Facilitating Courageous Conversations On Race And Equity In Education
Q&A With Courtlandt Butts
What attracted you to the BIF Summit?
An incredible energy of possibility seems to permeate through BIF. Working with them, whatever vision we had for the future, it seemed like they created pathways and possibilities for it.
As a facilitator for racial equity, my style leans on storytelling a lot. I tell stories on how to get to the future. So when there was an opportunity for storytelling at the BIF Summit, an opportunity to reshape the world through story, I was happy to say yes.
Tell us just a bit about the subject of your BIF Summit story.
I’ve got a lot of stories to tell. We must have the courageous conversation. Courageous conversations will help us reshape the future for highest human potential. Sometimes barriers and socially constructed norms get in way of having conversations that get to other realms of consciousness. The way to get out of silos is to have these conversations. Tell your story, but prepare to listen to and take a journey with someone else.
What, to you, is the value of sharing stories?
The whole of human history and knowledge is stored in human story, and language and context are shaped around that. We could write some words down on a piece of paper that would make sense grammatically, but context is the story that invites people in and allows them to say “I can see myself in that.” Everything I want to overcome and to navigate, can get clarity in a story.
What we read doesn’t matter to us, unless we understand the story that is attached to it. Once we understand the story, the information becomes relevant and leads to a different possibility for our future.
Story is the thing that can wake people up, that has an opportunity to bring higher level of consciousness. When we take that story journey with someone else, a lot of times we go, oh wow. We literally shift in the worldview we’ve been holding onto for years, and now we can take different actions. We can work together toward the higher parts of our humanity and potential.
Do you have a motto, or “words to live by”? If so, what is it?
I have a bunch of them. It’s really about what inspires me in that moment. The inspiration itself comes from a source of a singularity. When it comes out in the world, it gets spread in many different ways but comes from this one source.
Right now at end of my email signature is this quote from Buddha:
“Whatever precious jewel there is in the heavenly world there’s nothing comparable to one who is awakened.”
What's one thing (or more, if you like) would you like Summit attendees to know about you before they hear your story?
At the Summit I want to open myself up to journey together with people. To open myself up to the possibility that if our paths cross we could go on to a higher state of consciousness together.