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Even for the most well-intentioned managers and leaders, it can be a struggle to navigate the cultural nuances that arise as workplaces and common spaces become increasingly more culturally diverse.

Good people make mistakes.

They sometimes publicly sputter and trip.

They may feel an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, shame, or guilt about their roles in creating change.

This may cause them to be avoidant and resist developing cultural competency.

At best, they miss opportunities to connect with people from different backgrounds who can offer novel solutions.

Loss of time, money and opportunity are other real-life consequences.

Most people want to, and have the capacity to make a difference in the world. …

Who doesn’t want to belong?

But belonging alone isn’t enough.

Belonging is all the buzz.

Especially now, people are working real hard to belong at home, work, friends, family, community.

It’s normal to seek out healthy relationships where we feel accepted and appreciated, unapologetically.

Dr. Brené Brown says that true belonging is the practice of believing in and belonging to yourself.

You belong so deeply that you’re able to share your most authentic self with the world.

That sounds really great, doesn’t it?

Race, gender, and culture is also important to bring to the table.

Without them, it’s impossible to feel a real sense of belonging. …

Here is another clip from On the Dot Diversity webinar focused on people’s experiences with racism, particularly, people of Asian descent due to the coronavirus.

“For a lot of people, whether you’re Asian American or other groups, for some of our young people, they have not had these kinds of experiences.

And something to be aware of is that, you know, I’m almost 50 years old.

I’ve been treated in all kinds of hateful ways, including stories about my grandmother and my mother’s experiences.

But, for some of our younger folks, the overt racism people face is a very new thing. …

I have found that when people are having the kind of a happy hours.

Those are great and everything, but a lot of people are in a lot of pain right now.

They’re juggling their family life, work life and then have some life of their own.

ERGs (Employee Resource Groups), groups of people joining at the workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences, can definitely serve a good purpose.

Many local ERGS from different companies have been the ones on the ground helping out to get masks and other personal protective equipment.

There’s PPEs that we’ve been talking about for the last several weeks who are out there in the community. …

On the Dot Diversity webinar discussed the role of leadership. Read what we discussed below:

“I have the privilege of working in the city and working privately.

I’m reminding leadership that inequitable systems are still in place. They leave people of color, people with living with disabilities, and LGBTQ out.

With the pandemic, there’s this feeling that we’re going to be all together and everything’s gonna be fine.

In actuality, those same vulnerable communities are more vulnerable than before.

Leaders have a responsibility to stand up.

And if anything, you need to dig deeper than even before.

People who are suffering, being left out, losing their jobs, and getting sick. …

At a recent On the Dot Diversity webinar, some leaders in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) space lended their perspective on the importance of DEI during the pandemic or any other crisis a business may be experiencing.

Here are my comments below:

“I think one of the thoughts I had, I wanted to share was that, you know, if for some reason a business, small or large, finds a rationale for not including DEI in their work, it was never really a priority in the first place.

And so this is an opportunity during a crisis like this pandemic to demonstrate to everyone to your organization THIS (diversity, equity, and inclusion) IS A PRIORITY! …

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To all the mothers and those sharing in the honor of being a mother, Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day continues to come with mixed feelings as I cherish mothers, friends and family, who pave the way so their children, step children, adopted and otherwise live and thrive incredibly and without a doubt due to your incredible sacrifice, love, commitment, and unabashed wisdom especially during these difficult times.

At the same time, I can’t avoid crying in the wilderness with them as we see our families battling to just live. Particularly, mothers of color are awashed with tragic stories of black and brown bodies harvested for the prison industrial complex, terrorized by a political and criminal justice system, and traumatized by a “civilized” society that too often attempts to make our children invisible, inconsequential, irrelevant, and impossible to live with dignity and honor. …

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Fun pics! Favorite one dressing as Mother Ginger for Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker”

Bon Jovi, Rebel Wilson, Dr. Seuss, Method Man, Daniel Craig, Reggie Bush, Sam Houston and I share a common birthday on March 2. I don’t know about you, but I celebrate it like a new year as an opportunity to reflect, catch up on the those resolutions I’ve already failed to maintain, and appreciate those in my life. If nothing else, it’s great to see the best wishes and social media love from friends, family and strangers alike.

2020 has already been eventful in the sense that I’ve joined the board of the Anti-Defamation League in Austin, serve on the board for Earth Day ATX, and continue in public service in our community. A day does not go by when I am not thinking, musing, planning, and pushing for a world where each of us is able to thrive and not just survive. …

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Before the end of 2019, I had the pleasure of sitting with Melanie Weinburger from Feel More Good to discuss all things diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. In preparation for the show and in reflection since, I’ve been contemplating what might be in store for 2020.

Over my career, one thing that I’ve learned is the importance of making small, measurable goals in a commitment to make meaningful transformation. Before making the change, it’s important to have a future vision. Looking into my crystal ball for 2020, it’s the year of anti-racism as an act of love.

One of my frustrations over my career is how we’ve struggled to move the conversation from transactional leadership to transformational cultural change through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In recent years, we’ve introduced the concept of belonging, as a means to create a sense of inclusive community as a member of cultural groups to form and maintain significant relationships. …

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Austin boardwalk in the evening. Photo by Kazique Prince

At times, I’m reminded to give myself permission to be utterly enraged; unapologetic dignified rage at this world we live in. This is not anger that I share openly most of the time. I take great strides to hide, conceal, and bound it up. On occasion, it may leak out, especially, when I experience any personal wrong or witness people being degraded.

It is an unfortunate feeling to become accustomed to vile behavior. Each day, I rise in the morning to hear news stories about students or faith community members cowering in fear at the hands of a hateful shooter, a police officer murdering innocent people, teachers traumatizing students, or the ongoing epidemic of sexual assaults to name a few. These are all incredibly demoralizing and heartbreaking events. …


Equity Turned Up

Where we shape the eternal arc of culture for good

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