Failing to speak up against racism is lazy allyship

The once popular white ally safety pin. (Source: Canva.com)

Perhaps people would be less afraid to say the wrong things if we normalized being honest about racism when we see it. Many white people are afraid of being called-out, or worse — cancelled, for saying or doing something racist. Ibram X Kendi’s assertion that everyone is capable of racist thoughts and actions, or the fact that unconscious bias is a normal byproduct of human brain functioning don’t seem to offer sufficient solace to inspire action.

White folks are so scared…


The consequences of downsizing before the pandemic

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What I miss the most is the $5000 solid copper soaking tub. I literally had a house built around the Victorian replica tub, the second floor at least. My glorious tub was craned in before the roof was built. But alas, I never moved into that house. A series of bizarre twists helped me realize that I didn’t need another giant house at that moment just because society said that’s what success looked like.

Shifting from a mansion to an apartment was a wild transition. I grew up affluent without being rich. I still have hardworking parents with doctorate degrees…


Surviving the ultimate heartbreak

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No parent should ever have to outlive their child. Nonetheless, child mortality has been part of the human story from the very beginning. Origin stories the world over, describe this awful reality that no degree of civilization or technological advancement can eradicate.

I’m not an expert in child loss, but I’ve been pregnant 10 times and have three living children. My third child is my rainbow baby — a child born after a pregnancy loss or infant loss. As a result of my experiences as a birth doula and having lost so many pregnancies, I’ve recently embarked on a death…


A Spoon Theory primer from a spoonie

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If you’ve never heard of a spoonie, it’s a person, often with invisible mental or physical disabilities and conditions that affect daily functioning. Any chronic illness ushers you into the spoonie club. Frequent migraines, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and anxiety are among the myriad debilitating diagnoses that impair the flow of life for sufferers.

Spoon Theory

The term spoonie comes from Spoon Theory, which was coined by award-winning blogger and patient advocate, Christine Miserandino. She wanted to explain the challenges inherent to people living with Lupus. The problem is that people with invisible conditions often appear healthy and able-bodied. This makes it hard for…


Spoiler alert: It’s impossible

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Imagine the sound of chalk screeching down a chalkboard. For the generations who grew up with whiteboards; recall the sound of someone pulling a fork across their teeth as they finish shoveling in that last bite. Now you have a sense of my visceral response to the throngs of people who say they want to “get it right” when referring to their diversity strategies. The flip side of that coin, being afraid to get diversity ‘wrong,’ is no less frustrating.

It’s not that I lack compassion nor the capacity to comprehend the sentiment. The problem is that fear of failure…


Notes on a 30 year journey into the light

One of my superpowers is seeing arguments from all sides. It’s what makes me good at my diversity work building bridges between people across differences. As transparent as I tend to be about my journey, I am aware of the risk of sharing that I was once, however briefly, a full blown antivaxxer.

I don’t always have to internalize a rationale or perspective to understand why people believe what they do. People’s feelings and perspectives are valid, even if they are misguided. I like to hope that each of us has evolved in some way, over time, that causes us…


Embracing compassion in the midst of cancel culture

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Call-out culture is exemplified in the public shaming of people online, at work, and in the media. Call-out culture is the dirty underbelly of social justice movements. Cancel culture is the extreme end of call-out culture. The continuum moves from calling-in, through calling-out, to cancelling. Cancelling is the full on boycott and ostracizing of people and brands. Not long ago, my compassionate heart believed there was no place for public shaming, but my dear friend and professional associate, Lily Zheng, taught me otherwise. The truth is, brands respond to being called-out. …


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I had a few pets growing up, but the Army Brat lifestyle and parents who aren’t really pet people meant rehoming our animals with more stationary families. My teenage daughter and I decided on a Yorkshire terrier early in the pandemic for its manageable size and it’s fun-loving temperament. I was also in the market for a service dog, so I thought a pandemic would be a good time to dedicate to the years long training that’s required to certify one.

1. Discipline creates order

Having a new puppy means that some of the spontaneity of life has to take a back seat. Not…


Don’t let your allyship fizzle out with the protests

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The lynching of George Floyd created a catalyzing moment that galvanized a long overdue movement. Millions of people and institutions had been working against systemic racism, some for decades, before our pandemic attention shifted to a heinous onscreen murder. We all became witnesses and our hearts broke. For some of us, it was a fresh heartbreak, the ripping open of a very old wound. For many, it was a wake-up call to the dormant reality that racism is alive and thriving in the United States and beyond.

What we witnessed in the weeks that followed was a civil rights reboot…


Speak your truth and don’t compromise your values…or your value

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Antiracism and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) make up the core of my professional work. I’ve written four books on the aforementioned topics and often wondered whether my reticence to mince words would ever backfire. I recently came close to losing a pretty valuable speaking engagement at a very successful company because its CEO did not like that one of my posts supported reparations for African Americans.

The circumstances were unusual because the speaking event was booked through a third-party diversity consultancy. The consultancy had curated an inclusive speaker series for their client, of which I was the most…

Tiffany Jana

Non-binary Best-Selling Author, Bias Hunter, B Corp Founder, TEDx, Inc.com Top 100 Speaker, Skier, Pleasure Activist, Blue-Haired Maverick

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