Not sure? Tonight you can find out!
On the Energion Hangout tonight I’ll be interviewing my friend Dr. Dolly Berthelot, author of PERFECTLY SQUARE: A Fantasy Fable for All Ages, and an all around great person.
Let’s get the commercial part out of the way first. This book was first published in 1994, and its message is still relevant, possibly even more relevant, today. In fact, I suspect that in another 50 years, its message will still be on point and up to date. So I’ve taken up distributing the book. You can find the Energion catalog page at the link above or by clicking on the cover picture.
And while we’re at it, you can find the interview tonight (7:00 pm central / 8:00 pm eastern) via the Google+ Event page, or you can use the embedded viewer here.
With that out of the way, let me tell you about Dolly Berthelot. I encountered Dolly through the CommUNITY Dialogues™ program she offered through the Human Relations office here in Escambia County Florida. I believe I got involved through mutual friends at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Pensacola (then Pensacola Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship).
My view of diversity programs at the time was negative, to say the least. I had attended a number of these programs while in the USAF and also some with civilian organizations, and they were uniformly boring and generally useless. I remained committed, however, to the idea that we could learn to reap great benefits from our differences by listening to one another.
I’d say that the key failures of diversity programs that I attended were rather straightforward. First, they had a tendency to tell you what a few differences were and basically explain that you had to get along anyhow. Then they’d attempt to make all the diverse people in the room drop all their differences, or treat them as unimportant, so they could get along. It appeared that the diversity trainers really didn’t like diversity. Their hope was that everyone would cut off the rough edges and get along, or just not mention anything that might be controversial.
In CommUNITY Dialogues™, things were quite different. Dolly taught (and encourages) unity in diversity. We are all different, and this isn’t a problem to be solved, but an opportunity to be grasped. We need to make the most of our diversity because it’s a great thing.
So now, 20 years after the book was first released, and quite a number of years after I enjoyed that dialogues program, I’m taking up distributing this book. For various reasons (I’ll get her to explain tonight), Dolly hasn’t been as active. But she’s passionate and ready to go with the message of unity in diversity. Join us!