HIT Piece 7.19.2016

Building a business…while black…

Writing…while black…

Driving…while black…

Tweeting…while black…

Parenting…while black…

Doing physics…while black…

Banking…while black…

Teaching…while black…

All of these are stories about identity. The problem is, where the emphasis is in my story may not match where the emphasis is in your story, for me.

And since I get to define my story (and then you get to decide if you believe that story or not) where I put the emphasis matters more than where the emphasis is placed for me.

Stories are powerful and they aren’t true or false, they are just real. And when where I place my emphasis, creates friction when it rubs up against where you place your emphasis on my story, then conflicts, miscommunications, and misunderstandings become par for the course. And should come as no surprise.

Yet, somehow, you are constantly surprised by where I place the emphasis in my story.

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson, A Fearless Experienced Ed-Tech Executive, Thinker, Educator, and Technologist

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Three, Episode #9 – Qiana Patterson


Race, culture, education, and technology; all of these things matter to our guest today, and she’s going to make sure that you at least think about them before we’re done here.

In our world today, race, gender, and culture seem to matter more now than ever before. This interview sort of dovetails with the interview that we did with Mitch Mitchell a couple of episodes back.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but a person’s vocal inflections, tone, and language should have no racial overtones, but I remember the last time we went around and around the block about race in this country—during the Orenthal James Simpson trial—that there was some discussion about whether or not O.J. had a “black” sounding voice.

Speaking of language, my grandmother came from a time when women and minorities in general weren’t getting a public fair shake in any sense of the word and she raised me to speak with as clean and as unaccented a voice as she possibly could. She believed—as Booker T. Washington before her also did—that speaking well was the first step toward writing well, which led inevitably to living well in a racist world.

I think that our guest today, Qiana Patterson, would have had an interesting discussion with my grandmother. These are two women separated by a lot of history, a lot of years, and by philosophies. That’s not to say that Qiana’s perspective or philosophy on education, race, and where they meet in the realm of technology is problematic.

Far from it.

I think that we have to be open to hearing from everybody in this racially, ethnically, and even economically diverse world. Because if we don’t, then self-awareness, self-motivation, and the courage to act differently (forget just thinking differently) become mere punchlines that we repeat at cocktail parties.

And I think that my grandmother, Qiana, and myself, have had quite enough of all that.

Haven’t you?

Check out all the ways below to connect with Qiana today:

Qiana’s Education Post Page: http://educationpost.org/network/qiana-patterson/

Qiana’s Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/Q_i_a_n_a

Qiana on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qiana-patterson-87427b2

Qiana’s About Me page: https://about.me/QianaPatterson

We Built This

There’s been a trend that has advanced as our electronic tools have outstripped our good sense, our common decency and our impulse control.


The trend can be heard in phrases such as “my Twitter feed blew up” or “Facebook melted down.”

When the popular media narrative drives emotional responses to hot button issues, surrounding topics such justice, identity, legal decisions or social depredations to push up ratings and gather attention, the population in the United States now has the tools and know how, to take to Twitter and Facebook and express displeasure, disgust or even to “poke the bear.”

The social contract is breaking down, not because people have the tools to express opinions from the peanut gallery, but because every peanut in the gallery has access to the tools in the first place.

But, we in the field of ADR shouldn’t get mad at the Internet or social media. After all, we either actively or passively, participated in building the media that we have right now.

We shouldn’t throw up our hands in disgust and walk away, tune out, turn off and drop off the “map.” We also probably shouldn’t engage, foment and otherwise stir the pot more, with anything but affirmations of peace and solutions to complicated issues.

We have taken the words of the Declaration of Independence, and the admonitions and arguments of dead 18th, 19th and 20th century white male philosophers to heart, but unfortunately, we have taken them to heart—and to task—using tools and social spaces that weren’t really designed for nuanced observation, conversation and peacebuilding.

The popular narrative is exactly that—a story—and we as individuals are under no obligation to spread the story, comment on the story, or even to believe the story.

We are under obligation, as peacemakers, to point out alternatives to the dominate narrative, no matter from whom—the majority or the minority—it may spring, and offer a path toward the Truth.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/