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Source: Amanda Hinault

All humans have unconscious bias, therefore all populations, organizations, and groups have bias. The LGBTQIA+ community has dealt with a number of internal-phobias, biases, and rejection of the impact of intersectionality on people of color that are LGBTQ+. Pride in being LGBTQ+ is important; it is radical and shows strength. However, if we are not lifting ALL LGBTQ+ up and advocating for equal treatment within our own community, how can we expect the world to accept us?

The racism in the queer community can be seen interpersonally and organizationally. From the commonplace “No Asians” and other derogatory specifications on dating profiles to turning a bling eye to the healthcare inequalities that Black communities face, there is a clear message being sent that you only get to truly be included in the LGBTQ+ community if you are white. For the purpose of this article, I am focusing on the data of inequality for the Black community. In no way are these experiences limited to the Black community. …


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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. This document “freed” the enslaved of their owners and abolished slavery. While this was a necessary and historical step towards equality, hundreds of thousands of Black people did not reap the benefits of the proclamation until years later.

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery,” Lincoln wrote. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. …


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Microaggressions or SAEs revolve around a number of different identities. Race, religion, gender, and sexuality are what I would say are at the top of the SAE trigger list. This list is composed of endless identities and characteristics that people can use as ammunition to fire subtle acts of exclusion and oppression. In order to rework the systemic oppression our nation faces and begin to dismantle the podium that SAEs sit on, we need to acknowledge these lesser-known SAE triggers and consciously work to remove them from our vernacular. …


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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Mental Illness has only recently become an “acceptable” topic in mainstream society. More people are being diagnosed, and seeking help, than ever before. Celebrities and influencers are speaking out on their own struggles, and recent social media movements such as “#myfavoritemeds” are pushing our society to get rid of the mental health stigma. Sadly, this movement has not made the transition into most workplaces. During these uncertain times of COVID-19, self-isolation, and the fear of the unknown for business and job security, many people are feeling the weight of mental illness. Anxiety, depression, and just everyday stress can be amplified during these times. As an organizational leader, it’s important to show your employees that you value their mental health. After all, mental health can directly impact the level and quality of work your employees are able to do. When we approach our organizations with compassion and understanding, we see an increase in productivity, employee retention, and overall morale. …


A person’s ability status refers to how able-bodied someone is. The term “able-bodied” associates any physical (seen or unseen) disabilities a person may have. So, someone who does not have use of their legs and uses a wheelchair would be considered “a person with a disability”, while a person who has no known physical limitations would be considered “able-bodied”.

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Photo by Zachary Kyra-Derksen on Unsplash

You may be wondering why I chose to use the term “a person with a disability” instead of “disabled”. The term disabled has a long history of negative connotations. The word disabled often makes people assume that a person is less than or not good enough. You may think that they need your help or aren’t able to function on their own when that is simply not true. Most people with a disability are self-sufficient and don’t enjoy the “talking down” behavior that can come with the label of being non-able-bodied. Chapter 7 of Subtle Acts of Exclusion covers this topic in detail. …


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Cinco de Mayo is a commonly misunderstood holiday. There’s been cultural appropriation of the Mexican culture in an attempt to celebrate the holiday, along with a general lack of knowledge about the national holiday. Let’s unpack what Cinco de Mayo really means, and how you can celebrate it respectfully.

Let’s start with what Cinco de Mayo is not. May 5th is not the day Mexico received its independence. Instead, it is the celebration and commemoration of The Battle of Puebla. Puebla was the site of Mexico’s win over French troops, who were led by Napoleon III. Napoleon planned to take over the country and install a French monarch, but General Ignacio Zaragoza was not going to surrender. He led 2,000 Mexican soldiers against 6,000 French troops in the town of Puebla in 1861, and won. The victory was unprecedented; the pride and devotion to Mexican heritage was solidified among the people, who named Cinco de Mayo a national holiday. …


Cultural appropriation is the act of adopting elements of an outside, often underrepresented culture, including knowledge, practices, and symbols, without understanding or respecting the original culture and context. Oftentimes, these elements of culture are things that are looked down upon or criticized by mainstream society when embraced by minority groups, but celebrated when dominant groups adapt them. For example, dreadlocks. Black communities embrace this hairstyle but will be considered “dirty” or “inappropriate” by judgemental and/or white folks. But when “boxer braids” or dreadlocks are worn by white people, many of the same people consider it fashionable and “urban”. The issue of black people being persecuted for their natural hair is such a massive problem that the Crown Act had to be created in order for black folks to be able to wear their hair as they choose. Cultural appreciation is when elements of a culture are used while honoring the source they came from. It is important to note that appreciation involves respect and value. Following our first example, instead of saying “boxer braids”, you call them cornrows or locs, while also advocating for the right of anyone to wear them. …


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Photo by Arttu Päivinen on Unsplash

Trust me, as a profound dog lover, I understand that the sight of a pup excites you and makes you start using that strange baby voice while asking to pet the dog. Asking if you can pet the animal is a smart practice, whether they’re a service animal or not. But a better practice is to ignore the animal all together, or at most offer a smile, and here’s why.

People are not obligated to “show” that their animal is being used for a purpose. In other words, those adorable service dog vests are not mandated and many people chose not to use them as they scream out “Hey! I have a disability! I need this animal to keep me safe!”. …


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Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

In light of the recent COVID-19 virus, many workplaces are implementing remote working policies to prevent the spread of the virus and protect their employees. While this is commendable, and important, work it is also imperative to continue your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Remote working policies can be a breeding ground for isolation, microaggressions, and exclusive behavior. It’s much easier for our unconscious bias to take control when we aren’t surrounded by others who can help keep us accountable and inclusive.

We’ve all heard the speeches on cyber bullying, and we warn our children to take precautions: be the helpers, and stand up for what’s right in this digital age. But many of us in the workforce grew up before the tech boom and didn’t go through the same type of training. It’s much easier to assume and act on those assumptions when you can’t physically see your coworkers. You may unintentionally or intentionally find it easier to be a bit more hostile or exclusionary working from home. But I urge you to continue acting as though people are watching. Act as though what you do and say matters, because it still does — and in many cases, virtual means there’s a record. …


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Photo by Janine Robinson on Unsplash

The Gathering of Nations (GON) Pow Wow has been a historic celebration for the past 36 years. It is a festival that celebrates culture, unity, and art of all the Nations and Tribes in North America. It’s a festival rooted in respect and admiration for Native people. Flint Carney, a long time friend and member of the Kiowa tribe said, “The greatest thing about the Gathering of Nations is the respect that is shown to all Native people of the world.” This is a 2-day event held in Albuquerque, New Mexico known best for creating “powwow fever”, a term used to describe falling in love with celebrating Native culture and the sense of community. …

Jillian Abel

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