Episode 31 Inclusive Storytelling Begins with Listening: A Conversation with Ashwini Prasad

photos of Norah L. Jones and guest Ashwini Prasad
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
It's About Language, with Norah Jones
Episode 31 Inclusive Storytelling Begins with Listening: A Conversation with Ashwini Prasad

“One thing that I was taught when I was young was “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me.” But I remember in my Ethics of Diversity course, the teacher was like, “No, words do hurt.” The only way we can really do better as a society is to really acknowledge the hurts, and acknowledge people that we historically haven’t. This is where listening comes in.”

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Ashwini Prasad (bio) leads us on a journey to discover how we can learn about and learn from each other. There have been so many individuals and groups that have been ignored – or silenced – over the centuries. They need to be heard, not only because it is an expression of justice, but because their words and cultures provide a more accurate view of the multiplicity of visions of life and meaning of human beings on this planet.

How do we go about this journey of opening doors and ears? We need to be both bold and careful. We need to be bold to speak: to say there is need, to acknowledge that stories have not been heard; indeed, to acknowledge that there has been both active silencing of voices and suppression of cultures, and a kind of quiet slide into a narrower definition of “who we are.” We need to be careful to listen: to reach out in humility to talk to those poorly heard, to walk with those who have been invisible, to ask how we may best learn.

Let’s do this work together. It is especially important we step into this listening and inclusion together right now, at a dangerous time rife with anger and separation. When we commit to listening and including, when we commit to telling our story in humility and listening to the stories of others, we get the ball rolling toward a safer, saner world.

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It’s About Language – Episode 31 – Inclusive Storytelling Begins with Listening: A Conversation with Ashwini Prasad

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Norah Jones:                     It’s my great pleasure today to welcome Ashwini Prasad to the podcast. Hi, Ashwini.

Ashwini Prasad:                Hi there. Thanks so much for having me, Norah. I’m so excited.

Norah Jones:                     I’m really grateful that you’re here because this is a time… Well, I guess always culturally, there’s the time of talking about who’s invisible? Who’s seen? Who is heard? Who is silenced? This is an important time in our culture and other many other cultures as well, but I really am delighted and eager to hear from you today. Because as the inclusive screenwriter, as your name is known with your podcast, Inclusive Storytelling, and the classes that you provide, you keep coming at the idea of inclusion in so many different ways. And you have a very interesting reflection for us to begin with about inclusive storytelling begins with listening. So I’m going to begin by listening. Tell us more?

Ashwini Prasad:                Sure. Well, as you know, I have my own podcast as well. And one thing that’s habitually came up, because as podcasters, we have our podcast question. No matter where the conversation’s going, it’s one question we ask our guests. And so my question is, how can we be more inclusive in our lives? And so I’ve been asking that throughout my podcast to my guests. And these are a lot of folks that are non-white, non-male, non-cis, and non-heterosexual folks. And so habitually, they’ve been saying to listen. And that’s been this major thread. And so I’ve been contemplating and thinking about inclusive storytelling and what that means. And especially thinking about the oral traditions of where storytelling and talking was around campfires, it was around our villages, it was around in community. And I was like, “Gosh, that’s really where storytelling begins. It begins by listening to other folks, listening to what they have to say, and then making your responses versus always being on the defensive or having a tailored approach or tailored words or tailored responses.”

And so I thought it was just really interesting that to these folks that I’ve been interviewing have been saying, “Please listen to us, essentially.” [crosstalk] And that’s where that comes from.

Norah Jones:                     Please listen to us. I’m thinking about, in my own history, including with educational publishing that one of the keys about how do we get young children, especially young males, to understand the importance of what they’re learning was more to go into the storytelling. Indeed, more of that traditional ancient human approach to teaching and learning from each other. And storytelling like you work with, Ashwini, must be extremely educational because it’s also focused on repairing breakage, repairing separation, repairing invisibility.

Ashwini Prasad:                And I would say that the stories and the lessons is for everybody no matter the gender or the age. And I think what’s important is that we read or listen or be able to articulate with people and folks that we don’t know much about or may not have been exposed to and kind of seek that out. And so what I try to do is have the goal of being in a space where it’s like, “Okay, who have we not heard from that we should hear from?”

So about two years ago, I started researching much more about what stories are out there. And so I found out about Bass Reeves, he was the first US Deputy Marshal, west of the Mississippi. And most likely he was the basis of the Lone Ranger. And we’ve never seen the Lone Ranger as a black man except in the HBO’s Watchman. And so I found out about him. And then I found out about Noor Khan. And she was a World War II spy. And she literally lived the spy life, briefcases, moving from apartment to apartment relaying information. And there was, I think it’s a PBS documentary about her. And Freida Pinto is now put into be actually portraying her in a movie. And it’s nice that they’re finally coming up with this, but all these wonderful stories I’ve also found out about Chiune Sugihara, who is a Japanese Schindler, also about the Sipahi who are World War I soldiers from South Asia who were fighting for the British in World War I.

And they were basically colonized and fighting in a colonizer army. And the little history that is about there about the Sipahis says that if they weren’t at the Western front, Ypres would have fallen. And Ypres was huge in the battles in World War I, because if Ypres had fallen, the Germans would have had access to the French coastline. So I’m finding out all this amazing stories about these amazing people and I’ve never ever heard about them. And I got upset at first because I was like, “This is absolute nonsense.” So this is the first time I’m hearing about these amazing people and they’re amazing stories. And that’s where the impetus came of where I am one person who can help bring them back in a way to bring justice to them, and what they did for us, and hopefully justice and equity for their families as well. And give people the opportunity to meet these people and see these people and get to know their stories that I was not taught about in my schooling.

And I would have not known to go out and research if it wasn’t for an initial Google search. And you know how it goes when you’re researching one thing leads to another and then all of a sudden you got five books, 10 books that you’re trying to get to because everybody has such fascinating histories and other people they mentioned that influenced them that now you want to go and learn about. And so it’s just definitely been that, but it makes me just really happy to be able to tell these stories. And I guess, that’s where that part of listening is. Even if it’s listening through reading or listening through podcasts or videos, being able to showcase these wonderful people’s stories that I have not had the privilege of hearing about and being able to share it with people who may not have also had the chance to hear about them, I think is really special.

And I’m definitely not the only one doing it, but it makes me really happy to be able to share these stories and for my own learnings so that I can be more inclusive in my ideologies, in my learnings. And when I’m able to speak to certain things, I have many examples to counter a student’s worldviews, or to enhance different worldviews. And definitely enhance my own worldview.

Norah Jones:                     What do you find happens when people listen to stories, especially stories that as we a judge, they should have heard before, but they haven’t? What happens?

Ashwini Prasad:                That’s a great question. A lot of, wow, exclamation points. If I’m reading it on an Instagram post or in-person, it’s like, “Wow.” People take a pause and their head tilts back. And they’re like, “Wow.” And so that’s always really fascinating. And also there’s always been reactions like, “Really? Why didn’t I know this?” And I’m like, “I know exactly really why did I not know this.”

Norah Jones:                     No question that sudden discovery that we’ve been missing something. I know that. I’ve looked a lot back at my education and going, “How come these stories weren’t told to us.” It is fascinating. But where did you come from? What’s your background that has brought you to the point where you wanted these stories to be told? What’s, especially tapping from your background, your history?

Ashwini Prasad:                That’s a great question. And that’s also work I’m doing in terms of clarifying my why further and further, which happens. I think a lot of the experiences is coming… I was born in Fiji, raised in Calgary, Alberta, Vancouver, BC, Canada, and then now in the United States spending my adult life. And so I’ve been called “diversity within diversity.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s going to interest.” That’s interesting being a South Asian descent, but not from India. And I think also growing up, people being saying, “Oh, you don’t have an accent,” to being called PuckyPaki” — talk about the power of words. And so all those things can influence you as you’re growing up.

And then when I was in college, I was definitely one of those people that probably shouldn’t have gone to college because even though I did well and I excelled, I didn’t understand why I had to pick a major. There I am a junior. And I was like, “I really just enjoy learning all these… I wanted to take random classes, can’t I go ahead and make that a degree?” And luckily my college actually had an interdisciplinary degree. And that’s what my major was. So I was able to study philosophy and sociology and take a whole bunch of other classes just because I was interested in them and they sounded fun or they worked with my schedule.

Norah Jones:                     Good. [crosstalk] By the way, I want to give a shout out to your college, which one?

Ashwini Prasad:                Right. And I just never understood the tunnel vision. And for the expectation of a 22-year-old to know what she wants to do with the rest of her life is absolutely ridiculous. I think education is important and it helps with the work that you do. But I think it’s also important to not box yourself in or box other people in, because there’s so much of the world. And I’m the type of person that I just don’t see philosophy, just don’t see sociology, anthropology. I see how all of them intersect. And that’s just how I live my life. And I felt really alone for a really long time. I felt like I was the only one who thought like this, because you see all these other people going on their paths and then they’re in their work. And now though, I’m surrounded by people who are definitely of the same vein where it’s like, “Yes, no, here we go.” Definitely being surrounded by creatives.

But I did my path. I chose it as naive as I was and graduated college. And then the research came into me because I actually have three master’s degrees. And two of them are in the liberal arts focused on anti-oppression what we call anti-racism today and social justice work. And they helped really shape it. And that’s why I’ll never apologize for my liberal arts degree. And people will make fun of liberal arts, but it helped me give the worldview that I have today, which is just really helpful in the work that I do. And it’s a part of me. And so I was able to do a lot of research. I learned a lot, learned how to research quickly and wrote two theses.

And then it was like, “Oh crap, what do I do with two liberal arts degrees?” Because, unfortunately, even though they’re masters, it’s like, “Well, what am I going to do? Am I going to teach?” And there was just a lot of racism. A lot of the misogyny. I was a philosophy major as well and there was a lot there that really had me become disenfranchised from academia. And that’s why I left. And I was like, “I’d much rather be in a space where I am able to have praxis, theory and practice.” And what I was finding in academia was just theory. And that might’ve been the people I was surrounding myself by at that time. I’m not really sure, but one thing that I would say that I think people need to realize has happened, this would be before 2006 or earlier, I had the head of the philosophy department at one of my colleges ask if the Ivory Tower still existed in a room full of mainly white people. And maybe I was one or two students of color and a small graduate seminar.

Now for somebody to even ask that question is ridiculous, but this is the mindset of the professors, white professors. And these are the questions they were asking, does the Ivory Tower even exist? And that’s just nonsense. And as a woman of color, now being able to reflect on how traumatic that is and talk about a lack of belonging, a lack of listening of my experiences, a lack of understanding. And that’s important too, in the work like you do. These are when words matter.

Norah Jones:                     Absolutely.

Ashwini Prasad:                These are when those types of questions with an implicit bias on what the answer is, are so harmful from an authority figure. No matter what, teachers are still able to give you your grades and determine how your graduate experience can do. So imagine being in a space where that’s what they’re asking for, that’s what they’re saying. And so I just, again, becoming really disenfranchised. And then that’s when I chose a business degree. I was like, “Well, okay, here we go. Let’s be practical. And everything’s a business.” And then just have been in a space right now where I’m a project manager, I’m business consultant. And I enjoy that work because I’m in a space now in my life and in my career where I can coach and I can mentor. And that makes my heart soar, and that’s really important.

And so now it’s also, “Well, how do I bring in this creative work?” Because I did theater all throughout high school, and it’s always been there and I always loved it. And that’s where I had to push and that I needed to just not be in this career and business side, which I love, but also enhance who I am, which is now this creative side. And that’s where I got into screenwriting. And I started researching folks and I started writing screenplays about people we don’t see. And then I started my Instagram account about the very people that we’ve been talking about and bringing them back in ways that I hope is serving them. And then during COVID, I wrote a book about inclusive storytelling. Because I was noticing there was a lot of books as a screenwriter. And as we all should be mastering whatever your craft is, there was tons of books on how to write a screenplay, the format, the structure, the tones, but not how to write so that you’re not perpetuating harmful tropes, the power of those words.

And so if you can’t see a book like Toni Morrison — I’m butchering her quotation — but if you don’t see a book, you write it. And so that’s what I did during COVID. And I wrote a short book about how-to’s, given my experience being an educator, and in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging spaces, being able to say, “Okay, what can we do so that we’re not perpetuating harmful stereotypes in our content and our screens.” And so wrote a short book because what was missing when I was researching, how to write inclusively, is that there was so much missing on real actual practical how-to’s. So when I was reading research articles, well-intended, there was a lot like, “Well, remove stereotypes from your scripts or remove implicit bias.”

Norah Jones:                     Wow.

Ashwini Prasad:                If you don’t know what those words mean exactly, Norah, you don’t know how to. And that’s where I have my book and it’s the how-to’s. And it was really interesting because when I first was writing it, I was like, “Cool. This will be for screenwriters.” And then I’m like, No, this can be all for all writers.” And what made me really happy is some of the reviews I’m getting on the book is that people are able to take my how’s, those how-to’s, and actually put them into just their walking real life experiences. And that makes me really happy. So that’s, I guess, the shorter version [inaudible] 10 minutes of my life. But that’s how I got here.

And I remember also a pivotal course in college where I wrote my first master’s degree. My first master’s thesis was on this particular class. It was called Ethics of Diversity, but it should have been called a Philosophy for Oppression. And we talked about how we should be acting and us being able to spend time with folks who are not like us and being able to reflect on that. And so it’s all just all coming together with all these experiences. And really again, because of what I was missing in academia, that praxis, a lot of theory, but not a lot of practicality. And that’s what I need, practicality.

Norah Jones:                     Spending time with, two words that keep coming to my mind, not surprisingly since this is about language and culture, is that we develop a culture over time with the people we spend time with. And you had this chilling experience there in that classroom where the cultural norm of the Ivory Tower was part of it. You’re talking about helping people to develop an understanding of listening of cultures and then there’s language throughout. And [inaudible] do send folks to my website to make sure that they take a look at your podcast title and that book, the how to write inclusively. That’s powerful about words. Ashwini, tell us a little bit more about the words and the power of words as you are working with well, writing them, teaching others how to write them.

Ashwini Prasad:                Well, I think one thing that I have because I talk about this in different writers groups is, should we be using certain words? Because one, they are part of someone’s culture. And we had a really deep conversation couple of weeks back with a writing group I’m a part of. And we were talking about Spike Lee and the words he uses and the movie that he directs. And one, I definitely am somebody who’s like, “I am not here to tell any culture what they can and cannot say.” I think what’s important for somebody like me who’s an outsider of certain cultures is if I am writing something one, I need to get permission. Second, I need to make sure I’m well-researched so that I know I’m portraying something accurately. Because I am of, write what you know, research the rest. And thirdly, I would say being able to ask the question to yourself, isn’t necessary? Can you portray the same emotion, the same thing you want to say in a different way that’s not maybe stereotypical or derogatory?

Norah Jones:                     Brilliant. Not stereotypical, not derogatory, being said in the way that would be appropriate for the culture or leave it out, right?

Ashwini Prasad:                If you’re not part of the culture, you can definitely leave it out.

Norah Jones:                     How does one that is not from a culture… What are some of the things that you have suggested in your classes, and your book, and your podcasts, et cetera, to make sure that people know when they have reached the point where they’re about to use the words or engage in a cultural reflection that is inappropriate for their own background?

Ashwini Prasad:                Well, some of the things I say is one go and find people out. And even if it’s not face to face, especially during COVID, but that’s going to be rapidly changing. And you can do a face-to-face through Zoom. Being able to talk to people. So if I want to write something about a certain group, I’ll go ahead and try to talk to them. I was trying to find some folks who are black women, military vets. So I researched different groups and sent emails to them in hopes of being able to talk to somebody. And no one owes you your time. And you should never think that somebody can give you their time for free. You have to either build relationships with groups and people which takes effort on your part to contact talk, be a part of the culture, start or start becoming part of the culture, be invited. And then making sure that you’re not invading people’s spaces, that’s really important.

And being able to first reach out and be genuine, be humble in your asks and learn about them. So for example, me with the black women vets, I need to see what the chapter is of organizations that support these women, emailing them and ask and saying, this is the reason why I’m reaching out. And being very respectful and being very humble. And part of that humility is you may not get an email back, but keep going. And be genuine and your learnings and why you want to be writing about somebody or some group. And I also caution in my book, don’t assume that because you grew up with somebody or grew up in a culture that about the culture, and the reason why I say that is for my own personal experience, because I grew up in Vancouver, BC, my formative years, 8 to 18.

And so I was surrounded by a lot of folks from Hong Kong and Japan and China. And at the end of the day, I had a lot of Chinese friends and I would spend time with their families. I spent time at their homes, but I should never write about the Chinese experience without interviewing people who are Chinese. Because no matter how much time I spent with the groups, one, I’m not somebody who’s walking around in that body and I wasn’t with at every meal. And so that’s what’s important, is that just being able to spend time with a group or growing up doesn’t necessarily mean you know that group’s experience. And that’s where that research comes in.

Norah Jones:                     It’s being very careful with that. Now you have addressed so beautifully when one is researching something, writing something. And let’s take a look at what you share, you personally, with folks that you speak with, that you write for. About how those that are standing in the midst of society, not writing necessarily about something, just living in it, turning to the news each day, turning into their own families each day, going into their places of work each day, how do they stop and think about inclusivity, words, culture? How did they approach their awareness and their lives?

Ashwini Prasad:                That’s a great question. It goes back to that hook, inclusive storytelling begins with listening. So if you are hearing certain items being said by certain networks and it’s being portrayed about a certain group, well, are you reaching out to a certain group? Do you know members of a certain group that are comfortable talking to you and seeing if there’s a narrative that matches that, or is counter to that? And then also what is the larger society looking for and asking for? And how are your words in line or not in line? And why? And that’s a personal question people need to ask themselves, is that why. Why do I feel like this? Why am I thinking this? What words am I listening to? And what’s the counter-narrative? And from the people who are maybe survivors of certain things and being able to then say to yourself, “Okay, well, what narrative do I want to be approaching that is going to cause the least amount of harm that I can possibly put out there in the world?” And I think that’s what’s missing when I run into certain folks, which luckily I’ve been as far between, is that the saying?

Norah Jones:                     I think so.

Ashwini Prasad:                I know. I’m like, “I think as far in between, far between.” But people who don’t listen. And instead of listening, they react like I was mentioning earlier, they become defensive. And so I think that’s what’s a large part is, one being able to take in what’s the narratives are from different sources and then making sure you’re surrounding yourself with different people on different perspectives as well. And you can do that easily nowadays through YouTube, through books, through Instagram feeds, there’s so much. And making your content diverse so you can come to your own conclusions about certain things. Because those words matter. They influence who we are, they influence our perspectives. And the more that you can notcannot just listen to what people are saying, but take it to heart as well. Because I’ve had people be like, “Oh, yes, I listened to Fox. I listen to MSNBC.” And they still say very awful things about different groups. So are you really listening or are you just saying you’re tuning in, but you’re really tuned out?

Norah Jones:                     What a powerful statement right there. Because you, Ashwini, are so attuned to words, when people say, “Well, how do I tell my story?” Have you ever engaged folks in helping them to understand how to take words and tell a story if they feel blocked or don’t even realize they have a story to tell?

Ashwini Prasad:                I tried to do that in the master classes I teach and just being able to show this breadth. So for example, I am redoing one of my classes right now for a class that I’ll be teaching this summer about inclusive storytelling. And I am adding decolonization. And a heavy emphasis around decolonization and what that looks like from webinars that I’ve been a part of led by Indigenous folks. Letting them lead the words. And I’m definitely not plagiarizing, I have my sources. And so being able to say, “This is the guidance and consistent guidance I’m getting from an Indigenous community across many different webinars I’ve had the privilege to attend. And these are the things that they’re saying. And these are the resources they’re giving to me.” And being able to pass that along. And then as you know, I’m a screenwriter. And so I actually am now adding, and I’ll be adding this to the book because it’s important for me, is Asians and old Hollywood.

And people need to realize that there were anti-miscegenation laws which didn’t allow Asians to be leads in Hollywood movies. And also really affected personal lives when Asians were married to non-Asians in this country up until 1948. So that there are people who are alive today that lived and were born in these anti-miscegenation law eras. We need to remember that. People are talking about Prince Philip, and I wish his family peace. We also got to think he was 99 years old. And India gained its independence from Britain in the 1940s. So there are people who are older than the independence of these many countries still alive.

Norah Jones:                     And that’s fascinating. Okay.

Ashwini Prasad:                And think about what you know and the work that you do well. Well, what language are we still carrying over? And what is inclusive and what is not?

Norah Jones:                     Indeed very much so. Now, here comes another question then, you have a personal background where you were challenged because of your history coming from Fiji. You’re being in Vancouver with folks that were from various, shall I say non-majority or at least historically majority white cultural background, there may be people of the traditional majority white culture that are afraid to, don’t know how to go about reaching out, go about learning, how do you encourage people to say the outreach, the asking, the listening, is in fact powerful. And if I can use this term safe.

Ashwini Prasad:                Yeah. I think what’s really important is to think about where we are today. So if you knew how to access the Internet, I don’t see what excuse there is. The only time I can see an excuse is one, internet access is not for everybody. It’s not around, as readily available as it should be. It should be a right. But for those of us that are privileged enough, you really, as far as I’m concerned, don’t have any excuse. There’s lots of content. You can look up Black directors, you can look up Asian directors, as you can see what they’ve put out there and look at the content on YouTube, on Amazon, on Netflix. There’s plenty of books. All you have to do is type in “anti-racism books.” And there’ll be tons of books that are out there that you can read. And I think it’s important to read books, written by… If it’s like a particular subject, so anti-racism, read books from white and nonwhite folks. People with disabilities, making sure that you’re reading books that are written by people with disabilities.

And if you’re not internet savvy, you don’t have the privilege of being able to go… I think where you can just take your imagination and learn so much is through books. And books are free with a library card. And if you can walk over or be able to use a Kindle, or I use Olympia app, which is the library app and be able to get books. You can really know a lot about different people and also travel books. And seeing travel books that are curated by people from the actual areas, not by folks who’ve only visited, but curated by from the area and what they say and what they’ve learned about their experiences. I think that’s amazing. And these are things that we should be doing. And then also blogs. For people who actually visited certain countries, what did they think? What were their experiences? And then you’ll see a lot of parallels.

Norah Jones:                     So be bold is what you’re basically saying? Go about it a variety of different ways.

Ashwini Prasad:                Variety. Exactly. I think there’s so many different ways where we can learn about other people. And in my book, I have a section where I say look at the commonalities, look at the similarities. And that’s going to tell you a truer narrative about things because nobody’s a monolith, no group’s a monolith. There’s always going to be places and things and different opinions from a community. But what you see is there’s going to be people who eat with their hands and that’s part of my culture. And so that’s a similarity that you’ll see if you research a certain group. And I think that’s what’s huge, is that we look at different groups and different folks. And are in a space where we can look at and come to an informed view of a certain group versus something that’s been fed to us through a non-inclusive lens.

Norah Jones:                     Wonderful. And to remember to not stereotype even within the cultural learning that one has. Very important insight. Thank you. Well, there’s such a richness of this. I feel like we could create our own screen play today and turn it into a movie that we could develop. And I appreciate everything you’re sharing. And you’ve shared a tremendous number of suggestions and approaches to folks. But at this point, would you turn now to the audience please and think one more time, what is it that you want to make sure, Ashwini, that you leave with people and invitation and exhortation, warning, whatever comes to your mind? What do you want to make sure they leave with?

Ashwini Prasad:                One thing that I was taught when I was young and I heard this a lot was “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words cannot hurt me.” And I remember in that college class that I was in, in that Philosophy of Oppression, Ethics of Diversity course, the teacher was like, “No, words do hurt.” And it was the first time I’d ever heard that. And I think it’s important for folks to understand that we have put together these words to try to help with trauma, to try to push it away. And the only way we can really do better as a society is to really acknowledge the hurts. And acknowledge people that we historically haven’t. And this is where that listening comes in and acknowledging and saying, “Okay, this is just what I can do today. This is what I can do in a week and three months to do better.” And that’s where it’s listening from, learning from a variety of sources, and then coming to your own conclusions of what is the right thing to do for, and to be with our fellow human beings.

Norah Jones:                     Powerfully said, Ashwini. Thank you so much for such an important learning today that we’ve all done. My subheading is “Find your voice.” I realized that in order for people to be able to find their voice, I need to be able to be quiet so they can find their voice and then share it with me. Thank you so much. I appreciate Everything you shared today.

Ashwini Prasad:                Thank you. And I think what’s important just to make sure that as we’re wrapping up here is that people know it’s listening and that’s so important. And also acknowledging and saying what’s actionable. And the reason why I’m bringing this up again is that when I speak to things that people may… around anti-racism or things that are uncomfortable conversations, I’ve had people be silent as they’re listening. And it’s uncomfortable for me because I’m like, “Am I talking to a wall?” And so people say, “Listen, just listen.” And it’s true. I agree. One thing I think we can all do better is acknowledging and saying, “This is how I’m going to move forward.” That will be really helpful in the way that we talk. So I really do appreciate you having me in this time together.

Norah Jones:                     Well, I appreciate that. Last, making sure we’re clear about the actionable nature of what we do. And I certainly encourage folks to listen to your podcast, to take a look at that book, and to connect with you to keep this learning going and to keep the connection going, to take action in life. And ask you for your great insights into how to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that gives life. So thank you again, Ashwini.

Ashwini Prasad:                Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciated this conversation. It was great.

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