Tina Edholm, left, and Tish Johnson speaking at Missouri Realtors’ first annual Diversity Summit earlier this month at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Missouri Realtors invited MU Extension to present at its first annual Diversity Summit, Aug. 9-10 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Tina Edholm, a human development and family science specialist based in Cooper County, led participants through an “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts” program.

Tish Johnson, community economic development specialist and CES for Boone County, gave a presentation on “The Culturally Conscious Professional.”

Based on Leslie C. Aguilar’s book of the same name, “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts” is a discussion-based course that teaches participants how to recover when they accidentally say something inappropriate and how to respond when others use stereotypes or make demeaning comments.

“Staying silent in hurtful social situations can make people uncomfortable if they don’t know what to say,” Edholm says. “This can undermine the ability to create an inclusive workplace where all employees are welcomed, treated with respect and able to do their best work.”

Learning a few simple strategies gives participants the confidence to step into really difficult conversations, she says. “These strategies are equally effective in the workplace, around the dinner table or standing in line at the grocery store.”

Johnson’s presentation on cultural competence helped Realtors understand the value of being able to effectively interact with people across cultures. Cultural competence asks us to be aware of our own views and what shapes them, gain knowledge about other views and cultural practices, and develop positive attitudes toward differences.

The presentations were livestreamed for participants unable to attend in person.

Edholm has shared the Ouch! program with nearly 290 people since June. This summer, Central Missouri Community Action implemented the training for staff serving Cooper and Howard counties.

“Our agency has a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion but struggled with finding conversation-starters,” said CMCA community organizer Audrey Phelps.

“Ouch! provided a safe, nonthreatening environment to begin critical conversations related to how stereotypical beliefs and language can be harmful,” she said. “I participated in this training with two separate groups of people and each time heard and learned new things. It helped open my eyes to how things often said without thought can cause unintentional harm.”

For more information about the course, contact Tina Edholm at