Being White in a Black Majority and Calling Out Unconscious Bias

This post has been brewing in me ever since I spoke at the kick-off meeting for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of African American Human Resources Professionals last month, entitled “Let the Power of Diversity Work for Your Business,” that talked about diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage in a global economy,…

Urban Antrhopology, Cultural Tourism and Discovering ‘Americana’

Dave Barry was always able to just take vacation and run old columns.  For me, I’m entering a new world that is based in economic disparity and developmental disabilities–absolutely at the top of the engagement and inclusion/social exclusion list, but new territory that hasn’t quite gelled.  So in the meantime, I’m periodically re-running posts that…

Hey Frank DeFord: Violence Against Women is Not a USAmerican Majority Value

Dear Frank DeFord, meet your new friend, Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.  Perhaps he knows your other friend Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, accused of sexually assaulting a 20 year-old girl, who you defended as just “boys being boys” in your editorial on NPR last week. Okay,…

Swapping Races to Reveal Unconscious Bias and Privilege

  I need to go take a shower. I just caught myself talking to my husband’s kindly Indian colleague over the phone like he was an idiot, plus I read this article by Tim Wise “Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black,” and realized I am guilty. (This is a must read!) One, because looking…

Assume Good Intentions in Cross-Cultural Communications? Sometimes Impossible

My colleague was conducting a training during a “train the trainer” session this week on Intent and Impact, the idea being that in communications, sometimes our Intent does not equal the Impact we intended.  For example: “That sweater you’re wearing is really interesting” (intended as compliment).  Unexpected impact:  “You hate it don’t you?” (Spontaneous reaction: …

Dillon’s Pick: Confederate Insurance Company? Ouch!

Dillon’s pick this week is the ad above for “Confederate Family Insurance. It was so offensive, that we realized it couldn’t possibly be true.  Indeed, it is from Spike Lee’s faux documentary “Confederate States of America,” that looks at the US as thought the South had won the Civil War. It’s extreme representations, however, provide perfect…

How Action (and mistakes) can Positively Move Discussion on White Privilege Forward

  Have you ever been in a position at work where you are working your tail off and all you hear is criticism from those around you?  As explained by a sympathetic friend to me once, “it’s like the idea of a moving target.  If everyone else is sitting around doing nothing, you running by…