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Swimming Upstream

I am an African American male, born and raised in the Southern United States — now living in Silicon Valley. By most measures in this country, I am a minority. As such, I personally experience both direct and indirect forms of race-based discrimination every day. I’ve had these experiences for as long as I can remember, regardless of geographic location, educational or professional achievements, job title, or financial status.

I’ve rarely spoken about this topic, because as a solution-oriented leader, I’ve struggled with how best to drive the kind of change I want to see for my community. But as I reflected on my career, I recognized that the conscious coordination of education, targeted capital resources, and an active support network can help level the playing field against bias in investment. I’ve been very fortunate to have access to each of these tools throughout my life, but I’m acutely aware that most individuals in my community do not. …

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“Light House” Photo by Kenny Coleman

The first time I was laid off was my first time being laid off…

Up to that point, I had never even received a negative performance review, so the wave of emotions I went through was quite the rollercoaster.

Thankfully, a good friend and mentor shared a framework that helped a great deal in getting through my situation. In this post, I’ll detail my spin on that framework and share the output of the plan we built.

For context, I got my notice on a Thursday, so I had Friday and the rest of the weekend to wrap my head around this framework then put it to work. …

Kenny Coleman

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