Good ways for organizations to foster better diversity: Three actionable ideas from TWU's Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul

"We all have something to learn from each other. I don’t come from a place where I know all things about even my own community, and I definitely don’t know everything about everybody else’s community. It’s really coming into every meeting and every call with an open mind and open heart, knowing that I’m likely going to learn something about myself, and I’ll learn something about other people as well.”

—Cheryl Jean-Paul, Head Coach of women’s basketball for Trinity Western Spartans


Canadians honour Black History Month this February. The 2021 theme is “The Future is Now.” An occasion that first began in 1988 in Nova Scotia and was adopted nation-wide in 1995, the purpose of Black History Month is to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities.

TWU’s Cheryl Jean-Paul is Head Coach of women’s basketball for Trinity Western Spartans and president of women’s basketball in the Canada West Conference. When she began first her role at TWU in 2010, Jean-Paul was one of the first Black female head coaches in U SPORTS basketball history.

This month, in addition to conversing with Rev. Dr. James Ellis III for TWU Chapel ministries, Coach Cheryl also offers the below ideas on how to better foster diversity in our commmunities.


Tips from Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul on how to foster diversity within your workplace, organization or community:
 
1. It requires collective will or desire

“There needs to be a desire among people within the group. What we’ve been experiencing is that if people don’t want to participate…that it’s actually worse, because it’s just discouraging. There needs to be someone or a group of people who really want to fuel this."
 
2. Seek out the counsel of others

“Don’t be afraid to seek out the counsel of others. There are a lot of resources out there. For larger organizations there are companies and consultants that can help them improve what diversity looks like within their organization.” Beyond simply relying on one or two of our personal contacts who are Black, “ there are definitely some professional companies and consultants out there that can improve a work space to allow more diversity.”
 
3. Be humble and openminded

“Make sure you’re coming from a place of humbleness. We all have something to learn from each other. I don’t come from a place where I know all things about even my own community, and I definitely don’t know everything about everybody else’s community. It’s really coming into every meeting and every call with an open mind and open heart, knowing that I’m likely going to learn something about myself, and I’ll learn something about other people as well.”
 


See also: Coach Cheryl's story on TWU Stories:
 
TWU Stories


About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has five campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, Ottawa, and Bellingham, WA. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
 
For media inquiries, please contact: media@twu.ca

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With the B.C. government’s recently announced accelerated timeline for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines—TWU welcomes students, faculty & staff to anticipate a safe return to face-to-face instruction & activities in Fall 2021.

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