On this episode of The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly and Listing Party, Trish and Doug chat with Dominique Hollins. Dominique is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant, known for building and activating DEI strategies for organizations around the world. Dominique is the founder and CEO of WE360, 360 degrees of workplace equality, working with public, private, and nonprofit organizations around the world.

The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly is the e-commerce resource for the seller community across all platforms and a hub for information on growing your business. Find out more at thesellercommunitypodcast.com, leave a message or ask a question at anchor.fm/sellercommunitypodcast, or email us at podcast@listperfectly.com.

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Diversity and Inclusion in the Seller Community with Dominique Hollins

Trish: Doug. I want to introduce you to my friend, Dominique. Wait, you guys know each other, don’t you?

Doug: We do know each other. I’ve known Dominique for many years to tell the truth at this point.

Trish: So Doug and Dominique both worked at eBay. I am fortunate that I have known them both since 2018. And I consider both friends of mine, not just reseller friends, but real friends, as we would say in the community.

Dominique is a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, DEI known for building and activating DEI strategies for organizations. She is currently the founder and CEO of We360, 360 degrees of workplace equality, working with public, private, and nonprofit organizations around the world.

She is skilled at intercultural competence, problem-solving, partnerships, program development, and training to help remove cultural barriers to employee and organizational achievement. She has more than 17 years of experience building the needed operational framework to ignite enterprise-wide belonging, to cultivate innovative, authentic, and collaborative working environments.

I can attest to this myself. I belonged to the diversity and inclusion seller team, the seller diversity advocates, and the SDAs at eBay that Dominique started. It was fun. It was very authentic. I learned a ton. And you facilitated some great conversations. Some conversations that I don’t know I would have had otherwise, if you weren’t there, to be completely honest.

As you both know, and my accent shows daily, I’m a New Englander. And you have opened my eyes to diverse perspectives. And I realize that I live in a liberal spot. And not everyone sees the things the way I do, and you have exposed me to many things, and we have had multiple conversations, from business, religion, political, family, etc., and I thank you for them and especially about faith, you and I have gone deep on that, and we enjoy it, we have a good time, but I’ve enjoyed your friendship immensely, and Doug, don’t be jealous, this girl and I we get some conversations going. They’re very fun. So I really would like to welcome you to our show, Dominique, and I really appreciate you joining us.

Dominique: Oh, my gosh. Thank you. Doug, did you want to say something before I respond?

Trish: Before she goes on.

Dominique: She tried to outlove you there. I think you should have your opportunity to…

Trish: Outlove her.

Doug: Dominique and I have had some amazing conversations over the years. And I’ve told her this many times, but it is true. She really helped me change my perspective on diversity and inclusion and really helped me learn how people can’t relate to things that they can’t possibly relate to. And you need to understand that. And then anybody that knows me it is no surprise. I’m liberal. I support diversity and inclusion. I support critical race theory. That’s controversial where I live. I support LGBTQIA everything. I think people should be able to do what they do. I’m pretty much a libertarian. You do your stuff. I do my stuff. But I’ve learned a lot from Dom, and I appreciate it. Dom has helped me change my perspective. And then it filters down from me to my kids and my family. And I just really appreciate what I’ve learned from you Dominique, thank you.

Dominique: First, I appreciate both of you and your willingness to engage in this conversation. I think that’s the first step. How do we allow ourselves to have conversations with people that we may not usually have those conversations with?

And especially not those topics, right? The level of trust that requires would allow us both to fellowship in that way. And both of you demonstrated the indicators that you were willing to have the discussion. You were willing to go in with the discovery and that you amongst yourselves will continue that conversation to others.

An example of that is you invited me here today to have this conversation so that other people can see why diversity, equity, and inclusion is important and maybe also to dispel some myths about it.

For example, Doug, I know you mentioned that you’re very liberal and that not everybody who supports diversity equity and inclusion is liberal, nor do they have to, what this is about is about making sure everyone has access to equal opportunity.

For me, it’s very simple. But it appears to be very difficult for a lot of folks, especially if fairness for you is a threat to the identity I have always known. That requires you to do some reflection, and it appears that you both not only started that process when I was having those conversations at eBay, but you’ve continued those conversations. I planted the seed as you all will do in your communities, and then utilize that seed by educating yourself. So thank you all for participating and demonstrating what allyship looks like.

Doug: Oh, thank you. Thank you. So let’s ease into it with an easy question. Why is the seller community so white?

Dominique: Easy, huh? You thought that was easy. First, I think we should qualify that because I know a lot of people even hearing that alone will feel jarring. There is no public information that I was able to find to specifically talk about the diversity of the reseller ecosystem. It is very vast. It is very diverse in and of itself.

There are a lot of industries, a lot of different scales. A lot of people may refer themselves as resellers, but they may traditionally be labeled as another type of business. So there’s no true data. What we are probably referring to is a visual data. If you look at the conferences we attend, if you look at the speakers and the influencers in the space, if you look at all the leading markets and who’s ahead of that market, you may that may be the qualifier.

So I think that’s part 1 and part 2 and attempting to answer the question. I think it’s a matter of access and visibility. Who is aware of this? Has visibility into this ecosystem. If I did not work at eBay, I would not have even known this existed. The concept of selling online means something very different to people on the outside versus those on the inside who have seen its power and its capability.

And only when I was in that space, did I see it. So the first thing was access. One of the reasons why I love working at eBay is because it democratizes access to equal opportunity with limiting the barriers to entry. So anybody you can sell a broken pan as Pierre Omidyar did is this first thing because what may no longer be valuable to you may be incredibly valuable to someone else.

And think about that. Oh my gosh, not everybody around the world has their version of special that can be passed on to somebody else. Also, it helps the eco, the ecology of the world because we’re not mass-producing things. They are back into the ecosystem. And so there’s so many benefits, but if people don’t know, awareness is the first step.

I want to give people information to make wise decisions. The second point is access. How much does it cost? To some it’s very little, but a little to somebody may be a lot to somebody else. What are you willing to sacrifice for the opportunity? But if I can’t see the opportunity, I can’t qualify the sacrifice.

So that’s what we want to do. And once we have more people in the ecosystem, that’s more. That’s a diversity of products in the market, which means you get a diversity of consumers. And maybe I didn’t know about eBay before, but I came to buy this hair product and I’ll talk about it for myself because I do need hair products from regions of the world. I can’t get access to, and I also need electronics for my home. And I also need a new couch cover that I didn’t think about. I can get all that across eBay. I went from one seller to seven. But if I don’t know that I can be in this space, then how can I be a part of this economy?

Trish: I often wonder if we are more diverse across eBay than we realize, and I wonder if the question should be, why is the traditional reseller community, the ones that get together, the ones that are in the Facebook groups, the ones that do these conferences, the ones that do, why are they not more diverse? I wonder if that’s a fairer or, I don’t know if fair is the right word, but a more accurate question, because when I know very successful sellers and they don’t feel comfortable coming into that space.

Dominique: First, I want to qualify this by saying I am not an eBay employee. I am speaking on behalf of myself as the founder of my company, and that is the lens that I offer with my experience in different e commerce places.

What you’re speaking to is the culture of the nation that we are in. Now you’re asking people to go in their local communities that may be more conservative than we recognize, especially in some of these more rural areas where many of these resellers come from.

There are also major metropolitan cities as well and communities, but it’s just a different hustle and bustle. There’s a different way to navigate. So now you want me to go in my local community where I have had no indication of inclusion. How am I going to find these people? Where are they posting this?

I go to libraries. I go to coffee shops. I live here. I go to grocery store. Where is any indication that you exist? If you start there, that is a great welcoming indication that, hey, you can want to resell online, want to learn a new skill. And especially in this economy, people are taking up new trades.

This is one of the greatest places to build your community by educating others on the opportunity. The economy of the e commerce community and the reseller community reflects what’s happening in the society around us. We can’t ignore that.

Trish: Yeah. Okay. I understand that. I’m going to switch gears for a little second and ask. Sure. Do you sell, my friend?

Dominique: I have sold and I’m building out my ecosystem now. I’ve had a friend come to build up my shipping center. I have containers to sort through my different clothes. I have electronics. I have home goods. I’m going to be going across multiple marketplaces. I went to the BOSS Reseller Remix conference, and I learned so much from all the speakers there that I immediately went home and called my friend and I said, hey, I need a partner. I can float in the clouds and see the vision, but you’re the operator and I learned today at the BOSS Reseller Remix that I need an operator.

And so she came over and organized my shipping station and we’re going to sell together. We’re looking to do a listing party coming up soon with List Perfectly, as offered by Trish and members of the community. We’re going to tap into Theresa Cox’s wisdom and her expertise in listing because she’s just great and amazing.

And I sold an item I’ve been wanting to sell for a long time. It was gifted to me, and I decided to circulate it back into society and I made $1,400 on eBay. It was my largest sale, and I was like, Oh, and then I went through my house, and I put everything in a bin that I could say. I got very excited.

Trish: Wait, who’d you call first? Who’d you call first?

Dominique: I called you; you were the first person I called. I was like, Trish, it happened. I got ca ching, the ca ching happened. And I was like, what is that noise?

Trish: It was awesome.

Dominique: I see the opportunity and I have a lot of people that are just waiting for me to bring them in, but I want to learn it fully for myself. So I’m just preparing myself for that bandwidth. Cause I’m also, a business owner separately from that. So can I get to the shipping station? How do I now integrate these processes into my day to make it effective? I want to do it right.

Doug: So a couple of quick things. First, you promised me you wouldn’t sell that life sized cardboard cutout of me that I signed for you.

Dominique: It was my highest selling item! It had to go! I’m sorry!

Doug: I didn’t put your name on it so you could sell it.

Dominique: It’s the hair, Doug. It’s the hair.

Trish: Exactly.

Doug: Twice as tall. And then the other thing is, Dominique says she attended Boss Reseller Remix. She was the amazing emcee for all three years of it. Keeping things going, getting people rolling, clapping hands to get attention.

Trish: Look up here!

Dominique: I learned that in fifth grade. It works even now. Because adults, we’re really children in bigger bodies. It’s just, you gotta get our attention.

I was there. Yes, an emcee, but in the capacity that I was sharing, I was also the beneficiary of that environment and exactly what that team built, Katy, Vikki, Theresa, and all the folks who have come to help that together is a byproduct of the Seller Diversity Advocates, right? I’m not saying that I was the reason, but there had to be something that sparked for them to say, we can do it too in our local community, which is exactly the intention.

Who do you know in your community to answer your question, Trish, that you can invite? Do it over some tamales, have some soup, do a potluck, do a game night, teach one skill, have a competition. There are so many ways for adults to have fun in the world of business. We’ve just got to get out of a mindset that is what was and embrace what can be with the new opportunities available through all of us.

Doug: High level, because I think we could go deep in all these questions, but for you, in terms of inclusion, what do you think the seller community does well, and what do you think it needs to work on?

Dominique: The seller community does community well. That seems redundant, but community building in that they naturally gravitate to each other, they help each other, they’re supportive. In every room while I’ve ever seen resellers, they’re always exchanging information. Because really, you all are like a global workforce. And y’all are working at the same organization of independence. And you all are in your own function and your own business, right? So when y’all get together, you’re exchanging business ideas and you’re sharing strategies.

And from that perspective, it’s Oh my God, look at the power of creation. You got a lot of determined people who are supporting each other. So I think that natural desire to help each other is the key to the community. It’s natural diversity, just because we may all look the same or come from the same city. None of us are monolith. No, two people are the exact same. So you can meet two people from the same household. I have met married couples that when you talk to them, I was like, Oh my gosh, opposites attract because this is this right here, but it works so beautifully. And then you get to families and then you get to communities, and you start seeing people together that I would never have expected these folks to be friends or these folks and why not?

That’s when I checked my own bias. So when these naturally building communities happen, I think that’s the fruit of it. The areas of development is in. Each of the individual in that space, look around the room, who is in the room? Does this look like your friend group? Does this look like a personal circle?

Does your professional circle look like all the same people? It starts with the individual. And then if you are in a position of leadership, how inclusive are you of different voices? There are power dynamics in every room. Is it the person is the leader? Are they the most popular? Are they the ones with the most followers?

None of that matters. Who was driving the most impact for all of us? Cause those people always shine, whether they get a title or a high five or not. So it’s really about what is your individual goal. Is it me, because that only lasts so long, and we can always sense it. Or is it a focus on me through we, the more I grow, the more this community grows, and then other people will want to be drawn to that, but if you’re not interested in other people and you just like focusing on yourself, let’s also be honest about that too.

There are a lot of people who are focused on themselves. That’s a lot in Western culture. Is that who you are and is it who you want to continue to be? So I think it’s that the individual nature at the structured nation who’s speaking on these panels? What perspectives are you bringing to the room?

You’ve got the big sellers and the small sellers, but that’s socioeconomic. What about the personalities in the room? Do you have all men? Do you have all white perspectives? Do you have a mix of different regions? Do you have any LGBTQ people? Why are we only talking with one dimension of perspective?

Like this version works. But there are many other ways to achieve a similar goal. So I think it would be wise for us to do that for the collective benefit of all of us.

Trish: Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. I’ve walked into and it doesn’t matter where, but I’ve walked into many of a panel lately where it is all men and it’s all white men and I recognize that I am, I’m a woman, but I’m also, I worked in construction for a long time.

I’m not a, some women I think walk in are very intimidated by men. I’m not usually, but even I was a little bit uncomfortable at some things. And I thought to myself, if I’m uncomfortable, that puts the uncomfortableability for other people that I knew there had to be high because that’s just not usually how I feel.

So I do think that how these things are structured, it also then who gravitates to it and why. And I do think that people who organize these things and people who run these things need to be a little bit more. Thinking about the bigger picture. Sometimes I think you’re completely right.

Dominique: I have a fresh example. I just attended an event this morning that was marketed to women. And I’m always cautious of that because although we say women, it usually looks like one demographic of women. So I went in anyway to see what would happen. And unfortunately, all the speakers, all the future presenters and their future programs looked the same. And I wasn’t going to say anything, but I said, you know what, I’m just going to let them know. And I’m gonna choose not to purchase this product. I was going to buy that product, but I didn’t see me represented. I came to the room because I wanted to be in the room.

And then I got to the room, and I said, how can I be among women? And still not feel included in a room of women. And so it happens in all kinds of demographics. You can be in a room full of white people and amongst all white people and still not feel like this is your jam, any ethnic group or age group or corporation. And I just want to create more spaces where I feel like I’m supposed to be here. We go to a concert. We’re like, yeah, cause we love this person at this concert. I want that kind of energy that whatever you’re doing, enjoy it. Cause we’re all here for the same reason to achieve and to make the most out of this opportunity.

Trish: What does diversity and inclusion mean to you? What is it? I’m assuming it’s a lot of what you just said, but can you pare it down a little bit?

Dominique: At its essence, it is life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and a fair system that is equitable to all. Period. Everything that I do is a byproduct of that. I do not see that in our current organizations and our current systems and education and healthcare and banking and housing. Those are all the essential needs of our economy, and they are not fair. And COVID made that even more apparent. And so how is it that with this data, with a nation built on equality and justice for all, we constantly see evidence where it is not? And at what point do we do something to pivot?

So all I want is my, God given and constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice, and to do so not just for myself, because that’s not who I am as a person, as a Christian, as a citizen, but I do it for everyone around me.

That is what collective growth looks like, and it shows up in the way that I speak to executives, peers, friends, family. I am true to fairness for everyone because I have an abundant mindset, a communal mindset, not a scarcity mindset. That’s a false construct. Scarcity is not a real thing. It’s rooted in fear. And I like to operate in truth.

Trish: So can you explain to us about the work that We360 does? And what does, I love this. I love this thing that you have made, but connector in chief. What is that? What does that mean to you? I love that.

Dominique: Thank you so much. So connector in chief is what I often use instead of CEO chief executive officer means nothing to me because you could be a leader and not have that title. But connector in chief is a is a process of verb and action. I am constantly facilitating connection. I don’t care who’s in the room. I don’t care if you’re a nine-year-old or 90-year-old. I don’t care if you’re the wealthiest person in the room or if you are not the wealthiest person in the room.

I’m always looking for that thing that makes us human that we can connect with. So whatever lens I’m doing it in, whether it’s a corporate environment at church, at the grocery store, at a gas station, I extend that as a part of who I am. It is consistent with what that means to me.

We 360. So it stands for 360 degrees of workplace equity because I normally work with organizations. That means that everyone at the organization, from the board of directors to the frontline employees, has a level of responsibility in the activation of DEI through their lens of influence. When you’re an entry level employee, you can only do certain things, but when you’re mid-level manager, you can do more things.

When you are an executive, you can do a different set of things. So whatever position you are in. What can you do from that space? So I have four variables that help with this model. The first one is who is the chief diversity officer or the leader who’s responsible for this business function. The second one is what is the HR department doing with the three Ps: processes, policies, and programs to make sure the entire talent employee life cycle is equitable along the way.

Then when you get to BI, that’s business integration. What is the awareness, activation and accountability look like in the business so that everyone is working from a business standpoint? That’s why I was working on the seller team and marketplaces at eBay because the business is driven by the marketplace.

Okay who is the engine to the marketplace? The sellers let’s work with them. And if you can grow them, then you build the marketplace. It’s a business strategy. And the last one is we. Workforce enablement. I want to give everyone the empowerment, the engagement, the enlightenment, and the empowerment to be activated at the organization so they don’t feel disenfranchised, but empowered to step up the way that I did when I graduated from college and didn’t know what was going on. And yet I just figured it out because I didn’t think it was the right thing to do. So that’s what I do with my clients, whether I’m working with executives, building workshops, or speaking on a panel. Whatever format they need that support, I offer it to them as a partner.

Doug: And so what are some of the biggest inclusion challenges with some of the clients that you’re working with?

Dominique: If I’m being honest, it is what’s happening in society. They are managing both their shareholders and their responsibility in terms of the goals that they expected to achieve. And with the level of unrest in our markets, if they take any position, if they say anything that feels too liberal or political, then they, as the leader of that organization could be influencing the impact to their shareholder value, and then they get booted out.

So at the end of the day. I don’t want to get involved with this because I need to, my goal is to make money. And that is what I’m hired to do. Now they’re asking me to take a position, which is usually what happens. What’s happening with gender pay equity? If we got to offset all the different incomes that are underpaid, that is a set of millions of dollars, which has been allocated to these other projects.

Now we must pause this business effort to make this equitable because we said we’re gonna do it. It’s watching that activation, making the trade-offs to offset what happened years before. But CEOs are paid for their window during their time, not for what happened with the CEOs before them.

So now they have this issue. They have employees who are uncomfortable, they have society issues and many of them want to do the best, but they have training too. And they are caught in the role of the nature of their position. So that’s the biggest angle. Everybody else in that organization is influenced by that mindset if the leader has not chosen to go against the grain and to do what is best for the organization, this isn’t just a moral thing. This is economic opportunity for all of us. So it’s not just a feel good. It’s strategically advantageous for us to be more diverse and inclusive.

Trish: Are there any marketplaces that we’re all involved with that you think are doing something well to promote inclusion? Or do you think that there is a major gap that they need to…

Dominique: Address collectively? I can’t speak to each platform. They are all doing something different. According to their marketplace. What Amazon does is very different from what eBay does is different from Poshmark is different from Etsy, etc. But I do see that they are responding to their audiences, maybe more responding to competitors and that they realize diversity is powerful. Celebrating these cultural holidays and being timely with the merchandise in that space. But if you don’t have the sellers with that merchandise, then you often can’t sell it with the quality that’s needed.

So they see the value and untapped markets, which is represented in an underrepresented seller voice, those communities, both geographically, you see it a lot more in marketing. And I don’t give too much credit to marketing because that can be performative, but you do see more representation, which at least says, you know what, All right. I am going to now check out this Poshmark ad because I like this girl from this. She looks like me. So when you see that representation, people more willing to check it out and more willing to engage. And so I think those are some key factors that are helpful.

The aim of the game now is few as few steps and a few clicks as possible to post and to list and to sell. So it is advantageous for them to help us as resellers for them to grow. So I do think they’re doing that too. They’re responding.

Trish: Do you know who does that the best? List Perfectly.

Dominique: Oh. That’s beautiful. And I have seen that, and I’m always amazed at the pace, but they’re small, they’re nimble and their leaders and their founders are dedicated. That’s why List Perfectly is so great for the marketplace because both founders are vested in how the customers feel. That’s why Amazon is successful. Whether we like it or not, they defer to the customer. And so it makes us come back. We know we’re taken care of. So that those are some advantages as well. Focus on the needs of your reseller community and give them what they need and the entire platform flourishes.

Trish: And so let me follow up with this having spent the better part of seven years of my life now not only selling, but being very active in the seller community, right? Tell me what the seller community itself, what can we do to help diversify? What can we do to bring in different voices? What can we do as a group?

Dominique: The first of which is to self-evaluate. I know people always like to go for external things first but look at your friend group and your family group. What do they look like? If they look like the same people, why is that? Because if you had a more diverse cohort, it may be more natural for you to invite them into your space. So is there any reason why? And if not, What are you going to do to go out in different communities? You can go to different reseller events in your neighborhood or go on a road trip.

There are so many resellers that travel to different States and have such a party bouncing around to different groups and see what they are doing. If it’s something that you want to get into, reach out to a friend that may be further along in this process. And maybe they’re good at attracting people from different backgrounds.

Ask them, Hey, what did you do? What do I need to do to start? Can I come to an event? Can you share some of those insights with me? You must really want to be willing to care about the needs of other people. It really is about a we mentality, which I had to grow to learn myself. So I think a lot of that is exploration, figuring out ways to engage, attending diversity and inclusion sessions and figuring out how you can partner.

Supplier diversity is huge. Everybody can look up supplier diversity. There could be resellers in your community where you could be buying and selling with them and fueling the community. But if you don’t know that those are opportunities available, then you may not engage in it. So it must be a desire.

There’s information available. There are conferences. There are already doing it well, and there are ways for you to get connected now to start to explore these.

Doug: And similarly, how can we make someone with no experience understand the need for diversity and inclusion across the board?

Dominique: Bring them to places with you. Just invite them to places where you would go. Go to places where they would go, ask them how they feel about it. This is, again where does it come from? What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to them?

Also ask them, how it would feel to feel excluded, whether that’s feeling excluded in your family. Cause maybe you’re not the prettiest kid or the smartest kid. Cause that’s usually where it starts somewhere in the family. We didn’t get that love because every family I know that was raised in a whole bunch of love, they’ve just shared it with anybody. But if they had to fight for attention or respect, they usually end up doing that in society as well.

How does it feel for them to be excluded? I’ll give you an example. I come from a conservative Baptist family and we’re black. We know the black struggle.

Trish: You’re black.

Dominique: I love you. I don’t see color.

Trish: I love you. I’m sorry.

Dominique: Oh, happy Black History Month, by the way.

Trish: Of course! Happy Black History Month to you!

Dominique: Yeah, I just live Black History. I don’t think of the month. But in any event, I have a Southern Baptist family, Christian family, grew up in the church, love the church, praise God, all the Bible, vacation schools, everything. And then they found out I was gay, and then the exclusion happened. And I was like, wait a minute! This isn’t the same God I’ve been reading about.

My grandmother said, I love you, baby, but you’re going to hell. And I love my grandmother, but she couldn’t understand. We had a different lens of viewpoint. So I said grandma, do you know what it’s like to be called the N word? Yes. Then what you did is the equivalent and saying that to me as an LGBTQ person. It broke my heart, but that was as a kid. So now I want to make sure nobody feels that experience again, what does it feel like to be excluded?

And who gets to determine who gets access to freedom and who doesn’t? It’s really who gets to tell me what my freedom and my rights are. And that’s where it becomes an issue. So I would like to make sure that it’s available to all as again, written in the constitution, regardless of its original intent, what we want it to be today.

Trish: And so where can anyone who wants more information on this, where’s a good place for them to look, read, listen, whatever?

Dominique: If I’m going to be honest, I do a lot of Google and chatGPT. I say that because there’s so much information through so many lenses and so many channels, you can literally just type in the question like where do I get started for diversity and inclusion as a beginner? And you’ll literally get a list of here are the books you should read. Here’s some conferences you should attend. I don’t want to influence your search. I’ve had 15 years of learning this for myself and decoding myself.

And it’s more of experience in the books that I’ve just adopted and absorbed. But my path may not be your path. So as you ask the questions in chatGPT or Google, where you get a structure of directions where you can begin. You get to choose your path towards this information. And then also because it’s Black History Month, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, it’s basically a Smithsonian Museum for African American History in DC.

I go to museums, I watch documentaries. I go to art shows. I go to parades and festivals. I listen to these people I go to people who are different from myself. There are businesses you immerse yourself in the cultures of the people you’re going to build relationships with.

Trish: It happens to be Black History Month, but you’re talking about, we have Hindu festival in the next, four or five towns over, go to that, check that out, check out whatever, go and see all the cultural things. It’s not just about one or the other, right?

Dominique: Correct. Correct. Because it’s Black History Month, that’s why it’s top of mind. Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day will be there. And then in May, it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and Mental Health Awareness. And then in June, it’s going to be Pride. And depending on what country you’re in, those months may change. This is what it looks like in the U. S. and a lot of places. So your willingness to learn about other people reflects your openness and your unification, your desire to be communal, and it’ll be reflected in your actions and behaviors.

Trish: And I also think you need to be ready for a little bit of uncomfortableness. Sometimes the beginning of these things is a little uncomfortable. Most people don’t want to offend anybody. We want to be respectful. And sometimes because of that we back away instead of boldly going in, right?

We back away a little. And Dom has really given me, I think because of my daughter, who is a gay woman. Dom has really helped me. I never had a problem with her being gay. It was never even a thought. But Dom has given me an ability to look at her situation differently, not just through my own lens. My own lens was, is you’re my kid and I love you and it doesn’t matter, right? None of this matters. But Dom gave me the ability to look at it a little differently and I will be eternally grateful to you for that.

Dominique: Oh, Trish. Thank you. My makeup is going to be messed up. I wasn’t ready for this. Ah, hugs and kisses. My goal is only to spread the love. I grew up in Chicago. It was extremely segregated. I did not like being around white people. They did not feel safe. I grew up in the era of Emmett Till. My grandmother had to hide under her bed from the Ku Klux Klan. Then, being the gay woman in the family, I was excluded. I was like, where does exclusion not exist?

Where does everybody just get to hang out no matter who they are? And I was like, you know what? I’ll just build it myself wherever I am. Everybody is included so long as you respect the people around you. So that’s what I offered you. That’s what I offered, Doug, anybody who can hear this message, that is my intention and then everything else out of that.

My hope is that is in the fairness for others. And if you’re doing well by yourself, you’re not worried about competing. You’re just trying to be your best self and your vortex. And then you attract other super amazing people as well. So that’s all I want. I don’t need to compete. I’m just awesome anyway. And I want to bring out awesome and other people that seems fair.

Doug: Thank you for everything. Thank you for that. And thank you for helping both of us, look at some things differently. And Trish touched on this. It’s I just think people should just be open to other stuff. Open to just be open. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t have to like it, but just be open.

If somebody wants to do things a certain way, if it’s not affecting you, don’t worry about it. But just be open to different ideas, different perspectives. And again, you’re not going to be able to relate to certain things. That’s just the way it is. And if you don’t have that experience, you can’t relate.

I’m a white male. I understand that as a white male, I’ve had a lot of privilege in my life. And the same thing with my family too, is it’s that’s just the way things are.

Dominique: You prompted a thought and I want to leave with that. We were not born with prejudice. Prejudice is taught. We wouldn’t have to ask people to be open. We were born open. We were socialized to think a certain way at different periods in human history for different reasons. And we are now living in the generational passing down of those behaviors.

What I’m asking people is I don’t care about what it has been. I am encouraging us to choose to be what we’ve never seen. To be an agent of change within your own sphere of influence, assuming you’ve chosen to be on the side of we, instead of the side of only me. That’s what I would offer. Thank you, Doug.

Doug: Thank you so much. And I’m sure we’ll have you on again. We’ll cross paths again.

Trish: Yes, please do.

Dominique: I hope so. I always love talking to this community. And then as I get more involved in actual reseller practices and my language evolves and my experience evolves, I will have more relatable content to talk about with this audience and bring some folks along with me I look forward to that.

Trish: And I would really love at some point to talk about you know getting into different kind of reselling pockets, I would love to do that with you.

Dominique: I already know six different groups that I could just pull together if we can figure it out…

Trish: I am more than happy to do the work Dom. Dominique

Dominique: You know what? I’ll say this. My name is Dominique Hollins and that is my public facing name when people meet me. You two, as friends, get to call me Dom. As long as other people know I’m Dominique until you get permission to call me Dom, then you all have been approved.

Trish: And I am completely different. Everyone can call me Trish until I don’t like you and then I’m Patricia.

Dominique: That’s hilarious. Oh, I love it. See, diversity of perspective on names. We’re allowed to do that. Whatever makes you feel happy. Thank you, Doug. Thank you, Trish. I hope this was valuable. I appreciate the reseller community. Can’t wait to be a more vested member.

Trish: We do too. Thank you so much. Thanks, Doug.

Doug: All right.


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