Local with Lisa | PMS Diversity Day

Insights, stories and interviews about homeownership and living in the East Bay
From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.

Lisa:  Diversity Day at Piedmont Middle School was started in 2001.  The entire day is devoted to bringing in different speakers for the students.

Anne Smith/ Diversity Day Coordinator: Diversity Day is one particular day set aside to celebrate diversity and show the importance of diversity in our school, community and our lives.


Lisa: I was honored when I was asked to speak at Piedmont Middle School on Diversity Day. As a 1991 graduate of PMS, it was fun to walk the halls again.  

“When I was in Middle School in your shoes, I’d spend a lot of time wishing I looked like everyone else, and I wish I could tell myself back then that you’re going to spend your adult life trying to be different and trying to prove how you’re different from everyone else.” 

I spoke to the students about my journey through careers in TV and Radio. 

“I remember I went to Dallas, knocked on the door at different TV stations, and asked the News Director, will you meet with me? Will you hire me? One station said, we already have someone who looks like you.  So they had their Asian person, and we didn’t look alike.”  


Lisa: I’ve now brought my journalism skills to my career as a Realtor.

“I find so much more joy doing what I’m doing now because all the aspects I liked of news I bring to my job now and I still get to do the things I love, tell stories, meet people.” 

Speaking of meeting people, I spoke to a few of the other diversity day speakers and the message they were hoping to get across to students.  


Martin – Poet & Rapper: The workshop I’m doing is titled what are words worth and it’s talking about the value of words and how our words are attached to our values and we can use language to uplift, unify and encourage and how we have to be cautious about words because words can be also used as a means of destruction of tearing others down. 

Sandi Hunt – Camp Rainbow: Be aware of your surroundings in regards to eco-systems, all the flora and the fauna, and be mindful of it and understand we are stewards, and there are little and big things you can do to be stewards of the land around you.  

Mike Taylor – Spoken Word Poet: It’s a 2 part workshop we’re doing today  but it is on intersectional identities and it’s looking at all the different identity points and characteristic qualities students hold and looking at different dynamics of when those meet but also being able to hold space for all the people they meet and understand they have things they are not going to know right away and not see right away so for holding space not making assumptions on all the people. 

Xerxes Whitney – Embracing Circumstance: I was born with cerebral palsy and I’m a 6th grade PE teacher and high school tennis coach and how to embrace your circumstance through attitude and effort.  Learning how to be honest and vulnerable and honest with someone different from you.  

Lisa:  Our differences are what make us special.  That was the message I hoped to make clear.  Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd because being different is where we truly shine. 


Who should I interview next for Local with Lisa? If you have a suggestion I’d like to hear it! Or if you’d like to talk about real estate and want to know your home’s current market value, I’m happy to provide you a complimentary assessment. Get in touch!

For more Local with Lisa, click here.

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