Tag Archives: microagression

Nonprofit Radio for June 6, 2022: Responding To Microaggressions & Discrimination

 

Dan Berstein: Responding To Microaggressions & Discrimination

Resuming our #22NTC coverage, Dan Berstein helps you identify these situations, decide whether and how to speak up, and mitigate your own potential biases and accept feedback. He has mental health resources for you at bit.ly/mhskills and bit.ly/TMHDashboard. Dan is from MH Mediate.

 

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[00:01:52.84] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with an echo Griffo sis if you clawed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, responding to microaggressions and discrimination, Resuming our 22 NTC coverage dan Burstein helps you identify these situations, decide whether and how to speak up and mitigate your own potential biases and accept feedback. He has mental health resources for you dan is from Mh mediate Antonis take two tips for Israel. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. And by 4th dimension Technologies IT Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D but they go one dimension deeper here is responding to microaggressions and discrimination. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. The 2022 nonprofit technology conference. I’m joined now by dan Burstein. He is founder and mediator at M. H. Mediate dan Welcome back to nonprofit radio

[00:01:55.74] spk_1:
thank you for having me again.

[00:01:57.36] spk_0:
My pleasure. The 21 NTC brought us together, I believe it was it last I believe it was last year,

[00:02:03.14] spk_1:
yep, that’s right last

[00:02:17.44] spk_0:
year. Alright glad to have you back your session this year is tools to help a leader respond to microaggressions and discrimination. Uh now your work is in the is in the mental mental health mental illness

[00:02:48.54] spk_1:
space. Yes, so, you know, my work is focused on helping people have better communication about mental health and that’s what we talked about last year was how to have those kinds of conversations, especially during the pandemic and remotely. Um and one of the issues that comes up a lot is there’s stigma related to mental illness and it comes out with microaggressions and discrimination. So that’s why this year’s topic was tools that can help any leader, you know, notice and respond to these kinds of incidents of microaggressions and discrimination which aren’t just in mental health. They happen across the board. All kinds of different kinds of identities um can be hurt through discrimination and microaggressions. But my focus area has always been um you know, conflict resolution and mental health.

[00:03:14.54] spk_0:
Cool, Alright, so your examples come from that community, but the lessons apply broadly across identities.

[00:03:17.18] spk_1:
That’s right,

[00:03:17.96] spk_0:
okay, let’s let’s define microaggressions and discrimination, let’s start microaggressions, let’s make sure everybody understands what we’re talking about.

[00:06:35.14] spk_1:
So, so a microaggression, uh it can be a number of different things, but basically it’s any kind of comment or even a situation that includes an implicit message that some kind of identity group is less than or bad or has some kind of problem associated with it. So basically it’s talking in any kind of way that um endorses stereotypes or stigmas um and so I’ll give you an example with mental illness. Uh So I myself I have bipolar disorder and I include that often in my professional bio and in my work, and one time I told a colleague that um you know, I have bipolar disorder and he said, oh, really, Oh wow, you’re doing so well. And he said it like that, which was, you know, it sounds positive. A lot of microaggressions sound positive, and actually the message implied is, oh, I wouldn’t expect someone with bipolar disorder to present very well, and so it actually comes across as kind of negative in the meaning um even though it was a friend who meant to be supportive, um the stereotype gets embedded in the message. So a lot of times microaggressions, people think they’re being very nice and they are trying to be nice, but their their beliefs that um in this case that mental illness is something so damaging and debilitating, you wouldn’t expect someone to do well and and with with it um it gets embedded in and what they’re saying. And so there’s a lot of different kinds of microaggressions that um can come out and in in these different kinds of ways, but it’s a it’s an interesting thing. Another, another form of it is um, oh, you know, um you know, everybody, everybody has depression, you know, everybody has bad days and that would be considered what’s called a micro and validation where, you know, they they’re not taking it seriously when you tell them that you have a mental health condition. So it can go in a lot of different directions. There’s a lot of different kinds of messaging. Um and there’s actual academic literature reviews that catalog so many different ways. Um those kinds of messages could be in there, but basically the messages that are commonly unfortunately and inappropriately associated with mental illness are maybe this person is dangerous, Maybe this person doesn’t really have a serious problem and they’re making more out of it than it is, Maybe this person is inferior. Um Maybe I’m gonna treat this person like an infant or like they need my help. Um you know, so these are the kinds of messages that come out where, you know, even saying things like, oh, do you need some help or do you want some help with that? That can be seen as um you know, huge micro aggression in the world of disabilities where um if people, you know, mental illness is considered an invisible disability, but a lot of people have visible no noticeable disabilities and and being constantly offered assistance can be considered seen as a microaggression as well. So there’s there’s a whole literature on it and um it’s a it’s a difficult thing to handle because people often mean, well when they’re doing it and and it happens all the time in day to day life.

[00:06:49.54] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m thinking of the uh example of, you know, saying to someone who’s a person of color, you know, you’re so articulate or you’re you know, you’re so well read or something you wouldn’t expect

[00:06:55.18] spk_1:
and yeah,

[00:06:57.34] spk_0:
what you’re gonna say.

[00:07:53.34] spk_1:
Um and so one of the tools that I’ve shared when I do the workshop about microaggressions is a guide by kevin Nadal. Um that says um how do you handle a microaggression? And the first question is, did this happen? You ask did this, do I think this is a microaggression? Because you know, some of these things can be ambiguous enough that you have to ask yourself like, well, what’s going on here? And then then there’s the question of like, well should I respond? Because if I do um it could be a huge nightmare for me that this person’s gonna get so offended that I point out that they did the microaggression. And if I don’t then um I might get mistreated forever. So it’s, you know, it’s a really tricky world we live in with microaggressions because it can be so subtle and so understated. Um although certainly if it happens a lot and there’s a significant pattern of the men, it can become a hostile work environment situation. Um, you know, as well. So it’s a very tricky tricky confusing world when we talk about microaggressions.

[00:08:38.34] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m seeing this. You know, your your your session is two tools to help a leader respond to microaggressions and discrimination, I’m seeing difficulty just in the identification. Yeah. So if if the um if the if the person who this is who this is aimed at doesn’t doesn’t speak up, doesn’t call it out either on you know, in the moment, which is as you described, you know, which can be very difficult or later. You know, maybe privately to the to the to a to a leader. How is a leader to identify? How can you be so sensitive how how Yeah, that makes it wait. I’m the way I said it makes it sound like it’s impossible. How can we increase sensitivity to help leaders identify these microaggressions?

[00:11:19.74] spk_1:
Well. So so first I I need to flag the difference between microaggressions and discrimination. Okay, microaggression is sort of like evidence of an attitude, evidence of stigma that maybe there are stereotypes of an attitude. Whereas discrimination which we’ll talk about in a moment is an action. So it’s much easier to respond to discrimination because that’s where something actually is done and the person is treated differently versus the mere expression of the microaggression itself, which is much more confusing and complicated. And so it is it is tricky. And The main message that comes out of the workshop that we did at N 10 um is you know, be aware that this is going on, be sensitive, be ready. Um instead of being defensive to hear what someone’s attitude is when they say when they do bring it up and be understanding that it’s not easy to bring it up sort of like when we think about the, you know, the Me Too movement and sexual harassment. Um that every one person who complains there’s a lot who don’t because it’s so fraud. So having some empathy to understand that when someone does come in and they are complaining about something that they experienced as a microaggression. That’s hard. So the guide I mentioned. So it makes it very clear like it’s tricky to speak up because you don’t know if you, if you even can prove it happened and then you don’t know um you know how people will react if it’ll affect your relationships with your friends or your co workers or whoever. And so it is fraught to even bring it up. So the big message from microaggressions is just be receptive to people’s feedback, Be understanding that this happens and and do your best to have empathy for what it means when someone does come forward and and creating a culture where people are less defensive and more open minded about changing how they communicate on a regular basis. Um, you know, one of one of the projects that I have is called the Mental Health Safe project. And it’s about giving people tools to respond to microaggressions and discrimination. And one of the things that we’re working on is developing a stigma mediation program where people can come and talk these kinds of things out without it being punitive just so that way they can sort of work through some of the um stress of handling, you know, these microaggressions because it’s it’s confusing, right? The example I gave you this is a friend of mine who was trying to be supportive and said something that was very hurtful and that you know me being open with the bipolar disorder, I get that all the time and I know that no one’s trying to hurt me. So the question is, okay, well how do I, you know, how do I help them not do this again without making them feel really bad about themselves, You know? Um so it’s it’s a micro aggressions can be the trickiest issue. Then there’s also the discrimination stuff which we can talk about, which is a little less tricky.

[00:11:35.74] spk_0:
Right? Easy, easy too easy to identify.

[00:11:38.51] spk_1:
Still very tricky though. I’ll tell you some stories, it’s still very tricky, but it’s just like clear.

[00:11:45.04] spk_0:
There are also laws around discrimination that helped

[00:11:48.94] spk_1:
they help, but they’re not perfect and there’s still a lot of problems, you know? Um so I’ll talk about that. I mean if you want to transition we can I can talk about that right now.

[00:12:53.74] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They’ll develop your media strategy. What’s that all about that is identifying your core messages, defining the channels the outlets, where those messages ought to be heard, who are the people who should be hearing your messages, who need to hear your messages doing the legwork to approach those outlets and as you are closing opportunities, crafting your message is appropriately to the audience that you uh you close the opportunity with. That’s a media strategy. Turn to communications can do it for you turn hyphen two dot c. O. Now back to responding to microaggressions and discrimination. I hear empathy. It sounds like empathy goes a long way. You know, when when someone is bringing this to a

[00:13:00.25] spk_1:
leader,

[00:13:26.14] spk_0:
you know, understanding what it takes for the person to have done so to have the have the courage fortitude to open the door. You know, to I mean the door got opened by the by the person who committed it. But to to bring it up as an issue is it takes a lot. Thanks a lot. Alright, so what’s the, like, what’s the next step for a leader? Now? We’re talking about tools to help leaders.

[00:13:31.24] spk_1:
What

[00:13:41.24] spk_0:
do you do when someone does bring this to you? Hopefully you’ve treated the person with that empathy and respect what should a leader do next?

[00:16:16.14] spk_1:
So, I mean, my advice would be um outside outside this program to use the guide that I reference, but you can get at bit dot li slash mh skills is the U. R. L. That I have of resources and you can look at that in more depth. But basically this guide, we’ll walk you through number one. If you think you’ve experienced a microaggression, how to think about what to do to handle it and talk about it. And on the flip side, if someone says, I think you’ve um done a micro aggression towards me, uh it walks you through what to do. Um and then, you know, when we’re talking about in a leader perspective, it’s like, okay, so let’s be aware of microaggressions happen, let’s be, let’s be ready with these resources. Let’s have empathy when someone comes to us. And then let’s also have perspective about, you know what it what it means because we live in a world where everybody has stereotypes and biases all the time. We want to all keep growing, but we have to keep it in perspective. You know, was this microaggression part of some kind of deliberate bullying campaign, in which case you respond differently than if it was a one off comment. Um was it associated with some kind of adverse employment action? Right? Was it, you know, it’s someone being excluded from? Um important conversations at work and they also are saying, I think it’s because of um my identity, I think it’s because this person doesn’t treat me the same because I have a mental illness. So they’re not giving me the same kind of projects or they’re not um giving me the same kind of feedback that’s different than just having the microaggression. So I’m not trying to trivialize the microaggression, but when you’re a leader micro aggressions are happening constantly all the time. Um and and so it really um depends what it is if the person is well intentioned or not, if it’s a pervasive pattern of, you know, bullying type conduct at the workplace or if it’s, you know, you know, a one off event, um if it is associated with some kind of, you know, actual different treatment in the workplace or if it’s just a comment that by itself is still a problem, you know, it’s still a problem to have a loose comment, but um it may not be connected with saying, well, you know, I I I have this micro aggression towards dan’s mental illness, that’s why we don’t put down on any of the tough projects, you know, that that would be um you know, a much more discriminatory act, that would be disparate treatment. Um and so, so it’s important to look at sort of the whole spectrum of when does something go past being a one off microaggression comment to uh, you know, mean one to them bullying and then to like different treatment in the workplace

[00:16:22.34] spk_0:
perspective is

[00:16:23.11] spk_1:
important. All

[00:16:27.44] spk_0:
right, context, context. Uh is there another example you can share

[00:16:29.76] spk_1:
of micro,

[00:16:31.58] spk_0:
a micro aggression? Yeah,

[00:16:33.95] spk_1:
maybe

[00:16:34.80] spk_0:
these are helpful.

[00:17:43.44] spk_1:
Sure. So this is this is just in my personal life that I think is interesting us. So I I’ve given awareness presentations in a lot of context over the years. And um I gave a presentation to a school class for a friend of mine and afterwards the friend said, oh, we could tell he has bipolar disorder. The friends that this the students said, oh, we could tell he has bipolar disorder because he got upset whenever we weren’t paying attention. And I said, oh, you know, I was trying to follow your protocols. I had seen the teachers react like that, you know, and have certain like it was a charter school that had this this whole culture and she said, oh no, no, we tell all of our teachers to act like they’re bipolar and that way the students will stay in line. And that wasn’t meant to be an insult, but it certainly was another example. I was giving a presentation for the american Bar Association and someone came up to me and I spoke to them and I mentioned my wife and they said, oh, your wife, she must be a very special person to take you on, you know, So

[00:17:46.14] spk_0:
they’re all bad. That’s egregious.

[00:19:17.44] spk_1:
Yeah, well, I I’m sharing the more egregious ones, but I have a lot of them, you know, there’s a lot of um or there was one time where um I was four months out of having been hospitalized for my illness and I was getting involved with an organization that had a speakers bureau. They said, we only take speakers who are nine months out of the hospital, which by itself I think is actually discrimination. Um, but they said because but because it’s you we want you now and we’d like you to speak. Um, you know, in this program we’re doing for students because it’s so hard to find someone who has a mental illness like you and isn’t very overweight from the medicine. Uh No, I don’t want anyone hearing this to think that you should be afraid of medicine because you become overweight. This was this was a very um, you know, uh ill informed mental health advocate, but that was a very, you know, that that those were compliments, right? That, oh, I’m more articulate than they expected for someone four months out of the hospital and I’m thinner and better looking than that what they expected. But that’s that’s not a good experience to hear those kinds of things. So, these are examples of where people say things that are well meaning and nice. Um, but they’re but they’re not really, they’re not nice ideas inside them that, you know, that that’s what a microaggression is. Is this this presumption, someone with mental illness can’t speak when they’re right out of the hospital. Someone with mental illness is likely debilitated by side effects and overweight. You know, someone with mental illness is a lot to take on why would someone want to marry that person. Um, You know, these are, you know, they come out as compliments, but they’re the premise is ugly.

[00:19:45.14] spk_0:
Um, can we deviate from helping the leader and you’ll be helping the folks who are may be subject to this? How how do you do you know, what’s your advice when when you feel that you’ve you’ve been wrong with with a microaggression?

[00:23:38.94] spk_1:
Um My advice is kind of sad because um you know, I do a lot of work in this area because I want people to have tools, but the reality is, and you’ll see this if you look at the guide I mentioned, um it’s not a good situation to be in when someone makes a microaggression, because first of all, the odds are, it’s a commonly held stereotype, which means if I tried to um counteract it on a regular basis, that’s a big burden for me to assume. Just taking the time out of my day, I’m trying to live my life. I don’t want to have to correct somebody about the microaggression once, let alone all the time. Um and that’s and that’s even with me as a professional who’s doing education, I’d rather focus on what I came to speak about? Not the microaggression. So no matter what, it becomes a huge burden, but then it’s like, well, well, how do I tell my friend, right, my friend who just brought me to give this talk now just said something very insulting. What do I do in response? And it really is a fraught situation. And so my advice first and foremost is similar to the guide is practice self care. So think to yourself, what do you really want out of this situation and what’s actually possible. Um Oftentimes for me what I did in those actual situations is I kind of made little sarcastic jokes because I I’m pretty quick on my feet. Um and and that’s my coping mechanism. So with my friend who said the thing about um, oh we tell our teachers to um to act out their bipolar. I said, well maybe I should come give a talk at your meeting tonight for the district because you know, that’s what I said right after, you know, and I do a little quips like that, but like those quips are not, they don’t really get you anywhere, you know? So, um my I guess my advice is just to to look for support, practice self care, think about what you want. Um I’ve been doing a ton of work this year, especially and addressing not just microaggressions, but published instances of discrimination in my field of mediation. And it’s very painful. People are very defensive. They don’t want to hear it. Um it really has affected my professional relationships because when I point out something that someone wrote that is bigoted towards mental illness, they take personal offense. They don’t want to speak to me. Um so I have reached a point where I have become more assertive, I’ve actually gone back and contacted people from years ago from different events that have happened and said, hey, you know, this, this bothered me and I, you know, because um because now that I’m doing it, um but it’s still hard and it’s still, I I can’t I can’t say it um yield some kind of incredible results. So, um I would say to anyone who’s experiencing this, hang in there, look for for peer support, make a decision yourself of what’s right for you and recognize that, you know, it’s important to take care of yourself, especially because it’s a marathon and not a sprint and this is gonna keep happening. So, um that’s that’s the unfortunate reality is that if you’re living in one of these identity groups, you’re going to be subjected to regular stereotypes that people don’t even realize they’re making. Um and so I’m not saying that makes it okay. But um this workshop gives tools to help you understand your options and and help you um you know, figure out where the lines are, where it’s discrimination, etcetera. But even when it’s discrimination, it’s it’s difficult to make a case, you need evidence to make a case of discrimination if you’re gonna actually hold someone accountable um under the americans with disabilities act a lot of times, judges don’t take mental illnesses as seriously as other disabilities. So even when you get to a point where you’re making a claim, you might, it’s not like I could say you’re gonna have a perfect reaction. Um so um it’s sort of a sad answer, but a realistic one. And um the part that’s better is it’s better than nothing. My answer is better than nothing and that, you know, So that’s what I had for about Over 10 years. I had no I had no options. Now. I’ve done all this research and I can say here’s some here’s some kind of sad options. So.

[00:23:54.54] spk_0:
Alright. No, but it there’s a lot of wisdom I think in, you know, what works for you, figuring out what works for you developing your own coping mechanisms. So, yeah,

[00:23:57.54] spk_1:
on the reality, I’m

[00:23:57.66] spk_0:
stuck with reality, right? And I’m sorry you’re subject to these two. I’m sorry this happens to folks

[00:24:04.74] spk_1:
happens to a lot of people. And a lot of

[00:24:06.94] spk_0:
groups.

[00:24:08.94] spk_1:
Let’s

[00:24:09.20] spk_0:
talk about discrimination. Let’s you’ve you’ve alluded to it a few times.

[00:24:12.85] spk_1:
Let’s let’s let’s

[00:24:16.64] spk_0:
shift their um It’s it’s now distinguished discrimination again, please. I know you did

[00:27:08.34] spk_1:
earlier discrimination discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently based on having that identity group. So a lot of times you’ll hear adverse employment action. So if someone is fired or given a, you know, poorer job assignment or something. Um You know, but there’s a lot of different ways discrimination can manifest and it’s not just employment. Um I’m there’s a lot of different laws to talk about different kinds of discrimination. The law that I’m gonna reference is the americans with disabilities act. The americans with disabilities act protects people who have um all different kinds of disabilities, not just mental illnesses from having discrimination. Um And there’s there’s a few different ways that that discrimination can occur. So one way that it can occur is screening somebody out if you screen someone out based on having um in this case the mental illness or health condition um in my field of mediation and conflict resolution, they actually have things um published that’s that recommend don’t take a case if someone has a mental illness that is not okay. That is discrimination by eligibility criteria. Um And um that is something I’ve been complaining about more recently, but when I when I first trained as a mediator, I was scared because they said don’t take a case if someone has a mental illness. And I thought, oh my, oh my, I just came out of the hospital for bipolar disorder. So um and I kept it a secret before I started being open. But um eligibility criteria is one type of discrimination where you screen someone out related to that. There’s something called undo inquiries or illegal inquiries. And this is, you know, um I think that I think there’s an analog for other groups but with a disability, it’s what if someone’s asking you questions about whether you have a disability, what your disability is, what it’s like for you. Um They’re not allowed to do that. So it’s similar to screening, but it doesn’t have to be related to screening people can’t just start asking you questions about your health conditions. Um And there’s different rules in different situations. Um There’s different timings and employment where some questions are permissible but in general it’s a good rule of thumb to say um you’re not entitled to invade someone’s privacy. So like let’s say you see someone and they have a service dog you can’t just go up to them and say well what’s your disability now that I see you have a service dog. Um And so there’s actual regulations and laws about this. Um And and so that’s the second type of discrimination is you know if someone’s asking questions um about you know the nature and severity they would say of your health condition. Um So we’ve got so we’ve got eligibility criteria. We’ve got the inquiries. We also have just general disparate treatment that’s if you get just treated differently in any way and you and you get and and so it’s not like you’re screened out. It’s not that someone’s asking you questions but someone thinks you have an illness or they or whatever you know whatever it is and they decide to do something different.

[00:29:43.44] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies their I. T. Solution. It’s I. T. Infra. In a box it’s the I. T. Buffet budget friendly. Like your average cafeteria right and holistic. I’m not sure how whole ism fits into cafeteria. Maybe it’s a cafeteria with with all the meals laid out at the same time. So you can choose from the breakfast or the lunch or the dinner all through the same pass through the cafeteria so there you go. So it is it’s just like an I. T. Buffet so you’re picking the parts of their offerings that you need and that fit your budget and you leave the rest behind. What’s in the buffet? I thi assessment multifactor authentication, other security methods, overall cost analysis help desk and there’s more you choose what’s right for your situation for your budget. Leave the rest behind the I. T. Buffet it’s I. T. Infra in a box. It’s at 4th Dimension Technologies. They’re at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper It’s time for Tony to take two. I’m going to Israel in november. Have you been to Israel do you live there if you live there can I stay with you know that’s no forget that’s okay that’s okay. But what tips do you have? How well if you know the country if you’ve been there if you live there what do you recommend? I’m gonna be spending most of my time in tel Aviv and Jerusalem but not exclusively and I’m pretty mobile I can get around so what ideas do you have? I’d be very interested in places to eat small. I love small. Local non touristed places in terms of food but also sights sights to see. Yeah, I mean of course I can do my own research. I will but if you’re in in in in this this is real insider maybe you can help me out. So if you’ve got ideas I’d be grateful. You can get me at tony at tony-martignetti dot com or the contact page at tony-martignetti dot com. Thanks very much. That is tony steak too. We’ve got just about a butt load more time for responding to microaggressions and discrimination with dan Burstein.

[00:29:54.84] spk_1:
And as you mentioned,

[00:29:55.97] spk_0:
you mentioned not getting uh sophisticated projects

[00:30:52.24] spk_1:
right? Not getting sophisticated projects where you know and people and this happens where you know in a in a mental health case. You know if you if you look at the case law for the A. D. A. This happens where someone comes back from a medical leave where it gets known in the office, they have a health condition and suddenly people just start treating them differently for one reason or another and there’s evidence that people make comments that the person um is too anxious to handle things or you know whatever whatever it is. Um But but but that’s that’s that that is the disparate treatment um type of discrimination. So for if we’re tracking it there’s three so far out of four. So the first is screening. The second is inappropriate questions. The third is disparate treatment. And the fourth which which is special for disabilities is um if someone asks you to make a change because they need an adjustment because of their disability and you don’t do it. That’s another type of discrimination for disability. There’s there’s different.

[00:30:57.63] spk_0:
Yes,

[00:32:00.34] spk_1:
exactly. So that’s a reasonable accommodation and you don’t have to do it depending on if the if it if it would be a financial hardship or if it would fundamentally alter your service or if it would ruin the services for other people, it’s all decided case by case. But in general I’ll give you an example of when I asked for an accommodation when I travel and give workshops, I’ll call the hotels and I’ll say I need you for a disability accommodation. I need you to give me the quietest room you’ve got because I have bipolar disorder in my sleep is necessary to protect my condition. And I you know, and and it’s free, it doesn’t cost you anything. I just need you to block the room. Whatever room you know, is the quietest. And I talked to them about it, put me in that room, that’s my reasonable accommodation. So that’s an example of an adjustment. I had a reasonable accommodation where I said I’m emotionally triggered because we’re talking about discrimination right now I’d like us to meet by email instead of by zoom and and that was a request for an accommodation. So those are some examples where you know, sometimes you know people can make excuses why they wouldn’t do it, but when it’s something free, it’s like why wouldn’t you just do the accommodation. So um but those are those are the four different types of actual things you can look at. Did someone screen someone out? Did they ask an inappropriate question? Did they treat you differently or did they reject a request for a reasonable accommodation? Those would be the ways we look for discrimination.

[00:32:19.84] spk_0:
And what’s your advice for leaders now? We’re trying to tools to help leaders.

[00:35:04.84] spk_1:
Well, my advice with Leader for Leaders is to be really mindful to these things. As red as red line issues where, you know, like, okay, we’re gonna be careful what questions we asked were going to be really careful if we ever do any screening, we’re gonna have practices. So we know we’re acting consistently and we’re not um liable to have this disparate treatment a lot of times what you have is in the workplace or anywhere. People are just doing a lot of ad hoc stuff based on gut feelings instead of having procedures and that’s where bias will start to creep in and people don’t even realize it. Um And so having having some clarity of just being more attentive to trying to be consistent. So you don’t fall into those four traps of discrimination. That’s that’s one piece of advice for leaders. The other is, you know, the same thing, like listen, when someone tells you um I’ve I’ve been in the process of contacting major like law schools and organizations that have actually printed guidance that says um in print that that mediators should treat someone differently when they have a mental illness. And I’ve said you’ve gotta update this, you’ve got to take this down and some people listen. So um one organization changed it right away that they had said to watch out if someone might be violent based on if they have a mental illness, they changed it. But some people get very, very entrenched and um and and and it’s sad there’s a there’s a real bias in our society that’s demonstrated by research that people just don’t notice mental illness discrimination as much as as other groups. What I what I have found is it’s painful because I we’ll try really hard to explain it and show it and have evidence. And even then people, you know, look at me like they’re I don’t know if you’ve seen Westworld, like they’re a Westworld robot. I don’t know if you’ve seen this where the West in the show Westworld, the robots just can’t process things that don’t fit their narrative. Maybe someone listening will understand what I’m saying. Yeah. So it’s just it can be very uh this idea of being open to just noticing these things and addressing them. Um I think it’s the most important thing and and and and the other thing I’ll say to a leader is um these are opportunities to build relationships when these things happen, you know, instead of viewing it as something to be defensive as a liability? It really becomes a liability when you evade it. But if you tackle it head on and just listen to the people for feedback, most of the people who are going to complain about microaggressions and discrimination are so used to being battered by these things that any small gesture that you actually do to listen is gonna be noticed and it’s gonna probably mean a lot. So, you know, that’s, that’s my suggestion. You know, I’m usually not looking for much from people when I bring this up and it’s like very sad to see these walls go up and to watch them get so entrenched and to watch the problems get bigger and bigger and bigger when it could have been a great opportunity to show compassion and understanding and growth that the organization. So, um, you know, that’s my hope is that people will, will take that opportunity

[00:35:25.44] spk_0:
dan. What were some of the questions that you got in this session?

[00:35:46.14] spk_1:
The questions I got in the session? Um, we’re, we’re generally people had specific instances because we did talk a little bit about reasonable accommodations and other kinds of events. Um, and, and people would ask about, um, you know how to how to respond to microaggressions like you asked, but also, you know how to speak up about it. Um, not much different from what we talked about here. Nothing, nothing earth shattering that comes to mind right now.

[00:36:09.13] spk_0:
Okay. Okay. Um is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you want you want folks to know about either microaggressions or or discrimination? Again, we’re trying to help leaders in small and midsize nonprofits.

[00:37:15.53] spk_1:
Yeah. Well what I would say is um I’ll just share some information for leaders. So that way you have it to contact me. So this is my life’s work, this is what I’ve been doing um you know, with all my energy um and so I’m available. So anyone who wants to um contact me can do so easily and ask me questions directly and you can email me at dan at M. H. Mediaite dot com. Um You can get the resources from the session at bit dot li slash mh skills. Um If you’re interested in um seeing more kinds of resources that are out there for handling mental health in the workplace. Um There’s a program called the talking mental health dashboard and you can read about that at fit dot li slash tm h. Dashboard. Um And then a lot of the work that I’ve been doing with microaggressions and discrimination falls under the umbrella of the mental health safe project which is bringing together people to try to have resources for these things. Um And that’s an easy U. R. L. It’s M. H. Safe dot org. So you can go to any of these places and contact me um you know, I’m happy to answer questions anytime. I really um I feel like it’s important that we bring more attention to these issues and have more resources. So um that’s what I would add.

[00:37:30.13] spk_0:
What’s your mediation practice?

[00:38:17.52] spk_1:
My mediation practice um has been mostly families that are um having communication issues um and it’s transitioned more and more from, you know, in terms of the from the direct mediation, I also do a lot of work places um but into into training programs because my big my big goal is um that everybody had these skills as opposed to needing an outside person like need help. Um So I’ve done a lot of these large scale programs that have been grant funded or for organizations um where we set up online resources that are available 24 7. so you know, the next project that I’m doing it was of um is funded by the Ai CDR Foundation and we’re working with um national law enforcement to roll out resources for law enforcement officers to have more empowered interactions about mental health using a lot of the principles of conflict resolution um that go through all of the work I do with my company. So um yeah that’s coming out soon.

[00:38:36.72] spk_0:
Uh we have a drug in jail on nonprofit

[00:38:40.20] spk_1:
radio

[00:38:41.82] spk_0:
Ai CDR.

[00:39:25.32] spk_1:
Oh so a is the american arbitration association I cr is the International Center for dispute resolution. The two of them came together and they have a foundation, the A Ai CDR Foundation and they fund dispute resolution programs And so um I have a program that was funded by them through five different grants called the dispute resolution and mental health initiative. And what we do is we create resources for different communities. We’ve done it for families, for housing providers, for libraries now, for police um where we set them up with these online modular platforms where they can learn the skills they need and have tools they can use um in their regular practice as opposed to it being a one off training. So that way um they have, you know, ongoing access to resources um and in the hopes that they’ll be able to improve these interactions with mental health stakeholders

[00:39:47.32] spk_0:
dan Burstein, founder and mediator at Mh mediate you know how to reach him dan, thank you very much. Thanks for sharing.

[00:39:49.72] spk_1:
Thank you for having me,

[00:41:15.81] spk_0:
my pleasure and thanks to each of you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 ntc. Glad to have you with us next week, 22. NTC coverage continues with appealing to younger donors for the great transfer of wealth if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to Communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O And by 4th dimension technologies i Tion for in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D. But they go on to mention deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our Web guy and this music is by scott Steiner. Be With Me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Mm hmm. Mhm.