This Business of Being Human Bonus Episode is from the Intune Collective Salon discussion- The Role of White Leaders in Achieving Racial Equity. It is the first in a series of discussions spotlighting critical perspectives for creating work cultures that meaningfully foster diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity.
In this episode, Christine welcomes Karen Fleshman, Founder of Racy Conversations and Author of “White Women, We Need to Talk,” and Jared Karol, Author of upcoming book, “A White Guy Confronting Racism,” to discuss the role of white leaders in bringing about racial equity. Dignity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging—DEIB—isn’t an HR issue or a special initiative; it is a necessary human development strategy for all organizations.
Christine, Karen and Jared discuss all the different conditions and catalytic events that spurred this imperative change that affects not only individuals’ lives but also, work environments. They clearly define specific DEIB terms and offer insight and frameworks on how individuals, specifically people who identify as white, can do the work to provide safe space and support their fellow BIPOC peers.
Christine, Karen and Jared also offer recommendations on what white leaders within corporations can do to consciously approach DEIB work and advocate for their BIPOC employees. It requires that in every aspect of your corporation, “everyone with a face” learns, practices, embodies and models your organization’s values around equity.
Finally, they encourage us to envision what the world and workplace could be if all white leaders join in bringing about racial equity.
To find out more about Karen Fleshman (she/her/hers) and her work with Racy Conversations, check out her website here. You can purchase her book, White Women, We Need to Talk: Doing Our Part to End Racism here. Connect with Karen on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
To find out more about Jared Karol (he/him/his) and his work check out his website here. You can learn more about his upcoming book, set to release in the fall, A White Guy Confronting Racism: An Invitation to Reflect and Act here. Connect with Jared on LinkedIn.
Karen, Jared and Intune Collective have all collaborated on sharing a robust list of resources so you can begin to do the work.
Quotes that were referenced:
“It’s one thing to say that all are welcomed, and it’s another to say that I had you in mind.” Patrice Palmer (they/them)
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time; but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Lilla Watson
Resources Recommended by Karen:
- To understand how we got here, I recommend White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. To better understand #BlackLivesMatter, I highly recommend When They Call You a Terrorist a memoir by BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele and The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza. They Were Her Property: A History of White Women Slaveowners in the American South by Dr. Stephanie Jones-Rogers and Women Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis are must reads to understand the contemporary divide between Black women and white women.
- Law professor and scholar Kimberle Crenshaw originated intersectionality, founded the #SayHerName campaign to draw attention to Black women and girls harmed by police, and founded the African American Policy Forum. There are a lot of great resources on the AAPF website.
- Two shorter reads that are excellent: What it Means to be a True Ally to Women of Color by Kharma Kelley Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference by Audre Lorde. I recommend reading everything by Audre Lorde, including Sister Outsider Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. A great book on how gendered racism impacts Black men in the workplace: No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work by Adia Harvey Wingfield.
- For non-Black people on the path of personal transformation, Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad is excellent. For all people, My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem has really useful exercises for self discovery and healing, and How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo are great resources to get started.
- For parents to teach and learn with our kids, This Book is Antiracist by Tiffany Jewell and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. I also love Tim and Moby videos on BrainPop for younger kids, Teen Vogue videos made by young people for young people, and 26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students.
- I personally find the Implicit Association Test overwhelming, but many people find it useful to uncover their biases. Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt shows how unconscious bias drives our behavior and choices.
Resources Recommended by Jared
- Patrice Palmer – “Are You a Man or Woman? I’m Black” TedTalk
- Brené Brown video on Empathy
- Netflix film – Two Distant Strangers
- Cindi Bright – “The Reflections of Race” TedTalk
- Scene On Radio podcast series- “Seeing White”
- Corey Ponder – “How to Have a Difficult Conversation About Diversity”
Resources Recommended by Intune Collective
- Isabel Wilderson – CASTE
- Robin Di Angelo – White Fragility
- Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us Podcast – “I’m Still Here” with Austin Channing Brown Episode