Unity in Diversity: Insights from DEI Champion Lachandra B Baker

December 7, 2023 | | 0 Comments

Lachandra B Baker

In an era where divisions seem more pronounced than ever, Lachandra B. Baker, founder of LBB Edutainment, stands out as a harbinger of unity and empathy. Her recent appearance on the podcast, was not just another dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – it was a masterclass in what it truly means to embrace humanity in its full spectrum.

Lachandra’s approach to DEI transcends conventional norms, offering a fresh perspective on what it means to create spaces where every individual can thrive. This article delves into the insights she shared and the profound impact of her work on both individuals and organizations.

The Roots of Empathy and Inclusion

Lachandra’s journey in DEI is deeply personal. Influenced by her upbringing, where her grandmother’s open-door policy to all in need laid a strong foundation, her adult life and career have been a reflection of these early lessons in kindness and community.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Lachandra’s philosophy is her emphasis on empathy as a catalyst for social change. Her personal experiences and professional endeavors illustrate how empathy can break down barriers, making it a vital tool in her DEI consultancy work.

Corporate Empathy: Beyond the Bottom Line

In her engagements with corporations, Lachandra challenges leaders to move beyond traditional metrics and engage with what she terms “heart science.” This approach encourages understanding and engaging with employees’ emotions, enriching corporate culture and leadership.

A central tenet of Lachandra’s message is the power of vulnerability in leadership. By acknowledging their limitations and biases, leaders create a space of continuous learning and growth, which, in turn, fosters a culture that values diversity of thought.

Lachandra uses storytelling as a powerful tool to foster empathy. Her podcast, “Everything’s Not Black and White,” is a testament to this approach, where diverse voices share their experiences, broadening listeners’ horizons and fostering understanding.

Baker’s initiatives extend beyond education. Through workshops and talks, she actively engages with diverse groups, understanding their needs and perspectives, and highlighting the importance of moving from policy to action in inclusivity.

Community Impact: The Empathy Ripple Effect

The impact of Baker’s work is not confined to the organizations she works with; it permeates into the broader community. By promoting empathy and understanding, she contributes to a more cohesive and understanding society.

Lachandra’s insights suggest that the landscape of DEI is in constant flux, adapting to societal changes. She emphasizes the importance of keeping the conversation around DEI dynamic and relevant.

Interestingly, Baker’s work and podcast have found an audience worldwide, underscoring the universal appeal of her message of empathy and understanding, and the global importance of DEI.

Looking Ahead: The Need for Continued Change

Lachandra B. Baker’s work through LBB Edutainment is a clarion call to inspire change. Her approach to DEI, grounded in empathy and action, serves as a reminder that these concepts are not just ideals but actionable attributes that can transform our daily interactions and professional environments.

As society continues to grapple with issues of division and misunderstanding, the principles Lachandra B. Baker offers a blueprint for a more empathetic and inclusive future.

To find out more, visit her:

Read Full Transcript

[00:00:11] Adam: Welcome to People Helping People, the podcast for our social entrepreneurs who want to build a social impact business. I'm your host, Adam Morris, and today I'm so excited to introduce Lachandra B Baker, founder of L B B, edutainment and co-host of Everything's Not Black and White. Her work in diversity, equity and inclusion is rooted in authenticity and collaboration, and I'm really excited to dive into this conversation.

[00:00:35] Adam: Especially where many of you who are listening are engaged in social impact work and your solution span, socioeconomic, cultural, and other diverse boundaries. So let's dive in. Lachandra, welcome on the podcast.

[00:00:45] Lachandra: Hi. Thank you Adam. So excited to be here. Hello, everybody.

[00:00:50] Adam: I am, I I love this conversation one, 'cause you're, you're such a beautiful personality in the world, but also you have such a gift for your perspectives on sharing.

[00:00:58] Lachandra: Thank you.

[00:00:59] Adam: Can we start off, can you just tell us a little bit about the work that you do?

[00:01:02] Lachandra: Absolutely would love to, and thank you so much for having me on your show. So my work I always say, is rooted in liberation and humanity, and that really is what it's about. I use the terms diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, but I know those are such polarizing the terms right now, which. I don't, again understand why, but I think there's a lot of mythology out there, what people think it is, and they don't really understand it. And I like to tell people it's about how do you show your humanity and give grace and space for other people to show theirs. I mean, that's really what it's about and that's how I, I tend to go about it.

[00:01:36] Lachandra: And so I do a lot of workshops and, and speaking engagements and facilitated conversations just to help people understand that better. You know? And I, I can go into companies, I do non-profit for-profit government, I do community-based work all over the place. 'cause it's really just about how can you show up. Authentically so that you can be your best self, live your best life, and then again, help others do the same. So it's really not, quote unquote rocket science, as they would say, but it's heart science. It's how do you, the science of the heart.

[00:02:08] Adam: now. And you've been involved in this sort of work one way or another for quite some time.

[00:02:13] Lachandra: Long time,

[00:02:14] Lachandra: Adam.

[00:02:14] Adam: time. Right.

[00:02:15] Adam: Um,

[00:02:16] Lachandra: time, long,

[00:02:17] Adam: and for me personally, like a lot of, a lot of this work came on my radar just through the Black Lives Matters movement. Right. And so lots changed.

[00:02:27] Adam: How's, how have things evolved like in the last year or so?

[00:02:30] Adam: Like where, where are things, what, what do things look like?

[00:02:33] Lachandra: It's so interesting, Adam, because it depends on where you look, right? And that's the one thing I, I talk to, especially young people who spend a lot of time on social media. You know, there's this echo chamber that gets created. A lot of times because of the algorithms, right now I'm a tech geek and I love techy stuff, but it's the algorithms, right?

[00:02:49] Lachandra: So whatever you are clicking on the system is realizing that. So you're gonna keep getting fed those same things, right? So it's hard to disassociate your brain into thinking that's not the truth, because you're so surrounded by it. And so that's what ends up happening. With how this world has become so incredibly divisive

[00:03:06] Lachandra: is that everybody's in their echo chambers just listening to the same commentary over and over again. So it also makes you feel like the world is worse than it actually is. That's my personal opinion.

[00:03:17] Adam: Yeah,

[00:03:17] Lachandra: I do a lot of work and I mean, I tell you, I'm all over Columbus and I always tease people. I say Columbus is the largest small city. I know. 'cause it's 14 largest city, 14 largest city in America. But everybody knows everybody literally. It's like that six three is a separation thing,

[00:03:32] Adam: It's weird.

[00:03:33] Lachandra: Like everybody knows everybody. So what I know is that I tend to go out and even if so, I want people to disagree with me and that's fine. I love having debate. I was on the debate team in, in college in high school. I love having good debates. What I don't like is having my humanity challenged to the point where if I don't agree with you, I should just die or I should just not be in this country. Right. And I'm like, why does disagreements have to be like that? That's so deep. It's literally so deep. But why? I go to a lot of places and I see a lot of really beautiful things happening. I see a lot of people literally sharing their heart and soul with each other, like literally feeding people, giving them clothes, giving 'em a place to stay. I see so much goodness in this world, but the reality of the situation is if you're not actually going after intentionally to look for it, you won't see it. That's why it feels sometimes kind of hopeless when people say this world is going to hell in a hand basket, as they say. I was like, the world was always headed that way. Now you just hear about it faster. 'cause of social media. I mean,

[00:04:40] Adam: It, things spread fast.

[00:04:43] Adam: Well,

[00:04:44] Adam: and, and things get amplified, I think in, in social media very quickly. And I think that's part of what you see in, in politics and these other stories where it's like things get fixated in a way where it's like you step back you're like, well, why is this irrelevant? Or why is this like playing into my life?

[00:05:01] Lachandra: exactly.

[00:05:02] Lachandra: And it's all on Adam. You know, it's, it's based in fear. It's based in fear. People are telling you to fear something and because you don't understand everything, you start to fear it all. And so then you think it's encroaching upon you and your own life and your own humanity, your space and all these things.

[00:05:18] Lachandra: And it's like if you just talk about what is it that's actually making you afraid. is the thing that's making you afraid? And that's your enemy, not the other person who lives differently than you. It's the fear-based thing that's rising up in you. Is it that you feel insecure about your housing? Is it that you feel insecure about food?

[00:05:37] Lachandra: Is it that you feel insecure about your personality? Or do you have a disability that you're afraid to show somebody and you're afraid what they're gonna say to you? So you just lash out before they get too close? Like, what are the things that you're fearful of? And if you actually address those, You would have zero problem with anybody in how they live, even if it's different than you.

[00:05:54] Adam: Yeah, because I mean, how does it affect you at the end of the day if somebody's living their best life?

[00:05:59] Lachandra: Correct. That part. That part. And so that's why I always try to be the answer to the question.

[00:06:05] Lachandra: It's like, what is the change you wanna see in the world? Then I have to make the change. I. I have to be the change and hopefully the more times I'm acting like the change somebody else will act like the change is something We're all acting like the change together and we will actually get momentum going, so that was a really long-winded way to say over the last year, I think things are, are going better than we think, but we, just don't, always see it.

[00:06:30] Adam: I like what you said about being able to start those conversations that move past that fear.

[00:06:34] Lachandra: Yeah.

[00:06:35] Adam: Um, what, what are some things that people can do to, to actually start those conversations?

[00:06:41] Lachandra: Well, I think the first thing is to get humble. Humility is such a big thing when you come in with arrogance and like, you know, everything. It's a turnoff. It, it's a turnoff for everybody. And I, and I will say there's a difference between being arrogant and confident when you come in confidently that you, that you've experienced something and that you, you know, something that's deep in your heart that's very attractive.

[00:07:03] Lachandra: People like confidence, they don't like arrogant. And so I can confidently come in and say, I'm a lover of people. I confidently come in and say, I give the best hugs of anybody I know. And I actually laughed 'cause of the girlfriend of mine, we saw each other today and we were both just like hugging for like five minutes. And I said, and she's like, oh, you give good hugs. I said, oh girl, I love hugs. She goes, I love hugs too. I said, I give the best hugs. She goes, I'll give you a run for your money. I said, yes. I said, But I'm like, I love that kind of competition. Let's go see who can give the best hugs, because we're just giving love and we're gonna be laughing and giggling the whole time by doing it. So I've to, I totally feel great about that, you know, but I, I just think you, you gotta just be the change you wanna see in the world.

[00:07:45] Lachandra: What is it that you wanna see differently? And you gotta be that.

[00:07:49] Adam: For organizations that are getting off the ground and, and really entrenched in supporting diverse communities. Are there certain things that they can do in order to amplify their voice and cross those boundaries?

[00:08:00] Lachandra: Yeah. I, I think the second thing to, to being Humble is being vulnerable too. We're all in this learning journey, right? I think about it all the time 'cause people's like, oh, you are so smart with this work. And I say, and I literally study every day. Like I literally have been doing DEI work in some fashion or form for 30 years, and I will never say I'm an expert because people change lives, change, language changes, environments change. I'm constantly learning. So if I come in there, like, I know everything, I can do all of this stuff. I, I like, I don't know everything, but together, we, we all know a lot of things. You know, there's 8 billion people in this world. There's 8 billion different souls and stories and ideas and perspectives. I can't answer for any of those 8 8 billion stuff for me. But what if I ask them what was important to them? What if I asked them how they needed support to show up authentic every day? What if I asked them what kind of, job or environment or neighborhoods that they need to thrive? Not just survive, but thrive? If I put myself out there like that and say, I'm here to support you, not the way I wanna support you, but the way you need to be supported.

[00:09:06] Lachandra: Tell me what that is. And so, companies, organizations, nonprofits, everybody has the ability to do that. Don't think you have all the answers. Don't 'cause you don't. But think, how can I come together with you so that together we have twice as much knowledge than I have alone? And then you have three or four people, then you have three times as much and four times as much, et cetera, et cetera. So if you come in with that attitude, like we're all in this together, we all need to solve the problems together, and we all got each other's back with support. You would see a whole different environment that we'd be living in.

[00:09:36] Lachandra: Very different.

[00:09:37] Adam: that makes so much sense. I've seen that too with social enterprises that are launching and ones that are trying to impose a solution that they thought up in their bedroom.

[00:09:45] Lachandra: Yeah.

[00:09:45] Adam: They never get very far because it, it doesn't really connect. But then you, you see these people and they, they go out and they actually give feedback like you should with, with people.

[00:09:55] Adam: And they approach it more of like, Hey, we're building a, a solution together.

[00:09:59] Lachandra: That's right.

[00:09:59] Adam: and it's, it's not about them or them providing a solution, it's them, providing that playing ground where, where something can happen and holding that space for that.

[00:10:08] Lachandra: Yeah. One of my favorite sayings I heard as a young person, I don't even know who said it, they, we was talking about being, you know, argumentative or whatever, and they said, do you wanna be right or do you wanna be righteous? And I was like, oof. That's interesting because if you, if you're trying to be right, that's an ego thing, right?

[00:10:24] Lachandra: That's the arrogance we were talking about before. You're just gonna argue people down no matter what. You don't care who you hurt in the process. You just wanna be right.

[00:10:30] Lachandra: But if you want, if you are righteous, you really want truth to prevail, you want care and support and humanity to prevail in whatever way it is, and you don't care who gets the credit for that. Right. It doesn't have to be your idea, but you can be a part of solutioning and being a bigger part of the, answer. So that's how I think about it a lot. If I'm gonna argue with somebody, am I arguing with them to be righteous or am I arguing with them to be right? And I don't wanna be right.

[00:10:55] Lachandra: I wanna be righteous.

[00:10:56] Adam: One piece of that I like in your approach is this inclusiveness. I've seen that just in different areas of like the way that it's, it's about building that collaboration. How'd that come about? Like

[00:11:07] Lachandra: Yeah, it stems from, honestly, my, my childhood and growing up. My grandmother, you know, she passed away 21 years ago, and I literally miss her every day. So shout out to Mama Millie in heaven. Love you, mama. Um, she was that person that was just such a giver. Like, I'm, I'm, I have a Southern background, so, you know, so I grew up in Southeast Georgia and it was like It was before the times when you called, before you came over, people just show up at your house, right? So there was no, there was no, what would you call it? Like testing the waters, looking out the window. See who like, or, or looking at your ring on doorbell, like, do I wanna answer the door or not? It was like, people show up, right?

[00:11:41] Lachandra: And when people showed up at my grandma's house, there was always food on the stove, food in the refrigerator. She was like, you hungry, come get something to eat. Somebody needs something that you need. Wash your clothes, come over, wash your clothes. You need a, you need some something, come get it. So my grandma has always been that role model for me that never turned away.

[00:11:58] Lachandra: Strangers. If somebody needed something, they come to Mama Millie, and if she didn't personally have it, she could help connect you to the places that that have it. And so that was important to me. That's always been important to me. So I've always been a helper, you know, and I'm a, I'm a big Fred Rogers fan, so if people are big on Mr. Rogers neighborhood, he always said, look for the helpers. And so I always wanted to be a helper. And so that's what's significant about my life, even yet to this day, and it'll be till the day I die. I wanna have significance by how many people's lives I improve by being in it.

[00:12:31] Adam: How about that? And it's amazing how much like childhood shapes the rest of our lives and instills values , right?

[00:12:39] Lachandra: man,

[00:12:39] Lachandra: listen, I can't even tell you what happened last week, Adam, but I can tell you what happened 45 years ago. I. So But yes, all that stuff is ingrained. That's, that's the foundational stuff. That's what I say all the time. It's the foundation of who you are when you grow up. That's why it's so important to me to talk about healing and people healing, because stuff that happens to you as a child, good, bad, or indifferent, you remember it. So there's a lot of hurt and trauma that happened to you as a child. It's really hard for you to function as an adult. So I try, I tend to think when people are just rude and angry and mean and hateful in their attitudes, they're dealing with. Or not dealing with unresolved trauma in their lives. Right. And so that forces me, I think about it all the time. So I try not to take anything personally, 'cause it's really not about me. At the end of the day. It's about them. So if they're lashing out to me, it's, they just met me, they don't know me. They dunno me. It's something that's in them that's hurting. And so I like to start at the place of trying to, you know, bring people's defenses down.

[00:13:40] Lachandra: And I said, there sounds like there might be some pain or, or loss in your voice. And so I'm not taking what you said to me personally, but I just wanna let you know I'm here and I would like to support you if you would like to have my help. Right. People don't always accept it. They're like, ain't nothing wrong with me.

[00:13:57] Lachandra: I'm. Okay, but I'm just, I'm not gonna show you aggression back 'cause you're showing me aggression.

[00:14:04] Lachandra: And I think that's fundamentally what is the challenge here in our society. Because it's so divisive, it's hard to not wanna lash back at somebody who's lashing at you. But that doesn't solve a doggone thing. So I may not lash at you, but I just may walk away from you. I may just like remove myself. So that I'm not involved with that negative energy exchange. But I don't wish you harm. I actually wish you help and I hope you, if it's not from me, I hope you can find help somewhere. 'cause it's a miserable life to be mad and angry at the world all the time. And I love joy. I love to laugh. I love to feel love. I love to hug. I've already told you I love those things. So I don't wanna be mean and nasty where everybody walks away from me and I'm alone. I wanna have people in my life, so I'm gonna do the things that bring people in, not that repel them.

[00:14:51] Adam: I see in that approach that you're not, taking unwanted gifts from people of that anger and, and internalizing it, and then, propagating it out onto the world. It's like recognizing it for what it is, but that there's also a certain respect in, in what you shared, of like acknowledging that, that the person has something going on, and that you're, you know, you're there in a different capacity than how they're perceiving you.

[00:15:17] Lachandra: Yeah. And, but it just, it makes, I don't like anybody to be sad. That makes me sad. And I'm such an empath. So my husband, he, he often just looks at me. 'cause I'm literally, I take everything on it and I start crying for like, no reason in the middle of something. And then he'll be, we'll be at the restaurant.

[00:15:30] Lachandra: This is the funny thing. He'll be eating and I'll just be talking about something that touched me and I'll start crying. He's still eating. He's like, I look like the asshole because I'm still eating. And you're just sitting there going and they're like, what's wrong with that woman? And then it's like, dude, if I reacted every time she cried, I wouldn't have a morsel in my mouth 'cause this is what she does all day.

[00:15:46] Lachandra: So, you know, I just, I just feel so much, I feel Everybody's joy and I feel everybody's pain. And to be a, you know, a DEI person, it, it really is interesting because I can see sides of almost every conversation, every argument, every perspective. I try to give respect. One of my good friends, Karen Hewitt, I don't know if you know Karen or not, but she talks about respecting the dignity of the person, the soul, the dignity of the soul inside the spirit that's in that person. And regardless of whether they are showing up in a hateful place, you try to still love their soul and love their spirit and hope the best for them. And so you don't engage the negative energy you can remove yourself from the situation, but you, you don't wanna perpetuate the hurt any further.

[00:16:29] Lachandra: And I don't wanna hurt anybody. I don't want anybody to feel that hurt and pain at all. And I definitely don't wanna un inflict it.

[00:16:35] Adam: So how does this play out when you work with corporations or businesses?

[00:16:38] Lachandra: Yeah,

[00:16:39] Adam: Is that a different conversation or just a different

[00:16:42] Lachandra: really.

[00:16:42] Adam: of, of getting people on board? No,

[00:16:44] Lachandra: I, I'm, here's the funny part thing about me. I'm the same 24 7, 365 people laugh. They're like, man, when you get La, you get La. You get me? Like, I, I'm funny, I'm quirky, I'm weird, but I have a big heart, big smile. And I like to welcome people in. And I do that same thing in corporations, which is why I honestly think they like me, because I do things to be unassuming.

[00:17:08] Lachandra: I do things to, to present to people and bring the best out of them. I don't do things to invoke shame or guilt 'cause that doesn't solve anything I say. You know, especially when you think about Diverse equity and inclusion, all the very past history and hurts, especially in this country, but all over the world, but especially in this country, I don't expect people to honestly feel shame or guilt for what happened when they were not alive. But I do expect people to acknowledge what happened and to know that they have power right here, right now to make a difference today and going into the future. Right. And so when I present to companies, I'm presenting to them in that mindset that's like,

[00:17:47] Lachandra: okay, let's talk about the elephant in the room.

[00:17:49] Lachandra: Let's talk about it. Okay? Now let me also tell you, I'm not looking to you to say take responsibility for what happened back then, but I do tell you to take responsibility for what's happening right now

[00:18:02] Lachandra: in your lifetime. You can make a difference. So how are you gonna choose to do that?

[00:18:06] Adam: When you show up do do companies generally have an idea of like the work that they need to do or, um, are there a lot of misconceptions about where they're at?

[00:18:14] Lachandra: Yeah, there's a lot of misconceptions. You know, It's so funny because I, I am a big read the room kind of gal, right? And I typically have a presentation that I do, but I can pivot very quickly because I can already see in people's body language and in their eyes and in how distracted they are, maybe with their phones or whatever, if they're really gonna hear what I have to say. And so sometimes I literally pivot in the middle of something. To figure out, okay, if you're tuning out, um, let me think why you're tuning out. And so a lot of this process has happened in my brain, like in five seconds because my brain is all over the place. So I'm looking, I'm evaluating, I'm assessing, and I'm thinking, What will resonate with these folks? And so I always try to start any presentation with a deeper dive into who I am as a person, not what I do, but who I am, because that is, to me, is incredibly important in the conversation around diversity, equity, inclusion, and accepting people and giving them a sense of belonging. And so I always laugh because when we start our presentation, somebody will read my bio and it's whatever.

[00:19:16] Lachandra: It's a bunch of stuff. And I'm, I'm happy for this stuff. I have a lot of education, a lot of opportunities. Great. But then I say to people, I'm a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, and I love Marvel. If you like DC get outta my room. And like, and that, so that immediately just like, people just start to laugh and they like, okay, she's funny. And then I tell 'em, I have a obsession with Keanu Reeves. And they're like, oh yeah. And then I tell them I'm a foodie and I love all kind of food. And I said, I'll tell them about my family and when I describe my family, they understand why diversity, equity inclusion is so important to me. I'm a part of a blended interracial family. Both my husband and I have chronic illnesses that have debilitated parts of our lives and have had changed the way we think and how we live. Both of our kids are L G B T Q I A and our youngest is transgender. We talk about this stuff all the time. We talk about what support looks like. We talk about what unity and authenticity looks like. We talk about what love true loving people looks like, and so anything that I'm sharing with people, I'm sharing from truly the lived experience. And so I open up myself and I show this vulnerability to them to let them know, number one, it's okay, and that I create safe spaces. I create psychological safety in every room I walk into. And I said, it's okay for you to be who you are, but it's not okay for you to leave unchanged. So we're gonna change today. We're gonna do something that changes something about you today, how you're thinking about something, what you plan to do tomorrow, behavior, et cetera. So what are we gonna do today to make that change?

[00:20:49] Adam: , I'd love to be a fly on the wall for some of those dinner conversations. I, I can just imagine

[00:20:56] Lachandra: You know, that's al and that's always the thing too. I'll tell you my favorite thing is when I walk to a room and, and the people are like this, all elbows, elbow folded, arms scrunched up face, furled brow, and then by the end of my hour session, they're standing in line to talk to me afterwards to say, that was the first time I heard about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

[00:21:17] Lachandra: That made sense to me. Then I'm like, hashtag winning I feel like that's exactly what, what I'm supposed to do and I always say if I change one heart and one mind today I've done my job and it could be 500 people in a room. I'm not gonna change 500 people. I, I'm not that naive or, or arrogant to think that 500 people are gonna walk away and they'll be great. I touched one person today that's gonna be doing something very different tomorrow, or having a different kind of conversation with their boss or their in-laws or whoever that makes them think differently than I've won. I've won.

[00:21:48] Adam: It makes me wonder as well, like, part of my work is through Wild Tiger Tease is a work program with, uh, the youth from the Star House who are experiencing homelessness.

[00:21:56] Lachandra: yeah.

[00:21:56] Adam: And there, you know, it's a very diverse group of people,

[00:21:59] Adam: you know,

[00:22:00] Lachandra: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:00] Adam: Culturally, you know, many come from L G B T Q and.

[00:22:05] Adam: It's always been an interesting place where we've never really touched on those conversations directly of like, Hey, how does this impact you?

[00:22:12] Lachandra: Yeah.

[00:22:13] Adam: but it comes up in conversations of, Hey, here's the barriers I've faced in what I'm trying to do,

[00:22:18] Lachandra: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:18] Adam: And different ways that they've experienced trauma just in their childhood growing up, right?

[00:22:23] Adam: That comes out.

[00:22:25] Lachandra: Yeah.

[00:22:25] Adam: So I'm always interested how we can better create those conversations in that space.

[00:22:29] Lachandra: Yeah, for sure. Well, I, I think what's interesting is, is have a, , a cadre repository of meaningful, impactful questions, right? One of the thing we used to do with our kids when we were young, instead of saying, well, how was school today? What did you learn today? And I'll always say, what impacted you the most about your schoolwork today? Like, tell me about an experience you had today that you feel like is gonna leave an lasting impact on you. Right. I, I give them a, an opportunity to open up and be like, Hmm, let me think about what happened today. Let me think about how it impacted me. So instead of like, how was school fine? And then you keep it moving. No, I ask very specific things. And I do that even in my sessions when people say, well, I don't believe that. Tell me more. I have a very natural curiosity. People call it nosy if you want to. Sure. I'm nosy. That's fine. But I do have a lot of curiosity and so I wanna know the answer. I wanna know the, how somebody got from there to here.

[00:23:26] Lachandra: Like, what happened that got you to think, like that feel like that act like that, like what is it? So I use that curiosity and I ask in in a thoughtful way because I, I truly am curious. To understand and I think if you start asking people questions like that, that that cause them to think deeper. that's not just a one word answer that really is like, huh, how am I feeling? Huh? What did I do? So it's a lot of more introspective, right? It's that self-awareness that actually makes all the difference in the world for everybody. If people were a little more self-aware, that starts to build their emotional intelligence, we'd have a lot less problems in the world, and we'd have a lot more ability to have real conversations that make real change.

[00:24:12] Adam: I love that. I noticed for myself too, like the more that I'm vulnerable and open up about what I'm struggling with, you know, the more the conversations dive into like, well actually I'm struggling with something similar or like, , here's how, here's what I'm facing. Right? And so that almost accepting that the things I'm struggling with aren't something to be ashamed of. But you know, there, there's something that we're all facing in one way or another.

[00:24:36] Lachandra: And that's how empathy is born. That's how empathy is born. It's like you get to tell somebody like, you know when, when my husband was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn't tell anybody. Like I was trying to deal with it on my own and in my family and we were just, and I was working a full-time job, you know, he was in a hospital frequently and so I'm back and forth hospital home, hospital, home work.

[00:24:59] Lachandra: I mean like it was a wild thing. But then there was something about my personality that was just seriously changing 'cause I was literally carrying so much of the weight of the world on me. And I remember one of my coworkers who, I will shout him out, Dan Smith, who was still One of my absolute favorite is people on the whole wide planet said, La, something's not right.

[00:25:16] Lachandra: What's going on? And then I'm like, oh. So then I just start literally bawling and telling him and I, and he was like, why were you carrying that by yourself? Like, why were you doing that by yourself? And I'm like, I just thought I had to handle it all. And he was so good to me. He literally mobilized so many people.

[00:25:37] Lachandra: Like we didn't miss meals. We didn't, people came and cleaned our house. People took care of our dog. When our youngest couldn't drive yet and was going to school, people came and took them to school. I mean, it was all those kind of things. That community, true community comes and surrounds you when you're going through something, but if you are. Not humble enough to say, I need help. You will miss out on all of that and you will stress yourself out and it will just be something that's so hard. But when you say, Hey, I went through that and I understand that I wanna help you, what do you need? That empathy muscle is so important and it, it literally can change the world. It literally does change the world.

[00:26:14] Adam: And it seems like you need to develop that, that muscle to hear that in other people, just with that, that curiosity and, and those questions. Right.

[00:26:22] Lachandra: Absolutely.

[00:26:23] Adam: 'cause sometimes people drop things in almost subtly as if it's, a normal day. But really it's a big thing

[00:26:29] Lachandra: it is,

[00:26:29] Adam: and unless you, unless you actually are, listening and you hear it, it can like float right on by and can be like, oh, okay, that's another normal day.

[00:26:37] Lachandra: Yeah, exactly. That's exactly right. And I love that you said that because there is a, a tuning, like if, if you're a musician, you tune in the guitar, you're tune into things, you hear it, it that empathy is a frequency. It is. It's an energy and it's a frequency. And if you're not tuned in properly, you will miss it. It's like the old AM radio. You're just trying to find the channel, right? You just hear, oh, a bunch of static, one static. You're just moving and moving and moving. Exactly. You're just trying to move in. Oh, there's a song. Okay, there, it's there. It's, you know, that's literally what you're doing. But in a human form, that's what you're doing.

[00:27:10] Lachandra: You're, you're tuning the frequency, you're, you're trying to figure out what's going on. You're moving the antenna around but I think people respect that. People respect you, giving them grace.

[00:27:20] Adam: Hmm.

[00:27:20] Lachandra: That's why I like to be a grace giver. That's why I said earlier when I started the conversation about being a liberator, I want to free people from even themselves.

[00:27:28] Lachandra: There's a lot of self-doubt that keeps people from being their best self. There's a lot of fear that we talked about earlier that keeps people from being their best self. If I can help you liberate yourself and liberate your soul, then you get to have grace and space to help others do the same thing. ' cause none of us can be free unless all of us are free. That's real talk. Real, real talk.

[00:27:47] Adam: And the more that we do that work on ourselves, then the better place we'll be to pass on those seeds and help other people change.

[00:27:55] Lachandra: That's exactly right. And that, that's why you know the beautiful podcast called People Helping People. That's what we do. That's what you're supposed to do. No one can do it alone. No one. No one, no one's self-made. Everybody has somebody doing something to help them. Whether you want to admit it or not.

[00:28:13] Adam: , I think that's how a lot of the great social entrepreneurship changes happened in Columbus, is everyone really supporting each other and making time. Right. And I, I think that's one thing that's really great about lifting that up. But it also means in order for that to grow, we need to be able to reaching out. Listen to more people.

[00:28:31] Lachandra: Absolutely. And that's the one thing I, I remember you said that earlier, and I, and I was thinking, I had a thought and I, and it went away. 'cause you know, I'm 50, but when it came back to me, now that I'm thinking about it you talked about making decisions and making sure you have perspectives in the decisions. And I, and I was having a conversation with somebody earlier this week talking about, I said, how are your decisions made in your company?

[00:28:50] Lachandra: He goes, well, we tried that group decision making before and it just slowed things down and we couldn't get the things we needed to get done, done.

[00:28:57] Lachandra: And I said, okay, well you, I think you misunderstood me. I'm not asking you to do group decision making. I said, consider the group when you're making decisions. It's a subtle language change, but it's a big attitude change, right? I'm not telling you 300 people in your company need to be decision makers. I'm saying the seven of you at the top of the house need to be intentional about thinking how your decisions will impact 300 people. And then if you're not sure, ask the right questions and then make the decision. , it's such a subtle thing and it was like I sent it to him and the light bulb went.

[00:29:30] Lachandra: He goes, oh, I'm like, yeah, Yeah. Again, not rocket science, heart science. It's okay.

[00:29:38] Adam: I love it. Heart's hard science. That's the class we should be teaching in high school and college

[00:29:44] Lachandra: Man, you better talk about it. I say that all the time. I'm just like, because you know, that's the funny part, what you're talking about. You get into the working world and it's one of those things that people are like, well, no one taught you how to literally be on a team and create friendships and network and all that stuff.

[00:30:00] Lachandra: I'm like, you're right. It should be a high school. That and budgeting, oh my Lord. Like you better teach people how to put a budget together for your household, not overdraw yourself. Are you kidding me? That should be a, yeah, that should be a class.

[00:30:14] Adam: That's a podcast series on its own

[00:30:17] Lachandra: truth, brother. Straight up

[00:30:18] Lachandra: facts. Straight

[00:30:19] Adam: I love it. Well, speaking of podcasts, like how long have you been recording? Everything's not black and white.

[00:30:25] Lachandra: Yeah, we started, almost four years ago. We started it in January, 2020, which makes me laugh so hard because we were like, yeah, 2020 is gonna be great. We're gonna do this, and it's gonna be, uh, and then March 13th.

[00:30:39] Lachandra: . So it was funny because, before we thought about doing it like you are doing it where we don't have to be in the same room.

[00:30:44] Lachandra: We were like, we created this little studio in our house and we wanted people to come over and it was been great. And then the pandemic hit and we're like, well

[00:30:52] Adam: huh?

[00:30:52] Lachandra: that was great. Nice try. So we, um, we had several episodes in the beginning and then we kind of went through this lull, 'cause everybody was home.

[00:31:01] Lachandra: We thought we were gonna be home for like two weeks, right? Three years later. And then, so then we started doing a few more, but then 21, we think we did like maybe three or four. Then 22 we started picking back up again. So, so technically we have enough episodes to really be about a two year podcast instead of a four year podcast. we still are having fun with it, so it's been a really good time.

[00:31:20] Adam: Great. And what sort of, stories do you share on the podcast?

[00:31:23] Lachandra: Well, that's what's so funny. It's kind of very similar to this, we call it a podcast about perspectives and we try to have such a variety of people talking about a variety of things coming in that just opens people's minds to think differently. It's something that you might have been exposed to before, we had a, young lady who had a stroke at a very young age, and the whole, uh, right side of her body is paralyzed, but she became a weightlifter with one arm. It was like, blow your mind. People complain about a lot of stuff and she's like, Nope, I wanna be a weightlifter. I'm gonna do it with my left arm. I said, okay, you better go girl. Right? And so she did. That was beautiful. We had another young lady who struggled with, anorexia bulimia as a young person and now has become an actual physical trainer and nutritionist because she is wanting to be what she didn't have as a young person. It's beautiful. We had a young man who, his grandfather was a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp during World War ii, and he talked about the lineage and his history of his family. So it's just been so interesting, the different variety of people who've been on our show, talking and sharing their lives, and we are honored.

[00:32:30] Lachandra: We're always honored to have people come. And humbly and vulnerably share their truths. And so we're very proud of it. We've been downloaded in all six continents except for Antarctica. I don't know what's wrong with them. They need to get with the program. I mean, what else are you gonna do in Antarctica?

[00:32:47] Lachandra: But listen,

[00:32:47] Adam: I know except for stay warm and listen to podcast. Right. Hello,

[00:32:51] Lachandra: You. So I don't know what's up with that, but we are always tickled. We're like, who's listening to us in Denmark? Who is that? Like, you know, it's like We just, you just never know how people find you. And then when they're listening all over the world, you're like, what in the world? You know? So it's just, I still get tickled by stuff like that. I still very get tickled by that.

[00:33:12] Adam: If you're listening right now to this podcast and you can't get enough of it, go check out. Everything's not black and white . You can have it to your heart's content.

[00:33:19] Lachandra: we would love that.

[00:33:21] Lachandra: Thank you. Well, 'cause you know there's a reciprocity that's gonna happen. 'cause we'd love to have you on our podcast too, my friend.

[00:33:27] Adam: that would, that would be fun. I love the work that you're doing.

[00:33:30] Adam: And so for people who are listening, what's the best way to find out, about what you offer and who's like the best person to, to help send your way?

[00:33:38] Lachandra: So you can reach out to me. I'm all over social media, so on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, both as LaSandra B Baker, which is my name, and then my, my company LaSandra B Baker Edutainment, which is L B B Edutainment. , you can go to my website, which is lbbedutainment.com. ,I'm all around Columbus. So, I mean, literally you never know where I'm gonna pop up 'cause I'm, I'm just, I told you I'm curious and so I just show up and see what's going on.

[00:34:03] Adam: I, think that's kind of how I describe it. It's like, hey, she just kind of pops up in, in places.

[00:34:07] Lachandra: I do,

[00:34:09] Adam: was that after a philanthropy, she was like, I was talking to somebody, you know, and they were sharing stories about how they, they'd seen you at one place or another, and it's fun having that kind of icon and

[00:34:18] Lachandra: Yeah, I laugh 'cause it's like I'm, I'm a cross between, where's Waldo and where in the world is Carmen San Diego? So that's what like, then you kind of imagine me like that. I'm just like, I'll just show up somewhere. So it's pretty great. Pretty

[00:34:29] Adam: Well, you know, the other funny thing is I'm super passionate about GiveBackHack I've been involved for, for a good time and just, you know when, when you pointed out that Yeah, I used to work with Susie and Louisa

[00:34:40] Lachandra: Yes. And they are, oh my gosh, I love them so much. They were, have just been the most precious, precious people, you know? And obviously you know them and you're connected to them 'cause you also are very precious. And, you know, that's, that's, those are people I'm drawn to anyway. I'm drawn to people who are world changers, people who wanna make a difference in people's lives.

[00:34:59] Lachandra: And, and that's what I love. And so usually if there's a place that's doing that, that's where you're gonna find me.

[00:35:04] Adam: So if you want to plug in and figure out, where the change makers are,

[00:35:09] Lachandra: Yes,

[00:35:09] Adam: you're listening, follow the LaChandra

[00:35:13] Lachandra: That's

[00:35:13] Adam: Here's what's happening.

[00:35:14] Lachandra: here's what's happening.

[00:35:16] Adam: Show up with an open mind, pay attention,

[00:35:18] Lachandra: That's exactly right. That's

[00:35:20] Adam: the work on yourself, and then, then you can go and change the world

[00:35:22] Lachandra: That's right. And I offer free hugs,

[00:35:25] Adam: I love it. That's fantastic. And well, thank you so much , for joining me today and, and sharing your story, what you're doing,

[00:35:32] Lachandra: Well, my heart is so full. Thank you for having me. I always tell people, and I say this every time I do a presentation, I said, I, it's not lost on me. That time is the most precious gift we have. You know, unlike money, once time is gone, you can't get it back. It's, it's finite. So when you choose to spend time with somebody, it is a very sacred and precious thing.

[00:35:51] Lachandra: So thank you for spending some time with me.

[00:35:54] Adam: And if you're listening, you can find, the links, um, on, on the show notes, on people helping people world, and thank you again. It's been such a fun conversation. I love it,

[00:36:04] Lachandra: Thank you more to come my friend. Much more to come. So thank you everybody for listening.

Lachandra B Baker
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