A practical guide to address race in the workplace
For too long, the workplace has outsourced the uncomfortable work of addressing systemic racism to the police, politicians, talk show hosts, celebrities, red carpet sound bites and "reality" TV. It's time for change. The workplace is the perfect place to constructively address race because it's where hundreds of thousands of people gather daily to pursue a shared purpose. And it's often the first or only place people interact with others from a different race or cultural background. Regardless of our hierarchical position within an organization, we each can take a stand. Systemic racism can only be addressed with systemic change.
But you can't solve what you can't talk about.
Talking about race in the workplace has been taboo for so long. That's why organizations must ready their environments-at both the individual and enterprise levels-before diving headfirst. The inner work of raising our own awareness and creating new ways of thinking and being, and the outer work organizations must perform to develop and implement strategies, initiatives, policies and practices to reimagine a racially equitable workplace are journeys, not programs.
The Business of Race is a practical guide for business leaders and employees alike who are struggling with both how to talk about race and what to do about it. The book offers concrete ways businesses large and small can make positive, sustainable changes to bring more racial diversity, inclusion and equity to the workplace. Readers will learn more than a half-dozen tools that bring an asset view of race, rather than a deficit view, such as SOAR and growth mindset. Readers will also learn to reach for familiar tools they use nearly every day, such as strategic planning and project management, to implement other priorities and apply them to the deeply complex, emotional and intimidating dynamic of race in the workplace. But don't confuse accessibility with ease. This is hard work.
Woven throughout are interviews from more than two dozen business professionals across diverse industries, fields, and organizational levels. Their stories are not meant to be formulaic. Rather, they bring voice to the challenges and opportunities businesses face everyday and give the reader the courage they need to embark on or continue their own race journey.