Jeff L. McGoy
VIENNA—Human Service provider Arrowleaf announced today a series of free online events titled Love Our Differences aimed at engagement and education in the areas of equity and inclusion. The first event is titled Welcome to the Land of Oz 2021 and will take place on January 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
“Throughout the last year, a lot of interest and attention was brought to issues of racial equity throughout our region, which was something very new for a lot of us who’ve lived in Southern Illinois our entire lives,” said CEO Sherrie L. Crabb. “We immediately started talking within our agency about ways that we could lend our voice to that cause. We were looking for a way we could do our part to address equity and inclusion in our region, not only in regards to race but other areas of disparity, as well. As a leading organization in the region, we felt we had a responsibility to step up.”
“Earlier that year, we had started an Equity and Inclusion subcommittee,” added Crabb. “Primarily we were looking inward, working on identifying areas of inequity within our organization and developing procedures for addressing them to help us to become a more diverse, a more equitable and a more inclusive agency.”
One plan was to host an online staff event featuring Jeff L. McGoy, a motivational speaker and performing artist who addresses what are often uncomfortable issues to talk about in a powerful, humorous and entertaining way.
McGoy has presented at numerous conferences, schools, churches and community events. He has also performed, produced and directed 17 one-man shows in which he has presented through the personas of 10 to 15 characters he created. He is employed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and resides in Carbondale, Illinois.
“After talking to Jeff to discuss some possibilities, it became clear that this was an event that we need to share with our community,” explained Crabb.
In his presentations, McGoy incorporates a unique style of speaking through the performance of characters he created to address issues affecting people in everyday life.
“When it comes to issues around race, gender and sexual orientation, there is so much fear of saying or doing the wrong thing that we too often don’t say or do anything at all,” said Crabb. “I’m hopeful that events in the Love Our Differences series will help us to set aside our discomfort and begin to have meaningful conversations with those around us and start to heal some of these hurts that go back decades or even longer in Southern Illinois.”