“Don’t just tolerate me; accept me and include me.” This is Dr. Odom’s mantra. She is passionate about the topic of diversity and inclusion and is on a mission to gain allies!
Dr. Odom believes that a person finds it easy to understand what they stand under and to stand under what they understand. She believes that it’s quite convenient for a person to go through life with the mindset that others can just be a part of their world; this especially the case when someone is in an authority role or is part of the majority. She also believes that, for the majority, if they knew better, they’d do better. She’s confident that she can dismantle comfort zones and broaden perceptions.
So why does Dr. Odom feel so passionately about diversity and inclusion? Well, unfortunately, she has experienced the obstacles stemming from a lack of support as it relates to diverse and inclusive environments. In both business and education, she has observed, first-hand, the effects of outcasting individuals due to their diversities. While working as a high school educator for over 12 years, Dr. Odom realized that many educators found it difficult to make meaningful connections between what students were learning in the classroom and their cultures, languages, and life experiences. And while working as a marketing professional, Dr. Odom quickly realized that things such as, promotions, knowledge of open promotions, high level management positions, invitations to lunch with coworkers, and matters of opinion had a perquisite that was centered around race, ethnicity, gender, and sometimes even gender identity. The sad, yet compelling, fact is that people were oblivious to idea that they had just said or done offensive or discriminatory. Ultimately, she had two options; become cynical and a part of the problem, or she could take action and be a part of the solution. She established Success Squad Training and Consulting in an effort to be a part of the solution!
Dr. Odom has an innate ability to build and cultivate environments that are culturally responsive and relevant, in both the classroom and the boardroom; she has received a great deal of recognition for this ability. The business and education sectors continue to solicit her support by means of professional development and on-going training with a concentration on diversity and inclusion.