“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”

How Can You “Grow a Row” This Week?

My wife is an excellent gardener, and tends to our vegetable garden, growing a good portion of our food over the Summer months and beyond. This year, from twin desires of getting more connected with our local community and making a small contribution to address local food insecurity, she signed us up to join ourContinue reading “How Can You “Grow a Row” This Week?”

Using Optical Illusions to Challenge Our Biases

Are you familiar with the Ames Window Illusion? If not, you might want to take a few minutes to watch this recent video explaining the phenomenon, wherein a rotating trapezoid looks like it is instead wavering back and forth. This optical illusion, like so many others, tricks our brain into seeing something that isn’t accurate. But how does itContinue reading “Using Optical Illusions to Challenge Our Biases”