Celebrating Our Differences
Multi-cultural diversity isn’t only a meaningful social movement, it’s a galvanic force for growth that makes great sense.
“Our own kind.” How natural it is for all of us to feel safe and comfortable with people who look, sound and think like us. But that cocoon-like existence is static and sterile, offering us scant stimuli for growth as individuals, a community and an economy. It’s similar to pulling a cart along a well-worn, rutted path, or living with blinders on, so we can’t see the wide world around us.
However, when we listen to each other’s stories, try to view problems and potential solutions from another’s novel perspective, and even allow a stranger to lead us down an unknown path, the creative synthesis can yield wondrous, unexpected opportunities — and the great fun of a new human adventure. Where once there were only status quo dead-ends, together we can now create a fertile landscape for fresh, original ideas, new life patterns and relationships, and even innovative products and services.
Storyteller and facilitator Sally Wiener Grotta leads interesting, enlivening discussions and workshops for schools, organizations, conferences and companies, to help diverse groups seek mutual understanding and inspiration through creativity. See below for a sampling of topics related to Crossing the Tribal Divide that Sally offers.
“Very enlightening and engaging speaker! We appreciate her passion and articulate style.”
~ Nancy Burlam
“There is hope for the future when authors like you open readers’ eyes and hearts to understanding and overcoming hatred and prejudice.”
~ Shirley Covert
“A listening instructor.” ~ Reba Gabe
Types of Speaking Topics & Programs Offered
Sally designs every workshop, lecture or program specifically for the interests and needs of the audience. Most can range from one hour to one day to several days. Below are a few examples. (Please click on the title of the program to read its description.)
Breaking the Rules of Modern Tribalism
What are we missing, as individuals and as a society, when we follow the rules of “This is what we do, who we know; those are not”? Sally guides her audience to challenge their preconceptions of the unfamiliar. In the process, participants will learn to develop new relationships and to evolve new ideas and approaches through active listening.
Building a Richer Society & Economy
A healthy, growing economy requires creative problem solving, innovative development, and being open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. How can we mine the wealth of our diversity to ensure our financial future?
Creating Bridges Across the Ethnic/Racial Divide
How can the elements of a considered life – thoughtfulness, questioning and exploring our cultural difference and similarities – help us seek ways to bridge our current divisiveness? In discussions about our various ethnic and social perspectives and assumptions, we will explore how to make connections when walls exist between people, and learn to reach beyond what is to what could be.
Jo Joe Reading & Book Discussion
Jo Joe is an intriguing novel about the two-way street of prejudice, misconceptions and family misunderstandings, which is gaining a reputation for stimulating open, honest discussions about bias and intolerance. After reading a section of Jo Joe, Sally will create a safe environment where we can explore these themes. We will also discuss how these issues relate to our personal and business relationships, as well as to the dynamics within our communities and society.
The Winter Boy Reading & Book Discussion
Reminiscent of works by Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Winter Boy explores important political and social issues, within a vibrant, character-driven other world. After reading a section of The Winter Boy, Sally will lead a discussion on the themes of the novel: distrust and misunderstandings among strangers; the roots of hate, anger and war; and solutions that we may find within personal relationships.
Please use the Contact page to start the discussion with Sally about customizing a lecture or program to fit the particular challenges and goals of your school, company, organization, conference, or fund-raising event.
In this interview, which aired on Gwen Blackburn’s “Minority Counterpoint”, Gwen and Sally talked about the nature of the distrust and hatred that exists among people from different backgrounds and races, and discussed how we can break the cycles of prejudice.