Updated: Mar 6
First Secret Sauce Issue
Welcome to Breakfast Culture's blog and newsletter SECRET SAUCE. We call it SECRET SAUCE because, well that’s what we’re all after when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion right? We want to know “what’s the secret sauce?”
In 2018, Ryerson University brought the US-based White Privilege Conference (WPC) to Canada. Yes, there is such a thing as the White Privilege Conference, it was founded more than 20 years ago by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. WPC’s mission is “to provide a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformation.”
I learned a tremendous amount at the three-day event. One session that intrigued me was “Organizational Change and Institutional Racism by Kojo Damptey.” Part of the description read: “Organizational change models are attaining traction in universities, school boards, municipal government and other sectors. This workshop explores whether organizational change principles can be used to address colonial and oppressive institutions to address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).”
There were many BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) peoples in attendance. We all worked in organizations where we had experienced systemic racism and we had our pens poised to take down the wisdom from the facilitator. We wanted to know the secret sauce. We got our answer. And it wasn’t what we expected. Kojo informed us that the best place to begin truly transformative organizational change for systemic issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, and more was by utilizing “Indigenous Ways of Knowing.”
Needless to say there was a lot of head scratching and confusion. Kojo smiled and informed us that we can’t use the same thinking that fostered systems of oppression; be they race, gender, sexual orientation and more. He elaborated and discussed "Indigenous Ways of Knowing" and not just from the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island a.k.a. North America, but from the Indigenous peoples of South America, Africa, Australia, and more. In other words, non-colonial thinking.
So that’s it… the SECRET SAUCE: “Indigenous Ways of Knowing” from multiple cultures and experiences. We have to change our thinking to change the system.
Breakfast Culture works where marketing communications intersects with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We plan to deliver more “flavours” of secret sauce to you in our newsletter and blog.
Create a great day!
Jefferson Darrell, Founder