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Tania Israel        

Award-Winning Author of "Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide," Professor of Counseling Psychology & Associate Dean for DEI

Tania Israel is the award-winning author of "Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work." Her work on dialogue across political difference has been featured on the TODAY show, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, two documentaries, and dozens of other media outlets. Dr. Israel’s topics are timely, and her approach to political polarization is practical, optimistic, and resonates with audiences across the political spectrum.

As a Professor of Counseling Psychology and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Israel’s public speaking spans a range of topics. Her expertise on LGBTQ psychology has been solicited by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the White House; and she has received honors for her research and advocacy from Congress, the American Psychological Association, and the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.

Skilled in public speaking and facilitation, Dr. Israel delivers engaging experiences that equip her audiences with tools that help them participate more fully in their lives and in their world. Her presentations are received enthusiastically by professional conferences, corporations, campuses, political organizations, and faith communities. Dr. Israel has two widely viewed TEDx talks (on bisexuality and how to win a political argument), and her innovation and whimsy are evident in her presentations, performances, and other creative projects.

Speech Topics

Bridging the Political Divide: Optimism for Moving Beyond Polarization

Political polarization in the U.S. is at a record high. As anger, fear, distortions, and social media drive the wedge ever deeper, what hope is there for maintaining connection within families, friendships, workplaces, and communities? Dr. Israel can offer solutions. Grounded in evidence, experience, and skills, she will share practical and research-based strategies to help bridge the political divide. Her approach to building understanding will leave you informed, optimistic, and empowered to take action.

Navigating Political Divisiveness in the Workplace

Political polarization and social divisiveness are impacting workplace culture, productivity, and health. How can managers and employees respond to political conflict and navigate challenging conversations? Dr. Israel can offer solutions. Grounded in evidence, experience, and skills, she will share practical, evidence-based strategies to help bridge the political divide. Her approach to building understanding will leave attendees informed, optimistic, and empowered to take action.

If You’re Not Listening, You’re Not Paying Attention: Dialogue as a Tool for Social Justice Advocacy

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” is a rallying cry in social justice circles. Indeed, there is plenty to be outraged about, however, outrage has its limitations, and prolonged outrage takes a toll on health. Science points to listening as an effective tool for collaboration, persuasion, and organizing. In this presentation, Dr. Israel harnesses psychological theory and research to offer a blueprint for dialogue-based social justice advocacy.

Praxis Makes Perfect: A Quarter Century of LGBTQ Psychology Research

In this engaging presentation, Dr. Israel shares her decades-long journey as an LGBTQ psychology researcher and advocate. Integrating storytelling, research findings, and wisdom; she describes one woman’s quest to generate knowledge during a period of rapid social change and inspires attendees to achieve their potential as researchers.

Leadership for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Leaders are faced with unique challenges regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organizations and beyond. How can leaders equip themselves to navigate structural barriers, interpersonal conflict, and public visibility? Dr. Israel demonstrates the effectiveness of embracing opportunities, promoting understanding, harnessing practical tools, and making use of public platforms. Leaders in educational, corporate, non-profit, and community settings will benefit from the insights, tools, and strategies offered in this session.

Myths and Realities about Bisexuality

How many people are really bisexual? Are people who identify as bisexual on their way to coming out as gay? Can bisexuals be monogamous? These common questions reflect stereotypes and absence of positive representations of bisexuality. This presentation will identify common myths and share facts to correct distorted views of bisexuals and cultivate accuracy, affirmation, and equity.

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