You were absolutely outstanding, downright exemplary from beginning to the end on Thursday! You were in command of your material and you engaged with the audience is a “safe” way so that all felt free to speak up and grab all the learning they could. I learned new information that could only help me make the case here at Harvard how very compelling it is to deal first hand and at a minimum have the conversation about RACE in a way that becomes a learning event for all. I have been doing this work in many different roles—consultant, corporate executive, staff, and voluntarily as a board member many years. You nailed it with contemporary thought and showed both sides of the continuum.
- Barbara Nobles Crawford, Ph.D., Executive Coach & Sr. Organization Development Consultant Harvard University | Center for Workplace Development
Allison takes you on an amazing journey of acknowledging and exploring your masked discomfort with discussing racial relations. She creates a safe zone for you to accept inherent biases, and then, just as you are starting to discover comfort, she will draw you into that next awkward space you need to go - the world you believe you live in, but you really don't...because it's a lot harder than just calling someone a friend who doesn't look like you. It's investing emotional energy (lots of it) in trying to understand the world from other people's perspectives, embracing the long tail of history that lives inside each of us - but doesn't have to paralyze us. With grace and empathy and humor, Allison offers you tools to be successful in these conversations we all need to have. To be courageous in the face of uncertainty - to share human compassion regardless of our histories.
What can you expect when you experience Allison? As one example, when she addressed our organization's 250 members, Q&A time came and for nearly a full minute - the audience sat in stunned, reflective silence. Allison is familiar with this - so she waited - and then the floodgates opened. We finally had to end the highly energized dialogue so Allison could offer her closing words. The audience erupted in a standing ovation. The next day, the speaker evaluations showed the highest rating EVER in our 38 year history of hosting renowned thought leaders.
Allison's deep passion is to have an impact on you, for you to find a new path forward, for you to feel enlightened and energized to act...differently.
- Sue LaChance, Human Resources Leadership Forum Board MemberVP, Organizational Development and Learning | Commonwealth Care Alliance