Leading With Empathy & Allyship Show

Cultivating Empathy As A Skill With Corey Ponder

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Corey Ponder, Empathy Practitioner & Facilitator at em|PACT Strategies, in conversation about Cultivating Empathy as a Skill.

We talk about Corey’s story, and how he started emPACT Strategies after the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Then we dive into three types of empathy, and ways to build empathy inside organizations by using design thinking frameworks. We talk about allies as being the “trusted sidekick” in a super hero movie, and how to show up as an ally in this crucial moment – to ensure we are moving racial equity forward. And we discuss ways that we can facilitate difficult conversations so that people with widely different backgrounds find common ground to move toward solutions. We end with a conversation with the audience about what barriers they face as allies, and talk through some solutions.

Learn more about Corey’s work at www.empactstrategies.com/
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We talk about Corey’s story, and how he started emPACT Strategies after the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Then we dive into three types of empathy, and ways to build empathy inside organizations by using design thinking frameworks. We talk about allies as being the “trusted sidekick” in a super hero movie, and how to show up as an ally in this crucial moment – to ensure we are moving racial equity forward. And we discuss ways that we can facilitate difficult conversations so that people with widely different backgrounds find common ground to move toward solutions. We end with a conversation with the audience about what barriers they face as allies, and talk through some solutions.

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Guest Speaker
Corey Ponder, a Black man with black hair, moustache, and beard.

Corey Ponder
Empathy Practitioner & Facilitator at em|PACT Strategies

Corey Ponder is an empathy practitioner and educator who works with innovative companies and individuals to build safe spaces for inclusive and diverse experiences.

Corey believes in the power of human connection and how that drives real impact. Over his 10 years of professional experience as a policy analyst in the public sector and a program manager and policy professional in the private sector, Corey knows that an emphasis on emotional intelligence—self-awareness, empathy, and interpersonal skills—leads to a more committed, productive, and engaged workforce creating a real impact in the workplace and spaces they occupy.

Corey has scaled diversity initiatives across several companies, including with CIA and Facebook, and has spoken on allyship and empathy for several organizations, including Chan Zuckerberg initiative, Fitbit, MomWarrior, and Expedia. He has also developed and facilitated over 60 workshops on allyship, bias, privilege, and building empathy across the tech industry. He continues to publish on these topics as well — essays, podcasts, and articles — most recently being featured in Fortune Magazine’s raceAhead newsletter.

Corey holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Vanderbilt University.

Transcript

Transcript coming soon.

About the Host

Host: Melinda Briana Epler

Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.

As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world. She co-leads a series of global solutions-focused conferences called Tech Inclusion, where she has partnered with over 450 tech companies and community organizations and hosted 43 solutions-focused diversity and inclusion events around the world.

Previously, Melinda was a Marketing and Culture Executive and award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.

Melinda is a TED speaker. She speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, allyship, social entrepreneurship, underrepresented entrepreneurs and investing. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, including SXSW, Grace Hopper, Wisdom 2.0, the World Bank, Obama White House, Clinton Foundation, Black Enterprise, Google, Indeed, Capital One and McKinsey.

Watch Melinda’s TED Talk

Speaking Engagements

Change Catalyst Co-Founder Melinda Briana Epler has spoken across the globe in hundreds of venues and virtual events. Empathy, Allyship, Advocacy, Microaggressions, Inclusive Leadership, and Building Inclusive Teams are just some of the topics Melinda has spoken on. Let us know about your next speaking engagement needs! Melinda has also spoken on how to build organizational capacity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as how to lead behavior change or how to build allies and advocates.

Testimonials

The show shaped my scope of reasoning on the dynamics in the corporate world, brand building, harmony across board with team mates. Your series has helped me feel less alone and less daunted by the challenges I face as a leader at a company that is used to moving fast with decisions and making swift progress across the board. I so earnestly want to grow and deepen my perspective when it comes to diversity and allyship; it’s not always clear how to do it. This series has felt like a path I can follow and revisit and draw strength and insight from. Thank you.

This show has given me clear opportunities to learn in the midst of 2020’s numerous social and personal challenges, including engaging remote content. I’ve learned new terms, heard new voices, diversified my interests and internalized personal narratives that have inspired me to get more active.

I watched many of your live shows in 2020, and I learned something from every discussion. They were inspiring on many levels. Early on during the pandemic (especially), the show also provided me with a sense of community that I was sorely needing. Thank you.

Virtual Training, Consulting & Coaching Solutions
If you’re looking for a way for remote teams to continue their learning and professional development, we’re now offering virtual allyship, inclusion and leadership trainings. We’ve also continued our consulting practice virtually. AND we now offer hourly coaching. Let us know if you’re interested in learning more!
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