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Eastern football tackles diversity, inclusion and bias

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YPSILANTI, I. (EMUEagles.com) In support of Eastern Michigan University’s commitment to fostering a thriving, inclusive university community and its commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion for all, Head Football Coach has Chris Creighton recently welcomed Master Facilitator dr. James Pogue to campus as part of the team’s Champions 4 Life series.

dr. Pogue is an educator, speaker, and executive coach who equips leaders at all levels with the tools they need to be a catalyst for positive change. An expert on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, and multi-generational intelligence, he understands that talking about sensitive issues is necessary ‘now’.

“We are grateful for all the time and energy Dr. Pogue has put into facilitating our team discussions about diversity, bias and race relations,” said Creighton. “I am proud of how engaged our program has been over the three weeks and am confident that we will all continue to learn and grow in these areas.”

Split into weekly discussions, the topics covered were diversity, inclusion, bias, and micro-aggression.

The primary goals of the workshops were: 1) to increase student-athlete and coach comfort and confidence in their ability to express themselves, their feelings and their perspectives on race, diversity, inclusion and prejudice; 2) provide tools for student-athletes and coaches to delve deeper into each other and their backgrounds, perspectives and experiences; and 3) encourage student-athlete and coaches to be leaders on the field, in the classroom, in their homes and communities when it comes to race, diversity, inclusion and prejudice.

“The pre-session with the coaches helped to speed up the conversations between them and the student-athletes,” added Dr. Pogue to it. “It was clear that both groups were hungry for the conversation, and it was an important step in deepening the relationships that build connections for life, on and off the field.”

In small groups, the team was able to have open discussions and arrive at the “right kind” of discomfort. dr. Pogue was able to lead the discussion on how the team can achieve greater success by understanding and embracing its diversity.

“The segment with James Pogue was phenomenal,” senior defensive back Jeff Hubbard (Atlanta, Georgia-Woodward Academy) mentioned. “Dr. Pogue challenged us to step outside our comfort zones and have those thorny conversations about the problematic stumbling blocks that individuals face in their daily lives. These conversations were shocking to several individuals who had no idea that their counterparts are micro-aggressions. that they encounter in their day-to-day lives.The way Dr. Pogue focused on the diverse races across the team and not just the blacks and whites brought this fraternity several steps closer to the definition of FAMILY. time he spent with us is much appreciated.”

Micro-aggressions are defined as the mundane, subtle, intentional and often unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate some kind of prejudice against historically marginalized groups. The difference between micro-aggressions and overt discrimination or macro-aggressions is that people who commit micro-aggressions may not even be aware of it.

A lot of times people don’t even realize they’re doing things like this.

“As Dr. Pouge would say, I had a few ‘breakthrough moments’ over the three sessions,” said senior punter Jake julien (Barrie, Ontario-North Collegiate) from the workshop. “One thing that struck me was the subject of bias and the different types of micro-aggressions. When every November football season rolls around and the temperatures outside start to drop, I always get comments about how ‘it must be nice to have you at home’ because of the cold weather since I’m Canadian The truth is I hate the cold but it’s very easy for me to laugh at these comments and shake them off My breakthrough moment was thinking about how these comments would affect me when they were about my skin color or race it really put things in perspective for me about how some of my teammates must face these comments on a regular basis Overall i was very grateful and grateful for the experience and knowledge of dr Pouge shared it with us. I think this was a great experience for our team and definitely opened my eyes.”

Visit EMUEagles.com for the latest information on athletics from the east. Follow EMU Athletics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.

About Dr. James Pogue

Leadership and training are at the heart of who Dr. Pogue is in line with its ongoing commitment to equip executives and professionals with the thought leadership to improve communication and manage it effectively. His military service and overseas deployment in the Middle East gave him tangible examples of the critical balance between leaders and followers in teams.

After nearly 10 years in higher education as a researcher, professor and administrator focusing on diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias, Dr. Pogue works with multigenerational leadership. He helps companies prepare, recruit and retain talent across gender, culture, ethnicity and generations, from baby boomers to millennials and now Generation Z.

As an expert keynote speaker, Dr. Pogue leaders in making decisions that affect cross-functional teams at all levels. As a Consultant and Executive Coach, Dr. Pogue organizations achieve breakthrough results by helping them identify and overcome what stands in their way. His work helps executives achieve optimal working relationships and realize organizational expectations through both personal and corporate executive coaching.

James’ recent clients include The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), Dallas Convention Visitors Bureau, The Association Forum, Panda Foods, Brinker International and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), Connectiv, American College of Prosthodontics (ACP), and American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

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