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Dr. Teri Stein Merrill

February 19, 2021

Diversity from a Global Perspective

Mississippi State University

George Washington University

California State University

Dr. Stein-Merrill is the Program Chair for both Applied Psychology and Human Science Department. She attained both Masters and Doctorate Degree from Mississippi State University – Starkville, MS. She continued her studies as Specialist from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Followed by Post Doctorate work from California State University Fresno. She has published over 100 videos Fitness Videos. Dr. Teri Stein Merrill's has expertise in organizational leadership, executive coaching, , mentoring, and teaching which spans the globe. Dr. Stein Merrill views Diversity from a Global perspective. She lives by the mantra “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. Dr. Stein Merrill conducted research in China at SIAS International University and presented at the 9th Annual Women Leadership Symposium in China. She's hosted students from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Korea, China and Chicago (South Side). Tonight’s topic is Future CEO’s let’s embrace Cultural Competencies and Manage Emotional and Physical Self-Care through Faith. Welcome Dr. Teri Stein Merrill! As a Human Resources professional and an educator/consultant specializing in Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Development and Diversity for almost three decades, I was both honored and profoundly touched to share my thoughts regarding diversity and inclusion in today’s business and educational environment. I believe that the practice of diversity in both the business and educational communities have recently undergone a major paradigm shift. In its infancy, diversity was viewed as successful if a dedicated percentage of jobs or student acceptances were offered to minorities. However, we have now moved into a more impactful and transformational stage of diversity, which we call “inclusion.” So what does inclusion mean in reality? Through my research, I have determined that the practice of inclusion requires us to do more than simply recruit a diverse workforce or student population. Inclusion requires us to better understand how we can empower diverse people to thrive once they arrive on our campuses and at our businesses. Think of it like this: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” What do diversity and inclusion look like for an African American born and raised in the South? I have been fortunate to have worked for many organizations throughout my business career, which allowed me to witness the difference between organizations that focus on diversity metrics versus those that focus on inclusive diversity best practices. Some researchers suggest that focusing on educating individuals about inclusive diversity can be a challenging and oftentimes exhausting task. Quite the contrary, I am of the opinion that attempting to address, identify, solve and improve issues of race and inclusion does not have to be a daunting task. Over the last 10 years, I have had the honor of mentoring, executive coaching, teaching and hosting students from many parts of the world. To date, I have hosted students from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Korea, China and Chicago (South Side). Each experience has been uniquely rewarding, educational and lifechanging as well as providing me an opportunity to experience what it really means to be inclusive beyond academic theory. So back to the statement “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.” What does “inviting someone to dance” look like in my home? At my home, our non-African American guests are expected to maintain their full identity and share their culture with us. We reciprocate by sharing our African American culture with them. When Hoalin, my most recent student from China came to live with my family two years ago, he was surprised to see that we used chop sticks every day at dinner, shopped at the local Asian markets and were eager to learn his language. Additionally, I am learning how to speak the Chinese language and how to cook a number of authentic Chinese dishes, which were handed down to Haolin from his grandfather. In return, Hoalin is currently reading a book by Fredrick Douglas, enjoying American cuisine and has many questions about the Christian faith. As you can see, the practice of inclusion as a host parent has been educational for the both of us. In addition, as part of my international research at Judson, I did my second speaking engagement in May at the 12th Annual World Academy Women’s Symposium held at Sias International University in Zhengzhou, China. God is forever working in my life, and this experience will allow me to interact with women from around the world and learn about their workplace and employment practices as well as share how such practices work in the United States. Praise be to God.

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