After listening to Stacey Abrams share her story and the three questions to ask yourself, I felt more grounded in the work that I do with equity and diversity. As the week is coming to an end, this video is an empowering reminder to stay in the work. You are needed!
Change is hard. That is a statement that I have said and thought so many times as I think about how to navigate organizations that could use a change or two but are too deep in their organizational norms and beliefs to move the needle a fraction in a new direction. Bulldog Drummond posted this article as a starting place to facilitate change within an organization that is deeply rooted. The suggestions offered are encouraging starting places and can help you enjoy the small wins that come with doing challenging work.
As a woman of color, it provided me with additional language to better understand how an organization that is lacking diversity across the spectrum would need additional supports. For example, the suggestion to "Honor the past." For some organizations, their past has been harmful to others. This suggestion made me think about the importance of stating the good aspects of the past while still acknowledging and pushing for equitable change.
Deeply rooted organizations may not be ships that will be able to turn course within a year but the tips in this article can help you find your starting place.
Cultivating an organization's culture is not an easy feat for companies. Lodged between bureaucracy and data-driven mindsets, the desire to understand and respond to employees in a manner that is authentic and adaptive often goes unmet. Aaron Dignan discusses how companies can become more "adaptive and human" by becoming "complexity conscious." This is a concept that made sense when I reflected upon my past work experiences. The responses from leadership when it came to complex issues did not carefully consider the relationship between our inputs; more attention was placed on the outputs or effects. Aaron Dignan makes me critique my own lens when I think about complexity and how I can become more conscious and engaged in my work.
This is a touching essay written by Ashley Ford. She addresses a topic that many of us have dealt with or is currently dealing with when it comes to class. She brings humor to the topic of money, which can be especially touchy when discussing that with your parents. This article is a great read and she does a wonderful job reminding you that you are not alone with feeling the internal turmoil of class anxiety.
I have an automatic, negative reaction to the phrase “the business case for” + any equity-related issue. This particular reaction recently came up for me as I was reading a business journal for work. As a social researcher, I wanted to know what the business world had to say about equity issues and how to approach them, as that world is highly influential in my subset of academia which is very chatty about equity these days. I should have expected a “business case for” equity mindset to be prevalent throughout the read but hope, as usual, led me to disappointment. Page four featured a letter from the CEO titled, “Diversity: the Business Case and Beyond” and page 28 began an article on how “empowering young women” can be used as a strategy for attracting new clients.Read More
It has been a minute since I have posted about one of my favorite topics, equality. In this article, David Roberts brings in an alternative perspective that illuminates the layers to the topic of privilege. It is more than just having it or not having it. This raises a much more challenging question, how do we come to terms with that pesky word, privilege?
Creating change is messy, hard, and incremental. The ripples most of the time are unnoticeable but when my ripples, connect with the ripples that you are creating, we can form a wave of change. We need you. When you are doing work that you love and are able to share that passion, you are doing activism.Read More
Equity work is many things. It is fulfilling, powerful, and chock full of potential to change the world around you, be it in small or significant ways. We know the work is difficult, but that’s part of what makes it so important to be involved. Without effort, change won’t happen.
It is important, however, to recognize that equity work can be beyond difficult. It can be exhausting. The work is non-stop; when you live and breathe an equity mindset, you have to apply it to every aspect of your life. Equity work requires self reflection, some of which can be disheartening, even devastating as your realize that people whom you might love very much hold dehumanizing opinions of you or other people you care about. Finally, it’s disruptive, meaning that it often isn’t supported by your workplace. For these reasons, it is no wonder that many of us wind up “burned out.”
Silence speaks volumes. Our students are listening.
As you prepare for your well deserved Thanksgiving break, I wanted to share this timeless piece by Jamilah Pitts for you to read and think about during your break. It is written with educators in mind, but I believe that there are real gems that can be gleaned from this article, regardless of your profession. Your silence is still a statement that students, as well as your co-workers, notice and feel. Take this Thanksgiving to not only nourish your body but also your mind.
Our news outlets have been filling our news feeds with tragedy after tragedy. It is overwhelming but it is a part of our shared reality. At times, it can leave us with a feeling of helplessness. I am often left asking myself, "What can I do?' A question that I commonly ask myself because I fall into blindly giving when a disaster hits without considering what is best for the community that I wish to serve. This post by Kathleen Kelly Janus provides a helpful starting place to process through when a disaster hit and how you can give with intention.
This is a fun but easily digestible short video, under 2 minutes, about how microaggression can be seen as mosquito bites. A great reminder to us all about how our words are never harmless and the people we interact with can and sometimes get stung by those words. When we think about the multiple identities and the intersectionality that one person embodies such as race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, whether that is physical or mental, and the list can go on, it is no surprise why doing this work is messy and difficult. I encourage you to continue this messy, difficult and draining work because beauty, understanding, and friendship can spring from it.
For full disclosure, the video does use a little profanity...2 words.
It is November 6th, 2018 and midterm elections are underway. I enter the day with trepidation. My fear is that the voices of the hurt, the frightened, and the angry will not ring loud enough to break past the misdirection and intimidation facing us.Read More
On Sunday, October 28, Word Up Community Bookshop in Washington Heights hosted a celebration and reception for the community art exhibit, Reframing Immigration. Reframing Immigration was a project I started in July 2018 when family separation at the border was being covered by every major news station. I wanted to help but I did not know how. All I could think of was sending supplies and money to organizations at the border. I didn’t want giving to be a solitary act. I wanted to build community and solidarity as I was giving. As I thought more about how to serve, I took a moment to think about my residential community. I live in a community that has a large Dominican population. I thought about what stories they carried. What were the things that connected us and divided us? These questions led me to use art as a tool to uncover those answers.Read More
Voice is so much more than what words you use to communicate. Voice is personal, cultural, and expressive. Voice, once established, can be trained but never abolished. Lean into your voice, recognize the voices of those around you. Allow voices to help you discover communities old and new.Read More
Woke 2.0--a more intentional practice of awareness. It is not about the hashtags, the t-shirts, or the demonstrations. It is about knowing who you are and how you can add to the movement of change.Read More
As the growing number of diversity and inclusion (D&I) officers are finding a seat at the table for prominent companies and organizations, it is necessary that we discuss this topic more often especially in relation to employees with multiple identities.Read More
It is not enough to talk about representing the physical aspects of diversity. The need to be heard is just as important to the conversation about diversity.Read More
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