Reframing Hard Topics: Ways to Talk About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  April 21, 2021  1pm EST/11am CST/10am PST


Session Overview:

When even casual conversations about differences over preferred candidates or attitudes toward current events are volatile, when white supremacists make headlines, having a discussion about diversity, equity and inclusion may seem a daunting if not impossible task. At the same time, there is an evident hunger in many parts of our society for a fuller understanding of the ways in which our differences make a difference. How might we introduce and participate in these conversations at home, in our neighborhoods, at work … wherever we see an opportunity to address that hunger for understanding?  Shwanda Barnette and Scott Paine don’t have answers to every question, but their hopeful, thoughtful approach to these conversations, focused on identity, competence, understanding and compassion, will help us set the stage for our own conversations whenever and wherever we can have them.

About the Presenters:

Shwanda T. Barnette, J.D. is the Membership Relations Ambassador and Chair of the Diversity Council for the Florida League of Cities (FLC).  She also serves as the FLC Liaison to the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (FBC-LEO).  Shwanda received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 2007. Following a judicial clerkship and adjunct teaching at Georgetown Law, Shwanda enjoyed a successful 5-year career with the District of Columbia government in Program Development, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Development.  DC Government is where she first began her work in Race, Equity & Inclusion as a Peer Equity Counselor through their Race & Equity in Education Series (REES).  When Shwanda joined the Florida League of Cities University Team in 2016, she brought her experience in the DEI space to her work supporting local officials as well as internal stakeholders, by designing and co-facilitating trainings on Ethics and Diversity.  In October 2018, Shwanda received a professional certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  Shwanda is currently serving Florida’s cities by designing and facilitating custom training for elected officials and municipals staff on Ethics, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

After more than thirty years in higher education, Dr. Scott Paine (Ph.D., Political Science, Syracuse University, 1985) joined the staff of the Florida League of Cities in 2015 as the Director of Leadership Development and Education. Scott’s perspective on public service has been formed by both his academic career and his political activities, which included serving for two terms as a Tampa City Councilman. Scott is a popular trainer and conference speaker in both in-person and virtual settings. He is co-host (together with FLC Ambassador Shwanda Barnette) of an innovative monthly webinar, FLCitiesStrong. He is the author of More than Self (2017), Rethinking Public Leadership for the 21st Century (2009), a regular column in Quality Cities (QC) magazine, and a blog at Scott and his wife, Carol, have ten children, including seven adopted children, and seven grandchildren.