Wednesday Aug 02, 2023

Empowering Equity and Racial Justice with Dr. Ame Lambert

Who’s Inspiring Impacts today? Dr. Ame Lambert! Dr. Ame Lambert is the Vice President for Global Diversity & Inclusion at Portland State University (PSU). Tune in as Ame speaks with host Dr. Lindsey Godwin about the generative power of Appreciative Inquiry in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion at universities and beyond.

Ame describes how Appreciative Inquiry helps bring diverse groups together across cultures, races, and ethnicities, making it a powerful tool for seeing the universal humanity in all of us and bringing out the best in each of us.

You’ll learn how Ame and her colleagues are using an appreciative approach to co-create a racially just and equitable future for the Portland community. She notes how the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, along with a similar tragedy at PSU, fueled her action-focused diversity and inclusion summit called Time to Act. Listen in to learn about the powerful impact of this summit and the work that continues to unfold at PSU.

In her role as  Vice President for Global Diversity & Inclusion at Portland State University, Dr. Ame Lambert  leads the embedding of equity into all university operations, and supports the thriving of minoritized students and employees. Her goal and core purpose is to close the gap between potential and thriving for students and the university as a whole.

Episode Highlights:

  • What pushed Ame to use Appreciative Inquiry in her diversity and inclusion work.
  • How to use Appreciative Inquiry to fuel action in people who feel hopeless, angry, and frustrated.
  • The Appreciative Inquiry framework that informed the design of the Time to Act Summit.
  • Dream and Discovery questions that encourage people to imagine a more inclusive, equitable future.
  • Goals and action items of PSU’s Time to Act Plan.
  • How PSU is infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion into leadership and infrastructure, student education, scholarship and service, and the performance review process.

Resources Mentioned:

Time to Act Summit: https://www.pdx.edu/diversity/equity-summit

Inspiring Quotes:

“I see AI as a methodology that really activates the best in us to work for the best of us.”

“Every year we’re getting better.”

“What pain and anger of frustration actually are communicating is that in my core, I have a sense of how it should be.” 

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry, sometimes referred to as “the other AI”, is one of the best kept secrets behind meaningful and lasting change at organizations. The AI approach is strength-based, meaning it focuses on identifying and leveraging successes to solve problems, rather than focusing on trying to fix individual failures.

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