presentations In the Process of Being Developed

Preliminary title: “Justice and Equity Factors”

What are the elements and components of your organization that you need to examine for equity and fairness. Together explore these elements and look at how each promotes equity and justice or diminishes equity and justice within your organization.

Preliminary title: “Materialism: The “ism” at the core of racism and other isms”

Materialism is at the core of many of our diversity related challenges. It represents the “ism” that is not often linked with other “isms” such as racism and sexism, but it is equally as devastating and relates directly to and impacts them”. Presentations or lectures are now available on this subject.

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