White allies must make space for equity and inclusion

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Companies and boardrooms across America are replete with white people, often white men, terrified of losing their seat at the table to a Black person or a gender minority. I’ve witnessed countless confessions affirming this notion in my work as a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) leader. A recent series of decisions by ESPN left a couple of reporters exposed when a hot mic and recorded video captured white fear of reparations for all to see.

Reparations come in many forms. My favorites include baby bonds, free education, jubilee, and community reinvestment. When people think of reparations, they jump…

A personal ad/case for the single life

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Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. No, seriously. Marry a few people, date some folx— then let me know which works for you. Here I speak only of what works for me and what I’ve learned on the terrian. I was thrice swindled by the delusion of happily ever after before understanding that I’m nonbinary (enby) and have non-traditional relationship needs. So I traded in the fairytale for a fantasy of my own design — and it’s far more authentic and satisfying.

Here’s my imaginary personal ad (the modern equivalent is what, a dating app bio?). I forgot to…

Hazard pay for emotional tax included

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Droves of companies have reached out to my business looking for qualified employees of color since Black Lives Matter took center stage back in 2020. I work in the justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) field. My team helps companies calibrate inclusion with metrics-based accountability. We do not specialize in recruiting, but its tempting to consider now that formerly under-appreciated demographics are in super high demand — and recruiters can’t seem to find us anywhere.

Companies are under more pressure than ever to hire Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to avoid the appearance of corporate Blackwashing. This is…

And how to avoid becoming one

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You’ve got to admit it. You’ve been wondering whether it’s really you they hired. Did they even care about your skills and experience, or did they want a brown face to plaster all over social media announcing their new diversity hire? Some folks consider it an insult to be called a diversity hire. People want to be hired for their talent, not their demographic identities. As one internet troll recently asked, “Since when did race become a job qualification?” Do the same rules apply if the words diversity, equity, or inclusion are in your job title?

If this is you…

Demand accountability for the tokenize-and-discard culture

The CDO Golden Parachute (Source: Canva.com)

So you’ve just been offered that new diversity job, now what? If the first thing your employer does is schedule a headshot, be very afraid. Corporate Blackwashing is trending. People are disappearing their diversity hires almost immediately after they score the LinkedIn-woke-washing optics victory with their BIPOC executive hires plastered on our timelines. It’s time to subvert this trend and start protecting our people. Severance is for all valued employees.

Leveraging bias in service of inclusion

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Black people and female founders are the least likely to get funded by private equity. A paltry 0.64% of total venture capital investment between 2018 and 2019 went to Black and Latinx women combined. I know this from statistical research and from personal experience. I believe that if machines are the messengers, investors and corporate customers may be more likely to trust our expertise and our products.

The diversity, equity, inclusion(DEI) and human resources (HR) fields are overrepresented by women and people of color. By sheer virtue of experience and numbers, we are the experts in these and related fields…

Optimizing performative inclusion for maximum (Wall)Street cred

Your CDO is over it. (Source: Canva.com)

In order to avoid corporate Blackwashing after the Antiracist summer of 2020, your company decided to hire a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). Marketing was thrilled to plaster their brown face all over social media as part of the corporate wokeness media campaign. The CDO salary was more than you wanted to pay, but leadership insisted that since everyone else was hiring diversity leadership, you should, too.

Hiring a person of color for a diversity leadership position is a great idea. I know some highly qualified CDOs who can’t get hired because they are too white for business’ Linkedin check-out-our-new-BIPOC-executive campaign…

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.

BIPOC folks don’t get to opt out of oppression, and true allies don’t give up because things get hard.

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…

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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