Sometimes You Just Want to Call In Black #diversity #race #SandraBland

In the past few days I’ve heard the phrase “calling in black” several times. I even saw a video about it that seemed to sum up my feelings perfectly. It was irreverent, tongue in cheek and slightly indifferent — a perfect execution, really. In it, YouTube vlogger Evelyn from the Internets woke up tired, remarked … Continue reading Sometimes You Just Want to Call In Black #diversity #race #SandraBland

Nail Salons: Modern-Day Sweat Shops #diversity #gender

I don’t like salons, for hair or nails. For all the times you come out looking fabulous, it’s like a house of horrors while you’re in there. The waiting, the endless stupid conversations you can’t help but hear, forced to sit in uncomfortable chairs listening to rude customers treat workers like crap, or vice versa — gross. My nails are most often cut down, neatly filed — by me — and polish free.

Nail PolishBut I just read an article in the New York Times that gave me a whole new reason to hate nail shops. According to the piece, U.S. census data puts the number of nail salons at more than 17,000, and those numbers are growing exponentially now that manicures and other grooming services have become more affordable and accessible to a larger clientele.

But no seems to be talking about how terribly the industry’s workers are exploited.  Continue reading “Nail Salons: Modern-Day Sweat Shops #diversity #gender”

Freddie Gray, Almost Eclipsed by the Baltimore Mom #momoftheyear #racism #perception

FreddieGrayPrecinctProtestI knew as soon as I saw the article that it would go viral. Angry black woman: check. Fighting: check. Child abuse — of a sort: check. How could it lose?

Sure enough, the media took the image of Toya Graham, a mother at the end of her tether, and made her the face of the Baltimore riots. She even had her own hashtag: #momoftheyear. Many called her a hero, and suggested that if more parents took their duties as seriously as she did, the riots might not have happened.

But perception is a funny thing. Another black young man had just lost his life at the hands of the police. Why was the media so eager to splash this image across every media outlet? Continue reading “Freddie Gray, Almost Eclipsed by the Baltimore Mom #momoftheyear #racism #perception”

Does Diversity Mean Improved Race Relations? #diversity #race #inclusion #racism

The short answer is, no. Racism is not a location. It’s not about ease of proximity. It’s a system, and system’s are not as easy to change is it is to get along with a new, different kind of neighbor. Diversity is great, but unfortunately, it’s not a straight line to a bias-free, racism-free workplace … Continue reading Does Diversity Mean Improved Race Relations? #diversity #race #inclusion #racism

Chill, People — It’s an Emoji, Not a White Hood #racism #diversity @Clorox

CloroxBefore you write in blasting me and Diversity Executive for insensitivity, I want you to know I chose that title deliberately. The point? Don’t overreact. Some things deserve your time and angst — Clorox’s April 9th tweet is not one of them.

I saw the news when it came out, and I was planning to ignore it — but just today someone brought it to my attention, again. So I’m going on record saying, chill people. Not everything is race related.

When I first read the tweet: “New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach,” I didn’t even get the racially motivated furor. I thought, oh, they want a little bottle of bleach. And why not? They seem to have an emoji for everything else. Someone had to explain to me that the upset was related to Apple’s new emojis. Continue reading “Chill, People — It’s an Emoji, Not a White Hood #racism #diversity @Clorox”

Do What You Can #diversity #inclusion #opportunity

helping handsSo much of diversity seems to be attached to a problem. Someone did something wrong, someone mistreated someone else, this data on the state of whatever is gloom, doom and oh, my gosh, when will the pain end? But that’s only a small part of the real story. The underlying truth of diversity and inclusion is actually quite hopeful and positive.

I like to think of diversity as this vast and varied canvas of untapped possibilities, and less about taking every chance there is — and unfortunately there are many — to point out what people are doing that you don’t agree with. Pointing a rude, crooked finger at what’s wrong in a situation hasn’t worked that well to effect change thus far anyway.

Under a more positive and hopeful umbrella, strategic diversity management becomes a toolbox stuffed full of different ways to promote equality, build awareness, share the wealth — whether that be via knowledge or support — and find creative new ways to tackle existing problems. Continue reading “Do What You Can #diversity #inclusion #opportunity”

Mike Brown: Today’s Hiroshima #diversity #racism #power

I had no plans to blog about Mike Brown. I thought, this happens so often, as tragic and horrible as it is, what more can I say that I haven’t already? Two things changed my mind.

One, I saw an absolutely stunning photo of a silent protest at Howard University where hundreds of solemn black faces stood with their hands up. No words were needed. It was peaceful, it was powerful, and it was in direct opposition to the fear and violence that swept Ferguson, Missouri this week.Howard

Then I read a beautifully written piece in Salon by Brittney Cooper: “In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, police and the American dream,” discussing the mentality behind racism, and I had to chime in.

Cooper says: “We live in a country that is so deeply emotionally dishonest about both race and racism. When will we be honest enough to acknowledge that the police have more power than the ordinary citizen? They are supposed to. And with more power comes more responsibility.”

That’s the bottom line.

Continue reading “Mike Brown: Today’s Hiroshima #diversity #racism #power”