Welcome back to the pursuit of learning podcast. We’re back with the second part of our conversation with Bo-Dean Sanders, the author of “Race Against… …Against Race.” In the previous episode with Bo-Dean, we talked about the early years of his life and his path to building a successful sports career. Today, we extend that conversation with some deep thoughts about the learnings from his life experiences, doing the right thing, and how we can become better human beings.
One of the key realizations Bo-Dean had later in his life is that, compared to his generation, children from younger generations were less hung up on the race of their peers. We start today’s conversation by diving into what has contributed to this positive evolution between generations and how we can contribute to this change. Throughout his sports career, Bo-Dean gathered lots of experience about being teammates with people from different racial backgrounds. Bo-Dean shares his thoughts on what he learned from these experiences.
In recent years we hear quite a bit of news on racial bias issues from law enforcement towards people of color. In 1985, Bo-Dean had to experience a terrifying encounter with the law enforcement agencies when a rental car he and a friend were riding was accidentally reported as stolen. Bo-Dean shares the story of how this event unfolded and how the different backgrounds of him and his friend influenced the way each of them reacted to the situation.
Bo-Dean is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion. We dive deep into how our brains are used to pointing our differences between people and how we can get used to focusing on commonalities between people from different backgrounds rather than differences. We also talk about how we can give our children more exposure to peers from diverse backgrounds. Wrapping up the conversation, we talk about Bo-Dean’s superpowers, his struggles, and why it’s important to do the right things regardless of what everyone thinks about you.
[01:30] The New Generation – When Bo-Dean was working in summer camps between semesters, he realized that the kids from new generations are less hung up on race. Bo-Dean shares his take on this evolution of mindsets he sees between generations.
[07:00] Teammates Beyond Race – Bo-Dean shares with us some of the learnings from his experiences of building strong bonds with teammates from different racial and cultural backgrounds.
[11:00] Trouble with Law Enforcement – In April 1985, Bo-Dean and a friend had a horrifying encounter with the law enforcement. He talks about how they got out of the situation and what this incident tells us about how the influences from our cultural backgrounds come into play in intense situations.
[21:09] Moving in the Right Direction – Bo-Dean shares his take on how we can move in the right direction and guide our children on the right path in terms of building diversity and inclusion.
[27:30] Focus on Commonalities – The human brain is extremely good at spotting differences. Because of this, we tend to look for differences between each other rather than similarities. We talk about how we can train ourselves to look for commonalities with people from different backgrounds and become less divided.
[34:15] Guiding Children – How we can give our children more exposure to collaborating with people from different backgrounds.
[42:12] Bo-Dean’s Superpower – We dive into some of the personality traits that helped him along the way to be a better human being.
[49:00] Doing the Right Thing – Human beings aren’t perfect, and we all have our fair share of flaws. Bo-Dean shares his thoughts on why it’s important to do the right thing regardless of what others think of you.