Dr. King, and Sitting in Difficult Truths

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a chance each year to reflect and take action on the work that still needs to be done for racial equality. While Dr. King is rightfully held up as a legendary and inspirational figure, this often results in him being seen as a more-than-human icon, memorialized in carefullyContinue reading “Dr. King, and Sitting in Difficult Truths”

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno (No No No)” – What Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Might Have to Offer Your Team

If you enjoy the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda (or you have children in your house who devour Disney movies) you may be familiar with Disney’s latest animated movie; their 60th, Encanto. Following the viewpoint character of Mirabel – the only member of the family Madrigal not to receive the gift of a magical talent –Continue reading ““We Don’t Talk About Bruno (No No No)” – What Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Might Have to Offer Your Team”

“Less” or “Fewer”? What Does “Correcting” Language and Grammar Do?

“I think you mean fewer, not less.” “It should be compared with, not compared to…” When’s the last time you remember someone correcting your language or grammar? How often have you had this experience as an adult? Perhaps you use a cultural vernacular which seems to generate a particular reaction in your work community. IfContinue reading ““Less” or “Fewer”? What Does “Correcting” Language and Grammar Do?”

Poison Ivy Privilege, Revisited

In New England, where I live now, poison ivy is commonplace. But in the UK, where I grew up, there is none. So unlike many New Englanders, I didn’t grow up with regular exposure to poison ivy; nor did I grow up looking out for it, or being able to identify it with a “leavesContinue reading “Poison Ivy Privilege, Revisited”

Who’s In Your “Human Library”?

In her TEDx Talk “What Does My Headscarf Mean To You?“, mechanical engineer, writer and activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied notes that people are often surprised to learn that she designed race cars and ran her university’s racing team. They’re equally surprised to learn that she trained as a boxer for five years. Both break the stereotypeContinue reading “Who’s In Your “Human Library”?”

Workplace Empathy in the New Academic Year

If you have children of any age – or if you are a student or an educator yourself – the beginning of a new academic year always brings a new schedule, which itself brings new challenges, for the student and everyone else in your household. For many households, this is the first time a studentContinue reading “Workplace Empathy in the New Academic Year”

Using People-First Language for Dignity and Respect

Academia and business are different worlds, with different goals and day-to-day work. And yet, after working at Harvard for 15 years, I find that a lot of the work that resonates with clients most comes from the academic world. Recently I was reminded of the concept of “people-first language” by a Black student, who postedContinue reading “Using People-First Language for Dignity and Respect”

Being A Signal Booster – Amplifying Others’ Voices

How often have you read or heard about inequality, marginalization, or hate crimes against an identity group of which you are not a part, and been left wondering “but what can I do?” If your own life experiences are different than those experiencing these acts, it can be easy to miss the full context and scope; toContinue reading “Being A Signal Booster – Amplifying Others’ Voices”

Juneteenth, Black Wall Street, and Honoring Complicated History

A few weeks ago – May 31 and June 1 – brought the centennial of the Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst single incidents of racial violence in American history. Mobs of White residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and destroyed homes and businesses in 35 squareContinue reading “Juneteenth, Black Wall Street, and Honoring Complicated History”

On the Lookout for Moments of Iteration

The difference between intention and impact has been on my mind a lot in recent months. I have been an observer – and a participant – in a number of interactions where someone’s words were unintentionally hurtful to others. But their good intentions didn’t make the impact any less hurtful to the people affected. These interactions can leave bothContinue reading “On the Lookout for Moments of Iteration”