About the Episode
Improving diversity and inclusion and building harmony among different cultures and communities is one of the biggest challenges we need to overcome at all levels of society. Our guest today is a pioneer in advocating for diversity and inclusion. Bo-Dean Sanders, a speaker and the author of the book “Race Against… …Against Race”, joins us to talk about all things diversity. Today’s episode is the first of a two-part series with Bo-Dean Sanders, and in today’s episode, we work through Bo-Dean’s background, culture in his home community, his high school and college years, lessons he learned throughout the years.
Growing up in a community of color has its own unique influences that shape one’s life path. Throughout his high school years, Bo-Dean realized how some of the systemic issues of the school system affected the student. We dive into how these inequalities ultimately led some students to drop out of school and why women, in general, used to graduate from high school or pursue their higher education more often than men did.
Bo-Dean’s family and mentors wanted him to pursue an academic career, and they wanted him to go to college. Bo-Dean also wanted to go to college. However, it was because of his love for football rather than the hope of pursuing what his mentors expected of him. We talk about the way he got the opportunity to go to college, his experience at the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, how his sports career advanced through the college years, and how his big dream of being recruited to play for a Division II football team came true.
As Bo-Dean advanced in his sports career, his family didn’t share the same enthusiasm about it. He talks about the work he had to do in terms of communication in order to make his family agree with his choices. During all these years, Bo-Dean had to work and be teammates with players and coaches from different backgrounds who had different personality traits. Wrapping up the first part of the interview, Bo-Dean shares his thoughts on the challenges he had to face while working with people from diverse backgrounds and what he did to overcome them.