Diversity Training in Black and White

I met Nigisti, (then being named Rachael) several years ago when she was neck deep in researching criminal justice reform. Here was this beautiful, dynamic young woman picking my brain for advice. She was already an accomplished writer, had founded a non-profit, and was a champion for the poor. Not much I needed to do but provide some encouragement and tell her to keep going, which she certainly did. Actually, I know that meeting happened to inspire me instead!

Recently, Nigisti reached out to me again. Nigisti, by the way, means queen, and a queen she certainly has become. Having published her first book, Memoirs of a Church Girl’s Single Life is a culmination of her life experiences in the church which she calls, “phases of ministry”. In it, she discusses what having purity of heart, mind, body, and soul looks like in church culture. After delivering a rebuke to the church, she pushes forward with a vision of rebuilding structurally vulnerable, generationally impoverished communities.

As we continue another generation of civil unrest, one would hope that we finally come up with something more productive this time. Because when we do nothing, the void will continue to be filled for us with some very unsavory choices and a new set of problems.

Activists can affect real change in the minds of people who actually have the desire and resources to change things and create a rewarding career from their passion in the process. Here are just a few niches that need to be filled in the way of cultural diversity.

Diversity Training.

Every corporation needs it, and you can’t have white people in charge of it. One reason why we always step in it, white people, is that we think we can interpret what black people are going through and tell them how to improve it. I discussed with Nigisti designing a program with three levels. A beginner level with a lighthearted title, a big dose of humor, and good will. Remember, you want to convert, not convict. An intermediate level for people who understand racism is really horrible but other than wear a “black lives matter” t-shirt, post a sign in our yard or on our social media, we are not really sure what to do. (We are behind you black people, we are just positioned way, way, way behind you.) And of course, the deluxe expert package that could include black history, black business incubators that include mentorship, investment strategies, and wealth creators designed specifically for black employees and their children.


Create an atmosphere of open dialog. Let’s just talk about it by putting our heads together. Co-workers are workers that work together, right? Panel discussions, open forums that are safe spaces to ask all the awkward questions. I, personally, think we should be inundated with podcasts that feature a black and white person discussing everything from social issues to life experiences.

Everyone needs a signature charity.

If you know me, I’ve been saying this for years and I will say it again and again; we all need a signature charity. Corporations especially! Corporate Social Responsibility can and should be so creative right now. How about organizing a cops and inner-city children’s event, a junior league sports team, or a community cook off? Flood your local community non-profits that help pour back into the black community with love, support, and dollars. This is where an activist like Nigisti can really get creative by custom designing a program for corporations to have the most impact on our impoverished communities. Plus, this opens the door to involving and empowering their workforce to affect real progress in your own backyards. 

Check out Nigisti and her mission at nigistihismithministries.org. If you want to spin some more “goodness ideas” for your cause or corporation contact me, Melissa Feezor, through this site or email me directly at melissafeezor@icloud.com for a free one hour evaluation.

Can’t get enough goodness?

Follow me on my Instagram: @rawmaterialsbymelissa for the latest in goodness fashion, design and lifestyle.

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