Leadership

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 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.

Episode 66: White Privilege Conference/Black Leadership

Dr. Eddie Moore and Dr. Joe-Joe McManus join me on Everyday Conversations on Race to talk about white privilege, Black people and other people of color working with white people, and racial justice.

Dr. Moore founded the White Privilege Conference in 1999. Dr. McManus is a well-known award-winning educator and leader in the anti-racist, social justice movement in higher education for over twenty years.

 

Key Topics in this episode:

  • Eddie’s experience and challenges as a Black person leading and recruiting people for the White Privilege Conference
  • How he helps white people grow and better understand racism
  • The need for white anti-racists to support and follow Black leadership and learn from Black excellence/Black genius
  • How Joe-Joe a white Jewish/Irish man and Eddie an African American man started working together and build a strong friendship and working relationship based on trust and love.
  • Why many White people have a hard time hearing about race, racism and white privilege from BIPOC and listen better to white people
  • When white people and BIPOC people need to be in their own affinity groups to talk amongst themselves and when they need to come together and work in coalition and engage with each other
  • How the most successful social justice movements were people working across race and other differences in coalition and partnership
  • Ensuring that everyone has skin in the game, not just Black people
  • How to have more conversations on race

 

Dr. Joe-Joe McManus has established himself over more than 25 years as a leader at the intersections of leadership development, antiracism education, and inclusive excellence. He has held faculty, staff, and executive roles, including Chief Diversity Officer. He has served at an HBCU, an international university, an Ivy League institution, a religious based university, and at the public university system level.

Dr. Joe-Joe, as he is known, also has extensive public speaking, consulting, coaching, and advising experience across sectors.

Contact Information

Joe-Joe McManus, Ph.D.
phone: 508.982.3745

Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., is recognized as one of the nation’s top motivational speakers and educators, especially for his work with students K–16. Eddie is the Founder/Program Director for the White Privilege Conference, and under his direction and inclusive relationship model, the conference has become one of the top national and international conferences for participants who want to move beyond dialogue and into action around issues of diversity, power, privilege, and leadership.

 

Contact information:
Twitter: @eddieknowsmoore
Instagram: eddiemoorejr
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/eddiemoorejr

Episode 54: The Racial Impacts of COVID-19

Teri Yuan and Carole Copeland Thomas join me for this conversation on race to talk about race, racism and the COVID 19 pandemic. Teri talks about her experience as a Chinese-American and her perspective on the escalation of racist attacks against Asians who are being blamed by some for Covid-19. Carole shares her history, information and her perspective on the high death rate of African Americans

Key Topics in this Episode

  • The lack of race consciousness of many Asian people
  • What it means to be white adjacent
  • What Asian-Americans can do to be more aware of race and the history of racism in the United States
  • How people from targeted groups can be allies and support each other against racist attack
  • Racial health disparities that result in the high infection and death rate of African-Americans
  • The lack of PPE for essential workers, many of whom are people of color
  • How gender issues have resulted in women bearing the brunt of the pandemic
  • How white supremacy fuels the escalation of racism and blame of specific groups

Guest Bios:

Teri Yuan is a survivor, a feminist business consultant, and founder of the Engendered Collective, a platform for survivors, practitioners, and allies to connect in community, learning, and advocacy through the radical inquiry of patriarchy.  As part of the Collective’s work, Teri manages the Kanduit QNA social service community and hosts the weekly podcast, en(gender)ed, which explores the systems, practices and policies that enable gender-based violence and oppression and offers solutions to end it.  En(gender)ed uses gender as a lens to better understand power and oppression and its impact in the private realm, so as to better recognize and confront it in the public sphere. Teri believes that by developing a cultural literacy around power and abuse of power, we can reclaim how we define liberty in relationships and in civic life and solve many of our most urgent social (justice) challenges.

 

Carole Copeland Thomas  As an award-winning TEDx speaker, trainer, and global thought leader, since 1987, Carole Copeland Thomas moderates the discussions of critical issues affecting the marketplace, including global diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. She has her pulse on the issues affecting working professionals and regularly consults with industry leaders. She has spent 33 years of cultivating relationships and partnerships with local, national, and international clients and sponsors, including Walmart, Amtrak, and Emirates Airlines. Carole served as an adjunct faculty member at Bentley University for ten years. She has spoken in nearly every state in the US and seven other countries. Carole is the past president of The National Speakers Association-New England Chapter and served on the leadership team of Black NSA. She has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Black Enterprise, ABC Radio, and CBS News. Carole is a blogger and social media enthusiast using various technology platforms to enhance her business development activities.

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