Who is Bayo Callender, Esq.?
I had the pleasure of meeting Bayo Callender when she volunteered for The World in Your Classroom programme that I was coordinating for the Municipality of The Hague. She gave a guest lecture to Dutch high school students about her personal journey growing up in Brooklyn in New York City to working for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Bayo is an international human rights attorney, mediator, trainer, and coach, with a background that includes human resources management, education, organizational development, inclusion policy and implementation. She has worked with a spectrum of humanity working on behalf of children’s rights, women’s rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, the elderly, and the disabled.
Born and raised in New York City, she grew up as a young Black woman in a socially and politically engaged Black female-led single parent household. Early in life, she received an education into the dynamics of racism, sexism, classism, and began to understand the impact of ill-conceived public policy and other barriers to equitable social-economic engagement.
Bayo is a public speaker and advocate. She has also worked in different administrative and operational management capacities within large and small organizations in private and public sectors. She has developed curricula and taught primary through post-secondary education, served as a university lecturer, and developed specialised legal education as well as learning and development programs.
She has lived in the UK, France, Spain, Hong Kong, mainland China, the Netherlands, and currently resides in Sweden.
What is the mission of Anti-Racist Global Citizen©?
The Anti-Racist Global Citizen© is a consultancy firm that supports individuals, teams, and organizations in facilitating customized implementation and support for sustainable inclusive interaction. In-person, virtual, and hybrid consultation services are available.
What makes your business different from others addressing the same issue?
The Anti-Racist Global Citizen© provides deep support work in facilitating and maintaining anti-racist engagement in diverse environments. We go beyond superficial presentations and workshops to address substantive learning, reflection and customized integration of anti-racist practice. It takes humility to admit that you don’t know what you don’t know and courage to say ‘I need to change’. When it comes to race, we often rely on family cultural mythologies, we need to triangulate the facts of historical events from other perspectives.
We are unique in our ability to implement sustainable models of inclusion. Many organizations struggle with how to address the complex issue of racism. They start off with various initiatives, but often fail in maintaining momentum and providing substantive support to various members. The Anti-Racist Global Citizen© approach includes carrying out a benchmark assessment, advising, coaching, then evaluating steps taken and their effect. Using a historic, reflective, and instructive process that entails facilitating substantive communication and customized action planning, we help organizations navigate these areas with sustained support and a focus on accountability.
What is your role within this consultancy?
I am the Principal of the Anti-Racist Global Citizen©. I founded the organization and represent a team of diversely talented community activists and professionals who draw on more than 50 years of collective experience in grassroots organizing, human rights advocacy, management consulting, and organizational development to facilitate the deep work associated with substantive implementation of long-term anti-racist practice.
If you had to name 3 values that guide you, what would they be?
These three values would be continuous education, fair and honest reflection and personal accountability.
What is typical of New York City that you use in your work? What did you adopt of the Dutch and Swedish cultures in your way of doing business?
As a true native New Yorker, I utilize my exposure and engagement with diverse people to facilitate open communication and help people navigate difficult conversations with a level of frankness, honesty, and dignity that helps them get to the root of underlying issues. Further, my experience in multiple stakeholder engagement and organizational inclusion auditing undergirds my ability to identify and structure clear guidance for implementation and transformation.
My exposure to Dutch and Swedish cultures have provided a depth of perspective and influenced the way in which I reach out and connect with different audiences. I utilize my difference in these spaces to bring a different message and perspective to discussions.
When was the last time that you were touched by the reaction of a client?
It was the “aha” moment in the course of active engagement with a client in which we looked to identify issues related to mythologies that had played an integral part in shaping their worldview. They paused, and said to me, “I had never considered that perspective”. This was a poignant moment because it marked a shift in understanding, a clear goal in improving the quality of engagement.
In structuring the road to transformation each of us is required to arrive at our own understanding of what something is and is not. In that moment, new information had been introduced and given objective weight. Long-held beliefs that were part of that client’s personal history and family mythology were challenged and instead of resisting the new information, they were receptive to it giving it even weight, resulting in a shift in perspective. This is called progress.
Any exciting news about your business?
Yes! Currently, we are fundraising to support our ongoing work and are running a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.
Further, we recently used a select part of the Anti-Racist Global Citizen© to facilitate group discussion with members of the International Federation of Women’s Clubs Overseas.
To whom would you like to get connected to?
The Anti-Racist Global Citizen© is an adaptable tool that can be used with a range of audiences and ages. We are seeking to connect with people and organizations who have come to the realization that a change is needed to improve the quality of their engagement and are ready to do the work to implement something different to effect sustainable change within their environments.
We seek out heads of organizations, senior management, and direct managers who are actively seeking guidance on how to plan, engage, and support colleagues, staff, and stakeholders in anti-racist inclusive practice.
How can people reach you?
If you enjoyed Bayo Callender’s interview, you will probably enjoy Dana Saxon’s as well!
This interview was conducted by Lucie Cunningham from Tell Them Well Communications in July 2020. Lucie is a freelance editor, copywriter and translator with many years of community project management. She has lived in France, England, The USA, the Netherlands and is currently based in Scotland.