Description: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” prophesied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This call to awareness notes the importance of advancing social justice writ large (macro-scale) and writ small (at the micro-level) even in the one-to-one interpersonal context. This unique workshop examines the oft-unheard-of communication skill of engaged listening. Of the major communication modalities [speaking, reading, and writing], the skill and strategy of listening is least considered, least valued, least taught, and least regarded. Listening is the second-class citizen of verbal communication modalities–often oppressed, subjected to stereotypes, and the basis of bias, discrimination, and micro-aggression. This session acknowledges listening as a radical social justice tool to advance human dignity, understanding, and respect. Thus, listening is viewed through the social justice and civil rights lenses to highlight its critical role in relationships, churches, communities, education, and diversity and inclusion. Anyone interested in (i) a deep dive into understanding radical listening and (ii) starting a listening revolution of radical inclusion is invited to participate.
Biography: Dr. John G. Igwebuike is the Director of School Culture—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. He is a thought leader, focus-group facilitator, and DEI consultant to schools, companies, and universities in the area of effective listening skills, uniquely and distinctly focused on the intersection of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. As an active listening activist, Dr. Igwebuike is the founder of The Lead Listening Institute, which helps organizations, groups, and individuals tap the positive power of effective listening so that all voices can feel seen, heard, listened to, and understood from another person’s perspective. He is a focus-group consultant, restorative justice practitioner, circle leader, and founder of the Guanacaste: Transformational Listening Conference (TLC) hosted in Chicago, Illinois. [*Guanacaste, in Náhuatl, the Aztecs’ language, means “Listening Tree.”]. As “the Listening Professor,” has led effective listening seminars for hundreds of organizations seeking to enhance cultures, climates, and communities of care for many years and is the author of a book entitled “I Want to Hear You:” 22 Tips for Artful Listening before, during, and after a Conversation (2020). Dr. Igwebuike also authored a children’s book on listening, I Listen and So Can You (2022), that has been included within school districts, classrooms, and libraries throughout the United States. His unique work on leveraging listening to cultivate cultures of care has been featured in Purpose, Inspire, Toastmasters International, Career Connections, Healthy Living, and National Academic Advising Association magazines. A licensed attorney, Dr. Igwebuike is a lifelong learner, having earned his J.D. from The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, master’s degree from The Ohio State University, master’s degree from California State Polytechnic University and two bachelor’s degrees from The Ohio State University. Learn more at: https://www.leadlisteninginstitute.com/general-8.