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A Sound Environment

A Sound Environment

Finding Commonality in a Diverse World

About the Program

Dr. Richard White, inspirational speaker and full professor at the University of New Mexico, and Dr. Kevin Sanders, director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis, have spent over two decades in higher education working with students and organizations from all over the country and touring the world. Read More >

The two forged their friendship over twenty years ago as students at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Based on contrasting appearances and backgrounds, it would be difficult to find two people more different, yet their love of music and passion for helping others opened the door for a lasting friendship and life-changing mentorship. They are not only colleagues but consider each other family.

Energized by the racial and social justice movements, Dr. White and Dr. Sanders hold a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion, from the ivy league’s Cornell University. They are passionate about collaborating with artists and organizations to develop positive change and leveraging creativity and unique skillsets to bring about cultural transformation. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

A Sound Environment: Finding Commonality in a Diverse World Video

Speech Topics

Contrasting Opinions: Representation & Belonging

Working with people different than ourselves isn’t always instinctive and deviation from our comfort zones can be hard. However, research shows that although homogenous teams make quicker decisions, diverse teams make better decisions.  Through the lens of their 20+ year friendship, Dr. White and Dr. Sanders share their stories of how they have helped each other see their own blind spots, embrace their differences, and empower each other to be their best.

A Sound Environment

A team that works in harmony to manage controversy, communicate well, and unify their goals will achieve a sound environment for success. When a symphony orchestra takes the stage, the audience hears 85 individuals, of diverse backgrounds, committed to cooperation, communication, and collaboration in order to fulfill their mission of sharing the power of music. Allow two musicians who have performed all over the world to take a seat on your stage to assist in creating the optimal performance.