I have participated in countless trainings, workshops, and exercises that immediately either lost or captured my buy in. It was not the topics being discussed or choice of snacks (although food is very important) or even the location. It was the facilitator.

Specifically, it was the authenticity, or lack thereof, of the facilitator.

So, as I prepared to facilitate DEI discussion, I prioritized bringing authenticity into the space. However, that was more challenging than expected.

I had to put into practice what I asked of my participants. This included awareness of my own perspectives, biases, and ignorance. I needed to prepare for conversation and perspectives that would challenge me and cause uncomfortable, validated, even angry feelings.

It is a bit intimidating to be upfront and honest about your own shortcomings and ignorance as a facilitator. It is uncomfortable, but necessary, to share my identity as a white, queer, disabled woman.