racism

Conversation on Race with Marcus Sawyerr

Marcus Sawyerr, CEO of EQ Community joins me in this conversation on race. We talk about how he and EQ Community help Black and other People of Color who have been historically excluded from professional opportunities.

He shares his experience as a Black man in the UK, and  how he came to the US and founded EQ Community.

 

Key Topics include:

 

[4:16] Why it’s important for Black people to have access to business opportunities, and ways to get those opportunities.

[5:14] Why access to information is crucial, and how lack of access has resulted in exclusion for Black and other people of color.

[12:07]- Why and how he founded EQ Community.

How Marcus Sawyerr and EQ Community help People of Color get access to top jobs and opportunities instead of languishing in search firms

[14:00] How people in EQ Community get and give support to each other to excel

[15:39] Why and how Black and Brown people are underutilized even after they get hired

[16:38] Is exclusion a Black and White thing, is it an organizational DNA thing? A race thing?

[23:10] How Diversity and Inclusion is a superpower

[27:01] The difference between being a black man in the UK vs being a Black man in the US.

[30:22] How the system in the US is set up for People of Color not to win and how to change that.

 

Guest Bio

British-born CEO Marcus Sawyerr is founder of EQ Community, was an executive board member to Microsoft, former Head of Global Partnerships at The Adecco Group in Switzerland, and Senior Director at CareerBuilder. 

His latest tech platform is a unique online community that’s cultivating and connecting multicultural professionals interested in tech— accelerating diverse and inclusive executive recruitment, globally.

He can speak to timely topics, as:

-Hiring Trends across Tech in DE&I Metaverse

-How Web3 and decentralization will impact future of work

-DEI program best practices for a winning team

– Myth-busting the big lie about “lowering the bar“ to attain inclusive hiring and diverse workforce

– The power and impact of inclusion and equitable recruiting

– The importance of developing nuanced and strategic approach to implementing diverse hiring panels

– And how to structure, implement, measure, and sustain equitable and inclusive attraction and selection practices

Lastly, Marcus is featured in publications: Insight, The EQ Report, American Express, Recruiter.com, LinkedIn, and Inside Big Data.

Host Bio:

 

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”
Contact Simma@SimmaLieberman.com
Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information
Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition) 

 

 

Living Diversity Across Race and Culture

 

Michael Dismuke and Lorenzo Jones from Eden Housing, join me in this conversation on race.

Listen in for practical advice, and best practices for engaging in successful cross-race conversations as they share their experiences. Eden Housing is an organization that develops, manages, and maintains affordable housing throughout California.

With a multi-racial and multi-cultural employee base, they have been able to ensure that their multi-racial, and multi-cultural residents feel included, respected and heard. When you have people living or working together from diverse backgrounds, unless people are able to interact with each other in meaningful ways, there can be tensions, bias and silos. Hear how Eden Housing is able to bring people together across race to thrive together.

Discover why meaningful interactions, and sharing personal stories can stop racial and other kinds of bias. Learn why leaders need to start with themselves in the conversation about race, by reflecting on their own experiences, their own bias, and why they think and act the way they do. They need to live their values if they say they value diversity and racial equity. Racial equity doesn’t happen by itself. It takes the whole organization to work together.  In this conversation on race, Michael Dismuke and Lorenzo Jones offer concrete suggestions and solutions to talk about race, and how to live diversity, equity and inclusion.

Key topics:

[2:53] How Michael Dismuke and Lorenzo Jones credit their own interracial, multicultural backgrounds as contributors to their success as leaders at Eden Housing.

[4:52] Creating comfortable environments to talk about race and have “curious conversations”.

[9:29] Having conversations across race and finding connections.

[14:30] The importance of going beyond racial optics in organization. You have to live inclusion and diversity to be successful.

[16:00] Creating a diversity council that is diverse.

[20:33] Best practices for inclusion during holiday seasons.

[26:33] How to make people from diverse religious faiths and observances feel included, while not favoring any one group.

[31:49] Gamifying cross-race conversations, and sharing stories across race and culture.

[39.31] Recognition, and showing respect for indigenous people and their history on the land.

[45:28] The problem of mixing religion, politics and organizational policies.

Guests Bio:

LORENZO JONES

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

As Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lorenzo is responsible for crafting a comprehensive DEI strategy for the organization, defining goals, and providing a roadmap to ensure that Eden Housing embeds a commitment to racial, social, and economic justice in all its work. He facilitates and creates linkages among Eden’s DEI Council, working groups and committees, and evaluates Eden’s internal processes and practices with an equity lens.

 

 

MICHAEL DISMUKE

VICE PRESIDENT OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

As Vice President of Organizational Development and Internal Communications, Michael is a key member of the Human Resources and Extended Leadership Teams (ELT) at Eden Housing. He is the communications advisor to the company’s executive team and senior leaders across the company. He creates and executes strategies to ensure the company’s human capital has the training and resources they need to support the growth of the organization.

 

 

Host Bio

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”
Contact Simma@SimmaLieberman.com
Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information
Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition) 

Black Men, White Fear

In this Conversation on Race, John Blake, senior writer, and producer at CNN talks about anti-racist white men who grew up in racist families. They were surrounded by racism in their environment and grew up in red states, yet they chose a different path. Listen in to hear some of the stories and find out the factors that influenced their thinking and actions.

We also talk about the epidemic and potential cures for the fear that many white people have about Black men in public spaces.

Key topics:

[5:11] How Matt Hawn, a white teacher in Tennessee became an anti-racist and then was fired for talking about racism to his students. Why white Pastor Gibson “Nibs” Stroupe from Arkansas founded a multi-cultural church in Decatur, Georgia, where he was an outspoken anti-racist.

[9:54] The gradual change from racist beliefs to anti-racism. How do some people get trapped by their own identity?

[11:21] White people need other white people who are anti-racist and have made a difference

[13:07] The transformational power of meeting people from a different race and building relationships

[16:35] The power of ordinary people to create change

[17:26] Why change often comes from pressure at the bottom

[18:33] The Epidemic of white fear of Black people in public spaces

[39:33] Internalizing stereotypes and internalized racism

[40:58] How John Blake let go of hostility towards white people after meeting his white mother.

[45:15] Creating spaces for people of different races and cultures to interact and change.

Guest Bio


John Blake is an award-winning journalist at CNN.com, the online site for CNN and an author. He has been honored by the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Academy of Religion, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Religion Communicators Council and with the GLAAD Media Award. He was most recently the winner of the 2019 Sigma Delta Chi awards for Excellence in Journalism for his online columns on race and politics. His 2020 essay, “There’s One Epidemic We May Never Find a Cure For: Fear of Black Men in Public Spaces,” was recently selected by Bustle Digital Group as one of the 11 best essays on racism and police violence. The other authors on that list included Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ibram X. Kendi, and Roxane Gay. Blake’s book, “Children of the Movement,” was a finalist for the 2005 NAACP Image Awards in the Outstanding Literary Work Non-Fiction category and a finalist for the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards. He has spoken at high schools, colleges, symposiums and in documentaries about topics such as race, religion and politics. Blake is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a graduate of Howard University.

 

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”

Contact Simma@SimmaLieberman.com

Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information

Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition) 

Episode 87: Amr Awadallah and Sara Speer Selber; a Muslim/Jewish conversation on race

 

In this exciting and dramatic conversation on race, I’m joined by Amr Awadallah former VP of developer relations for Google Cloud, and Sara Speer Selber, CEO of Quest Essential. Amr, a Muslim who was born in Egypt, and Sara, a Jewish woman born in the US. We talk about the ability to change and the need to allow people to change instead of canceling them for what they thought or did in the past.

 

Amr was fired from Google after he wrote a paper called “We Are One,” about how he used to not like Jewish people because of what he had heard about Jewish people as he grew up. But after meeting and getting to know Jewish people and even finding out he had Jewish DNA he changed his thinking.  Some other employees at Google accused him of antisemitism. We talk about social justice, the need for education, and the importance of eradicating racism, antisemitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other hate, it’s hypocritical and dangerous to “cancel,” fire, or ban people who have changed. If we can’t admit to past mistakes without fear, it will be almost impossible to get other people to let go of racism, etc.

 

Sara Speer Selber shares how she was raised to agree with everything Israel did and not like Muslims. After getting to know Muslim women and hearing about a group called Salaam Shalom which brought Muslim and Jewish women together, she began to change her thinking. She went on to help start a chapter of Salaam Shalom in Texas where she lives.

 

Key topics:

[4:42] Amr tells his story of what he used to think about Jewish people and what happened to make him change and get to know Jewish people.

 

[9:07] What happened when Simma was part of a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group and the support she got from Palestinians when her partner died. The Palestinians in the group attended the Jewish services.

 

[10:39] The stories Amr heard about Jewish people that shaped his thinking growing up.

 

[12:10] How Sara met Amr when they were both on a Clubhouse for two weeks where Palestinians and Israelis shared their stories. Sara heard Amr talk about what happened to him at Google and she reached out to him.

 

[17:06] Amr was in a deep depression about being fired and when Sara reached out to him it lifted his spirits. He talks about how he was impacted by all the Jewish people who reached out to him.

 

[34.02] Why we all need to work together against climate change which can kill us all. When we hate and refuse to interact it stops us from moving forward and we can all be destroyed.

 

[37.27] How the Muslim community came together in Texas to support the Rabbi and worshippers in the synagogue when people were taken hostage.

 

Guests Bio

Sara Speer Selber, Founding Partner of QuestEssential, has more than 40 years of experience managing people and organizations for excellence and success. Her career with for profit and non-profit entities has been characterized by entrepreneurial innovation and has been recognized repeatedly by professional and community groups for her business achievements and many contributions to the welfare of others.

 

 

Dr. Amr Awadallah is the CEO and cofounder of ZIR AI, a company that is revolutionizing how we seek knowledge across all languages of the world. He previously served as VP of Developer Relations for Google Cloud until July 2021. Prior to joining Google in Nov 2019, Amr co-founded Cloudera in 2008 and as Global CTO, he spent 11 years working closely with enterprises around the world on how to ingest and extract value from big data (he famously coined the terms “schema-on-read vs schema-on-write”).

Episode 86: Healing From Life-long Racial Trauma

 

Sumi Mukherjee was bullied and tormented all his young life for his skin color, ethnicity, and Indian name. Let’s hear how his experiences compelled him to write about his life to help other people of color.

 

Key Topics

[4:25] His first experience with race and racism was in elementary school. Being raised in an all-white city in Plymouth, Minnesota.

People knew about white and black people but nothing about people from India.

How his family tried everything to fit in as part of America by celebrating Christmas, putting up a tree, etc. but he was accepted.

His shock at not being treated as an equal but being bullied by racists in school.

The trauma of racist attacks by white kids at school

He says he was the diversity of the school.

 

[10:31] Although he had provisional economic privilege because of his family background, it did not negate the color of his skin, nor the outpour of hate against him and his parents.

[12:20] How he was bullied, made fun of, and attacked because of his name Sumi. They also made fun of his last name, Mukherjee.

Having to explain his background to people who had no understanding of who he was.

[16:50] The terror of being harassed at night by people constantly calling his house making fun of his name and being targeted by racists.

The trauma of living through racism for all people of color.

[20:14] The effect on his self-esteem and mental health.

How he was traumatized, the impact on his mental health, and developing OCD.

The trauma of racism impacts all people of color and is life-long. It needs to be recognized and discussed.

Sumi has had to deal with low self-esteem, feeling isolated and afraid. He has gotten help with mental health issues and fears. Today he writes and talks to people about racism, bullying, and getting through racial trauma.

[24:54] What parents need to know to help their kids who are being bullied due to race. The importance of taking it seriously and not telling kids to ignore it.

What white parents need to do to help their kids be allies and support their friends of color who are being bullied or attacked.

[39:02] Sumi shares his struggles with trying to win white people over to like him. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of people of color to win people over.

How do you motivate people to care?

 

Sumi Bio

Author and Speaker Sumi Mukherjee published his first book titled “A Life Interrupted – the story of my battle with bullying and obsessive compulsive disorder” in July 2011.  His second book published in July 2014, is titled “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse”. His third book titled “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer” was published in Jan 2017. His fourth and the latest book titled “Minority Viewpoint – my experience, as a person of color, with the American Justice System” was published in Dec 2020.

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.

 

 

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