Cornell provided an extremely engaging two hour discussion for my students at Ithaca College this fall 2015 semester. As a result, I invited him back to speak at a different section of the class as I noticed the value of his time spent with students. Cornell was recommended to me by professionals in the Ithaca community who had done trainings with him in for Leadership Tompkins. They described his workshop as being very effective as well as his ability to relate to the audience. I describe him as engaging, knowledgeable, genuine, relatable, articulate, funny, and modest.
Since I initially contacted Cornell, he has been nothing but professional and easy to work with. His flexibility with scheduling and his promptness in getting back to me immediately was always appreciated. He was very easy to talk to and I am grateful he is a resource in the Ithaca community. Since working with our class, I have recommended Cornell’s work to several people. Already, I’ve heard positive feedback regarding a large presentation he did for another group on campus where I suggested his expertise.
Cornell’s presentation was tailored to the needs of my Human Sexuality class. He brought exactly what I was looking for in the beginning of the semester so students could make connections to many topics in sexuality, gender, privilege, and social justice. Since the workshop, students have referenced his work several times, seeing how the material crosses over to other examples and topics in the course. This is exactly what I wanted to have happen as a result of his workshop. Topics of his presentation included diversity, recognizing privilege, equality vs equity, social capital, microagression, intersectionality, and ally development. His style of teaching is very interactive with a combination of audience discussion, storytelling, effective activities, and drawing from the audience.
I think his unique ability to create an emotionally safe space from the beginning is crucial to an effective discussion. This is a skill that can sometimes be difficult to do when discussing sensitive topics. Because of this, I had students who may not normally share in class become very willing to do so within minutes of meeting him.
If you are looking to have this kind of training or discussion with a group, there is no one else I’d recommend. Cornell Woodson is the goods. I plan on attending an upcoming presentation entitled, ‘Developing Your Ally Identity’.