Andre Koen as a member of AM Horizons Training Group is an
energetic presenter, a powerful communicator, and a dynamic
teacher. Andre integrates his abilities as an
improvisational comedian, large group facilitator, keynote
speaker, and classroom teacher to captivate and educate his
audience on the issues of "race", poverty, oppression and
human relationships. There are many words that define Andre
Koen, but the most definitive is, "Andre, the Enkindled
Andre offers several half-day to three hours sessions,
focusing on issues of diversity, team building, and personal
effectiveness, both at work and home. Services include:
Keynote speeches, 1/2 day training sessions to 3 day
training sessions, workshops (1 hour to 3 hour sessions),
and training Sessions (1 day to 3 day sessions). Most
training Sessions provide 2.0 CEU / CLE credits
This was a Question and Answer session we conducted after a Diversity Keynote
What motivates people? Motivation is the reason why we do what we do. So how can we motivate ourselves to do what needs to be done.
It is clear that we need a new paradigm for Diversity this presentation explore what that new Paradigm should be and ways that you can be helpful in Creating the this NEW PARADIGM.
This clip was made in the 1970's Bill Cosby is acting out what he perceived about people at that time in American History? Are there things that he say that you might hear today? What do you think this says about our Diversity efforts? What should we do next in term of Diversity and Inclusion?
So I don't do a whole lot of shout outs to different companies or what not, because they don't give me... I don't get any endorsements from them, right? But there is a place that I absolutely love at the Mall of America. That's a plug. All right, and its Nordstrom Rack. I'm a shoe dude. I don't know if you... I like shoes. Shoes are like... I don't know, I think they make... Shoes and belts, shoes and belts make an outfit. It doesn't... If you got nice shoes and a good belt, you got an outfit.
So I'm at Nordstrom Rack and I'm in the shoe aisle. And their shoe aisles are amazing, because it is like the Matrix. So you stand and it is just like rows of shoes everywhere. I love the shoe aisle. So I'm standing in the shoe aisle and I'm trying to find the perfect shoe on... I'm hunting for big game, right? So I'm in the shoe aisle and in the next aisle, I hear a bunch of teenagers and they're using the "N" word.
They are referring to each other in a... Using the "N" word. Right? Now, the "N" word is very confusing for white people because they are like, Why is it bad for me to say, but black people call themselves that all the time." Well, let me just tell you, not all black people call themselves that and you still can't say it. I mean like there are things that you... Somebody... You can talk about your mama and you can talk about cousins, but nobody else can talk about your cousin and your mama, right? But we'll get back to the "N" word later in the story.
But at any rate, so the kids were calling each other the "N" word back and forth. And, "What's up, man?" And, "Hey, man," and "Aw, man..." Like that, right? And so much so, that they weren't catching a breath in between using the "N" word. So as a stand up member of the community, a diversity trainer, a person out to make sure that our young people are engaged in positive activity, I said to myself, "If they say it one more time, I will say something."
Yeah. So guess what happened? They said it one more time. Now, I don't know about you, but I personally am not afraid of kids. Right? Because I can... But I do have a respect for young people, and I know sometimes they can get out of hand. Right? So I try to interact with everyone that I interact with in very positive ways. And so, I kind of garnered up my courage and because I said I was going to walk over there, I decided to follow through because something I want to follow through, right?
So I decided to follow through. So I walked over there and I kind of stand over there and I say, "Excuse me, would you guys mind not using the "N" word?" And they stopped, just stopped. And one of the bigger boys of the group kind of parts the group and he comes face to face to with me. And so, I kind of puff my chest a little bit and he puffs his chest a little bit. And I kind of lift my chin and he kind of lift his chin, and I kind of brace myself and he kind of leans a little bit because he was taller than I was.
I used to wrestle in high school so I know how to... I did restraints when I work in residential treatment centers so I know what to do, right? So I'm ready. And he looks over at me and he kind of clears his throat and he looks down at me and he says, "Yes, sir." Not quite what I was expecting. So he says, "Yes, sir," and he turns back around. So I mean, outside I was cool. All right, thank you. All right, good, good.
On the inside I was like, "Wow! We made a difference!" Right? And I wouldn't think that was amount. What was going on there? I mean, these are kids that folks would label them thugs or gangsters or be afraid of. And what did I do to those kids? Well, it's been made very clear to me that everybody needs direction and everybody has goals and desires. At the same time, everybody wants to be accountable to somebody for something.
Will those kids go off and use the "N" word in public and with each other? Probably. Will those kids think about their behavior out in the public? More than likely, they will. Did I change the world? No, I didn't change the world. However, what I did do was make them accountable for being a part of a community. I hear people say, "Well, we got to take back our communities, and we got to do this to our communities and snatch these back from other folks."
No, all we really have to do is have standards on our community. We have to stand up and say these are things that are not acceptable and these are things that are acceptable, and we can be in this together. Could I preach to those kids? Yeah, I could preach to them. "That word is a bad word. Don't use that word, blah, blah, blah." But no, I didn't choose to go that route because priest speech, so forth and so on.
But what I did say to them was that I have some standards, and I respect you and I want you to respect me, too. So what is it that you stand for?
Sunday. Oh, church all day. But you know what? I'm feeling a little spunky. So, I'm like I'm going to gamble on Jesus. I'm going to "Come on, Jesus, come on." All right? And so, I go asked my dad and I said, "Dad, can I borrow the car?" And what does my dad say? He says, "No." Not only does he say no but he gives me a lecture on top of it. No would have been just enough but he is like knowing... All these kinds of stuff. And so, I take all that and so I say my dad has what kind of an attitude? A bad attitude or a negative attitude. And consequently, what did he say about my attitude? That I have a negative or bad attitude. So, what is it that actually determines an attitude? Perspective? It starts with G and ends in O. Your goal dictates your attitude.
Think about some of your employees, right? When they have that attitude, it is clear what? What's clear? That they're not... That work is interfering with their goal. I remember working in a couple of places and people are like, "Man, if I haven't had to work today, I would be doing this or that other thing." Guess what I have told him? "Go do it. Quit bugging me and go do what your goal is because you won't be happy. As a matter of fact, you make the rest of us miserable."
And so, attitude is a symptom. So, if I see someone with attitude and I deal with kind of a special team in infant, right? Minnesota family investment program and so I'm dealing with social workers and they deal with people who have lots of attitude. And so, one of the things that we know that if we have a person that is giving us a lot of attitude, it is obvious that they are not what?
Meeting their goal. So, when we have someone with an attitude, what is the first thing we have to find out to be able to be hopefuls in them? What's your goal? What's your goal? And I'm sure we all have been to a department store and either had a problem with an item or it didn't fit or you got a lot of complaints with the warranty or what not. And you have those people who are not listening to you at the customer service pieces and we'll just give you coupons. No, I don't want coupons or we'll just give you 50% off of that. No, I don't want 50%. This is funny, right? So, I had a dog that is a Chow Chow. Is anyone familiar with a Chow Chow? All right. So, they are really fluffy and they have a black tongue and curly tail and Cassius, that was my boy. Oh, Cassius, I love my dog Cassius, right?
So, we go to a... So, Cassius... I forgot what happened but his hair got a little mad because if you don't comb it like in on a regular basis, it will be tangled. So, I decided this is summer time. Oh, this is... So, it's summer time and we are going to get those tangles out. Well, my girlfriend at the time was like, "Well, I'll cut his hair." I'm like "It doesn't sound like a good idea." But she can piss him, right?
So, I come home and I look at my dog and he looks a little different. And she was like, "Well, I can fix it." I was like "No, let's just take it somewhere. You done way too much work already. I'm sure it was tiring. Let's just have somebody else do it, right?" So, Io take him over to PetSmart. Now, I thought PetSmart knew what they were doing first of all, right? So, we take him over to PetSmart and so, I gave him specific instructions.
I say, "Look, obviously, this is a Chow and I'm wanting him to keep that Mayan look. So, I know, just nick over here and nick over her. Cut that part down and leave the rest so leave his tail bushy and leave his head bushy. I know he is going to look goofy but that is what I want, right?" And so, I leave the dog. That same day, I actually have dental. I have a dental procedure that was going to be done, right? So, I dropped the dog off.
I go get my dental procedure done and then, they call me and tell me that my dog is ready. So, I go in to go pick up my dog and I had a cavity filled. So, I still had... My mouth was still numb and so, nothing is working. So, it was easier instead of biting my tongue, it was easier for me to like this. So, my tongue was contained and what do you all think? Now, I do not want to be alarmed but I'm African American.
And there's something about talking like this as an African American that is extremely intimidating to white people. So, I'm already like this and so, I'm looking for my dog and I cannot find him. And I see this lamb. I see this little lamb running around the pet store and I'm like... Right? So, I realize that they have shaved my dog completely. And so, I'm talking to the guy and he's like "That would be $74." No, no $74 here.
So, I'm like talking like this, "What is going..." My girlfriend is going to kill me because I just put it off on her, right? Because she is not there and it's easy to do. "She is going to kill me. I got to put up with this woman." So, at this point, I have decided I'm not paying for this haircut but they are trying to make me pay for the haircut. And I'm like this is not happening.
And so, finally, the manager comes and he's like "Sir, I understand that you are upset." I'm like "I'm not upset. I'm not upset. All I just want... I'm not paying for this." He was like "OK, Sir, well, how do we work this out?" And so, they brought me like mugs and cups and all sorts. Everyone is crazy that I walk out with bags, fancy stuff.
But I was never satisfied because I left specific instructions and I wanted them to hear that they not follow those instructions. And so, I had an attitude and guess what? I've never gone back to PetSmart. Right? And I will not go to PetSmart. As a matter of fact, I might right a Facebook posting about how to boycott, no I am just kidding.
So, those are some things to remember in terms of how to talk with people and things that I have learned from my classmates. So, this is me as a new baby. Wasn't I cute? And this is... That's me and that's my brother Will and my sister Krystal. And it is really funny. Krystal has five kids and two girls. Krystal was bald and her two daughters were also bald which is just like weird.
Her boys have full heads of hair. It's interesting and then this is my grandmother and my grandfather. This is my Uncle John and this is my Uncle Waldo and this is my Dad William. And this is my family. This is our Cosby years. If you look more closely, you can see Theo, Vanessa and other staff. And I said that at one thing and one of the kids, "You were really in the Cosby?" "No."
And so, OK, I love Facebook and I hate Facebook all at the same time. Love it and hate it, right? I love it because I have put my persona on Facebook. And I'm a highly evolved individual, right? So, I do vermicultures so I have worms that you may compost to in my kitchen. I eat organic. I do yoga. I do landscaping. I'm highly evolved. But Facebook... People keep putting up pictures that are blowing my image.
And so, this is one of those pictures that I have forgotten about and hope it would just go away. And as a friend of... It's a picture of my friend, Samesha, and I at a concert and Samesha is holding a boozie, a semi automatic weapon in her left hand and I'm holding a double barrel soft air shotgun to Sharon's head. Sharon's in the middle and Sharon is like "Oh, my goodness" because that is cute for some reason. I know that could be scary but let me put it in context because the context will make it equally as scary, right?
So, we were at a concert and I don't know if the band sings, it doesn't matter but the name of the band kind of give you the spirit of the event. And we were at the concert by a band called Public Enemy, right? So, Public Enemy. So, we were fighting the power and also, I have to apologize because in this picture, I'm also sagging my pants. We kind of started that in the late 80's and early 90's of the second instinct and I just...
We did not know the... Pandora's box that we open because now people... They are showing their boxers. They are showing their trump stamps. It's just crazy all the stuff that they are showing that. And so... But that was it. And I thank God that I don't have to be who I used to be. That I can learn changing growth but there's one thing that you must know about me that is extremely important that is a theme of this picture.
And that is I am my father's son.
What are possible causes for the Flynn Effect? (back to outline) What do intelligence tests really test? To what extent do they measure learning vs. raw intelligence vs. some other factor that is correlated with intelligence? The answers to these questions are still being researched by scholars around the world. Flynn originally offered three categories of potential explanations: Artifacts (e.g., of sampling, improvement in early childhood education), Test Sophistication, and Actual Intelligence Increases. Deary (2001) discusses the weaknesses of the possible explanations, illustrating the complexity of the Flynn Effect. Flynn's Hypothesis
"The hypothesis that best fits the results is that IQ tests do not measure intelligence but rather correlate with a weak causal link to intelligence." (Flynn, 1987). Based on the presence of the effect on nonverbal tests such as the Raven's Matrices, Flynn believes that the increase is actually an increase in abstract problem solving rather than intelligence. Flynn (1994, 1999) favors environmental explanations for the increase in test scores.
Education a cause of IQ gains?
In many countries the level of education of the general public is increasing. People are spending a larger amount of their time learning and being examined in formal educational settings. In some cases IQ gains are highly correlated to increased years spent in formal education. Again, several scholars point at the increase in culture-free tests as evidence against an educational cause.
The Brand hypothesis: Societal changes causing IQ gains?
Brand suggested that societal changes that teach testing with "time limits" could be a cause of IQ gains. The idea behind this hypothesis is that people in our society have learned to work better within a limited time frame. This societal trend allows later generations to score better on timed tests because they make intelligent guesses and don't waste time trying to get every test item correct. Although this hypothesis seemed promising, there has been research that contradicts its fundamental assumptions (Flynn, 1994)
Better nutrition a cause of IQ gains?
It has also been hypothesized that IQ gains are the results of better world wide nutrition. The idea behind this hypothesis is that better nourished brains would allow subjects to perform better on IQ tests as well as in everyday activities. Experimental data trying to prove this theory are also mixed leading one to believe that nutrition, though a possible contributing cause, cannot account entirely for the massive gains in IQ measured around the world (Flynn, 1994).
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.