58 episodes

Welcome to Inclusion Catalyst, with your hosts Mickey Desai and Julien Geiser. We bring diversity leaders to the table to hear about current issues in diversity and inclusion, deconstructing complex social justice issues to showcase the best practices in our workplaces and our communities.

Inclusion Catalyst Mickey Desai & Susan Cooper

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

Welcome to Inclusion Catalyst, with your hosts Mickey Desai and Julien Geiser. We bring diversity leaders to the table to hear about current issues in diversity and inclusion, deconstructing complex social justice issues to showcase the best practices in our workplaces and our communities.

    Disability Empathy and Access featuring Lori Frisher

    Disability Empathy and Access featuring Lori Frisher

    Today on the show, guest host Josh Miller of Josh Miller Ventures and IDEAS xLab talks to  Lori Frisher as part of his Uncovering Your Value series. Frisher is a leader, an advocate, an entrepreneur, an athlete, a two-time cancer survivor, and a public speaker who dares to dream beyond her present circumstances to discover what is possible. She was born with severe hearing loss and relies on two cochlear implants and lip-reading to communicate. Through her company Ready or Not Media!, Lori offerings immersive disability empathy trainings, keynotes and more.
     
    In this episode, Miller and Frisher discuss:


    How navigating the world with an invisible disability can lead to covering,
    Disability empathy and the importance of listening to and learning from people’s stories and experiences, 
    The role experiential learning and immersive workshops play in expanding people’s understanding about accessibility,
    Working to make physical workplaces more accessible while recognizing the role that remote and hybrid jobs play in expanding access to employment for people with disabilities.

    If you are interested in learning more about the topic of covering, delving into Miller’s Uncovering Your Value newsletter or getting in touch to share your story or about public speaking, visit ](http://www.joshmiller.ventures)[www.joshmiller.ventures or connect with him on LinkedIn!
     
    About Josh Miller:
    About: Josh Miller is a queer changemaker, public speaker, photographer, and outdoor explorer. He is the owner of Josh Miller Ventures and the co-founder + CEO of IDEAS xLab—an organization that uses the art of storytelling and community collaboration to impact public health. Miller’s work has been featured by The New York Times, the Aspen Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a Soros Equality Fellow, received the 2022 Nonprofit Visionary Leader Award from Louisville Business First, and was selected for Business Equality Magazine’s Forty LGBTQ+ Leaders under 40 and Louisville Business First's Forty under 40. Miller is a two-time TEDx speaker and has been described as a "force in our community.” He holds an MBA from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University. Previously, he served as an advisor to the Derby Diversity & Business Summit and co-chair for the Louisville Health advisory board’s communications committee.
     
    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 36 min
    Standing in our “No” featuring Marija Abney

    Standing in our “No” featuring Marija Abney

    Today on the show, guest host Josh Miller of Josh Miller Ventures and IDEAS xLab talks to Marija Abney as part of his Uncovering Your Value series. Abney is a community organizer, the arts curator at The Soapbox Presents, a Broadway performer and actress having starred in movies including both Black Panther films and Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Learn more about her work at The Soapbox presents here.
     
    Covering: downplaying, hiding or filtering parts of ourselves at work, with different social groups, at school and with family.
     
    In this episode, Miller and Abney discuss:


    The ways we are encouraged to code-switch or cover from a young age,
    The role of imagining and creating change for future generations,
    The importance of accomplices and collaborators in the workplace, and
    Standing in our “No” by putting in place boundaries that embody our values.

    If you are interested in learning more about the topic of covering, delving into Miller’s Uncovering Your Value newsletter or getting in touch to share your story or about public speaking, visit ](http://www.joshmiller.ventures)[www.joshmiller.ventures or connect with him on LinkedIn!
     
    About Josh Miller:
    About: Josh Miller is a queer changemaker, public speaker, photographer, and outdoor explorer. He is the owner of Josh Miller Ventures and the co-founder + CEO of IDEAS xLab—an organization that uses the art of storytelling and community collaboration to impact public health. Miller’s work has been featured by The New York Times, the Aspen Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a Soros Equality Fellow, received the 2022 Nonprofit Visionary Leader Award from Louisville Business First, and was selected for Business Equality Magazine’s Forty LGBTQ+ Leaders under 40 and Louisville Business First's Forty under 40. Miller is a two-time TEDx speaker and has been described as a "force in our community.” He holds an MBA from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University. Previously, he served as an advisor to the Derby Diversity & Business Summit and co-chair for the Louisville Health advisory board’s communications committee.
     
    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 45 min
    Covering at Work and Uncovering Your Value

    Covering at Work and Uncovering Your Value

    Today on the show, queer changemaker and public speaker Josh Miller kicks off a multi-part series on the topic of covering: downplaying, hiding or filtering parts of ourselves at work, with different social groups, at school and with family.
     
    Miller believes that being visible can shift culture, and that sharing our stories can be the catalyst that changes how people see and move through the world. During the episode, he features excerpts from interviews with corporate, nonprofit and political leaders on their experiences with covering at work and in life.
     
    As guest host, the founder of Josh Miller Ventures and co-founder and CEO of IDEAS xLab:


    Defines covering and talks about its prevalence and impact,
    Talks about the cost of covering and how it can lead to coping and burnout
    Delves into how COVID-19 and the socio-political environment intersected with covering and how people evolved and changed since 2020
    Asks you to consider, “Whose imagination are you working you?”
    Invites listeners to become part of an uncovering movement

    If you are interested in learning more about the topic of covering, delving into Miller’s Uncovering Your Value newsletter or getting in touch to share your story or about public speaking, visit ](http://www.joshmiller.ventures)[www.joshmiller.ventures or connect with him on LinkedIn!
     
    About Josh Miller:
    About: Josh Miller is a queer changemaker, public speaker, photographer, and outdoor explorer. He is the owner of Josh Miller Ventures and the co-founder + CEO of IDEAS xLab—an organization that uses the art of storytelling and community collaboration to impact public health. Miller’s work has been featured by The New York Times, the Aspen Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is a Soros Equality Fellow, received the 2022 Nonprofit Visionary Leader Award from Louisville Business First, and was selected for Business Equality Magazine’s Forty LGBTQ+ Leaders under 40 and Louisville Business First's Forty under 40. Miller is a two-time TEDx speaker and has been described as a "force in our community.” He holds an MBA from Indiana University and an undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University. Previously, he served as an advisor to the Derby Diversity & Business Summit and co-chair for the Louisville Health advisory board’s communications committee.
     
    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 27 min
    Welcoming Back Our Neighbors

    Welcoming Back Our Neighbors

    Today on the show, Julien speaks with Richard Mireles, the Director of Communications at the Oakland-based non-profit CROP Organization.
     
    CROP stands for Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs and their mission is to reimagine reentry (for justice-involved folks) through a holistic, human-centered approach to advocacy, housing, and skill development for the future of work. Richard's story is a testament to the power of resilience, transformation, and dedication. After spending nearly two decades incarcerated, Richard was granted parole in 2019 and has since become a leading voice in the movement for criminal justice reform.

    As the Director of Communications at CROP Organization and host of The Prison Post Podcast, Richard has dedicated his life to helping returning citizens transform their lives and stay free. He leads CROP's transformational workshops for nonprofits, community college faculty and students, and provides leadership development to incarcerated individuals through the Quest program at Solano State prison. Richard's journey is a true inspiration to all those who seek to overcome adversity and make a positive impact in the world. His unwavering commitment to personal growth, education, and social change is a testament to the transformative power of the human spirit.

    Today we discuss:


    The redemptive power of empathy and its importance in restorative justice initiatives and reforms of the criminal justice system.
    Richard’s personal story and perspectives on what it takes to be transformed in prison and come out whole.
    That rehabilitation, a critical feature of a healthy justice system, is largely overlooked in the United States — it’s really about profit and punishment.
    That if truly wanted a crime free society, we’d start by focusing on a 0% recidivism rate and stop dehumanizing justice-involved folks.

    Additional Resources:
    Last Prisoner Project
    Uncuffed Podcast
    Prison Policy Initiative – Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie
    The Purpose of Prison

    Our host, Julien Geiser, is the Director of Corporate Support at Greatheart Consulting. Greatheart develops inclusive leaders for courageous cultures by focusing on practical behaviors that can help build relationships of trust and accountability across all aspects of identity. To learn more about their work, visit www.greatheartconsulting.com.

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 42 min
    Veterans & Higher Ed (Pt. 2): Perspectives on Navigating the Transition to College as a Student Veteran

    Veterans & Higher Ed (Pt. 2): Perspectives on Navigating the Transition to College as a Student Veteran

    Join LeNaya Hezel, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) as she chats with three alumni of the WSP program, Army veteran Chris Twigg, Navy veteran Desaree Edwards, and Marine Corps veteran Jessica Nelson. In this episode, they’ll discuss life after military service, the role higher education plays in transitioning to civilian life, owning the veteran narrative, and their plans to continue to serve and “make the world a better place.”
     
    Know an enlisted veteran looking to jumpstart their education? Invite them to learn more about Warrior-Scholar Project and submit an interest form at www.warrior-scholar.org.
     
    Connect with Warrior-Scholar Project!
    Website
    Donate
    LinkedIn
     
    An official partner with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, WSP is a nonprofit that hosts immersive academic boot camps in partnership with some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. A ](https://www.warrior-scholar.org/two-year-study-confirms-national-nonprofit-warrior-scholar-project-provides-unprecedented-resources-to-veterans/)[recent study found that WSP is the only national program of its kind dedicated to veterans that not only provides targeted support for academic success, but also improves social connection and relationships with both faculty and nonveteran students.

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 35 min
    Veterans & Higher Ed (Pt. 1): Why Supporting Military Students Requires an Inclusive Strategy

    Veterans & Higher Ed (Pt. 1): Why Supporting Military Students Requires an Inclusive Strategy

    Join LeNaya Hezel, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) as she chats with WSP’s director of education, Dr. Cassie Sanchez, about how the WSP program supports transitioning service members in their pursuit of higher education by meeting the nontraditional student veteran community “where they are.” The two also discuss how using an assets-based approach ensures inclusivity is embedded in WSP’s culture.
     
    Know an enlisted veteran looking to jumpstart their education? Invite them to learn more about Warrior-Scholar Project and submit an interest form at www.warrior-scholar.org.
     
    Connect with Warrior-Scholar Project!
    Website
    Donate
    LinkedIn
     
    An official partner with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, WSP is a nonprofit that hosts immersive academic boot camps in partnership with some of the nation’s top colleges and universities. A ](https://www.warrior-scholar.org/two-year-study-confirms-national-nonprofit-warrior-scholar-project-provides-unprecedented-resources-to-veterans/)[recent study found that WSP is the only national program of its kind dedicated to veterans that not only provides targeted support for academic success, but also improves social connection and relationships with both faculty and nonveteran students.

    Support Inclusion Catalyst by contributing to their tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/inclusion-catalyst

    • 25 min

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