How to Bring Diversity + Inclusion to the Decision-Making Table

The power of a good story can shift your heart and mind. Today’s guest, Pat Coleman, an award-winning executive and author, shares how she’s navigated racial challenges and fought for her family and why she believes all women belong at the decision-making table. Join Hilary and Pat as they discuss critical and essential topics in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) space and why the feeling of belonging must be included to make a true impact.

About Our Guest:

Pat is an accomplished visionary leader who embodies the belief that all women belong at the decision-making table. Her passion lies in elevating the leadership skills of women at all career levels to reach their full potential.

With more than 25 years of experience serving as an executive and CEO in the nonprofit sector, Pat travels throughout the country, empowering women with her authenticity, storytelling, humor, and key leadership topics.

She is an award-winning executive, serving on community and national boards. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University and a Bachelor of Science from Saint Louis University.

Pat integrates faith, family, and community into all aspects of her life. In her free time, she is a proud “Granny” and enjoys spending time with her adoring grandchildren.

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Interested in being a guest on The ReLaunch Podcast or booking Hilary as a guest? Email us at hello@therelaunchco.com

Transcript
Hilary DeCesare:

Welcome back, I am so excited about today, I have been looking forward to sharing this journey with you of this incredible woman who has literally gone from being in this world of, hey, where do I go from here? How do I make sure that I am providing for my children, and still have a life and still, and still be making an impact, and then tie it all together and start to be literally like the face of a movement that is happening, that we all are directly related to, and we're going to go there and we're going to talk about things that are uncomfortable. We're going to talk about things that some of us, you know, what I'm raising my hand have been like, you know, how do I how do I approach this conversation? Well, we're going to, we're going to be talking to someone who's going to be kindly, she's now turned into a friend. She's helping me navigate the waters as well. So this is for all of you out there that are feeling like you want to do more. You want to be a bigger impact in the world as a global as a like not just like minded but like energy of all of us really coming together as a people as a one as a force to be reckoned with as we go into this next year. And so I really am so excited to introduce you to Pat Coleman. She's an accomplished visionary leader who embodies the belief that all women belong at the decision making table. Her passion lies in elevating the leadership skills of women at all career levels, to reach their full potential. With more than 25 years experience serving as an executive and CEO in the nonprofit sector. Pat travels now throughout the country, empowering women with her authenticity and storytelling. We're gonna get into her book overcoming I mean way to hear this, this is so darn amazing. I loved it, I read it. And you know, she has this great humor about her, and that she takes massive topics and breaks them down for all of us and makes us feel really comfortable about it. And I think that that's why I connected so much with her. She's an award winning executive serving on community and national boards. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University and a Bachelor of Science from St. Louis University. She is a faith lady. She's a family woman and a community and her community and aspects of her life integrate in every way. In her free time. She's proud she's a grandma called Greenie and enjoy spending time with her adoring grandchildren.

Hilary DeCesare:

You're listening to the ReLaunch podcast and I'm your host Hilary DeCesare, best selling author, speaker and transformational coach widely recognized in the worlds of neuro psychology and business launches, which cultivated the one and only three HQ method helping midlife women. Yep, that's me to rebuild a life of purpose, possibility and inspiring business ventures. Each week, we'll be diving into the stories that brought upon the most inspirational relaunches while sharing the methods and the secrets that they learned along the way, so that you too can have not just an ordinary relaunch, but an extraordinary relaunch that thank you, first and foremost for being here with me today. And for agreeing to really, you know, talk about topics that people are struggling with.

Hilary DeCesare:

So, Pat, welcome to the relaunch, live show. Good morning,

Pat Coleman:

Hillary and I thank you so much. And I am grateful for this opportunity to have this platform to speak with you this morning. So I am very grateful. Thank you.

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, it's really amazing. And as I was rereading your book, overcoming and it's living our best life in spite of.dot.it Really, it really brought home that we all have massive relaunches in our life. We all have relaunches that are super impactful, but for you know an I said here When I say from a white privilege perspective, my relaunches are very different in the sense of, you know, in the sense of what I've gone through, and also in the sense of going through my relaunches with the color of the skin that I have, and you in when we were talking before and when we have started to, you know, discuss these things you I mentioned, you know, colored women, and you said hey, I you know, I'm super proud, I am a black woman. And I sat there and I smiled, and I said you know what? Yeah, it's not that we're, we should be pulling everyone together under one. Yes, we are all women. That is that is something that we are. But explain, explain to everyone how this whole idea around like you know where you are today is not where you were before, and you've gone through a lot of heart wrenching situations with your boys, can you share with us the you know, the most significant relaunch for you that really made you who you are

Pat Coleman:

today? Yes, I will tell you, number one, I am a woman of faith. It comes from that. And as you start to mature, and as I started to mature, in my faith, it was the foundation that was needed to help me to get over any type of obstacles, I would say that will come facing at me, they came in a vengeance. And I was able to be the big girl, when you read the book, that is the nickname that my dad. He coined me with that nickname. And it carried me on throughout my career to until today to say that big girl had to step up each time and look at the situations or show up in which the way I should show up. And so having the faith and being a single parent as a teenager, it was about

Hilary DeCesare:

Weiwei, your jump, and you're going so fast here, I want to say you are first. The fourth of five children. Yes. And your dad, you know, gives you this label of you know, big girl. Yes, big girl. And who aren't, you know, the first, the first the oldest daughter, right?

Pat Coleman:

I am the youngest daughter.

Hilary DeCesare:

So this is really interesting. You know that you're being told by this? You know, wonderful dad. Hey, girl. What do you think his his main reason? For for nicknaming you that? What was that main reason? Yes,

Pat Coleman:

I was told that I sort of had this bossy attitude. very young age. And for whatever reason, he resonated that with bigger or you know, bigger is going to be something is what I was told. And bigger is going to face some things is what I was told and being the the only sibling to complete all of my education, especially through graduate school. Daddy, he really has something I just still feel as if that was died in the works at that time. And I kept being told big girl, this big girl, that big girl this. And it would always make me stand proud. And I accepted it. It took me to be an adult in order to circle back to say, what was that really all about? And it all put together probably in my 20s. And I realized that is what that is talking about being.

Hilary DeCesare:

So let's go back to your you're in your teens. Yeah. And you end up getting pregnant. And you decide, you know, hey, I'm having the baby. And this is this is I'm a faith. Woman. Can you share with us what was happening in your life at that point? Where were you? Where were you living? What was going on?

Pat Coleman:

Yeah. At that point in my life, I was in high school, of course, I knew that I will be a disappointment. So I went through some disappointment even with myself. I will have to say, though, that when I gave birth, I saw a family come together with my mother and my father, as if I wasn't this teenager, they had given some disappointment. They looked at it as a blessing from God. And so we were accepted from the beginning on and so I do feel as if I missed some of my high school years, you know, getting pregnant. I come from a background and an environment where I was never really taught about birth control. And so that Isn't that is the reason I ended up being a mother of not one but two, as a teenager, and that was I at one point, it took me years to be able to say that out loud to people that I wasn't educated around it. And that yes, I am a single parent and I am, you know, a young parent, but I knew

Hilary DeCesare:

you really didn't have any help from the fathers?

Pat Coleman:

No, I did not. I mean, he, it took me years to realize, well, I will go, I will take that bag, not him, but his family idea. Because when you look at two teenagers, what does he know? I mean, he can love the child, but what could he really do as far as the child is concerned? So it took me years to realize that, you know, he didn't know any more better than I knew. And he did the best that he could at the time.

Hilary DeCesare:

So it was so this this boy, yes, yes. Father, I said, Father, as I should have said, Father, and he ended up was he involved at all? Or did you say, because he still went to your school? He still was. There? Yeah. So yeah, how was that for you? You're sitting, you're you're raising these boys in your, in your parents house with your siblings,

Pat Coleman:

yes. With, uh, with with the older sisters they had going on. So it was myself and my younger brother. But I will say that for him, I'm gonna boy at the time, again, he did the best that he could, we could tell you to go to school together. We literally graduated from high school together, what actually started to happen. And that's when the term came in our lives when I started to continue to move going this way. And he stayed stuck. And so that is really what separated us. That's what separated me from him. Knowing that it was just about the boys. It wasn't about trying to be in relationship, trying to make sure that the dad was there. And I don't mention it in the book. But when he was 25 years old, their father, he was in a car accident, and he passed away. And so then that was the other thing that we had to deal with in our lives. And so that's why we were so always used to being the three of us. Yes, and some of them my father. And also, although I had my mother and my father, they really helped us along, my father passed away when they were young, as well. And so that particular daddy figure sort of left, you know, left the household at that time. But it didn't keep me from keeping beat girl at the center. It did. It gave me more of a drive than anything to make sure that my boys were going to have the best life that they possibly could have with me being a single parent and my mother helping me along the way.

Hilary DeCesare:

So Pat, you said that you know about this drive. And you said about their father that he was pretty much staying stuck. But you had something you had a spark inside of you. Was that because you just I mean, like you said, you were the first person to go, you went to higher education. You just kept going. And I mean, you you've you've literally crushed it. You've done such an amazing job. But what was it that said, Hey, I'm not willing to just stay stuck, or I'm not willing to just stay where I am. I've got like, I've got a future.

Pat Coleman:

Yes, it was being bossy, being bossy at a young age. And so as I started to have my career, it seemed as if every job that I embarked on, I ended up in some kind of leadership role. I remember being an office manager and so I'm supervising people in their 50s. And it's just that it just started early me having leadership roles. And as that started to happen, I realized that I wanted more. And that is the reason I completed my education. All during the evening hours, I worked full time did education in the evening, and I knew it was going to be the education that will propel me in my career.

Hilary DeCesare:

Incredible and you had these two sweet boys. You're also so you're trying to you're trying to do it all you're trying to go to school, you've got them that are that are young, but they start to they start to grow into little, you know, little people and at that point, you made a massive decision to take them out of their school system and move them into another school system. Yes. And so can you share a little bit about you know that that was a big decision. And more specifically, what was the decision? What What were you doing?

Pat Coleman:

Oh, yeah, the decision was the desegregation program, I decided that the schools that they were in wasn't up to par where I wanted them to be. And so I bust them out, too. We lived in the city, they went to the county schools. And so I made the decision for them to participate in the desegregation program. And it was all around the fact that I wanted my sons to have the best education ever, that they deserve to have to be successful in life as well.

Hilary DeCesare:

This is so incredible, because I lived in an area of Los Angeles, and we were our school was involved in the desegregation, you know, and we had the busing come in, and there were kids being bossed out, and it was kind of, for those that really don't understand what this whole program, you know, they would bus people from our school out, and they'd bus people in and we were trying to, you know, really, you know, from from the root, what, what do you think, let me ask you this, the the goal and the intention of it. And did you do you believe that was met?

Pat Coleman:

I will honestly say I understood the goal. And the intention at the time, was just that the system itself, I don't believe it was prepared for what it should have been prepared for, at the time that my son went and participated in the program. They didn't prepare the students, they didn't prepare the teachers, they didn't prepare the system to be ready for, you know, these black kids starting to enter mostly white school to desegregated at the time, I would say that, although my sons and I went through hardships, even, even them participating in that program, I will say that they received a very solid education. And I do believe that that comes from what they have within them, of what I put in them to keep the eye on the mark, we're going to keep the eye on the more we're gonna get that education, because you deserve it just as well as any other child in that school system.

Hilary DeCesare:

And see, this is where I felt I thought that it was done in a fashion and great. I mean, I was third fourth grade. It just seemed like it hadn't been thought out very well.

Pat Coleman:

Exactly. And they believe they thought it out well. But you actually had to be a part of the actual program in order to really realize No, they weren't really prepared for that.

Hilary DeCesare:

Exactly. And so can you share with us some situations that happen that you share in the book? No, yeah.

Pat Coleman:

So one situation was a really started with my oldest son coming home to tell me that he had a teacher that was pushing him. And for me, it took him a maybe three times before I really paid attention, because pushing a teacher pushing him. And so I was like, Well, what do you mean, and he started to explain to me and one incident was, when you have the kids, you know, they're in the room, and you have a teacher going up and down each out way to make sure that they're doing their work. And you know, they're just walking down each hour. And when she will get to him, she will actually push them in his work. He was left handed and his work, you know, his pan will go off the paper or what have you. That was one incident or the incident where as when it's time to line up after recess, right, then he's getting pushed into lying during that incident. And it happened a few times to where he even understood that, hey, something is not right about this. And so he told me about it. I set up a meeting at the school at the time, and it was myself my son. He wasn't there. It was myself. It was the principal of the school. And it was I took my pastor with me. I thought I should have someone with me, a faith and a man. And so I took my pastor with me and

Hilary DeCesare:

before you go into this story, before we go into what happened, we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to hear exactly what happened during this meeting. This episode is brought to you by my very own labor of love my most recent book relaunch. This book is a collection of my stories, other stories and as a motivational guide to living a new three h q lifestyle, sparking your heart to ignite your life. It's available for purchase via Amazon, get ready to try on the three h q method that I've been using for years throughout my entire life reaching the next level in all areas, both professionally and personally. Get your copy today at www dot the relaunch book dot com. Welcome back, everyone, I am here with Pat Coleman and pat this conversation, it just it brings me back to my own childhood of the desegregation trying to, you know, have kids and people were being bussed out and bused in and hearing it, which is so impactful for me and I read it in your book, The the challenges that you are facing, but before we even go into the meeting that you had, once you went to the school, I want to ask you, for you, you had because you said at the end of this last, you know piece, you said they got a great education. So you did what you knew you needed to do, which was get them into a the best school system that you could possibly get them into. But that also meant that they were worried they weren't like all the others, right, especially at that point. So what was going through your head, when you had you know, these these phone calls, and your kids are being mistreated at the school and not just by other kids. It was being they were being mistreated because of the color of their skin, by the by the teacher?

Pat Coleman:

Yes, it was the price we pay. It was the price that was paid, in order for me to stay focused on them getting a better education, I didn't think the better choice was okay, we're going to stop here, I'm going to take you out of this school system, and then I'm going to put you back into a school system that I know is not working. And for me to know that no matter what I was just going to make sure that I was present, that they knew that my sons had a support system, and just keep in moving. And that's what we did.

Hilary DeCesare:

Got into this meeting. And I love that you brought your pastor with you.

Pat Coleman:

Yes, yes, I needed that I learned from an early age. I don't know if it's just been brought up as a girl or as becoming a woman. I'm sure some women can actually, you know, relate to this. Sometimes, we'll even say small things like you're here, you better take a man with you when you go and get that car because you're going to treat a woman differently, you know, but for me, it was always to have that male support, and a male support that I respected at the time I was young, still not married single. And so I needed that support. And it was my pastor that I leaned on at the time.

Hilary DeCesare:

And so you're in this meeting the principal's there, the teachers there. And what happened.

Pat Coleman:

What happened at the meeting was I started to talk until what my son had come home to tell me about her pushing him. And before I can finish the conversation or what I had to say fully she jumps up from her seat, she leans over towards me she hits on the table. And she says I will not have that I am not that is saying that I'm prejudiced. Well, I didn't say you were prejudiced. I'm just telling the story, as it was told to me, man, so a lot of times, interpreting it is your own way. That's right, that identifies it. So you know where this is falling it because those words came out of your mouth, they didn't come out of my mouth. A lot of times you can tell the actions of people just in general of what they have to say, as the defense mechanisms to get you to believe that they're not doing what they're really doing. Right. And you are being prejudice. And I didn't even get the opportunity to say that, because she went on her own little rant for a minute. And I don't know, at that young age, what it was about me that that had me to take a step back, you know, because I had the fire in me. But I took a step back and figured, well, let's just let her you know, just let's just let her get this out and let her clown because I'm not going to join in on that because I know the real reason why I'm here. And so you know, it was some back and forth after a while and the meeting ended. And I know after the meeting upon investigation, she was put on suspension. And then next thing I know she was retiring or leaving the school. And so I felt that through that advocacy, that I made a difference in my son's lives because I stood up for them and they could still go to school and get an education. But what was interesting about that it was the principal. He started to not started to But he overcompensated by wanting to come and pick up my children and, and to prove his way, I guess he took them to lunch. And I let it happen a couple of times. But another side of me wanted to say that I believe that he's coming just to see what type of environment these kids are living in, or what type of household that they lived in. And he got the opportunity to see that, that it was a very loving, very regular household, although I was a single mother. And then my mother was there. And so he got the opportunity to see that they came from just a regular household, I'm just trying to get a better education for them. It may not be regular in the sense of having the mother and the father or someone at it being older or what have you. But as I've gotten older, I kind of think about that as well. There are more good people in the world than not. And there is a possibility that he was just really being a good person, and wanted to show me that he was a good person. So

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, you brought up something that I do want to ask you about. And your boys ended up in college even having some situation where they were mistreated. And you you said it was you know, it was directly related to the color of their skin even where, you know, the thugs on campus happen to know that the Dean had said, the President said, oh, yeah, he brought thugs and it was actually your other son, cousin, you know, relatives, these are not dogs, these are, you know, family members. And, you know, things have happened in your life. And you've seen the Miss Justices of the, the black male. That's right. And then George Floyd's, you know, situation came out and we, you know, saw this Miss justice on TV, you know, the images are literally seared. In our, in our brains. And the country. Really, you know, there were so there was so much behind it so much fuel to want to come together for, you know, a large majority. We're like, okay, what can we do? How can we make this? How can we make this never happen again, never put anybody in that situation. And people did overcompensate right there. And by the way, for those listening, this is not our first conversation around this. So I want to really take a step back so people can understand from your perspective, that when I shared mine, I said, you know, at that point, I'm like, hey, what can I do? How can I get involved? And, and, you know, sometimes I Mike, I felt like I was a fish out of water. I was like, Am I doing the right thing? Am I you know, I'm, I'm trying in my own head to put this all together. But at the same time, I'm learning more about white privilege, I'm feeling less I empowered by my own by my own skin color. I'm like, What the hell like, you know, getting getting more and more angry about without the Miss justices that have gone on that. We haven't stepped in and helped and, you know, with with myself and my family, and you know, where we came from, and everything. And I really realized it was a wake up call for me. And yet, when you said, overcompensate, and you use that word last time, I believe, too, and I was like, interesting, because at some point, what, what were your expectations? Will who did it right? Who did it wrong? You know, and from this point, because what I'm seeing is that we get the fuel the fire comes in us, you know, Miss justice, and let's all pull together. And then it gradually, like just subsides and it's like, wait a second, how do we keep that fuel? How do we keep going with this, this is not a one and done until the next situation. And so Help Help me and help the listeners to understand your views on this and truly, where you would like to see society as a whole and, and representation around in support for black men, black women, as a whole.

Pat Coleman:

I just want us to Well, number one, when I say overcompensate really I am just talking about there is no need to be led by incidents. We need to make how people are being treated because of the fabric of just the way we live and the way that we should live. And when it comes to your hear the words well, how can I be an ally or how can I do this? Not necessarily to be that ally but in your own time not to accept things that are not right I, because of your white privilege, to not overlook things that are happening right in front of your face. But because it's not happening to you, you're not really speaking up or being the voice when we are not in the room. Help us to get in the room help us to sit at the table, to start seek that out. And if it's not intentional, it won't happen.

Hilary DeCesare:

Yes, and you said a couple of things I want. This is again, and I'm gonna I'm gonna ask you to help help myself help others when you say, you know, get in the room sit at the table. What exactly like, where could that go? Where could we have this? Because, you know, I and I go back. And I think I've shared this with you that, you know, it's been 10 years since Sheryl Sandberg said lean and right get at the table get at the table. Well, that didn't work out so well. Right. So I would like to really ask you, what would what would the right way that would really make an impact, that wouldn't mean that you know, lean in ends up, you know, causing caused a lot of like, wait, I leaned in, and it was the wrong thing I should have. I shouldn't have leaned and didn't want to lean in. So help me understand, you know, from your perspective, what can we do right now? Right? As as people are like, I don't want to say forgetting. But that passion is not there. It's like, Come on, everyone. We've got it, we've got to keep this going. So how can we help? How can we serve? How can we become, you know, an advocate not just an ally, right? We want to really be there, be there with you at the table, right? We love

Pat Coleman:

it, we would love it and we receive it. It's just that when I say at the table, I'm not necessarily when I say at the table, I'm just saying maybe having a voice, making sure that your voice is heard. And so I don't know each person's life or situations in which they are in, I just believe they're being intentional. And taking the time to really look around, look around you and find those things, if they're not already there, which they probably are, in some instances, for some people to take a step back and look at that and say, Hey, and to do things like you're doing right now have these programs where people get the opportunity to talk and to voice and to put their ideas out there or to help push someone along, to come into the fight with us. The bottom line is is that we know how to fight as women. We know not to have the infighting. But for us to come together more in order to accomplish things. There is no difference in that and when it comes to race. And so we know that, okay, how do we become intentional about the people that we have around us the people that are in our, our circle? How do we educate ourselves, if you can go to Diversity Inc, they, they suggest like these 10 books that you can read on things related to around race, I've also had people to say, well, I can get the books, and they're just going to sit there because I am not a reader. And that may be true as well. So if you're not going to read the books, don't get the books, but just try to look for all types of situations. They're there, whether you believe it or not around you, to help you to participate, to advocate and to see how you could continue to make a difference and keep things in the forefront. We have a tendency to when things are on the rise or they're in the media, we have a tendency to keep them in front of us. But what are we going to do when we take a step back, in order to stay active in this fight, my son's dealt with everything that they they dealt with all of that throughout their high school, college or whatever, they're still black man, they can't forget that. And they can't forget it. But for us to make sure that we're staying active in some kind of way, by as they say, in the corporate world, pull someone else up or educate someone else with you and looking at the next generation and helping them to deal with what needs to be dealt with. There are so many things in this community that we can go and point to. But race is one of those things that we too often don't want to talk about. And I will tell women leaders, especially if you have your own business or you're out there in the work world, you're going to run into it whether you want to believe it or not. And so you have to be bold enough to you know, put the big girl pants on and be bold enough to push forward and know that you belong and whatever that space is God has put you in, in order to make a difference in this world.

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, you've done such a great job. I think the reason that I, I enjoyed reading your book, even though the topic even though the stories were heart wrenching, we're coming, living our best life in spite of, you know, dot, dot dot all of these stories, and it gave us you know, storytelling is so important in our world. And a lot of times you say, oh, you know, go do this. And you're not even sure why you're going to do that. Yes, your book, the fact that you brought together all of these women, and they were able to share their stories share what their lives have been like. It, it was a it was a fantastic approach, because it was a softer way of saying, there's there's problems here that go way back. And it's now and as you just said, Hey, I there's so much that I you know, I could look at this differently. Now, as an adult, I'm going back and I'm revisiting this. And well, maybe he did do it that way. And I felt that the book was not a direct attack on anyone, it was sharing of these really empowering stories that led people to understand and have an emotional, I felt emotionally connected with your story with the other women's story. And that's, I think, you know, so powerful in where we're going. And so when we come back, I want to ask you, you know, from this point, you mentioned women in leadership, and that, you know, we all have to be going there and discussing this and being willing to, to talk about it and make change. And so when we go but when we come back, I really want to hear your thoughts on how do we actually make that happen. So everyone, come back, we'll be right back. This episode is brought to you by my very own labor of love my most recent book, relaunch. This book is a collection of my stories, other stories and is a motivational guide to living a new three h q lifestyle, sparking your heart to ignite your life. It's available for purchase via Amazon, get ready to try on the three HQ method that I've been using for years, throughout my entire life reaching the next level in all areas, both professionally and personally. Get your copy today at www dot the relaunch book.com. Well, we are back I have Pat Coleman here and we are talking about about things that usually cause us to get uncomfortable because of lack of knowledge or lack of awareness. And I wanted to bring this back again. Because giving given that I have now have had a chance to talk to you given that I read you know your book, I want to understand because you are an incredible mother, you did so much. And it's not just self sacrifice, because it's so much more it's like you, you put your heart into your boys to make sure that they had the best but there was a point where you're like, Okay, things that happened way too many times that the realization of the life that your sons were having really hit home and can you share with us at that point because you know, you're your dad, you know, you're the big girl, but even like big girls, right? They they they reach their their point where they're like, ah, hold on here. No more. And when did that happen for you?

Pat Coleman:

Oh, it just during their college years I had my first son went away to school in college and he had a fight with his roommate and his roommate friend, which they jumped him really badly because of who he was the color of his skin. The Romaine and my son fought them. He took his belt and he wrapped it around the sandy Felton with the belt. So he was kicked out of college because they said that he fought with a weapon. So they kicked him out. He's on the road. We're driving five hours away, just to pick them up off the side of the road. My other son gets kicked out because they're talking about the thugs coming on campus. Then we had a situation where a teacher said to my son Stop acting like a crack baby. It was all of those things that bubbled up for me to say, Are you kidding me? Are you serious? And I don't even know at the time. Who was I talking to? It's like why is this is happening to read my children, my family, that all I want is the best for them. It just everything just came to a breaking point, you know? Now I realize I'm just calling out to God. But it's like, who am I talking to who's going to listen to me, because I'm not backing down on this period. And I know that there will be other things in the future that they will have to deal with, that I was going to have to deal with. But I just got at a breaking point. And, but it didn't. But it was a breaking point. But I didn't give up. It's just that I was hurt, feeling bad and wondering why these things kept happening to myself and my family. And again, you would think that with all of what we went through, that we wouldn't be thriving, that we wouldn't be happy, you know, but we're against the grain, you know, I'm happy to say that we are happy, and we're thriving as a family.

Hilary DeCesare:

Well, and you're making such a massive impact on women, and especially women leadership, heart centered leadership. And it really shows in what you're putting out there and who you're helping and the massive amount of, you know, changes that are starting to to happen with the people you're working with. Now, you're unfortunate, I can't say hey, I mean, well, I could say everyone, you need to be working with Pat Coleman. But right now, if I were to provide cast out to the world, the message that you give to women leaders right now, that are trying to make sure that they are looking at diversity that they are looking at race that they are, you know, really helping Elevate, and getting everybody, you know, everybody at the table at this point, what are you? How are you coaching people in that? Oh, yeah,

Pat Coleman:

I am intentional about pulling women forward. I'm very intentional about that. And I will say women in general, but black women, if I see something in you, I am going to help you to the fullest of my ability. And I'm going to build a relationship with you and you're going to build a relationship with me, I want you to I try to make sure that the women that I am trying to mentor are open to whatever I have to say or give back. And to give the honesty, I don't want to fake any woman to think that it's always a smooth, you know, it's smooth, and that sometimes it's us that are making the mistake. And so I don't want us to get so big headed that we can't take a step back, no matter what is coming our way how negative it is, is for us to take the time to really look and find out well what could I have done to change the situation? Or what could I have done to make it better, sometimes you come out and realize that it was not really much you could do. But maybe there is a little tweak that can happen. And so I don't want us to get so full of ourselves that we always write, I'd always mentor women that high emotional intelligence is second to none. If you can have high emotional intelligence, okay, I hang up, I hang up my books because I know that you will be successful because you've become self aware. And which is the most important thing when it comes to that and being willing and open to learning of of yourself to make yourself better to move forward.

Hilary DeCesare:

You know, you talk about that emotional intelligence and we often talk about the three h q which is that head getting out of your head in your heart to uh to access and tap into that higher self and you have that such a strong Higher Self connection to God but for the women that don't have that solid foundation How are you helping people because we did discuss that you know, being being at the top is lonely and there's a lot you know that there's a lot going on there. How do you help women that are not faith based that are not you know, they don't have that great connection either with with God or another form to really understand that there is a higher presence that there's a higher being out there when the bad happens when these things like George Floyd like you know, it's just crushing. How do you get people in leadership to say like, you have, you know, put your big girl pants on and let's you know, you got to rise up. How do you how do you get people to do that and not do it in a violent way?

Pat Coleman:

Yeah, I don't number one when dealing with people, no matter what If faith or whatever they believe in, you know, I don't throw people away, I make sure that I just stick with you. And I'll stick with you and stick with you. Because Pat Coleman is not going anywhere, I'm going to be there for you, no matter what, no matter how much it hurts or how upset you may get me, I'll take a step back for a minute. But I'm going to come back because I obviously see something in you to help you move forward. But when you have situations, you know, I'm from St. Louis. And so of course, I'll start with the Mike Brown situation. And Ferguson, even before George Floyd, it just started this huge revolution of many people getting together. And then they it was at that point where we had people and some leadership positions of that was white, and what have you that just came forward and just wanted to do whatever it was that they can do to try to move our community together. And so for me when it comes to talking about again, but that was an incident, right, a huge one, then you get George Floyd, another one, it's like, you have Mike Brown, and last for a while it dies down, then you get the you know, you get Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, then you got, you know, the Breanna Taylor's then you have George Floyd, all of that is the incidents that people have a tendency to attach themselves to. But again, when I talk about that fabric, make it a fabric of who you are, what you're getting involved in, is that you just stay educated, continue to have you continue to be educated around, you continue to be open about things, if, if you don't have that higher calling on your life, okay, that is fine. But I would say put the right people around you Bill, your own board of directors, you are the CEO of you. And so you build this tribe around you, it can be two people, just more than one. So you can have different opinions. But people that can really tell you the truth, get you from out of yourself, get you from the day to day or the hustle of this world, you know, getting caught up in the whirlwind. Just have those people in your life that you could take a step back and take the time, and have these conversations and just keep them going. You have to have something that you trust in and it's some people, it's their home life, maybe it's their husband, maybe it's their sister or their brother, it could be a myriad of things. But what I do want to say no matter if it's the higher, listen to someone else other than yourself. That's what I'm trying to say,

Hilary DeCesare:

you know, it's interesting. So Martin Luther King said, I have a dream. Yes. And if I were to say, Pat Coleman, I have a dream, how would you finish that?

Pat Coleman:

I have a dream that we all are going to be successful in our own right? Be it if is through our faith, you know, my dream is to make sure that I'm leaving the legacy to the generation that's behind me that I'm leaving a legacy of love and kindness. And it's just that what's important to me, I can't speak more words than that. It's just love and kindness. Yes, you can have all the drive in the world, I have those things, but, but without loving kindness in my life, I am nothing.

Hilary DeCesare:

So good. We need to put that like, you know, on a manifesto. So good. So one of the things that happened recently to me was, I was in a in an event and somebody referred to somebody as a, you know, okay, let's hear from you. Because you're, you know, you're a black, a blank array, African American. And the woman took offense to that and was just, you know, well, wait a second. No, I'm not. I'm not from Africa. And I often think, is it you know, is it something that we should be, you know, cautiously like, you shouldn't be saying that is calling, you know, a woman, a black woman? Is that something that you feel is, you know, how, what are the thoughts around that? Because I think that after that I kind of said, Well, geez, you know, we've been told we've we've been said you know, where people have said, hey, you know, this is how we're supposed to refer to but yet you're saying hey, I'm a black woman and I'm proud of it. So help me understand what is what is okay for you, and for other black women to say and then what is okay in your mind to have others refer to you specifically? I'm just going you right now I'm not trying to you know, solve the solve the world and all that but I would like to understand that.

Pat Coleman:

Yeah, I'm okay being referenced to as a black woman, you could either Say African American to me, I'm not sensitive towards those type of things. But I do believe that if you're interviewing or and you're in those open spaces, the best way to stay safe on that is to say, a woman of color. And then if you just say, you know, you're a woman of color, then that person will identify and what they're gonna identify it, you know, yes, I am a black woman, you and I didn't have a specific conversation around it. And I was able to say, Hey, I am a black woman, black woman, I am proud to be a black woman. But that's me. And that's who I am. And if someone refers to me as being African American, I don't have a problem with that, as well. But you may offend some people, when you're, when you're actually calling it out in that way. So the safest way is to just say a woman of color. A woman of color is not a colored woman, because then it's like taking a piece of crayon and saying that I'm going to call you with what I want to call you with, but it's not a colored color. It is old sand back in the days that have a tendency to offend people. But if you say woman of color there, okay.

Hilary DeCesare:

That's good. And can we also say, a man of color?

Pat Coleman:

Yes. Okay, yes, you could say, you know, if you you're a man of color, you know, are a person of color? That is okay, you know, but usually, it helps for to stay in a safe space is to not even call certain things out. Or if you know,

Hilary DeCesare:

another thing, I mean, really, to, you know, why even why do we even have to refer to that? If there is a panel? You know, or you wouldn't say like, oh, the white woman like you wouldn't? Why would so there's a lot there. But I do appreciate what you're saying there. I do have a question. So as you are helping women leaders, create their businesses, scale their businesses, and make sure that diversity is a part of it. Right? How do you how do you begin that journey? Working with clients that are starting there's, you know, what they've, I've now just read 430 million entrepreneurs out there. There's a lot of people starting their businesses, a lot of people want to start at that ground level, they don't want to wait to be starting to do you know, things like that. So what do you what do you think about that,

Pat Coleman:

I would just say, just take inventory, and be sure of you know, where you're starting from? It starts with their mission, but you have to be so locked in to what that is just start out first really trying to figure out, well, what is the mission? What are you trying to do, as you see in my business, I am very, it is evident that I will help anyone, but my focus is women. And so I make that I say, and I spell it out, I talk about leaders and rising leaders, but my focus is women, we have to make sure that we know exactly what that focus is. And in the DEI space, we just need to make sure we're looking at diversity, equity inclusion, and don't forget to be which is belonging, because you can be in it, but you may not feel as if you belong. And so just making sure that whoever we're bringing into our mix or into our business, that we learn how to do business just with anyone, but you have to look at whatever their basis is, but and accept who you are, I know that if I come to the table as a black woman versus if the white woman come to the table, or the man come to the table, I know who I'm coming next and who I am. And I just make sure I show up as best as I can and just keep it moving. So now building my team in that space, I want to make sure that it's diverse. Who am I you know, you know, everyone on the

Hilary DeCesare:

team? This is amazing. How can people find you get in touch with you and really step into this next part of leadership?

Pat Coleman:

Oh, yeah, you can visit my website, WWE that Pat Coleman llc.com, that's pa t Co Le ma n llc.com. And you can email me at Pat at pet or coleman.com. And I will respond to family on LinkedIn.

Hilary DeCesare:

And I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and you have you know, given me so many things to really be thinking about in my own business as I continue to scale up relaunch. So thank you so much for being here. It's been a pleasure. I look forward to our continued work together. And for everyone out there next week. I gotta tell you, we're going to be talking about those things because right now it's that time of year where maybe you've had a little bit too much But what if you didn't have to die to actually lose weight? What would you say about that? So next week we are going to be hearing from a woman that is actually doing just that. So at this point everyone live now love now relaunch now, definitely lean into reaching out to Pat Coleman. So amazing what she's doing for everybody to bring us to have an inclusive world together. Thanks again, everyone. We'll see you next week.

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