Episode 012: The ANDs We Need for True Inclusion with Niiamah Ashong

Niiamah Ashong is a pioneer and outlier on a mission to create a world of true inclusion and empowerment. He is the founder and leader of the World of Joy Movement where he brings his vision of true inclusivity and diversity into life by helping leaders and organizations leverage their uniqueness and strength. Before embarking on leading this movement, Niiamah worked with AppNexus as a People Experience Consultant and a Senior Consultant for management services firm Deloitte Consulting. Today, Niiamah is a dear friend and kindred spirit who continues to inspire me on my mission.

Niiamah joins me today to discuss the Ands we need to create a world of true inclusion. He shares his vision of an inclusive world and explains how he was inspired to make this vision a reality. He explores the paradox of inclusion and exclusion and illustrates how we can become inclusive while maintaining our differences. He also emphasizes the role of outliers, trailblazers, and mavericks in a divisive and uncertain world, and explores the possibility of being fearful and still being authentic.

True inclusion is about being celebrated and valued for the things that make you different.” - Niiamah Ashong

This week on Life in the AND:

  • What inclusion means for Niiamah and why it’s more about difference than sameness
  • Creating a world of true inclusion and what it looks like in 2045
  • How innovation comes when people who are different from each other work together
  • The “Yes And” game and why And is a skill set that could be honed
  • Where Niiamah’s mission of creating an inclusive world started and how he came to realize it
  • How inclusion and exclusion go hand in hand, and how we can create a space of diversity that accepts outliers and trailblazers
  • The characteristics that make trailblazers, outliers, and mavericks, and what makes them important in a world of uncertainty
  • Self-identifying as an outlier and how we are alone and belonging at the same time
  • The difference between belonging versus fitting-in
  • The costs of owning authenticity and uniqueness and why trailblazing isn’t safe
  • Handling both sides of fear and what it means to be fearful and fearless at the same time

Connect with Niiamah Ashong:

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