Be Fearful and Do It Anyway! – Daralyse Lyons

“Be curious about learning from differences as opposed to rejecting differences.” Daralyse Lyons

Creating environments that are all-inclusive goes beyond the narrow distinctions already in existence. This is because social constructs and spaces are always evolving and efforts need to focus on research, data, and continuous training to achieve desirable impacts. Daralyse Lyons has been in this space for a while and insists that it all starts from identifying and acknowledging the multiple identities that characterize an individual, then extending the same understanding to others.

Daralyse Lyons is a journalist, an actor, and an activist. She has written more than two dozen full-length books, a handful of short stories, and countless articles, performed in various plays and in improve comedy shows. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and a summa cum laude graduate of NYU, with a double-major in English and Religious Studies and a minor in History.

After writing an award-winning children’s book (I’m Mixed!) about embracing her multiethnic heritage, Daralyse found her passion and purpose in educating others about the need to embrace all aspects of themselves. She then went on to create the Demystifying Diversity Podcast and to write the book Demystifying Diversity: Embracing Our Shared Humanity She works tirelessly as a full-time DEI expert and inclusivity strategist.

In today’s episode, our guest will dive deeper ,/ into the concept of diversity and how she facilitates conversations around being different and inclusivity.

Listen in!

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  • I do a lot of work on the Demystifying Diversity Podcast, which entails interviewing people on topics about diversity, equity, and inclusion. [4:04]
  • I also do a lot of writing that brings stories and voices to the forefront that I think sometimes are silenced and unheard and share those stories with my audience. [4:49]
  • I feel like the work that I do is deeply individual. It occurs within the context of the individual and society and the various communities we’re members of. [5:35]
  • We are all part of various communal ecosystems, and there’s no way for those ecosystems to thrive without supporting the individuals to thrive in the fullness of their identity. [5:56]
  • One of the problems with lack of diversity is that it makes it so that we don’t question the paradigms that we’re operating in. [7:12]
  • Exposure to the fluidity of interpretation of experience has allowed more freedom for people of all genders to question their circumstances. [8:04]
  • The more exposure we gain to difference, the more it allows us to question real beliefs and value systems. [8:07]
  • So many people feel limited by certain rules and cultural norms, but sometimes it takes one person to be courageous enough to step outside the box to motivate others. [13:01]
  • I encourage people to create safety in your community and be willing to ask questions. [14:47]
  • Being an independent thinker and not just falling into the status quo is probably the greatest asset. [17:50]
  • Fear is a natural human response, and fear of being different and going against the grain is something that most of us will experience even while we’re being different and going against the grain. [19:24]
  • I have a bigger sense of purpose, meaning, and connection to other people and a desire to pave the way for a better tomorrow that I’m willing to take that step. [19:42]
  • I would encourage people to be fearful, not fearless, because if you’re courageous, the chances are you’re probably operating within your same old comfort zone. [20:36]
  • Commercial break. [20:59]
  • My book amplifies stories of people who have experienced a vast array of what it is to be human,. [22:44]
  • Most of us have several different identities and belong to a number of different communities. This opens us up to the richness of our complex and interconnected social matrix. [24:12]
  • This awareness that we can belong to multiple communities and want to feel embraced in the fullness of who we are, in and of itself, can be hugely empowering for people. [25:08]
  • There’s always something that is different between you and someone else, and there’s always something that is there that is similar or overlapping. [27:25]
  • I would just encourage people to look at us all as these beautiful, unique human fingerprints, but all very similar at the end of the day. [27:34]
  • Most people have an experience of being misjudged, and it’s always painful to be on the receiving end of that, yet most of us are walking around judging people all the time. [28:56]
  • The most meaningful human interactions I have had have been with people who think very differently than I think or have been through different experiences than me. [29:27]
  • I encourage people to be curious about learning from difference as opposed to rejecting difference. [31:37]
  • Be yourself and then also create opportunities for others to be themselves. It is not a one-day event but a daily practice. [33:17]
  • Find what you need to change within yourself to create that safety where you lead with listening and love; the world would be a much better place. [33:59]


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