Being Colorblind Is A Nice Theory #diversity #inclusion #millennials

ColorblindOne of my coworkers sent me an article titled Why Do Millennials Not Understand Racism? By Jamelle Bouie, of Slate.

Any reasonable adult should understand the basic tenets of racism. Of course, that is just a headline, and not the complete truth. Millennials do understand racism. According to the research stats Bouie presents, they just don’t want to be bothered.

According to MTV – likely polling this audience nationally to determine what they care about so it can convert and retain millennials as viewers – compared to older generations, this group is generally more tolerant, diverse and has a stronger commitment to equality and fair play. But this cohort also seems more interested in being colorblind than in addressing the problems around race and bias that still plague women and minorities in society today. Continue reading “Being Colorblind Is A Nice Theory #diversity #inclusion #millennials”

A Diverse Leadership Philosophy: Good For People, Good For Growth #inclusion #diversity #bias

It’s been a relatively quiet week on the diversity front – thank everything. There have been the usual discrimination, bias and gender rumblings, of course, but aside from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pledging to educate teams on domestic violence, and Michael Brown’s killer testifying before a grand jury, there haven’t been any catastrophic demonstrations.Philosophy5

This meant I got to do something unusual – read to learn rather than read to inform. My reading material of choice: How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader by David Brendel via Harvard Business Review.

The article talked about a neglected facet of leadership development and executive coaching – the impact of beliefs and values on behavior. Specifically, “the benefits of introspection and reflection on one’s own character and beliefs receive less attention in a typical coaching session than the benefits of behavior change,” Brendel wrote. Continue reading “A Diverse Leadership Philosophy: Good For People, Good For Growth #inclusion #diversity #bias”

You Gotta Make ‘Em Laugh #diversity #inclusion #humor

Make Em LaughHumor may be one of the most perfect ways to teach people about diversity. For instance, take this video I ran across this week featuring a coterie of black kids from Ferguson, Missouri, discussing how fed up they are with racism. They’re cute, they’re sassy, some are just a few syllables away from baby talk, but with style and childish flair they make their case. Even better, the message sticks with you.

Bringing humor in as a tool with which to relay diversity ideas works because it soothes the sting of latent guilt and discomfort, and it can ease the strain and defensiveness traditionally associated with this kind of subject matter. Video is also the perfect complement. It may be one of my new favorite learning delivery systems. Continue reading “You Gotta Make ‘Em Laugh #diversity #inclusion #humor”

Black Skin Means Bad News #diversity #race #discrimination

I’ve talked to many diversity executives over the years, and almost all have confirmed that in order to create real traction for their initiatives, to even gain acceptance of their presence and value, they have to talk about diversity like a business. That means hard numbers, tangible connections to key stakeholders and strategic alignment to established business goals and needs. No soft stuff.Numbers don't lie

Emotion, historical baggage, discussions of right or wrong, or playing the blame game and pointing fingers, these things do not work, they say. In fact, these things actively work against the diversity executive, even in situations where there are acknowledged or apparent workforce diversity issues.

But according to some new research, numbers may not always work to sway hearts and minds and promote positive action. A study from Stanford University psychologists Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Rebecca C. Hetey revealed you can’t fight racial injustice with statistics either. Continue reading “Black Skin Means Bad News #diversity #race #discrimination”

Former Abercrombie & Fitch CDO Todd Corley Sets the Record Straight #diversity #inclusion #leadership

It wasn’t Todd Corley’s decision to leave his position as chief diversity officer for global retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. But now that he’s gone he can look back on a job well done and a bright future ahead at the helm of his own TAPO Institute. He took a few minutes to sit down with … Continue reading Former Abercrombie & Fitch CDO Todd Corley Sets the Record Straight #diversity #inclusion #leadership

We Have The Power #fashion #diversity

Melissa McCarthyA friend and I were talking about an article I read on how several major designers, unnamed of course, refused to dress actress Melissa McCarthy for the 2012 Oscars.

I said, well, she’s fat. Most designers are concerned with elevating their brands, not dressing the masses of people who she more accurately represents. They’re selling a dream, not reality.

My buddy was like, yeah, but we’ve given the fashion industry carte blanche to ostracize and depreciate people who don’t fit established molds. They abuse that power, and diversity is a casualty. Continue reading “We Have The Power #fashion #diversity”

Misogyny: The Big, Pink Elephant #ElliotRodger #gender

Growing up I always knew that being black might cause problems for me. But it was only after I was an adult that I realized how many problems being a woman would cause.Pink Elephant

Luckily, I’ve never been physically abused, nor have I been targeted by a mass-murdering virgin with an ax to grind, but hatred for women — in its various iterations and degrees — is pervasive around the world.

So when a man — whether he’s deranged or not — feels that it’s perfectly in order for him to kill women, who he views as inferior beings who rejected him but to whom he is nonetheless entitled — it’s baffling to me how anyone could argue that misogyny and its effect on our culture is not an issue. Continue reading “Misogyny: The Big, Pink Elephant #ElliotRodger #gender”

When Art Masks – Actually It Kicks the Cover Off – #Racism and #Gender Issues #Diversity


You may have already seen this image of Dasha Zhukova, editor-in-chief of Garage Magazine. If not, gird your loins. It’s real. The photo was used in an editorial on Buro 24/7, a site run by fashion darling Miroslava Duma, that was released on the Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday.

Of course I’ve been vocal in my sadness over it on Twitter. But at the end of the day I have to consider several things.

1. In the immortal words of Zora Zeale Huston, black women are the mules of the world. We do not have a good or even an acceptable global image. Unless, of course, you find crack addicts, whores, baby’s mama’s and ill educated, neck popping ghetto birds positive ideals. Continue reading “When Art Masks – Actually It Kicks the Cover Off – #Racism and #Gender Issues #Diversity”