Director Velma Korbel accepted the Communication and Leadership award during the Toastmasters District 6 Annual Spring Convention luncheon. Director Korbel was asked to speak about communication strategies in leadership. During the past year, Director Korbel created messaging for leadership about the Civil Rights Department’s equity work. Her strategy is to use 6 steps to effectively communicate the message of inequality to leadership.
According to Director Korbel, one of the hardest things to do is communicate the issue of inequality to leadership. Inequality is a polarizing and emotional subject. Certain audiences are not prepared to receive messages about inequality. To best foster these discussions with audiences, Director Korbel uses a 6 step process from the Center for Social Inclusion.
The first step requires getting to the heart of the issue. People need to make a personal connection to the issue. The second, is think about how we got here. The third, acknowledge the problem and our shared fate.
The fourth, take on the wedge. People must challenge the narrative that creates wedge. Otherwise, people will use these wedges to keep the narrative going. Wedges exist throughout society. For example, the preconceived notions associated with the terms “illegal alien,” “illegal immigrant,” and “migrant worker” are wedges that prevent inclusion. This is the hardest step to accomplish. The fifth step is to reframe the winners and the losers. Finally, propose a solution.
Director Korbel stated she hopes her speech will challenge the audience members to reconsider their thoughts on inequality, and to continue the conversation about inequality. Effective conversations about race and eliminating harmful systems are necessary for social inclusion.