Celebrating Our Differences“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.
Types of Speaking Topics & Programs OfferedSally 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.)
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.
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?
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 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.
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.