10/26 – Shift New Orleans and Tulane School of Social Work

Don Beck

Dr. Don E. Beck

Julianna D. Padgett, Ph.D., LCSW, Assistant Dean of the School of Social Work at Tulane University led the organization of a presentation and a meetings/trainings between Don Beck, students and faculty with Dr. Laura Horn and Darrell Gooden participating in support. In total, 210 people attended. Additional trainings are scheduled for January with a possible SDi 1 in March after Mardi Gras.

Don E. Beck

Don E. Beck

We had a wonderful experience in New Orleans with “cultural beats from Bourbon Street.” What an amazing diversity of people, history, and even visitors in the French Quarter and elsewhere from all over the world on any given day. The African American traditions go deep into history, most certainly in the slavery days where I saw where the slave trade happened, but also in very early yet complex thinking that many had been doing during the days of Booker T. Washington, etc.

Actually, the father of Erness Wright-Irvin was a major force in those difficult days in the city. She gave me a book entitled We as Freeman on the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court issue and ruling. Erness is a well -known African American leader in the city and has become a powerful force for transformation. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and unique laughter with writing skills that put me to shame.
  My eyes were opened for sure, and I have a new appreciation for the early efforts at complexity that were struck down by blatant and exploitive racism.

My own research ended following the end of the Civil War itself and had not focused on the so-called “Reconstruction” period or the positive impact of jazz and other dynamics to mesh this awesome diversity in such a high energy “place.”

Since I worked with the New Orleans Saints for four years in the early l980s, I have been truly a fan.
Erness Wright-Irvin, along with Jean Watts, a very effect teacher of facilitation skills with a global perspective, formed the Shift New Orleans core leadership team. Tom  Christianson and Ian MacDonald did excellent early  formative work having met with them at the Confab last year. Dr. Laura Horn and soon to retire from the Navy Darrell Gooden (long time friend and colleague who does the Adizes presentations in Santa Barbara), provided highly insightful analyses over the two days.

New programs are now being designed with a large number of highly motivated individuals and interest groups in education, health care, economic development, jobs creation and a full spectrum of other initiatives in New Orleans. 

Dr. Horn described her Ph D dissertation at George Washington University and will be of considerable value at the Tulane Graduate School. She was a student of Professor Graves and has first hand knowledge of the nature of the man and his original research. She is full of quite fascinating stories since she was among the first females to study at Union College.

Her fist hand experiences with Professor Graves are simply charming and you must listen to her at some point. She often speaks of Graves’ dog “Dutch” and how he would attend all of the classes and sit under Graves’ desk. Since Darrell Gooden is an African American from New Orleans, he spoke with great credibility. He is a highly professional leader, especially in the nature of cultural change and digital resources. The man, who is also a master of the martial arts, was most impressive. The young black males flocked to him, all searching for a positive role model.

We were able to speak to close to 200 students and friends from the Tulane University School of Social Work on one day and then to well over 100 faculty and community leaders on the following days.
 While The group made it possible for me to “re-enter” the world that I love, to deal with unique challenges around large scale change. I am trying to get ready for the Adizes series November 11-17 and, of course, the demanding return to South Africa in late November.

About the Author

Dr. Don E. Beck, PhD, The Spiral Dynamics Group, is co-author of The Crucible and Spiral Dynamics. He may be contacted at the Global Center for Human Emergence
940-383-1209 (office)
940-382-4597 (fax)

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