Cultural Diversity Training, Consulting
and Curriculum Development

Because talking can change everything

About Us

Our Experience

Since 1999, Talking Changes has offered personally-tailored, dynamic, interactive and solution-focused trainings, seminars, and curricula on a variety of cultural diversity training topics, many of which focus on cultural competence, cultural humility, and anti racism.  The goal of every training is for participants to leave feeling empowered and valued, with greater knowledge and solutions they can bring back to the organization.  

Talking Changes' founder, Dr. Mara Gottlieb, holds both a PhD and a Masters in Social Work, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work.  She blends her many years of practical experience with seasoned facilitation skills and extensive educational knowledge.  

Our Approach

Training sessions are tailored to your specific needs and the time you have: from 90 minutes to a full day.  Interactive trainings generally benefit from a group size no greater than 30 participants.

Seminars are more didactic and time-limited, and can be delivered to audiences of any size.  Most seminars involve visual aides such as PowerPoint, video, or a combination of media.

Curriculum/Syllabus Development
A co-created curriculum is yours to keep.  We can help you design your program and offer any needed guidance on content, materials and presentation style. 


 "Today's training was by far the most engaging, dynamic, and energizing experience I have had here - or at any conference over the past 15 years that I've been a social worker.  Mara is a terrific presenter, and I appreciate how deeply she challenged us to think and look within ourselves. Thank you!"

"I loved this training and the transparency of the trainer. She was knowledgeable and presented the information in a way that encouraged sharing and understanding."

"[Mara] weaves in and out academics to individual...never expected this topic to be so energizing, reflective, & helpful for staff. Thank you." 

Select Training Topics

Racism, White Privilege, and the Myth of Colorblindness (6 hours)

 We cannot dismantle what we cannot discuss, and productive discussions are well-informed. This workshop provides participants with exactly this: the knowledge, language, opportunities and tools to boldly and productively address issues of race, racism, and skin color privilege. In a respectful, intentional environment, we will have a conversation about the socially-constructed meanings of skin color and race, and the resulting impact of racism in society and the workplace, with a particular focus on how race has been used to divide us and to benefit “white” people. We will discuss both historical and present-day racism in the United States to provide context for our current circumstances. Finally and most importantly, we will work together to brainstorm what we can do together and as individuals to participate in debunking, dismantling and defeating structural and individual racism. 

Diversity in the Workplace: One Agency, More Cultures than You Can Imagine (6 hours)

 This training helps participants foster a workplace environment that is welcoming and supportive of individuals from a wide variety of cultures, including but not limited to cultures of ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, ability and age.  Our identities impact how we perceive and interact with others, and this workshop seeks to assist participants in becoming more clear regarding our own identities, and how to create a workplace that encourages authenticity and respect, which leads to maximum productivity and positive workplace interaction.

Identity, Social Location, and the Impact of Perception (3.5 or 6 hours)

No human being actually sees reality.  What we see are the details and interpretations that our “lenses” – the filters formed by our identities and life experiences - focus on.  What we perceive and how we interpret that information has a profound impact on how we experience ourselves and others: until we understand who we are and how that identity impacts on our vision of the world around us, we risk missing or misinterpreting vital information.  This experiential workshop asks participants to examine our own identities, and to better understand how who we are impacts how we perceive and treat others. 

"Did You Really Just Say That?": Addressing Biased Language from Clients (2 hours)

The therapeutic dyad is a messy human-to-human relationship, and there is language our clients will use that can provoke a strong response in us as practitioners.  This brief, solution-focused training seeks to help participants better understand the ways we respond when someone uses language we perceive as racially-charged or otherwise offensive; to evaluate the impact of the setting and the client’s emotional state on how we respond; to increase understanding of our own verbal triggers and how to decide whether and how to respond when they are activated, and provide solutions for responding in ways that can honor our own boundaries without shaming our clients. 

LGBTQIA...SOS! Sexuality and Gender, Differentiated and Demystified (3.5 or 6 hours)

The question is no longer whether we will have LGBTQIA clients, but when, and whether we will be adequately prepared to serve these populations knowledgeably and respectfully.  So let's talk about sex, and gender, and what - if anything - the two have to do with one another.  This highly experiential and interactive workshop will explain in plain language - through case examples, group discussion and video - exactly what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, cisgender, intersex, gender queer, and any other term participants have heard and aren't yet familiar with. 

Stress Management: Avoiding Burn-Out (3.5 hours)

Particularly in the social service field, self-care is not an option, but an imperative.  More and more research is linking the results of ongoing stress with illnesses such as heart disease, ulcers, and autoimmune dysfunction.  This highly interactive, fun, relaxing workshop will help participants recognize life stressors, stress triggers, and their personal responses to stressful life conditions.  We will explore the impact of stress on both professional and personal lives, and participants will experience and walk away with practical tools to reduce stress.  Participants are invited to wear comfortable clothing, if appropriate to the workshop setting. 

Contact Us

Questions? We'd love to hear from you.