In the current climate of ethnic and cultural divide, Sherman Bradley is a builder of bridges. Along with his wife Sadell, Sherman created GOODFIT LLC, offering training to help organizations address diversity and increase cultural competency.
After working for ten years at City Gospel Mission where he created and operated several key programs providing a long-term holistic approach to restoration and recovery of lost lives, Sherman founded Consider The Poor whose goal is to break the cycle of poverty in the lives of those less fortunate. His tenure at City Gospel Mission came during a period of tense racial relations in Cincinnati and in the nation at large. He saw people from all walks of life coming together through The Black United Front, leading the way in the city to create the Cincinnati Police Collaborative.
In 2016, several caucasian pastors come to Sherman, asking about the issues in the African American community around police relations, race relations and the heightened war in the political arena. That led him to create the training platform, GOODFIT LLC, in 2017, where different is good.
Sherman states, “GOODFIT installs the needed ability to approach each encounter with skill and confidence to produce great outcomes. We’ve all had that encounter with someone where we were unsure how to proceed based on difference. So whether it’s the civic arena, the business community, or the faith community our goal is, through our training, tackling issues of diversity, inclusion and looking at what equity means to the equation. Not just equality. There are tremendous historical and generational disparities that have to be tackled in the process of coming to truth and creating new systems as equally important as changing individual hearts. Our goal is to help you do that.”
He continues, “In our process, we want to take your teams through trainings that will help them understand their own biases. We all have them. They are innate. They are part of our human condition. As soon as we get over our defensiveness we can come to a place where we can build from a foundation that we’re all working better collectively so that we’re erecting something that can be a benefit to the entire society. In the faith community we should be leading the way. Our entire gospel from Genesis to Revelation highlights how we are one new humanity. If we can’t honor Jesus with being one new humanity, how can we expect the world to? The last prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 highlights his concern for us coming together. That we would represent Him walking the earth. We would unite as the body being fitly joined together, no division, no Jew, no Greek, no male, no female, one happy family coming together. Then the world gets to see the implementation of the gospel by how we treat one other. Are we really going to walk this thing out in fellowship and in one accord? We have to educate the body with fervor and passion because we are the light for the rest of the world.”
“We have to go into the business and civil communities as well using different language. For these other sectors, it’s all about empathy. That compassion is not the same as empathy. We teach how to engage each other in the workforce environment where we spend most of our time anyway. And it’s growing more and more diverse with each passing month. We have to have cultural awareness. We have to become more sensitive. We have to become more aware in order to build the kind of bridges where transformation can happen if that is our ultimate desire. And it should be ours as followers of Jesus Christ.”
He concludes, “We live in a cultural continuum. It is progressive and organic. It’s happening with or without our approval. So in this cultural continuum, there are four sectors that we target. There’s the head, which is cultural competency and cultural compliance. We have beat that horse for the last 30 years. But we haven’t tackled the areas of the heart. For me that is cultural humility and cultural productivity. What happens when you bring all four of these together is cultural profitability. These four quadrants are important and are infused inside of our training because ultimately cultural profitability is where we want to come to. But ultimately cultural profitability is only had when we have been successful with the two traditional areas that we already know are necessary: resources and finances. The third part of this three-legged stool is relationship. We have to prioritize relationships in the same capacity that we do resources and finance. If we do not, we will not get to cultural profitability. We may have profitability, but profitability in this new society in a global marketplace is no longer going to get you long term success. You have to be better at relating. You have work from whatever differences you have had to be relatable to the place that empathy replaces apathy, ignorance, and indifference.” To learn more about GOODFIT LLC, visit GoodFitNetwork on Facebook or www.goodfit.training.