Change Agents 5/7/20: Diversity and inclusion with Tanya Odom

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

An interview with Tanya Odom. Tanya has worked for several decades on expanding diversity and inclusion in universities, corporate America, US government agencies and schools. She also coaches women with a focus on women of color. For several years she has traveled across the globe working for the United Nations on providing skills for women working in human rights and social justice work. Tanya conducts workshops on mindfulness. Tanya is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, where she has written posts about diversity, leadership, self-compassion, and mindfulness. In her WERU interview Tanya discussed the increased risk of the Coronavirus for black and LatinX communities.”

Key Discussion Points:
a) Working on diversity and inclusion in corporate America
b) The impact of the Coronavirus on black and Latinx communities
c) What is difficult about social justice work

Guest: Tanya Odom

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.