equity

A Journey Through Race, Identity and True belonging. How Michael Fosberg discovered his Black identity

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Michael Fosberg. Michael is a writer, actor and activist on issues of race. He is also a Black man who didn’t know he was Black until he was in his mid-thirties when his Armenian mother and white Swedish step-father got divorced. That’s when he went on his journey to find his biological father. Until then, Michael thought he was white.

Listen to this fascinating conversation and hear the story of Michael Fosberg.

Key topics:

[6:27] How he found his father and then found out his biological father was Black.

[15:31] Growing up in a diverse area and thinking he was one of two white people on the basketball team.

[17:13] Why Michael’s mother didn’t tell him he was Black.

[20:27] His lifelong connection to Black people and African-American culture and sudden understanding of why he had that connection.

[31:21] What it’s like for him, knowing he is Black but growing up with white privilege and how his skin color still gives him that privilege.

[41:35] Responding to people who say they are colorblind.

[46:28] Michael Fosberg answers the question of what to do about racism.

Guest Bio

Chicago native Michael Fosberg has been working to create a national dialogue on race and identity since 2001 when he launched his one-man autobiographical play Incognito. The author-activist has used the unique presentation, along with engaging interactive training sessions and speeches, to embrace diversity in an effort to change corporate and organization cultures.

He has been a frequent guest in the national media speaking as an expert on race and identity issues. His travels have taken him across the country facilitating meaningful conversations at educational institutions, corporations, government agencies and military bases. His highly praised memoir; Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self Discovery was published in 2011 and his newest book, Nobody Wants to Talk About It: Race, Identity, and the Difficulty in Forging Meaningful Conversations addresses his efforts to provoke conversations about race over the past fifteen years.

Contact info: info@incognitotheplay.com

 

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 89: The R.A.C.E Project

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by my colleagues from the Brain Trust of the Shift Network R.A.C.E Project.

Rev. Doctor Aliah Majon, the Chief Inclusion Officer of the Shift Network enlisted Mike Alexander and me to join her in the R.A.C.E Project.

Aliah shares her experience as a Black woman who grew up in Detroit, how race and racism impacted her growing up, how she dropped out of high school, and then how she went on to get a double Ph.D.

Mike Alexander talks about his experience as a Black police officer who went on to become a police chief and shares stories of how he dealt with the racism he encountered.

Kapiolani Laronal shares her experience as an indigenous woman from Hawaii and the racism she has encountered in predominantly white schools.

 

Key topics:

[7:12] The R.A.C.E project and our role in making the world a better place. Our focus is on what we can do to dismantle racism, and the role that mind, body, spirit plays in individual change.

[11:08] Mike Alexander, former Police Chief and now acting Police Chief in Texas talks about the importance of creating psychological safety when talking about race and racism with people.

[23:23] How Mike has learned to self-regulate when he is confronted by racism and specific issues in the police department.

Racism on the part of police officers, and the impact it had on him.

[38:07] The importance of working with young people to dismantle the systemic racism embedded in the US throughout history 

[48:31] The work that Aliah has done with police departments around diversity, inclusion, equity, and race.

The importance of being curious and willing to learn and change.

 

Guests Bio

Rev. Dr. Aliah (she/her) is an evolutionary and racial healing champion who believes that we are meant to be engines of evolution. Her methodologies are informed by firsthand experience growing up in the inner city of Detroit and losing her only child to suicide, as well as three decades serving as a corporate trainer, facilitator, and educational consultant.

 

 

 

 

Mike Alexander earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. He earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. Mike has over 40 years in law enforcement which began as a Correctional Officer and Deputy Sheriff at the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

 

 

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist help 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) https://inclusioncoalition.info

 

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 85: Conversation on Race with Steve Pemberton; Knowing and Embracing Our Roots

In this conversation on race I’m joined by Steve Pemberton, Chief Human Resources Officer of Workhuman. Steve shares his story of growing up in foster homes with no idea of his background, his identity, or his birth family.  Although he was the biological son of a Black father and a white mother, he didn’t know if he was Black or white until he located his biological family.

He is the author of two books, “A Chance in the World,” that chronicles his life story and “The Lighthouse Effect, How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact on the World.”

Key topics in this episode of “Everyday Conversations on Race,” with Steve Pemberton

  • How Steve Pemberton is mixed race, (Black and white) and but never knew who he was
  • How his life experience has been the driving factor in his work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and social justice
  • The reactions of some of Steve’s family members to him and his racial background
  • How America has fallen short in terms of embracing all cultures, races and faith and not living up to its founding principles
  • After the Civil Rights movement ended illegal segregation, we as a country chose legal segregation
  • Misunderstanding of the definition of “Critical Race Theory,”
  • Policies directed at people of color like voter suppression and redlining and how some white people get offended when racist policies are discussed
  • Persecution of his West Indian ancestors and his Irish ancestors when they came to the US
  • The importance of being aware of all our multiple identities and those of other people
  • How those multiple identities can help people find commonality but too often people stay “above the waterline,” and treat people based on biases and wrong assumptions
  • Understanding common humanity and our complexities can bring people together
  • Why more people aren’t questioning polarization but insist on embracing it
  • How Pemberton’s organization Workhuman helps people recognize each other and feel included
  • Why we need a real framework for overcoming racism and creating a country and world where everyone can live, work, and build together
  • The different forms of recognition that Workhuman promotes and how that recognition supports Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • How lack of inclusive and recognition holds people back from contributing and doing their best work
  • How Workhuman’s work in ensuring employee recognition  makes a difference in levels of happiness for people of color, and other underrepresented people.
  • The tendency of Millennials and Gen Z to care about social justice in organizations and how they will leave jobs where they don’t see any effort to support equity
  • The role of organizations in social change, and how Steve Pemberton sees the key role they play
  • When employees have to deal with issues like racism, attacks against Asians, lack of support for Black Lives Matter, etc. they can’t do their best work.
  • People who consider themselves allies have to do more than say slogans but need to engage and show support
  • What happens when people of color see their white friends stay silent when they see racism, and why we need people to do more than empathize
  • Allies need to step up and stand next to people who are being targeted and speak out against offensive comments and actions
  • Anyone and everyone can make a difference to support humanity, dignity, and fairness
  • How diversity and inclusion are not the same, what organizations can do to ensure that they have both

 

Listen in to hear more of Steve Pemberton, find out what’s on his playlist, and the books and films he recommends.

 

 

Steve Pemberton Bio

Passionate about building human-centered workplaces that recognize the value and potential of each and every employee, Steve Pemberton has made embracing humanity in the workplace the core of his responsibility.

As the Chief Human Resources Officer of Workhuman, Steve is committed to working with HR leaders and senior management to transform and lead more connected, human-centered workplaces that accelerate learning, engagement and productivity. Steve aims to make the work more human in everything he does by fostering a sense of purpose in the workplace and ensuring equity for all.

Steve also champions human rights efforts to ensure equality and access for all, both at home and in the workplace. This passionate advocacy has earned him honorary doctorates as well as the U.S. Congress’ Horizon Award for his personal contributions and for setting a positive example for younger generations. He is the esteemed author of “The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World” and the USA Today best-selling memoir “A Chance in the World,” following him on his search for his family. Steve is a graduate of Boston College and is involved with UCAN Chicago, Boys Hope Girls Hope and The United States Business Leadership Network as a board member.

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 83: Changing American Companies from the Top Down


In this conversation on race, journalist Tony Chapelle joins me to talk about getting more women and people of color on corporate boards. Tony Chapelle, has recently retired after 36 years, as a business news reporter and producer.

In his career, he has interviewed CEOs and corporate executives, and  moderated panel discussions with corporate board directors of Fortune 1000 companies. Tony, has been interviewed more than 60 times for his insights on African Americans in business by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Fox Business channel.

As an African American and as a journalist, Tony has been involved with efforts to bring more people of color on corporate boards which have been overwhelmingly white.

“African Americans, other racial minorities, and white people of goodwill have tried almost every tactic known to man to effect racial justice in this country.

In the more than 100-year evolution of the fight for equal opportunity, one of the most intractable excuses that we hear in the workplace is that a particular corporation would love to hire more Black folks, “If only we could find those who are qualified.”

On its surface, this seems to be a plausible rationale for not having people of color in the corporate workforce.

But highly-qualified Blacks, Latinos, and Asians are out there in great numbers including those who could sit on the boards of directors at companies where they could make the great decisions and changes that would alter corporations from the top down. “

Key topics:
• How corporate boards run corporations, and influence decisions made by organizations and governments that impact our everyday lives
• How companies can decide whether they’re going to be good citizens, whether they’re going to be profiteers, or whether they’re going to just do as little as possible to be viewed as doing the right thing
• The isolation of being the only Black person on national news networks and having to deal with constant racism
• Why Tony Chapelle founded a newsletter for Black people on wall street
• Why it’s critical to this country and the world to get more people of color, women, and LGBTQ people on corporate boards
• How climate change activists have gotten people on corporate boards
• How and why created a directory of people of color, women, and LGBTQ people who are highly qualified to sit on corporate boards
• Disproving the fallacy that there are not enough qualified POC, women, and LGBTQ to sit on boards
• Which corporate leaders are bringing people POC, women, and LGBTQ to their corporate boards

 

Bio

Tony Chapelle recently retired after 36 years as a business news reporter and producer. For the past 20 years, he has interviewed CEOs and corporate executives, and has moderated panel discussions with corporate board directors at Fortune 1,000 companies. Chapelle has been interviewed more than 60 times for his insights on African Americans in business by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Fox Business Channel, and a host of other news agencies. He worked his entire career in New York as a staffer at the Financial Times publication Agenda, CNN, Thomson Financial, and Johnson Publishing. In addition, he freelanced  and he and his wife published a newsletter called Securities Pro for blacks on Wall Street. He also was the national editor for Jesse Jackson’s newsletter for his Wall Street Project, which aimed to get corporate America to collaborate with Black companies. Chapelle graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1984.

Episode 82: A Conversation on Race With Jeff Le, Victim of anti- Asian hate

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Jeff Le, to talk about anti-Asian hate. He has been featured in Political magazine, The New York Times USA Today,  and the Washington Post.

Jeff shares his personal experience with  being a victim of anti-Asian hate and no one offering any help. “Last March we were completely overwhelmed with the lockdown with the COVID-19. But there was a second thing going on at the same time, not just from public health in pandemic issue, but also there was a real hate issue. January, February, when there was rhetoric about the Kung Flu- the China virus, there was some scapegoating.”

If you think about American history, and you look at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the country, there’s been a long-standing history of xenophobia and discrimination.  Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans have been here since the 1850s.Building railroads going across the country to California, for example, Japanese Americans, really setting up shop in the Bay Area, for example, face significant discrimination. That is something that’s been around for quite some time. And if you fast forward if you look at American history there have been instances where, whenever there are issues in the world that affect Asia and the United States, there has been a direct moment of disdain, disagreement, and unfortunately acts of hate and violence that have happened. I was traveling for my last work trip before the pandemic really laid in. And I was walking through an airport. I needed to get to San Francisco, and a woman came up to me, spit on my face. And she told me to go back where I came from.” 

“And as a proud Californian  I wanted to tell her  yes, I’m excited to go back to California, very much miss Mexican food. Unfortunately, she meant it in a more literal way. She meant, you know, based on what you Look, I know you’re not from here, go back to China. Essentially. I’m Vietnamese American. That’s a separate issue. But I was scapegoated, specifically for the virus, spit on in front of people in a public place that was federally regulated.   Being spit on is something that’s really debasing ,demeaning, dehumanizing, but that’s not the issue. The issue is, and this is the conversations I know you’ve been leading. It’s about creating environments that allow for that to happen. And unfortunately, there were about a dozen people who saw what happened. And not a single one of them did anything.”

 

Key topics covered:

• The history of discrimination against Asians in the US

• The Chinese Exclusionary Act

• The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two.

• How his parents who are Vietnamese-Americans started a chicken farm in Georgia, build relationships with neighbors only to be accused of being responsible for COVID 19

• The relationship between the US relationship with China, anti-Asian hate, and blame for COVID 19

• Relationship between mental health and attacks against Asians

• Role of white supremacy in anti-Asian hate and physical attacks against Asians

• The fear that Asian Pacific Islanders are living with, particularly the elderly

• The murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit

• History of unity amongst People of Color

• Asian support of Black Lives Matter

• How he has been verbally harassed in his neighborhood

• The importance of being an active ally and not a silent bystander

If you like what you hear on this show, please go to RaceConvo.com and download more episodes. Please share the show with at least one or two other people. Help us get our message across about spreading love across the globe, and stopping hate. If you would like to bring me to your organization to facilitate a panel or conversation on race or consult with you on inclusive leadership, please contact me at Simmalieberman.com. You can hit me up on Twitter, @theinclusionist or Instagram @simma.lieberman, or find me on LinkedIn.

 

 

Jeff Le Bio

Jeff Le has had a career at the highest levels of public policy and politics at the state, federal and international levels. A recognized thought leader in political advocacy and representation, his analysis and opinion-writing has been featured in POLITICO Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, FOX News, The Hill, Washingtonian, Roll Call, Bustle, Forbes, and local and regional newspapers in 30 states. During the height of the #StopAsianHate movement, Jeff penned an opinion piece that received national attention in POLITICO Magazine called I Thought I Knew How to Succeed as an Asian in U.S. Politics. Boy, Was I Wrong. that highlighted his experiences in workplace discrimination in politics and racism throughout his life.

 

Jeff is now an executive leader in technology where he is Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs for Rhino, a fintech startup working to give renters everywhere greater financial freedom through affordable insurance options. Prior to joining Rhino, Jeff was U.S. State and Local Public Policy Lead for VMware, a digital technology and infrastructure company, and managed the company’s gubernatorial, state, county, and local relationships across all 50 states and Canada. Jeff focused on emerging technology policy, including privacy, 5G, broadband, cyber, sustainability, workforce development, diversity and inclusion, education, and IT modernization.

Episode 81: Conversation on Race with Anti-Racist Karens; White Supremacy, Critical Race Theory, and US History

 

In this episode on “Every Day Conversations on Race for Everyday People, “ I’m joined by Karen Fleshman and Commissioner Karen Clopton who are KINOS- Karen in Name Only.

 

Karen Clopton shares her experience growing up Compton, in South Central Los Angeles when it was a middle-class Black neighborhood. She was adopted by her maternal grandparents. Her paternal grandmother was from Scotland.

Her maternal grandfather and his family were raised in Arkansas and worked on the plantation, where his parents had been enslaved.  When he was five, there was a white massacre of Black sharecroppers who were meeting to organize a union to sell their crops. Violence and lynchings of Black people caused her grandfather to flee Arkansas and be part of the Great Migration in 1939. They went to Los Angeles.

Her paternal grandfather fled Tennessee in 1920 because his father was lynched for allegedly looking at a white woman.

Karen Fleshman is the founder of Racy Conversations. Their mission is to inspire the anti-racist generation. She moved to the SF Bay Area in 2014 and was fixated on Ferguson and was really affected when the police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for killing Mike Brown.

During this conversation on race, we talk about the real history of the US, colonialism and slavery, as well as the white massacres of Black people in 1919, 1927 and 1954.

We also discuss the racial purity laws from 1641 to 1967 with “Loving vs Virginia,”  when  inter-racial marriage was illegal. Even though those laws were no longer in place, the mindset stayed the same, and was ingrained from generation to generation amongst White people who made those  racist laws.

Listen to this episode and hear the advice that Karen Fleshman and Commissioner Karen Clopton provide to fight racism and to have productive conversations on race.

Guest Bio

 

 

Karen Fleshman is the founder of Racy Conversations and is a racial equity trainer and government accountability activist striving to build and support a community of people committed to love, learning, accountability, and action on race in America. She is the author of the book  White Women, We Need to Talk: Doing Our Part to End Racism

 

 

 

Karen Clopton is an award-winning trailblazer. Karen Valentia Clopton brings deep knowledge, demonstrated operational expertise, and non-partisan insight into the political and regulatory arenas. She has served in top leadership, board, and executive roles in both governmental and non-governmental organizations across many regulated industries. General Counsel and Vice President of Access and Inclusion for Incendio International, Inc.

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