Trumping the Race Card
It has been decades since civil rights legislation was enacted so why is race still such a hot topic issue in the U.S.? Why can’t we all just get along? Is there a difference between bias, prejudice, and racism? What can individuals and organizations do to trump the race card?
MSU Alumnus Rodney Patterson has studied and worked with the issues of race, racism, and diversity for over thirty years. Recently we sat down with him to ask him a few questions about this often controversial topic. Listen to a few of his thoughts here:
Rodney Patterson is recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished diversity and inclusion facilitators. He served as the chief curriculum designer and lead facilitator for the Learner’s Group’s successful NCAA advanced diversity education programs. Mr. Patterson’s numerous corporate roles include his current positions as Corporate Diversity Officer for CoBank and Diversity Resource to Farm Credit System’s four largest Banks. Previously, Mr. Patterson served as President of Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago, IL and Director of Inclusion and Talent Management at the executive search firm, Hudson Highland.
Mr. Patterson also held the position of Assistant to the Vice President for Multicultural Development and Director of Racial Ethnic Student Affairs for Michigan State University, where he designed and oversaw the implementation of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion model that successfully served MSU’s entire campus enterprise. He served in a similar capacity at the University of Vermont. Mr. Patterson has had the privilege of serving as a consultant and facilitator of training and development for several Fortune 500, 100 and 50 organizations, governmental, non-profit, and social services agencies.
Mr. Patterson has served as a consultant with a broad array of large, multinational corporate clients, which included General Mills, Bank of America and Mercer. Mr. Patterson has also worked with professional sports franchises, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, on diversity matters. His consulting services with professional sports organizations ranged from working with the team’s ownership and executive management to coaches, staff, and the professional athletes themselves.
Mr. Patterson has been certified as a trainer/facilitator with several major companies including ProGroup, Inc., Advanced Research Management Corporation (ARMC), Stir Fry Seminars, and Carlson Learning Company. In addition to his work in higher education, Mr. Patterson also served as the Assistant to the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Vermont’s largest city.