112: Coffee with Colber Prosper

Colber Prosper and I met at the inception of the Wild Goose Festival’s LEAD NOW! program in 2015. We both returned as contributors in 2016. LEAD NOW! applied his teaching and leadership skills while I joined the first-ever GooseCast, a stage dedicated to podcasters. Colber is an author and the founder of Prosper & Partners.Colber’s first book, No Entry: Examining the Powers that Undermine Our Full Potential, is a unique breakthrough book. It is accessible like Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and has substance like The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. First, as any work of art it draws from unique combinations of sources.  It synthesizes material and ideas from many wide-ranging sources, including hard sciences, music, poetry, social sciences and life experience. Second, No Entry is useful! Concepts discussed have lists, steps, or categories. You can identify what you have or what’s missing in your circumstance and move to affect change in your life! And if you ever find yourself without clear direction then you can contact the team at Prosper & Partners!

A third uniqueness is the code switching that takes place. By “code switching” I mean changing dialects or registers, or, in the extreme, actually changing languages. To a reader, like myself, who only knows “proper English” to be “the Queen’s English,” all of the content is still completely accessible. A reader might, again like myself, initially perceive there to be typos or grammatical errors. The error, however, is with the reader. The purpose of Colber’s code switching in No Entry is to remain authentic to as many parts of himself as possible in the span of a short book. In our interview he says, “We need to start being able to share our full selves and not pieces of ourselves.”

Beyond the book, Colber is the founder and senior consultant for Prosper & Partners, an international consulting firm that specializes in professional and organizational development. He is an innovative and compassionate leader who has been recognized for his ability to educate youth and adult professionals on various topics. Colber is an experienced facilitator that has led a plethora of presentations and workshops. He has done extensive research on issues of inclusion, social justice, organizational change, middle management and higher education. He has also provided trainings in coalition building, substance abuse prevention and organizational development around the world in places such as Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Cape Town, South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya and several more. His extensive background in strategic planning and implementation has made him an asset to various higher educational institutions and non-profit organizations. Finally, Colber teaches at the University of the District of Columbia where his research is being used to increase student engagement.

Links:

No Entry: Examining the Powers that Undermine Our Full Potential  by Colber Prosper

Prosper & Partners

Twitter: @ColberProsper

United Faith Leaders

Wild Goose Festival

LEAD NOW Cohort at the Wild Goose

University of the District of Columbia