Two years ago many people were rallying to be better allies. Did it work? 2022! Two years later, as a company and and as a community member, I’m blessed to have had the privilege to continue a lifelong journey and after a year will soon certify with the Institute for Equity Centered Leadership – leadership track and I’m beginning the Coaching track with many of the same cohort. The founder of the Institute, Trudi LeBron published The Anti-Racist Business Book (Bookshop.org affiliate link) this year! Two years on the links I shared below still matter. We can all to more with an equity centered lens for the greater good.
Building true advocacy for BIPOC, women owned, LGBTQIA owned businesses is a passion! Particularly for local businesses that have not received funding through covid, or haven’t been treated with equity. My goal is to support entrepreneurs! Advocacy means getting to know them, sharing their stories, purchasing their products and sharing with others. There are opportunities to support in other ways such as through Black Founders Matter. And as a B Corp consultant for impact companies, the lead conversation is about values and equity in all areas of business and impacts.
Where are we now? Two years ago I wrote:
I don’t want to go “back” to the normal of lack of diversity hiring, pollution from traffic, cultures that only find fit in the “like minded” and overt racism. We all have a chance to move FORWARD for better and differently for people, planet, profit, purpose. What’s your purpose? Covid and Black Lives Matter are sending us signals to do better every day from now on. We have to work for it.
“If this week is the beginning of your awareness, welcome. Truly. We need you and we are so glad you’re here. But please understand that you are only taking one step. Waking up is only the beginning.”– Ciara Pressler
Diversity improves productivity and profits
In 1999 and 2000, I hired a team of 15 for a new company in the US, for a product launch in the type 2 diabetes/metabolic syndrome space. We were told as managers to hire “young and hungry….” I hired three white people, the rest Asian, Latino and Black, all with great resumes. I was accused of “collecting people.” I was also one of the oldest people in the company and not yet 40. When I hired a 55 year old, my boss hated that I threw off the metrics. Each person had a territory from Sacramento to Olympia WA. Most teams nation wide were predominantly white and very young…. 3 years in my team was consistently in top 10% and won #1 team in the nation and the 55 year old was #1 representative in the nation. I was ostracized. Many of these hires are still friends and keep in touch. The irony was not lost on us that larger per-capita percentages of Black, Latino and Native Americans suffer disproportionately from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, our target market. And yet the company wanted a troupe of similar people to call on a wide variety of practitioners who treated a wide variety of people. My team was smart, fun and taught me much, I have no regrets, yet management made my work life hell.
Fast forward to 2019, Cole Reed of openHAUS and greenHAUS spoke on Diversity Mindset for Best Work Place Productivity with data and compassion about this topic. 20 years after my experience, little has changed in hiring in too many sectors. Cole’s words are supported by data and experience, it’s time to increase productivity and profits in these great ways, through inclusion of talents and thought, experiences and capabilities. In my memories of my team, we would talk over dinners and in meetings with each other about ideas, the Buddhist sharing ideas with the Catholic, the Black person sharing ideas with the Mexican Immigrant, the team sharing ideas about how to approach a broad range of customers. Why would and leadership want “like minded” teams of look a likes and culture fits? Hiring for inclusion matters for human good. Break some old molds, don’t go “back to normal.” Cole brought home all the reasons why it’s so beneficial to have a diversity mindset in business, in community, in all we do.
Diversity is not just anti-racist, it’s humaneKali Ladd – Executive Director of KarosPDX
Benefit Corporations, Champions for Social Justice – article by Mary Ann Harmer
Companies can create stronger values, lead other companies, lead communities, challenge to create new policies, challenge governments. It’s a new day. (Read below)
What to do? Contribute
- Exit the Maze – Changing Perspectives on Racism 501c3 – Cole Reed
- Black Resilience Fund – #wedoheal 501c3 – Cameron Whitten
- Race Talks Portland
- Push Black – app and site for black voices, criminal justice reform, voting campaigns (national)
- Pitch Black
- Black and Brown Founders
- Business for a Better Portland
- Oregon Women’s Health Network – Della Rae
- Urban League of Portland
- Portland NAACP
- Portland African American Leadership Forum
- Coalition of Communities of Color
- Albina Vision
- and more, please add
Who to Follow? The Leaders
- LinkedIn Local PDX presenters – consistently presentations by leaders of local communities of diversity
- Cameron Whitten
- JoAnne Hardesty – Portland City Council
- Stephen Green and his TED Talk Cheat More
- Pitch Black
- Mara Zapeda – outstanding list in her twitter feed
- Built Oregon
- Ciara Pressler
- Dr. Carol Parker Walsh – https://www.carolparkerwalsh.com/
- Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo)
- Kimberly Bryant (@6gems)
- Andre Henry (@andrehenry)
- Derecka Purnell (@dereckapurnell)
- Ava DuVernay (@ava
- and many more. Please add in comments or on twitter or facebook
What to Read and Research?
- Champions for Social Justice Mary Anne Harmer
- To Be A Mighty Advocate – It’s Not a Question Mighty Epiphyte
- The Emotional Impact of Watching White People Wake Up From Racism in Real Time metro.co.uk
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice – Corinne Shutack
- Dumb Sh*t White People Say – Louis Wood PhD
- Red, White & Black Documentary by Bertony Faustin Abbey Creek Vineyard
- The Weaponization of White Womanhood – Jesse Daniels (On the Media May 29, 2020 and Book)
- Just Mercy – Warner Bros. making free for streaming. Book available too
- The System was Built to Break Black People – Rodney Foxworth, June 2, 2020
- The World Demands a New Business Model – Mary Anne Harmer – May 2020 – a focus on leadership
- That’s Not How That Works podcasts on white privilege and space for white people to learn
- Cheat More – TEDx PDX where to spend your money and why – Stephen Green
- The Other Epidemic We Must Suppress – White Supremacy Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, Head of Partnerships and Strategic Growth, B Lab Global. June 2020
- and more, please add on twitter of facebook
…a man hears what he want to hear, and disregards the rest-Simon & Garfunkel
Two years later, as a business advocate I help other businesses lead with an equity centered lens. To measure and improved social and environmental impacts, write Benefit Reports and ultimately certify if that is the goal.
Kim at Mighty Epiphyte is a Connector, Collaborator and Catalyst for good! We helps company leaders and supporters measure and improve impacts, connect to stakeholders, vendors, communities, and clients through raising value systems and doing well while doing good. Well versed in Benefit Corporations for good and B Lab version 6 for B Corp, we also nurture companies through certification processes while building custom templates and doing the heavy lifting! @mightyepiphyte – firstname.lastname@example.org Help your customers find you through the good you do in the world!
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