racism

Episode 84: Conversation on Race and Racism With Omar L Harris

 

Omar L. Harris, former General Manager of GSK and Allergan, joins me in this conversation on race.  He has more than 20 years of experience as a global pharmaceutical executive. Omar is the founder and managing partner at Intent Consulting, a firm dedicated to improving employee experience and organizational performance. He is the author of “Leader Board: The DNA of High-Performance Teams“, “The Servant Leader’s Manifesto“, and “Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss”.

Omar shares his journey to the top, the cost to him as a Black man in America, and how he came to speak out and no longer compromise his identity and his beliefs.

Key topics:

  • Omar’s first experience with racism was when he was voted Prom King of his high school in Louisiana. The principal told him that he was “allowed” to be the Prom King to “snitch” on the other Black students. Harris refused, stood up to the principal, and kept his title.
  • What happened when Omar L Harris met Ku Klux Klansman David Duke while in high school.
  • How he was the only Black product manager, the only Black Director of Marketing and the only Black General Manager outside of Africa, and the only Black General Manager of a global company in the world.
  • The psychic toll of assimilation and having to whitewash himself without even realizing it.
  • Why he now feels responsible for opening the doors for other Black people.
  • How he refuses to compromise his values and will always speak out against racism and discrimination of any kind.
  • Why people who are not Black don’t understand the full gravity of racism and the dangers of working while Black.
  • Why white people who call themselves allies must be willing to speak out and take a stand with friends, family, and colleagues even if parts of their lives unravel as a result
  • How white allies can be more prepared to take action if they practice and prepare for different situations.
  • His books on leadership and how they are different than white leadership books. Why it’s essential that every CEO needs to take action against racism, or they are not real leaders.
  • Check out his playlist, the TV shows he recommends, and the books he reads.

 

Bio

OMAR L HARRIS (Charlotte, NC, born in Pittsburgh, PA) is the founder of Intent Consulting and TYMPO.io (the world’s first and best SaaS application for employee inclusion), a Former GM (GSK and Allergan), Business and Servant Leadership Thought-Leader, Speaker, Award-Winning Bestselling Author of 5 books, including Be a J.E.D.I. Leader, Not a Boss: Leadership in the Era of Corporate Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion“, June 25 2021, “The Servant Leader’s Manifesto”, 2020, and “Leader Board: The DNA of High Performance Teams”, 2019). With 20+ years of global pharmaceutical executive experience building teams, Omar has worked on 4 continents (U.S., Middle East, Asia and Latin America) for Pfizer, Merck, Schering-Plough and more. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur and Florida A&M University Alumni, Harris is passionate about leading teams, high-performance coaching, and inspiring the future leaders of today and tomorrow to adopt the servant leader mindset and stop toxic leadership behaviors.

Omar is also the Co-Author of “From Authors to Entrepreneurs F.A.T.E.: The Personal Side of Indie Publishing” (2015) and Author of “One Blood” fiction book (2011, pen name, Qwantu Amaru – currently being developed into a television series). Harris was a featured speaker at the 2021 International Institute of Leadership Conference with his compelling topic: “The End of the Boss – 7 Rules for the Modern Leader”, a keynote speaker at the Leadership Harrisburg Area Graduation event, a featured speaker at the 2021 Rising Leaders Summit, a featured speaker at the BB21 Rise Conference, and a featured coach at the 11th annual WBECS Summit. His work has been featured by CNN HLN Weekend Express, WPXI-TV NBC Pittsburgh, Black News Channel, The Jewish Journal, The Beating Alpha Podcast, The Living Corporate Podcast, Real Leaders, SHRM Blog, Thrive Global, CEO World Magazine, Human Capital Innovations (HCI) Podcast, VoiceAmerica Business, Culture Stew and many more. As fun facts, Omar speaks 5 languages, plays 7 instruments, and started his first company at the age of 7.

https://www.omarlharris.com/

Episode 79: Racism and Emotional Well-being in a Conversation on Race with Katara McCarty

I’m joined in this conversation on race by Katara McCarty. Katara is an emotional well-being advocate for BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) She developed an app called Exhale for BIWOC to support their emotional well-being and manage their particular stress.

 

Key Topics:

 

• How Katara was born bi-racial (white mother and Black father) in 1972 and left by her mother in the hospital and then adopted and raised by a Black gay woman and her mother in 1972. Why she identifies as a Black woman instead of bi-racial.

 

• How systemic racism has resulted in stress, trauma, and life-threatening illnesses for Black, Indigenous Women of Color.

• Why Katara McCarty got involved in wellness after seeing that the wellness industry was primarily white.

• How she came to understand that the needs of BIWOC are different than white women who have not had the same trauma.

 

• How the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and the resulting trauma to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Femmes caused her to develop her app to deal with their stress and anxiety that white people don’t have.

 

• How many coaching programs in organizations are geared towards white people with white coaches who are not conscious about racism and the issues that non-white people have to deal with to navigate the corporate environment?

 

 • What is in the app, meditations, breathwork techniques, coaching talks, and daily affirmations? They are in 45 countries.

 

 

• The need for everyone to practice anti-racism. Systemic racism is pervasive. How white people must play a key role in dismantling racist systems that they benefit from. What that will mean.

 

• Katara McCarty talks about the increase in her anxiety level, how the app helps her. The importance of people unpacking their own biases. She suggests people take the 20-day anti-racist challenge by Layla Saad.

 

• Suggested resource Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.

 

• Her Exhale app empowers Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Femmes to do self-care and teaches them how to meditate, breathe and feel good.

 

• Advice to people who want to talk about race:

1- Do your own work.

2- Know yourself.

3- Don’t ask Black people to be your teachers, or educate you.

4- Unlearn, learn and relearn about racism.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

“We have to create practices in our lives, to help manage the stress, anxiety, and trauma brought on by systemic racism, anti-blackness, micro aggressions, because it is killing us, there are resources to help us get that trauma, that stress, and that anxiety out of our bodies.” – Katara McCarty

 

“Most of those people were white that were paying for my services. So went from 20 years of work. Working with people on the margins to now I’m a coach and I have an all-white clientele, which didn’t resonate with my values and how I want to show up for my community.” – Katara McCarty

 

Bio

From out of the realities of abandonment by her biological mother, being bi-racial and growing up in a Black home, Katara McCarty realized early in life that the color of her skin mattered. After becoming a single mother at 19 and finding the courage to leave an abusive relationship, Katara became an entrepreneur holding leadership positions in both non- and for-profit organizations.

 

Today, Katara is a sought-after coach, author, and podcast host dedicated to cultivating brave spaces where all Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) belong. As a Black woman, she is committed to amplifying the richness of BIWOC and their stories, while also advocating for and providing emotional well-being resources for BIWOC, through her app EXHALE.

Episode 78: Living While Black with Amy and Hardy Nickerson

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Amy and Hardy Nickerson. Amy is an author, creator, lecturer, educational consultant, and diversity/inclusion/antiracism advocate. Hardy Nickerson is a Former NFL All Pro linebacker (16-year career), NFL and college coach, and Amy’s husband of 32 years. He’s a football consultant and strategist, online coach, and now an MBA candidate.

In this episode Amy and Hardy talk about their experiences with police, racism and stereotyping, and concern for their children as African-Americans in the US.

Key topics:

[2:12] The frightening experience of a Black family driving through Florida and being stopped and interrogated by police for no reason.

[4:47] How young Black boys get labeled aggressive early on in elementary school, while nothing happens to young white boys who are doing the same things.

[12:55] What white people say to Black people to discount their experiences with race and racist police while driving

[14:13] What white people can do and what they should not do if they are in a car with a Black friend who gets stopped by the police.

[18:24] No matter how much money you have, if you are a Black person you are not immune to racism or racist violence.

[26:43] Athletes  who are speaking out now.

The importance of voter registration and the threat or Black voter suppression

[28:14] Why it can be dangerous for Black people to call the police even when they are victims of crimes.

[31:09] Reactions to the George Floyd verdict of guilty for Dereck Chauvin

[42:20] What bystanders need to do to be active allies and save lives. The importance of standing up and taking an action

[54:00] How white people can school themselves, understand racism and be anti-racist

Bio and Contact Info

Amy Nickerson is an author, speaker, educational consultant, and antiracism & social justice advocate. Her book How Do You See Us?, an Amazon bestselling new release, details her family’s harrowing accounts of encounters with police and the racism they often experience. Using their stories, Amy unpacks the long reach of racism in America, exploring how and why tensions continue to escalate. She addresses audiences ranging from local schools to the FBI National Academy, guiding conversations about race and social justice.

Married 31 years to husband Hardy, former NFL All-Pro linebacker and NFL/College coach, and having raised three student-athletes, Amy also possesses extensive knowledge and understanding of sports at the professional, college and high school levels. She is experienced in curriculum development and college instruction specializing in student-athletes’ experiences and the impact of structural forces and systemic racism on their lives. Amy holds two degrees from UC Berkeley – BA (Afro-American Studies/Social Sciences) and MA (Education – Cultural Studies of Sport in Education), and is a Board member and chair of the Education Committee for the Freedom Football League (FFL), a newly formed professional football league.

Contact info:

Book: How Do You See Us? Our Lived Realities of Being Viewed As a Threat

Email
LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram
HowDoYouSeeUs.com
AmyNickerson.net

 

 

 

Hardy Nickerson

Former NCAA Power 5 Defensive Coordinator and Former NFL Assistant Coach. Retired NFL Player, was 5x Pro Bowler, 4x NFL All-Pro, 1990’s NFL All-Decade Team. Highly Skilled Football Coach, Team Leader and Change Agent. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from UC Berkeley.

 

Contact info:
Instagram
Twitter

Episode 75: White Supremacists, the Military & the Capitol Riots

In this Conversation on Race, I’m joined by Greg Jenkin, a white man who spent over 28 years in the military. We talk about white supremacy in the military, and the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Greg, is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader who  continues to coach and mentor veterans who are transitioning out of the service.

This show is a little different in that Greg and Simma are both white. Stephon Williams who is African- American had to cancel at the last minute. We decided to do this episode anyway because of the topic.

Greg shares his perspective on the white riots/insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, where there seemed to be a disproportionate amount of people who had been in the military.

Key topics:

  • The numbers of people who had been in the military who participated in the white riot.
  • Although there were a few Jewish, Black and Latinx people at the riot, a great majority were there representing white supremacy.
  • Greg’s reason for going into the military;  not out of patriotism but because of the recession when he joined
  • How Greg found a deep patriotism once he was in the military
  • How some people come into the military who are already indoctrinated in white supremacy and other people let go of many of their biases as a result of being around people who are different
  • The military itself does not support white supremacy and impresses on people the importance of supporting freedom and the constitution for everybody
  • Consequences when someone in the military is discovered to be a white supremacist
  • The military also provides opportunities for people to engage and interact with people who are different
  • Greg talks about why he thinks it’s difficult for white supremacists to get into the military
  • How Greg learned about racism and sexism and self-awareness from being in the military. It was a place of self-discovery and growth around diversity for him
  • The responsibility that military leaders have to educate, and create environments where people can learn about each other to serve everyone in the country
  • What makes a good leader in the military

 

About Greg Jenkins

Greg Jenkins is a dedicated and passionate consultant, practitioner and life-long learner of Diversity & Inclusion, Equal Opportunity and Leadership. He recently completed a successful US Army career that ranged from overseas duties in Germany, South Korea and combat duty in Iraq to include a number of stateside assignments culminating in Washington D.C. His performance in Military Equal Opportunity efforts resulted in developing a model program for other Army Equal Opportunity and human relations efforts. He served as the senior commander’s liaison with state and local organizations, along with educational and community leaders resulting in improved civic relationships. He was hand-selected by the Director of the Army’s Diversity Task Force to help establish the Army’s Diversity program, policy and products. He was instrumental in the planning and execution the Army’s Diversity marketing campaign achieving world-wide coverage for the Army’s 1.4M Soldiers, Civilians, and their family members. He’s an experienced instructor who has provided training, facilitation and oversight for thousands of personnel ensuring quality and relevant Military Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Leadership training and education for mid, senior and executive level managers and leaders. Most recently, he was appointed as; Chair or Board, Diversity Certification Institute, Global Diversity & Inclusion Foundation. He volunteers for the Missouri committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He’s a published author and graduate of Webster University, where recently attained my Master’s degree in Human Resources Development. He enjoys helping people, spending time with my friends, family and staying physically fit while volunteering for organizations within my community.

 

Contact Info

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook

Episode 63: Janet Hamada/Japanese/Jewish Trauma

Janet Hamada- Japanese/Jewish Trauma

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Janet Hamada, who shares her life as a biracial (Japanese and white Jewish) woman. Janet is the Executive Director of The Next Door, a social services organization in Hood River, Oregon that provides a wide range of support to families who need it.

 

Key topics:

  • How her father’s family, fourth generation Japanese were taken from their home and incarcerated into a Japanese internment camp during World War Two. Because the US was a war with Japan, all Japanese people were rounded up from their homes, jobs and businesses and forced into these camps. It didn’t matter how long they had been in the US, what they did for a living, how much they loved the US, they were viewed as potential threats. They were imprisoned for three years and then set free with only $25.00. Many of them lost everything.
  • Her mother’s family were Jewish and originally from Eastern Europe. They left before the holocaust. Janet’s husband is also Jewish and lost many relatives in the Nazi concentration camps.
  • Why Janet Hamada sees the last four years as history repeating itself and her fear that the US is going in the directions of Nazi Germany.
  • How her bi-racial identity, the experiences of her family and inherited trauma have impacted her personally and the work she does at The Next Door.
  • Janet’s work at the border, and what she witnessed with refugees being denied entry and kids separated from parents.
  • Because of her last name and how she looks, people who didn’t know she was Jewish would often say antisemitic remarks. She talks about how she speaks up.
  • Racism of who is allowed in the US and who is not
  • Racism, antisemitism and hate
  • How her organization, The Next Door has made a big difference in strengthening all types of families

Janet Hamada, M.S.W

For nearly three decades, Janet has dedicated her efforts to improve the lives of her neighbors. A native of Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, she brings to Meyer a long history of work in the nonprofit sector, particularly in the areas of administration, refugee resettlement, employment, community organizing, economic development, health promotion and services for youth. Her current professional and community activities include serving as executive director of The Next Door, Inc., a social service organization that strengthens children and families and improves communities in seven counties in the mid-Columbia region.

Janet serves as the current president of the Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs’ board of directors, and as a member of the boards of directors of the Meyer Memorial Trust, Hood River Rotary Foundation and Four Rivers Early Learning Hub. In addition, she serves on the Building Bridges: Columbia Gorge Education and Workforce Collaborative and as a community advisory council member for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

Janet earned her Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

 

 

Episode 62: Reflections on Race and Racism with a Black Ex-Police Officer

 

Reflections on Race  and Racism with a Black Ex-Police Officer

Anthony Sturkey, a Black ex-officer from the Long Beach Police Department joins me on this Conversation on race to offer a realistic perspective on what’s happening today in the US regarding race, racism and law enforcement.

 

Key Topics:

  • The fact that we now have cameras that document police brutality means that people see brutalization of Black people at the hands of law enforcement
  • Racism in the police department is not new, is embedded in the system and is systemic
  • The necessity and importance of Black Police Associations
  • Anthony’s experience having to work alongside of another officer who was a KKK member
  • Why he believes that it’s a fallacy that police departments don’t know about “bad cops” and racists
  • His observations and opinion that that there are three types of Black police officers and what they do to survive
  • How Anthony survived for ten years as a law enforcement officer until it was time for him to leave
  • His thoughts on how the police academy programs new officers to just stand by and not intercede when they see brutality, and that people who would intercede are filtered out

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 60: White people activists

 

In this conversation on race, LeRon Barton asks.  “Why are white people interested in helping out now? Where were you ten/  twenty years ago?”

We wonder  what is making white folks come out now? Is it because they saw the very public  murder of George Floyd?  Did they understand the systemic racism and murder of other Black people by white racists in law enforcement and white supremacists?

Key Points in this episode of Everyday Conversations on Race

1-  Black people are tired but still have to be active and not let up. White people and other non-Black people need to follow the lead and participate.

2- This is the same systemic racism that puts young kids in ICE camps, separates families and treats immigrants as less than human

3- LeRon talks about his partner Michelle who is LatinX and says that what impact her as a Latina impacts him, and that we have to all take the position that what impacts our friends and families impacts us (if we we have friends and family from different races and cultures.) We have to know what impacts the people in our lives and the people we care about about.

4- The importance of thinking outside of ourselves. This is particularly important for white people, many who are just beginning to think outside of themselves.

5- The time to act is now, we will need to tell future generations what we did  during this time. Be on the right side of history.

6- Inaction is action-it’s choosing to ride with the other side.

7- When people just stand by and do nothing- they help deny Black and Brown people voting rights,  and they help normalize confederate flags

8- Black people going to Robert E. Lee High School can compare to a Jewish person going to Adolph Hitler Higher School. Think about that!

9- The murder of the Rosenbergs and prosecution by Roy Cohen and J. Edgar Hoover

10- LeRon talks about how he used to laugh or get irritated when white people saw documentaries like “When They See Us,” and would get emotional. He says that he realizes it was wrong and that people have a right to feel.  “I will never ridicule anyone again like that,” say LeRon. “I realize we need everyone.

11- Why LeRon doesn’t trust white allies but sees their importance and wants them to continue being allies and stepping up.

 

 

Episode 59: Race, Reconciliation and Transformation

My guests on “Everyday Conversations on Race” are Wanda Whitaker, Peter Rubin and Gaylon Logan from Village Connect. This episode is “Race, Reconciliation and Transformation.”

 

Wanda Whitaker is African-American, a humanitarian, spiritual healer and visionary who brings people together to find their highest potential.

 

Peter Rubin is white, Jewish, 35 years old and an anti-racist facilitator. He was raised in a multi-cultural anti-racist environment but didn’t become aware of this white privilege until a few years ago which is when he was trained in anti-racist facilitation.

 

Gaylon Logan is African-American, a father, grandfather and founder of Village Connect a 501C3 who is a leader of CBTC- Culture Based Transformative Coaching. His mission and the mission of Village Connect  is to build the capacity of people to be self-aware, self-directed and be empowered to have the life they want.

 

All three share their stories of how they came to be aware of race, racism and the need for racial reconciliation.

 

Key topics:

  • Why we need to be human beings as opposed to human doings, and human “havings.”

 

  • The trauma of racism, growing up in the south under segregation, and seeing the humiliation of Black people by racist, disgusting white people

 

  • What Black people had to do in order to survive racism and the total impact of those survival tactics

 

  • How Village Connect works with school age children to raise their self-esteem, and give kids the sense of self that so many lack in how they are raised

 

  • Information alone doesn’t change people’s lives. You need to reach their hearts, engage with them and help them transform
  • The impact and harm of being taught at an early age that it’s not ok for men to show feelings or cry in front of people

 

  • Village Connect is a direct response to loss of humanity and brings people back to humanity

 

  • How Wanda, and Peter are working with Gaylon on the Village Connect program, Race and Reconciliation, how to heal yourself from racism,” for white people
  • Focusing on humanity as we work on race and reconciliation is one of the keys to transformation for all people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 58: Black Trans Lives

Kairo Jamal Evans joins me for this Conversation on Race to talk about his experience as a 25-year-old Black Trans Man. He’s an entrepreneur who makes tee-shirts to spread the word of self-awareness. Listen in to hear about his transition, his tee-shirt business Kuriosity focuses on self-awareness through self-research.

 

Key Points:

  • Growing up Black in Oakland and not being aware of racism until he was a little older.
  • Having a white grandmother and the fact that his mother had to deal with racism.
  • Transphobia in the LGBTQ community
  • The murders of Black trans women in the US and Black trans men
  • Male privilege as a trans man but also potentially targeted as a Black man because of racism and higher chances of being stopped by police or white racists
  • Kairo shares his experience of being stopped by police while driving
  • He has to always act calm with police no matter what
  • Kairo has a YouTube channel and he’s noticed that YouTubers who are white get more attention and support than YouTubers who are people of color
  • Racism in the LGBTQ community
  • Dealing with being Black in the LGBTQ community
  • Trans man are sometimes targeted by lesbians who can be antagonistic
  • Surprising to me it’s mostly younger lesbians who are the most harsh
  • He accepts that he’s in a different mindset
  • How his family came to accept and support him
  • Why aren’t more people taking up the cry for Black Trans people
  • How heartbreaking it was after the murder of Tony McCabe that he was misgendered
  • The dangers of being trans and being Black trans
  • It takes a whole village to grow the community

 

Bio of Kairo Jamal Evans in his own words:

 

My name is Kairo Jamal Evans. I am a female to male trans man, born and raised in Oakland, CA. I graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 2013 and continued a collegiate education for 3 years at the California State University, Northridge. (GO MATADORS!) My focus in school was on film, which is a career I still plan to pursue. I began my medical transition in the Fall of 2016, which even though was a difficult process, in the beginning, has grown to become the best decision I’ve ever made. I now have started a small t-shirt line [Kuriosity Clothing Co.] with personal designs, and one day plan on opening a studio for kids to come to create, and learn more about the arts! Since becoming me, I have developed an astonishing amount of confidence. I am now ready to take on the world as my true self.

 

 

 

Episode 57: Living While Black

On this Episode of Everyday Conversations on Race, I’m joined by my very close friend and colleague, Dr. Joel Brown. Joel is an international known organizational and leadership development consultant. He is a spoken word poet, and a thought leader in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. The president and founder of Pneumos, Joel is known as the cultivator.

Key Topics:

  • Messages he received as a young Black man growing up in Milwaukee
  • Avoid the police who would shoot first and ask questions later
  • How to talk to the police if he ever go stopped so he wouldn’t be shot or put in jail
  • Be grateful that to go to a school with white kids
  • Because of racism, he would have to work twice as hard as white people
  • These warnings and lessons have stayed with him all of these years
  • What it was like to have to have relatives in law enforcement and the difficulties they had to endure
  • How Joel learned about the racism and toxic masculinity of “blue culture” from his relatives in law enforcement
  • The many times and different cities he has been stopped by police just living or driving while black
  • The real problem with the phrase “all lives matter”
  • The fact that Black people are traumatized, hurting and exhausted but he is encouraged by the fact that so many white and other non-Black people of color are outraged, marching and speaking out
  • Why he thinks that the phrase “Defund the Police” should be changed to “Reallocate funds” and that it would be more effective in getting the same results
  • And what’s up with Antifa

Contact info for Joel Brown:

Joel@Pneumos.com

www.souletry.com

www.Pneumos.com

Twitter: JoelBrown7

IG: JoelABrown

 

 

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