Welcome to THE TRUE NORTH COLLECTIVE℠ PODCAST: SEASON 3! With co-hosts Rachel Bellotti (she/her) and Jenell Riesner (she/her), this is a gathering of un-sugar-coated conversations celebrating the untold stories of everyday people fearlessly finding and living their true north.
In our own search to discover and live from our TRUE NORTH, we continue to meet many interesting, courageous people from all walks of life, doing all sorts of amazing things to live life in their own unique way. Stories from all over the world. Stories with heart. Stories with grit. Stories with plot twists. Stories going untold – until now. This season, we celebrate these untold stories of everyday people who are fearlessly living their true north and inspiring each of us to do the same.
Today, we talk to Jessie Nelson (they/them), Inclusivity Consultant focused on work from the lens of equity and inclusion in the pursuit of social justice. Jessie is the owner of Kith + Common, a diversity and inclusion consultancy, and they are an amazing human doing amazing things to move new and necessary conversations to the forefront of society that allow all humans to be seen, heard, and have a voice. We unpack self-exploration and radical self-acceptance as a way to accept those whom we deem different from ourselves, and how you do that through making mistakes and fucking it up along the way. We acknowledge self-oppression, societal marginalization, comparison, and colonization in the process of honoring the differences within and among us as we come together to make the world a significantly more inclusive place through diversity. This is a heavy hitter and an incredibly important, vulnerable, and impactful conversation.
*note: this episode includes explicit language appropriate for those ages 16+
3 KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- What to do when you first start using they/them pronouns and you feel nervous or uncomfortable that you might mess it up or offend this person?
- Pause + breathe into your belly.
- Acknowledge that you are new at this.
- Ask the person what pronoun they prefer to use for themselves.
- Try it + know you will mess it up sometimes, but keep going.
- Don’t apologize for saying the wrong thing as that forces the receiver to have to handle your emotions + make you feel better, which is actually more awkward.
- Instead as you get it wrong, simply pause, correct + keep going.
- Keep practicing.
- The one thing we all have in common is that we are all different – every single one of us. And from this space, instead of alienating and rejecting and being afraid of what’s different, can we normalize “being different” as a universal trait and get curious about what makes each of us different to understand how we can come together and rally around our differences and find a place of equity for all of us? What could the world look like then? And by sharing our unique voice and our differences, we broaden the picture of humanity
- You ARE going to fuck it up, you ARE going to get it wrong when you are first trying something new and when you are engaging in new language and new topics. And it’s ok. Keep going. Radically accept that you aren’t perfect and the only way to not fuck it up is to first fuck it up. Start the conversations and do your best and ask the dumb questions and keep practicing so you can do better each time. And keep getting curious even when you think you’ve got it because there is always, always, always more to learn, even when you think you are an expert.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [0:10] Behind the scenes snapshot of this episode
- [4:00] You’re gonna fuck it up + it’s ok
- [7:30] Weird accents + phrases
- [12:25] Pogo sticking
- [19:30] Introducing Jessie!
- [23:00] The beginnings of Kith + Common
- [24:00] Why they/them pronouns matter
- [35:00] Diversity + inclusion work doesn’t have to be this MASSIVE undertaking – it starts with you + your work + your day to day habits
- [37:00] Getting comfortable with the discomfort
- [42:00] You belong to a group of people called YOU
- [43:00] How to have a conversation around gender without offending
- [48:00] Radical acceptance of self to radically accept others
- [54:00] Comparison, self-oppression, self-marginalization vs self-exploration
- [1:05:00] Marginalization – when we make one person’s voice represent an entire group of people
- [1:11:00] Becoming a passive ally – how to be more inclusive in your everyday life
- [1:19:00] How do you live your TRUE NORTH?
- [1:20:00] Contact Jessie via website kithandcommon.ca or IG @kithandcommon + @jessiehutton