Where are my St. Louis people? Join me tomorrow at 7 p.m. when I sit down with Minda Harts, author of the now best-selling book The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table. Harts has been crisscrossing the country promoting the book and, no doubt, collecting stories for her next one. In The Memo , she breaks down exactly how women of color get lost in the leadership pipeline, how typical leadership advice fails them, and what everyone, including white allies of all genders, can do about it. Our conversation is courtesy of Saint Louis treasure Left Bank Books. Ticket and venue information below. See you there! Left Bank Books
Was racial profiling behind the mass panic at Newark Airport? The airport was evacuated last week after an Alaska Airline employee hit an alarm and yelled "evacuate," triggering a scene described as "confusion and chaos." But according to this reporting from Buzzfeed , the two Chinese-born men at the center of the incident claim they were racially profiled. The two men, who weren’t traveling together and didn’t know each other, say a uniformed airline employee approached them out of the blue and peppered them with an odd series of questions. "Why are you acting suspiciously?" "How much are they paying you?" "Did they give you a visa?" "Do you make a lot of money?" Han Han Xue, 29, is a product designer at Lyft, and Chunyi Luo, is a 20-year-old student. Both currently live in the Bay area. Buzzfeed News
A 'Dateline' report on criminal justice reform gets an unusual response from President Trump It was an honest look at mass incarceration, capped by a visit to Louisiana State Prison, where host Lester Holt spent two nights locked up in maximum security. While inside, he had a series of important conversations with people involved in all aspects of the prison, including some now-elderly men who were locked up for crimes they committed as teenagers. In a there-by-the-grace-of-the-higher-power-of-your-choice moment, Holt even accompanied incarcerated men to their hard labor in the fields. The prison’s nickname is Angola, as a nod to the country of the formerly enslaved people who once worked the same patch of land. "I certainly can’t escape the optics, look around, mostly black men, working on a former slave plantation, under the watch of armed guards on horseback," he said, while picking carrots. Bryan Stevenson offers important commentary. But all of that went by the wayside when the president tweeted out a stream of complaints that the show failed to credit him for signing legislation that reduced mandatory minimum sentences in some cases. (It did.) He also attacked artist/activist John Legend who appeared in the show, and his "filthy-mouthed" wife, Chrissy Teigen, which turned out to be a huge mistake. NBC Dateline
Walter Mosely: 'I am the n-word in the writer’s room' Novelist, screenwriter, and black national treasure Walter Mosely published this op-ed detailing a conversation he had with a human resources rep from the network where he was employed as a screenwriter. Someone had phoned in a complaint that he’d used the n-word in the room, a violation of their conduct. The word was used in the context of a story that happened to him; he was quoting verbatim—in character, I imagine—something said to him by a Los Angeles police officer, in a room of creative professionals whose job it is to create scenes. For those who don’t know Mosely’s work it is hard to explain just how extraordinary the complaint seems. "There I was, a black man in America who shares with millions of others the history of racism. And more often than not, treated as subhuman. If addressed at all that history had to be rendered in words my employers regarded as acceptable." He chose to quit, and can afford to. But the reason why is particularly on point. New York Times
Praying to St. Dymphna Writer Anne Thériault has written an extraordinary piece about a martyred teenaged saint who accidentally created a humane and effective mental health system. It’s one Thériault herself would have relished, she says. "I fantasized about a system where care is ongoing and mental health isn’t treated as a binary of ‘fine’ and ‘crisis;’ where patients are considered complex individuals rather than a list of dysfunctions; where clinicians understand the difference between staying alive and actually living." She has found it in Geel, a tiny Belgian city whose residents continue a centuries-long tradition of taking in "boarders," people with mental illnesses who come to get treatment while living integrated into the community. But Geel’s tradition of welcoming the mentally ill into their homes has a horrific origin story in the form of a seventh century Irish princess named Dymphna, a devout Christian who fled her homeland after her father went mad. What happens next is nothing short of a miracle. Broadview
Now that ‘white fragility’ has gone mainstream… Slate’s Lauren Michele Jackson takes the pulse of the white self-awareness movement, expertly stoked by whiteness studies professor, author, and now workshop guru, Robin DiAngelo. While her seminal book White Fragility still has value, it seems that adherents are having difficulty moving past the confessional phase to actual systemic change. None of this is new or surprising, and Jackson provides a helpful analysis of the long history of "whiteness" thinking. But she also offers an important critique: The lack of black scholarship in the white awareness community is fairly typical. But in DiAngelo’s work, it's a glaring omission. "Among all this work lies the suggestion that nonreciprocal expertise about white behavior, white history, white ethnics, and white sociality has always been mandatory for nonwhites in America," she writes. Simply put, for the "conversation" to evolve, the whiteness movement needs to accept the insights gathered by its first and best observers, who are black. Slate
'Dew glistens white on grass' today, soon it will be 'crickets chirp around the door' The Japanese calendar beautifully honors the moments in nature that mark the passing of time, with 72 kō, or microseasons, that last around five days. Although the seasons were inspired originally by the Chinese, they were re-written in 1685 by a court astronomer to, one assumes, more accurately reflect the Japanese aesthetic. It’s a lovely way to think about the world; for example, U.S. tax day falls during “first rainbows,” and my birthday is right in the middle of “peonies bloom.” Please mark your calendars. Nippon.com
Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.
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The Support of Her Company
How a company supports employees through the pivotal moments in their lives matters. ThriveXMIndex focuses on five key experiences (Career, Family, Health, Financial, and Time). Here, SAP SuccessFactors CMO Kirsten Allegri Williams shares how she reintegrated back to work after beating cancer. Watch the video
“You don’t get a Nobel prize for doing what you’re told.”