Reflections on “Da Conversation”
From individuals who have experienced “Da Conversation” with Clarence Glover.
- Dr. Kathy Rowe, Director of Operations and Effectiveness Planning, Division of Enrollment Services, Southern Methodist University, said: “We met in the early 1980s when the student body was much less diverse than now. It was just his voice in the wilderness. What fascinated me about him was his language. He was very well-spoken. He could adapt his language to the situation, yet it was not being fake. He helped me understand a lot of things about diversity that I had not been confronted with. He really allowed me to grow in my education about diversity. He taught me that you really have to have voices that the students will listen to. We did a lot of activities that helped students understand the feelings they had about people that were different. We became strong partners in bringing diversity education to our white students, and he helped the African-American students feel more comfortable in a white environment. We worked together on a number of diversity training programs. People became more able to hear and receive the message. Clarence really has the talent for that. The campus is more diverse now. Some of that is an outgrowth of Clarence being here.”
- Dr. Roscoe Smith, Dallas Independent School District’s former Director of Chapter I and principal of Fannie C. Harris and Joseph J. Rhoads elementary schools, said he incorporated in his management approach much of what he learned from Clarence about African and African-American history. Smith said: “I became a kind of Clarence Glover myself. I took what I learned from him and used it in staff and parent meetings. He has a wealth of knowledge about African and African-American people. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve used his work. While at J.J. Rhodes I implemented what I learned from him which was part of the reason we went from low performing to recognize. He’s an intelligent speaker. He can grab you and hold an audience and cause people to want to hear more.”
- Timothy Patterson, a bank technology manager and parent, said: “Growing up, I was not taught a lot about myself. There was so much about me as an African-American and about our history that I needed to know and that is even more important for my child to know today. Since I’ve known Pastor Glover over the past three years, I’ve learned a lot and my wife and I are teaching it to our six-year-old daughter. I see myself as almost a disciple.”
- Judith Guilbeaux, a retired principal, formerly at J. W. Ray Elementary School, said that Glover taught her faculty how to pull out the best from African-American students, even though most of her faculty was African-American: “My school was about 90 percent African-American and the teachers were predominantly African-American. Yes, my teachers were black, but they did not necessarily understand what works with black children. Clarence uses a multi-facet method in his training. He wants every part of “you” involved. And he’s very enjoyable while he’s teaching you.”
- Philip Wise, Managing partner with Cienda Partners, a private equity firm; former President of the Student Government at Southern Methodist University; volunteer with various civic and charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity. Wise said he observed how Clarence interacted with diverse people while Clarence was a graduate student and Wise an undergrad at SMU. “I always admired him for being a pretty thoughtful guy,” said Wise. “He has a real passion for kids of all colors, particularly African-Americans, and wants them to be successful in life. I loved the fact that he was always comfortable working with people from all walks of life. He’s a very genuine, passionate person.”