LeRon Barton: Why Telling Your Story Encourages More Empathy

We all have a platform and we all have a story. What many of us don’t realize is the power that is in our stories and in our vulnerability. All of our stories matter and there are so many different ways in which we can tell our stories. Today, I get to have a conversation with LeRon Barton, an author, a speaker, and an essayist whose topics cover racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender, and dating. As we discuss his story, we spoke about why many diversity and inclusion programs don’t work, why it is important to share your story, and we delve into race relations and the misunderstandings between different cultures and different races.

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s cool to be inspiring – we can all live in a way that inspires others.
  • We need to create ongoing diversity practices, not single moments treated as a trend. Diversity without equity is useless. 
  • Just because you have a spot on the team, doesn’t mean you’re a player and it doesn’t mean you’re changing the system. 
  • When you listen to people, that is when true learning starts. 

“I refuse to dumb down or water down our experiences. My job is to layout my truth, my experiences. I’m not here to sway you to one point or another. The truth is out there. It is up to you to decide if you want to do something with it.” —  LeRon Barton

About LeRon Barton: LeRon L. Barton is a writer from Kansas City, Missouri currently living in San Francisco, CA. A graduate of Paseo Academy of Fine Arts, LeRon is the author of two books, Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American Drug Culture and All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage. In addition to his books, LeRon is an essayist whose topics cover racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender, and dating.  These works have appeared in Black Enterprise, Salon, The Good Men Project, Your Tango, Media Diversity, Raconteur, Elephant Journal, East Bay Times, and MoAD. LeRon is an international speaker who has given multiple talks and appeared on TEDx, Al Jazeera, the University of San Francisco, Speakers Who Dare, Glide Memorial Church, Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, and Defy Ventures. In his spare time, LeRon enjoys mentoring African-American youth, teaching Creative Writing at the San Francisco County Jail, and backpacking around the world.

Connect with LeRon Barton:  

Website: LeRonBarton.com

Twitter: twitter.com/MainlineLeRon

Facebook: facebook.com/LeRonLBarton

Instagram: instagram.com/leronlbarton

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/leron-barton-cwna-2b700b1

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