Let's Discuss: Shattering the Glass Ceiling of the Anti-Black Narrative
From the #Brian's of the world to how to shatter norms in tangible ways, we had an incredibly meaningful conversation about the glass ceiling of the anti-black narrative and how to shatter it. Co-hosted by Skill Scout and The Monthly Show with McKensie Mack, Let's Discuss gave us life and new tools for our every-growing toolkit.
Here are our top tips:
- Understand that inclusion comes before diversity. Period.
- You must understand (a) if you have privilege #mostofushavesometypeofprivilege, (b) how your privilege allows you to navigate society and the people, practices, expectations, and experiences within it, (c) how your privilege affects those who are not you (race, gender, religious affilitation, ability, age, etc.), and (d) how another's privilege affects you. Through this lens, you may come to understand how you may or may not be participating in the marginalization of those around you or perpetuating narratives that hinder the growth of yourself and those who experience the world different than you based upon their identity.
- Mainstream narratives are not inclusive of underrepresented experiences and marginalized realities. Often times, people and organizations defaul to mainstream norms for everything from human-to-human interactions to forms of leadership and success. Understanding that leadership, life, and people are and should be different in order to be innovative, effective, and inclusive. If your default is mainstream, redefine it.
- Identity is fluid and so is the human experience. Period.
- You have the power to change your narrative and your experience. Understand your power position and leverage. Share your experiences and make your own story real. Make your power real.
- "If it's not okay, say it's not okay." Complacency can negatively impact those who are underrepresented around you and those who come after you. If you experience something negative or triggering, say something.
- Note: We understand that saying something can be unsafe for some, so please foster and deepen your support system to increase your "champions" and "allies."
- Hold your organization accountable for ensuring you are supported, developed, and growing within it. Ensure that your organization's policies both empower and enable (giving you the resources to actualize your empowerment) you.
- Accountability partners are critical. You want to construct cultures long-term that support historically marginalized people? You need communities of accountability to do that.
- Develop an anti-oppressive statement. Seek out consultants with experience working in marginalized communities who can help you develop strategies to dismantle cultures we grew up with that actually harm our workforce.
- Commit to inclusion. Your actions speak louder than your words, and this is true to your commitment to inclusion. It is not enough to have a policy, an anti-oppressive statement, or advertisements painting a picture of embrace when your actions highlight tolerance and complacency. Invest in inclusion and ensure your practices match your chops.