Mary-Frances Winters

Dubbed a thought leader in the field, for the past three decades Mary-Frances Winters has inspired hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals with her thought-provoking message and her approach to diversity and inclusion. Ms. Winters has extensive experience facilitating change by creating dialogue and empowering individuals to dismantle inequities.

 

Ms. Winters believes her purpose on earth is to break down barriers and build bridges across difference. She is known to be a provocateur and not afraid to have the difficult conversations. Among her many awards and distinctions, she was named a diversity pioneer by Profiles in Diversity Journal, received the Winds of Change award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, and featured twice in Forbes as one of the DC Metro area’s most powerful women, as well as one of 10 trailblazers in diversity and inclusion. She has served as a torch bearer for the Olympics and has previously been recognized as an Athena Award winner from the Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to women and the community.

 

Ms. Winters is President and CEO of The Winters Group, Inc., a 36-year-old diversity and inclusion consulting firm, and the author of four books, including her best seller, We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics; and her two upcoming books, Inclusive Conversations: Fostering Equity, Empathy and Belonging across Differences and Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit.

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Effective dialogue across different dimensions of diversity, such as race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation, fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion, which in turn leads to greater productivity, performance, and innovation. Whether in the workplace, faith communities, or educational settings, our differences can tear us apart rather than bring us together if we do not know how to communicate. Recognizing our collective responsibility to earnestly address our differences and increase understanding and empathy will not only enhance organizational goals but will also lead to a healthier, kinder, and more compassionate world.

Award-winning diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant Mary-Frances Winters has been leading workshops on what she calls Bold, Inclusive Conversations for years. In this book she offers specific dialogue strategies to foster greater understanding on the following topics:
• Recognizing the importance of creating equity and sharing power
• Dealing with the “fragility” of dominant groups–their discomfort in engaging with historically subordinated groups
• Addressing the exhaustion historically marginalized groups feel from constantly explaining their different lived experience
• Exploring how to build trust and create psychologically safe spaces for dialogue
This guide is comprehensive for anyone who wants to break down the barriers that separate us and facilitate discussions on potentially polarizing topics.

This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects.

Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even—and especially—well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled.

This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of “living while Black,” came at the urging of Winters’s Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life—from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes—for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society.

Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that “my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice—those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve.”

We Can't Talk About That At Work!

Politics, religion, race—we can’t talk about topics like these at work, right? But in fact, these conversations are happening all the time, either in real life or virtually via social media. And if they aren’t handled effectively, they can become more polarizing and divisive, impacting productivity, engagement, retention, teamwork, and even employees’ sense of safety in the workplace. But you can turn that around and address difficult topics in a way that brings people together instead of driving them apart. In this concise and powerful book, Mary-Frances shows you how to lay the groundwork for having Bold, Inclusive Conversations®.

Inclusion Starts With I - Eight Steps to Inclusion

Creating inclusive cultures is a critically important business imperative as the demographics of the US become more diverse and as organizations operate increasingly in global contexts. If we are to work effectively together we must learn to understand, appreciate and accept differences. Our strength lies in our diversity. This book outlines 8 steps for the personal inclusion journey in a delightful book of quotes from voices as diverse as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Seneca. A very popular book for gifts, over 7,000 copies sold to date.

A Strategic Approach to Racial Justice and Equity.

We advise organizations to take a strategic approach to embedding racial justice and
equity into the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
We have topics prepared that are customizable specifically
for your organization.
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