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Leading in Color with Sarah Morgan

Jun 12, 2019

Today's episode guest is Stephanie Ghoston-Paul.

Stephanie Ghoston-Paul is a recovering lawyer and an internationally recognized speaker, facilitator, and organizational development consultant. She brings over 15 years of experience in advancing equity, fostering inclusive leadership and sparking systems transformation using racial justice and healing frameworks.

Stephanie's unique approach skillfully and wholeheartedly combines her sharp legal mind, problem solving skills, and love of people to powerfully serve clients and challenge existing systems. She has worked with leaders and staff in the nonprofit, for-profit, education, foundation and public sectors to integrate equity and inclusion into the core identities of those organizations. She's well versed in assessing organizational culture, tool building, and strategic coaching for equity. Stephanie is also on the board for the Global Youth Leadership Institute, a program she completed in high school as a member of its founding cohort.

Stephanie mentions the following resources during the episode for you to check out in doing your own education surrounding equity and inclusion:


Stephanie also discusses some shifts organizations must make to “prime:” their workplace for inclusion and equity prior to hiring marginalized candidates to reduce the likelihood for harm and increase retention:

  1. Mindset shift. This requires the organization to become open and aware of ways supremacist and patriarchal ideologies exist in the world and in the workplace. The organization must commit to dismantling the systems and addressing non-commitment by any and all individuals.
  2. Cultural shift. This requires the organization to examine its cultural norms, affinity groups and existing diversity. The organization must examine its norms for communication, engagement and addressing differences and conflict in its current population to make sure it is healthy before adding additional diversity to the mix.
  3. Policy shift. This requires the organization to look at its compensation, time off, leave and other employee-centered policies to ensure they are inclusive and minimize disparate impact. If the enforcement of these policies currently have disparate impact, the organization needs to address and resolve these issues before adding additional diversity to the mix.


Stephanie strongly believes that individuals, communities and organizations must be primed for a foundational identity shift in order for any anti-bias, inclusion and equity efforts to be long-lasting and sustainable. There also needs to be a clear understanding of the appropriate workplace relationship between interpersonal relationships and accountability for the heart, mind, belief and behavior which causes inclusion challenges to be overcome. Achieving this requires commitment to anti-fragility and consequences for those who fail to fully, sincerely commit.

Connect with Stephanie on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @cultivatedsense and on LinkedIn at “Stephanie Ghoston Paul”. Also be sure to go to her website to sign up for her newsletter and stay up to date on both the live and web events she’s involved in.

Click HERE to register for Stephanie’s June 18, 2019 webinar, “Leading & Coaching for Equity.”


I also hope you will connect with Leading in Color at @leadingincolorpodcast on FB and Instagram and @leadingincolor on Twitter. I’d love your feedback and questions at my email -- and of course I want you to subscribe, rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.