Research tells us that the stronger the sense of belonging we have in a group, the more engaged we are and the more productive we can be. A solid sense of belonging also contributes positively to our health and well-being. Creating and sustaining cohesion in a diverse group can be a leadership challenge. What does a leader need to do to create a sense of inclusion and belonging in an organization or group blessed with diverse members? Inclusive leaders find and build ways to foster belonging and connection between people. In today’s conversation, we will talk about the behaviors and practices of leaders who strengthen connections between people, foster courageous conversations, and demonstrate commitment to inclusion through listening with compassion. These skills are important any time, but especially in times of uncertainty and change.
Uneeda Brewer has years of experience leading the conversation on inclusivity, addressing negative stereotypes, and building connections across boundaries. From groundbreaking research on the cultural strengths of African American families for social workers’ curricula to consulting and workshops for corporate leaders, Uneeda works on inclusivity both locally and globally. She graduated from Goucher College with a BA in American Studies and has a master’s degree in social work from Atlanta University School of Social Work. She is a Board-certified practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy. She is currently consulting with the New College of Florida on their Inclusive Campus Climate Initiative, which is designed to create a welcoming and cohesive environment for the entire campus community.