Simma Lieberman

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 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 80: Critical Race Theory in Education Racist, a Conversation on Race With Sonia Lewis

Sonia Lewis joins me on this conversation on race to talk about race, racism, inequity and critical race theory in education. She is a consultant and speaker in diversity, race and education.

Key topics:

  • Sonia’s decision to not salute American Flag when she was seven
  • Sonia’s experience growing up in Richmond, California with a father who was one of the founders of the Black police officer’s association
  • Historical background of the US educational system and the perpetuation of systemic racism
  • Why it’s essential to be able to talk about race in schools
  • What really is Critical Race Theory
  • How white supremacists are playing on the ignorance and fears of many white people and distorting the definition of critical race theory
  • The history of racism in the US includes racism against, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and also antisemitism
  • Jim Crow laws that stopped Black people from voting, owning property, getting education and keeping segregation
  • Could some of the pushback against Critical Race Theory be   due to shame that some people feel about how people of  color have been treated? Or is it just hate?
  • Three ways people can help dismantle racism

If you like this episode of “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People,” please share it with two other people. Help us disrupt the way people talk about race in order to stop hate, eliminate fear of differences and spread love across the globe. Remember to subscribe to the show.

Conversations across race are sometimes hard but always necessary for the health of our organizations. If you understand the importance of creating organizations where everyone feels included and people are creative across differences, contact us now.  Simma@SimmaLieberman.com

We’re here for you.

 

 

Sonia Lewis Bio

She has been described as fearless and unflinching; driven by the integrity of hard work; a dreamer and problem solver; and a bully to the bullies with power and influence. Sonia Lewis co-founded ASCRIBE Educational Consulting on February 13, 2009, while sitting in a booth at Stage Coach Restaurant in Sacramento, CA, while having birthday brunch with a friend. They wrote a mission and vision statement on napkins. Sonia channeled how supported she felt at age 7 when she daringly challenged liberty and justice for all. Core to her dream for ASCRIBE was to lean on equity and resources for the most marginalized in community. A former high school Social Studies teacher and Program Director, Sonia took a leap of faith into the world of entrepreneurship. She is a visionary and isn’t willing to accept the norm, as the standard we are forced to accept.

 

Socials:

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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 73: From Drug Addiction to Revolutionary Fitness, a Black Women’s Journey

In this Conversation on Race, I’m joined by Pam Grimm, who talks about her experiences as a  a Black woman in the fitness world. She’s 62 years old, has been teaching fitness since she was in her 50’s and says it’s never too late to get in shape. In this episode, she shares why getting shape is so important for everyone, and especially women of color.

 

Pam has been in recovery from drug addiction since 1993. In 2013, she decided to focus on fitness. And I’m telling you, this woman is fit.  She is the author of two books,  “#empowered: 90 Days of Enlightenment” which offers encouragement and spiritual inspiration, and #empowered: A Gratitude and Affirmations Journal

She is a certified personal trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association, a certified Group X Instructor, and a certified lifestyle wellness coach.

Key topics:

  • Her story of recovering from drug addiction
  • Her journey from drug addiction to fitness instructor
  • Women and fitness
  • How to get fit in the virtual world
  • Her motto “Don’t let your head tell you what you can’t do”
  • How to get your body to move
  • Her thoughts on being a Black woman in her 60’s teaching fitness
  • Black women and body image
  • Why getting in shape is revolutionary for women, especially women of color
  • Health care disparities and medical myths about Black people
  • How self-care is a weapon against racist medical policies
  • How to get started now even during Covid

 

About Pam Grimm

Pam Grimm is a corporate fitness instructor and currently teaches classes for corporations and individuals.

She is  also a personal trainer and a health & wellness coach. Her training focuses on strength, flexibility and balance in order for her clients to become the best version of themselves.

 

 

 

Contacts

www.pamgfitness.com

LinkedIn

Instagram

 

Episode 72: Growing Up Bicultural; Deanna Singh

 

In this conversation on race Deanna Singh talks with me about growing up Asian-Indian, and African-American in Wisconsin.

 

Key topics include:

 

  • Deanna’s experience with parents from two different cultures
  • What it was like to be one of only two kids of color in an all-white school
  • The beauty and joy of talking about race
  • First experience with overt racism at the age of five from another five-year-old
  • Impact of last four years with Trump et al young people of color and vision for the future
  • Founding a publishing company for books with children of color
  • Her life experience- the lynching of her great grandfather who was black, the aftermath of 9/11 on her family with a Sikh father who wears a turban, and the attack on the Sikh Temple in her area
  • Why she believes in the triumph of love and advice for going further

 

About Deanna Singh

Deanna Singh is a highly respected thought leader who travels the world motivating and educating audiences about living with joy and purpose. A gifted communicator, she is a champion to marginalized communities and an inspiration to all those who want to be agents of change in their work, lives, and society.

Singh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University, a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University. She has impacted the world as a speaker, a teacher, a principal, a leader of large foundations, a social entrepreneur, a businesswoman, an author, a publisher, and a mother.

 

 

Deanna Singh Contact Info:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Episode 70: Race, Racism and Hope in 2021

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown to talk about his hope for the future as a Black man, why he’ll take the Covid vaccine,  advice for Joe Biden and more.

 

Key topics in this episode:

  • Why it’s important for Black and other BIPOC people to have hopes for the future
  • How Biden can make a difference if the Democrats get control of the senate and the consequences to democracy if they do not
  • The real reasons that Black people have concerns about the vaccine for COVID 19 and what needs to be done to allay those fears
  • Why Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown is ready for the  Covid 19 vaccine
  • What to say to people who claim Joe Biden is a white supremacist
  • How not voting is often a sign of privilege
  • How to respond when someone says Kamala Harris doesn’t like Black people
  • The truth about the Black, LatinX and Jewish people who support Trump
  • Advice, music playlist and reading recommendations

 

Dr. Joel A. Davis

Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown Bio

Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC, a management consulting and coaching company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in cultural intelligence, leadership, change management, and strategic storytelling. As a change agent, Joel works strategically with organizational leaders to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully. In particular, Joel works with organizational clients to foster psychological safety, healing, belonging, and transformation. His work spans five continents and his mission is to facilitate liberation for every global citizen.

Best known for his critical analysis, creativity, humor, and an ability to build consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. His clients have ranged from LinkedIn to the United Nations, and his “sweet spots” have included men’s leadership, LGBT inclusion, interpersonal dialogue, and intercultural communication.

 

Contact information:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Pneumos
Twitter: @joelabrown7
Website: www.pneumos.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedn.com/in/joelanthonybrown

Episode 64 : AJ Cartas on Race and Social Media

In this episode I’m joined by AJ Cartas, a social influencer and founder of “Our Damn Time.”

Our Damn Time is a political organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community by providing resources to empower, educate, and mobilize to enact deep, structural change.

 

Key Topics:

  • AJ shares his experience immigrating to the US from the Philippines a month before 9/11
  • How he gathered one million followers on his social media accounts his first year in 2015
  • Launching campaigns for progressive candidates who understand racial and social inequality and can uplift under-represented communities
  • Working with people under 30 who are new to politics
  • Colorism in the Filipino community
  • Experiencing racism towards Asian in elementary school
  • How racists use social media to recruit young white kids
  • How AJ responds to racist attacks in his social media, who he calls out and who he ignores
  • Racism towards Asians in the LGBTQ community
  • Being in a relationship with a white man and the racist comments by other white men
  • Reaching out to Black friends after the murder of George Floyd and understanding his own privilege
  • Stereotypes in the white LGBTQ community about people of color
  • Helping to get progressive candidates elected and why it’s so urgent this election
  • Using social media influencing to build equality and stop injustice

 

AJ Cartas is a social media influencer, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and mentor. He previously had over 1 million followers total on.his social media and have worked at Director-level positions at companies like ByteDance and Calm. He published his book, Startups & Downs, where he writes about his vulnerabilities and challenges when he dropped out of college to move to Silicon Valley. He is currently the CEO & Founder of a social media agency, Syzygy Social, and has a non-profit, Our Damn Time, that advocates for equality by supporting political candidates with progressive policies.

 

AJ Cartas

Founder & CEO

415-818-9710 (text)

Check out our Instagram for free social media growth hacks!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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