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May 26, 2022

Actions Speak Louder: Deanna Singh

Actions Speak Louder: Deanna Singh

Deanna Singh Author of Actions Speak Louder (Out This Week) Joins Crazy and the King.

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Actions Speak Louder:A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Inclusive Workplace. Deanna's mission is a crucial one: getting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the mainstream and practiced worldwide.  Meaningful change cannot happen without awareness and education, but not alone. 

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Production and Music: DJ Cellz





0:00:00.0 Torin Ellis: We've been about this work Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, shared through the voices of a white woman and a black man. We bring lived experiences. We have pursued D&I progress for most of our professional lives. We use Crazy and the King can to cover news, textural colleagues and host incredible guests. Listeners count on Julie and I to transparently drive the conversation. We thank you for rocking with us. Check it. Julie, kick off the show.


0:00:37.9 Julie Sowash: Welcome, welcome, welcome to Crazy and the King.


0:00:44.6 TE: If I got this right, we're celebrating some things in the month of May. I would say like, Military Appreciation month is one of those things that we're celebrating. We're celebrating... Hold on for a second, let me... I know, I have them kinda close. We're celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month. We are celebrating Jewish-American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month. And why do I know all of this? I know all of this because one, well, we try to stay up on the calendar J and two, the last time this guest was here, we actually talked about all of that stuff. And so, we are going to talk again to Deanna Singh in the month of May, a month that has a lot of data points for us to make reference to. So you can kinda get in where you fit in. How are you?

0:01:40.7 JS: Yeah, I'm good. May is also the celebration of the birth of my husband and my son, so...

0:01:48.3 TE: Okay.

0:01:48.4 JS: I have throw that in there, so the boys feel extra love. Very, very excited to have Deanna back on. She's got a new book out in May, actually May 31st, I believe is the release date. So this is a great timing to have her back on the show.

0:02:04.4 TE: So, share this with me. When we look at where we are this year, five months in, do you feel like we are seeing something different in the corporate corridor? Do you feel like people are showing up, being more active around their allyship, do you feel like people are voicing their concern, their happiness, if you will, their joy and participating in D&I, or are you hearing from your teammates because you have more teammates than I do? I mean, let's just call a spade a spade. You got far more teammates than I do, so all of my conversations are with clients. You get to have them with teammates that are working with clients. What are you hearing?

0:02:52.4 JS: Yeah, I mean, at least on the disability side, we're feeling more momentum, more action, more actual commitment than we've ever felt. It is a sea change for us certainly, and just trying to hold on to that level of openness and intensity that we're seeing in the companies that we work with right now, it's really for our team, just energizing right now. How about you?

0:03:21.0 TE: Well, when you use the word openness, elaborate on that.

0:03:26.7 JS: Oh, I think for such a long time, people have been unwilling or unable to talk about disability in the workplace, whether it's because they are fearful they're uncomfortable, certainly too scared to speak about their own disabilities, especially if they're hidden, and there's just a much more open conversation and willingness to learn and hear from each other in a way that, at least for my community, we haven't before.

0:03:52.1 TE: You know, I'm sitting here now, I wish I had the ability to Google faster, stay present with the camera and the mic, and distance, and all of those things, I wish I could do all of that seamlessly, but you just said something to me and it made me think for a moment, like, I'm not really aware of authors, of podcasters, of a lot of people in the disability community. Like, that's not a frame of reference for me. And so, you remember a couple of years ago when we were right around the same time, it might have been more March than April, but right around the same time, a couple of years ago, remember when I said, I'm gonna submit myself to 90 days of study... Studying and following hijabi women?

0:04:46.3 JS: Yes.

0:04:47.7 TE: I gotta do the same thing for the disability community. As much as I've grown over the last couple of years, just in that moment, when you said something around openness, I don't have a reference point. Like, I can't rattle off authors or podcasters or influencers or virtual souls in the disability space, except for a Judy Human or Carmen Daniels, and it's not minimizing either of them, it's just that I don't... Let me say it a different way. I personally don't know of a person in that community that's sort of the celebrated persona. Does that make sense?

0:05:31.8 JS: It does, it does. And I mean, if we're talking, it's May now, so 90 days, July is Disability Pride Month. So let's plan on you starting that for 90 days, and in July, we'll make sure that we celebrate some of those amazing authors, podcasters, advocates, leaders that are in my community.

0:05:54.2 TE: Okay, so I am. I'm making a note and real quick, I wanna just look at... We've talked about this, but there's that survey from Lean In that was done by SurveyMonkey, and it really was, in general, it was a snapshot of what white women or how white women felt in the workplace in terms of their allyship. Now, I'm saying this because I want listeners to understand, we're starting or asking the question hinged to that survey, but it's not only white women that we care about in terms of being a better ally, it's everyone. But that survey said from SurveyMonkey, 80... Actually it's not white women, I'm sorry, it's white employees, 80% of white employees view themselves as allies to women of color. But just 45% of black women and 55% of Latina women feel the same way.

0:06:57.0 TE: So there's a bit of disconnect, 80% of white employees feel like, "Yo, I'm being a great ally. Like, I'm super supportive. I'm there at the beck and call, I'm defending when needs... Defenses needed. I'm speaking up when voices needed". But black women and Latino women are not necessarily seeing the same. So I'm really looking forward to our conversation, because Deanna is gonna help us to better understand really what that whole allyship looks like when you are truly being active and an active participant. So, let's do a quick commercial and we can hop into our conversation.

0:07:35.9 JS: Alright, welcome back. So, after a year, year-and-a-half of almost two years, wow, of National reckoning on racial injustice, many companies have found themselves searching in vain for guidance on how to translate ideology into action, right? Not just writing checks, but doing the hard work of creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive work spaces. Deanna's new book, Actions Speak Louder, offers a blueprint for leaders and teams ready to look at their surroundings with new eyes, get out of their own way and turn their energy into a concrete plan.

0:08:17.6 TE: Into a concrete plan. And so for starters, I gotta tell you, Deanna, I absolutely love the cover. I love the cover of the book because you use the greater than sign. And anybody who knows me knows that I say the ROY of D&I is greater humanity. So when I saw that, I was like, No wonder she caught that for me. [laughter] And Deanna said, nah, she didn't get that from me, like, who are you? Like, she didn't get that from you. It's just another great mind, you know, just being simple and being... I don't know if that's iconography, I don't really know what that is, but I gotta tell you, I absolutely love the color, I love the colors of the book, and I love the title. Again, you are the author of Actions Speak Louder. It's actually gonna be through Penguin and Random House on May 31st, if I'm not mistaken. And you're no stranger to Crazy and The King, so how have you been?

0:09:13.4 Deanna Singh: I have been wonderful. It is always so lovely to see you, to hear you, to be part of the show and part of the conversation.

0:09:21.3 TE: I know, I get that often, I get that a lot. I get that often. I get that often.

0:09:25.0 DS: Thank you for acknowledging the cover. You know, it's interesting, this whole book writing process, but choosing the cover, choosing the title, all these little details you take for granted when you go and just pick up a book off the shelf, the many beautiful minds that come together in order for that to become a reality, it's a lot. [chuckle] So, thank you.

0:09:47.9 TE: Yeah, no, you are welcome. And I just wanna remind folks, no, you're not, you're not new to Crazy and the King, and you and I have had a number of conversations. You being a guest here. I know I've been a guest over there, we've talked in between that. We've sent some people to your conference, your big event that you do. I'm wondering, are you still leading? Because when I went to your website, I don't know, two years ago, and I went just this week as we were preparing for the show, flying elephant, uplifting impact, purposeful hustle and a few other interests. So, like, are you keeping that busy or has the book project and other developments got you a different type of busy?

0:10:30.9 DS: You know, it's so interesting because I think one of the things I love the most about in my title is the Chief Change agent of Flying Elephant, and that's the umbrella organization for four other social enterprises. So we have the Children's book imprint, that storyteller books, we have the doula services, that's Birth Coach Wonky. We have Purposeful Hustle, which is Where we do a lot of leadership development, and then we have Uplifting Impact where we do our diversity, equity, and inclusion work. For sure, the work that I do in uplifting impact is a majority of the work that I'm doing at my daily basis, but nobody's gonna take me away from those other three, because I'm too passionate about them, right? And they're too intricately woven into the work that we do. So, right now on my phone, I have just a couple of numbers that can come through, one is my family, my husband and my kids, and the second is actually a mom that's gonna go into labor any moment now, so... Right? Even though... And I'm literally recording from the studio as we're recording the Audible book to complement the Action Speak Louder book. So are all of them happening at the same time? Yes, because I think that they're too intricately woven together to walk away from them.

0:11:41.9 TE: You know what? J, it would be wonderful for us to probably get like a doula, not that Deanna wouldn't serve as a good voice in that space, but... You remember when we did the story, we talked about Walmart paying for the doula services for their employees, remember when we did that?

0:12:00.2 JS: I do, I do.

0:12:01.6 TE: And you know... And so, now I'm looking at and listening to Deanna and her emphatic interest in that service and the fact that she's got a mother right now in the wings, when we think about healthcare and scare the too many, far too many black women experience in that process, I really do think that it would be interesting for us to see if we can find a doula to maybe talk about how that might be a service? Last thing that I'll say about that, and the reason why I think that that's interesting is, because for so long, I've said to clients, we have to re-evaluate how we put benefit packages together for women.

0:12:42.8 JS: Yeah.

0:12:43.1 TE: I want them to have something that is a bit more germane, special, just really applicable to them. Yes, I want us to be exclusionary in what we are putting together rather than making them pick from some big menu of men-related... I don't even know the right words and language, but Deanna maybe you can help, Julie and I identify a strong doula that can talk about that being part of a benefit package that we could interview on the... Hopefully, I can leave that seed with you and maybe you'll drop us an email, after you give that some thought.

0:13:24.0 DS: Absolutely, the only problem is gonna be, I know hundreds of amazing doulas, who would love to talk for hours about this. Because it's true, right? When we think about health disparities, and I won't go... I know this is not what we signed up for today, but you know, when we think about some of these health disparities and we think about what little... Sometimes it's couched in these terms as if they are these huge things that have to happen. I mean, a doula service can cost you anywhere between what, $500 and $1200, but it's 99%, you're 99% less likely to have a traumatic event during the birthing experience. I don't know, that seems like a very cost-effective way for us to be able to manage and eliminate these disparities, right? So, not only do I assuringly advocate for it, but I also think that it is not a heavy lift, it is something that is reasonable.

0:14:16.0 DS: I think if people were more educated on what it is and what it does... You know, right now, people... Even people within different communities, think that it's only for people who are wealthy. And we have to eliminate that mindset, because it's such a powerful and helpful thing, not even just for the person who's going through the birthing experience and their family, but also for the healthcare providers. I mean, if we haven't seen it clear as day over the last couple of years where healthcare providers are being pulled apart. I don't know what... I don't know how else to say it, right? There are the demands on their time and what they have to do and what they have to accomplish, and you just think about how fast and slow the delivery process can be, right? One of the biggest advocates I have for people who appreciate doula services are the nurses who are in that room, because they know that they can provide a higher quality service, right, when they're actually in those spaces. So, I know you didn't ask me, but that's my... Those are some of my summation thoughts, but I am very, very happy to share some names with you, 'cause I just want this conversation... If we can elevate that conversation, it would make such a difference for so many people.                           

0:15:23.8 JS: Yeah, I mean, a critically important conversation, and I do agree, a lot of it is just lack of knowledge about the opportunity and who can afford and have access to such services, especially if we can get employers to provide it. So, speaking of women, let's just kinda hop right in, right? So we've got terms like impostor syndrome, Lean In, liberated territory, seat at the table, all are phrases that I know women, including myself have used and our allies use, but we tend to hear them differently. What does shifting one's relationship with power look like to you?

0:16:04.6 DS: So, first of all, I love the fact that you used the word power, right? And especially if you connect power back to the words, whoever has the power gets to define... And gets to define what words mean, right? And so, I think that it's really important when we're thinking about this connection between any of the words that you just said, seat at the table, lean in, in any of those things, that we think about who's saying them, what the intention is behind what they're saying and what they're trying to accomplish with what those words mean. Right? Because in different context they mean very different things. So I have heard, and I'm not to pick on or anything like that, I appreciate all the research that comes, especially out of this organization, but I've lean in used in ways that are both... In a way that support me as a woman of color, and I've also heard it used as a way that actually demeans me. Right?

0:16:54.1 DS: And I'll give you an example. So Deanna, you know what, this person... You haven't gotten the raise, you haven't gotten the promotion. I know you're doing all the work, I know that other people who are not doing as much or don't have as high caliber are moving faster than you, you know what, you just need to lean into that though, right? You just gotta hold on and lean into that. Is that an ally. No, no. Right? When other people say though, Deanna... And again, I'm just using the words, 'cause everybody uses it differently, right, same words. You know what, it seems like you have something that you really wanna say, it seems like you have something that you could add to this conversation. It seems like you're holding back, but I think that your opinions are really important. I think that what you have to say is... You should lean into that. Is that an ally? Yeah. But you see how those two words, depending on who says them and what context they say them in and how it's used, how it can actually be used in a way that distributes power, and another one that like, pulls power away.

0:17:57.5 JS: And I think there's a long litany of words that we could go through, phrases that have been, I'm gonna say, hijacked, for lack of a better word...

0:18:08.4 DS: Oh, yeah.

0:18:08.5 JS: That do take power, that do end up empowering the exact people that we don't want to be empowered. So, I love that example, because I've also seen it in both ways as a way to disempower women, especially almost entirely probably in the workplace

0:18:29.0 TE: And I wanna know, when I think about where we are right now in the work, I asked Julie earlier in the show, is she seeing more as we are five months into the year of 2022? And I personally feel like it's important that we do far more interrogation around corporate leaders, commitment and authentic interest in D&I work effort journey, I'll even use word initiative, I tend to not like that word because it's a temporary word, if you will. But I think it's important that we do a bit more interrogation around the corporate leaders position around such, equally as important is that we interrogate founders and consultants and others like myself, like you, that are playing outside of corporate America, but trying to get into corporate America. And the reason why I think it's important is because I just think that there may be a low barrier to entry, there may be some catalytic event that has caused people to say, I wanna be in that space. Let's go with the old phrase we know, chasing an ambulance. I just think that it's time that we do a bit more interrogation. And so, if you agree with me, how do you maybe structure some of those questions, the conversation to determine, are they authentically interested? Are they really going to push or are they gonna be the consultant that's just a rubber stamp, where do you sit on that position? 

0:20:11.8 DS: Yeah, so I think I have a lot of thoughts in my head, but I'll try and organize them in a way that listeners may be able to understand where I'm coming from. So, I do think that it requires a tremendous amount of interrogation and constant interrogation. I think, I was doing a session yesterday as I was talking about bubbles. I wrote this book for American girl. In the book, we talk a lot about bubbles and how do you expand your bubbles? And we talked about how you diversify your thinking and how you get out of it, and then someone said, "Well, sometimes don't we do it for survival?" And I really... I wrestled with that all night long, I was actually up in the middle of the night, I'm gonna send an email to this person because it was such a good question, and I was like, "Yeah, absolutely." There have been times in my life where in order for me to survive, I had to bust my bubble, I had to step out of my comfort zone, that is a very real experience for people who are in marginalized communities, right? I couldn't succeed in corporate America, I couldn't succeed in my educational attainment if I didn't step out. 

0:21:13.0 DS: In order to, call it safety, call it whatever. I had to step out of that comfort zone. That was not a nice to have, right? And so, we have to be careful. And even as I was thinking, I was like, you know what, I have done a lot of centering of dominant groups in some of the ways that I talk about these experiences or how we push it. Because if I have been thinking not just in the dominant way, I would have been... I would have brought that point out myself, right? It wouldn't have had to come through your question. And so, I think the constant interrogation, I don't care who you are, if you're not doing it, then you're not doing the work. And I really appreciate Torin, when you were like, "You know what, I'm gonna use the next 90 days to think about what I can learn more about in the ability space." That's powerful. That's powerful coming from you. Because, a lot of people look to you as a leader in this space. But I think we have to model that kind of behavior. If someone comes and looks at the books at my bedside, they'd be like, "What is this girl? What is she doing? What is happening?"

0:22:10.2 DS: 'Cause I try to find things that are going to constantly push me, constantly push my and elevate my thinking so that I don't get stuck in my own biases. I even have a phrase I use with my team and I'll be like, "You know what, I feel like I might be bringing some biases to the table, but I don't know what they are, 'cause that's what biases do they hide on you, they're real sneaky. Do you see anything that I'm doing right now in this moment? Can you please call me out on it." We have to create that culture. So, that's what I think from a personal perspective as a practitioner of this, is that I don't take it lightly, I make mistakes all the time. I'm looking for people to point out my mistakes, I'm looking to point out my own mistakes because I think that's what makes us strong in this work. When it comes to thinking about organizations and holding people accountable, there's a list of questions that I didn't always ask that now I am asking, and I'll share what those are. Because this, I think gets to your question of like, what does it mean if somebody is genuinely in this work, authentically in this work? 

0:23:07.3 DS: And here are some of the questions, how much money are you putting in this? What's this budget look like? And how is it compared to other priorities that you have in the organization? 'Cause if you can't answer that question, or if you haven't thought about that question, then I don't know if you're really serious. And this isn't just about a money game, this isn't a whatever, but if you came and told me I'm gonna put a new product out to market, believe me you would have a budget associated with that, right? If you came and said, "You know what, internally, we're gonna use a different kind of a CRM system, or we're gonna use a different kind of HR system, 'cause we wanna change the culture of how people report in our organization." You would have a budget for that. So, if you don't have a budget for this work that we're doing in diversity equity and inclusion, then I don't know that you're serious. So, I think that's one big tell-tale sign. And I think we used to get away with it, with people not having a budget. I think another thing is, how are you resourcing, not just financially, but how are you resourcing with time.

0:24:06.5 DS: Is everybody just doing this on a volunteer basis, or have you really structured some real time for people, and when they take the time, are you using that as an opportunity to elevate them, or is this just another extra thing they gotta do because of the color of their skin, because they're a woman, or because they identify with the LGBTQ+ community, or is this really part of their professional growth and you see it as part of the culture of the organization and you're adding value to it. So, it's about resources, it's about how you are prioritizing, I don't know if that's the right word, but it's almost like the prestige you're giving to it within the organization, are you actually adding that kind of value to it, do that... Like social capital value, like the financial capital or the social capital. And then are you providing the research, do they have enough time? Is it realistic? And then I guess the last thing, and that's not something you can really ask, you just gotta watch in their behaviors, is what I tell you, or I show you and I give you the data to prove that something is not aligned with your values. Are you really gonna make a change? That comes a lot, kinda further through the process.

0:25:12.1 JS: Yeah, we always call that, are you interested, or are you committed? And it comes through all of those things. You can't do a project without money, resources, and the willingness to grow and change when the data tells us otherwise, I love that. And I remember from our last conversation, the last time you were on the show, I just felt sort of mesmerized by your payer storytelling, everything feels like you're taking me on a journey. And Ava DuVernay says that the story wants... The story knows what it wants to be, it just needs a teller. So, what made you the right woman, the right leader, the right vessel to tell the story at this time?

0:25:57.1 DS: First of all, the fact that you just said that gave me goosebumps because I think I mentioned, I'm doing the audible book right now, and so I'm re-telling a lot of stories. And the story that I start the book with is actually a story that's a very personal story that I had never really talked about publicly, and it's a family story, and it is one that was hard for me, and I wrestled. I have three different openings for the book that I could have used. And I wrestled with whether or not I had the ability to tell that story. One, 'cause it stirs up emotions in me that are hard, that are real emotions. Two, because it's a story of my family and my ancestors, and so could I tell it in a way that would honor our family. And who gave me the authority to do that? So, it's so kind of you to say that, especially right now, in this moment, because I'm definitely like, "Please, I hope I am the right one. I don't even know if I can claim it, I hope I am the right one." But I do think that one of the things that I always come back to when I have those moments of like, am I the right one?

0:27:15.6 DS: How did I get this privilege to be able to do this, is that I do think that the combination of experiences that I've had, just the uniqueness of being able to be in all these different sectors, to have had this, the right of diversity from birth, all the way through and being that person who was always building the bridges. I just feel like life is affording me a number of opportunities, I also cannot finish this answer without saying, I was also just really fortunate to be brought up with a bunch of storytellers. Magnificent storytellers, people who understood that sometimes when you hit somebody with something and you wanna get something across or you wanna do something, you don't just come at them and, right there. The way that you can do it is by helping them see themselves in a story, that you are a part of other people's stories, and they are part of your stories. And if you can't remember that, if you forget that, if you think the story is that you the only character in the story, or you're the only, what's pinpoint? If you lose that, then you lose out on the power of what you can really do and what you can teach and what you can learn from storytelling.

0:28:21.8 TE: So Deanna, I'm curious. You feel that now is the right time to release this work into the space, but you struggled a bit. You were your own worst critic, you were going through a number of revisions, you had to wrestle with wanting to keep so much in the book and having to pull it out. How do you feel now? I mean, I know it's a bit of celebration, you know, it's hidden in the shelves. You're doing the audio version, you'll probably have a speaking tour attached to it in some way, you'll be able to create more cohort Mastermind classes. The pathway forward is brighter, beautiful. But it wasn't always that way. What did you do to ground yourself to say, I'm gonna be free and I'm gonna let this thing go. Like I'm gonna release it, I gotta stop being that critic, what did you do to set yourself free so that we can enjoy your guidance?

0:29:33.0 DS: I think one really big thing is I surrounded myself with people who could be there in those moments of thought. And so there's no way, not just the cover Torin, not just the cover, everything about that book and everything in it required a group of people, people that I trust, people that I know care, who are passionate, who believe in this work, who see it on a daily basis, who could tell me when it didn't land the right way or the story didn't come through or I was missing something. And so, I think one is, just knowing that the people around me and surrounding myself with people like you all, who care and who genuinely want to see real change and transformative change. So, the first thing I would just say is like, writing a book is not as a little sport. And if anybody out there thinks that it is, I just wanna make it real clear, it is not a solo sport. I get to have my name on that cover, I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do that, but pay attention to all the people that are listed in the attributions, in the gratitude and the dedication pages 'cause that's real talk, real people who help.

0:30:41.7 DS: So that's one thing. The second thing is, at the end of the day, everything that I try to do who is about shifting power to marginalized communities, that is literally my purpose. Everything I do. And so whenever I got stuck, whenever I got frustrated, whenever I got tired. That's the other thing, right? It is tiring, and there were moments where I was like, if I have to listen to this or read this sentence one more time or two. You get tired, just really, really, really tired. And I think that for me, what always just kinda brought me back out of that rut, in addition to the wonderful people around me, was just this fact that when you have a book, there is no telling the power of that book. All of us have had... We've gone to a speech, we've heard somebody talk, we've watched something and it's changed, and we've write something that has changed our lives. A book can go places I will never be able to go, in rooms I will never be able to go to, on night stands and with people who I will never get to have a conversation with.

0:31:47.2 DS: And if for some reason, through all the ways the magic works in the world, they get a copy of it and it makes a difference and they're able to change the culture so that people can show up more authentically at work and therefore live a more healthy life, therefore have bring healthy babies into the world, therefore do what they need to do in their community, therefore solve for the issues that we have that are perplexing us because they feel confident that they can share their ideas and be respected. Well, dang, okay, Deanna, what you complaining about this sentence for, pull it together. Let's go, girl. You gotta get this done. And so, those were the pep talks in the moments, those were the things, because I know for a fact, I have seen it. This is not something I made up. I have seen it in my own work, when people do the stuff that's listed in the book, it forever changes the organization. And if forever changes people's sense of themselves in the world. How could I stop?

0:32:46.7 TE: How could I stop? Like how could I stop. J, did you see her light up when she said, "Dang, girl." Did you see her light up, I love that. She really was in that moment, sharing with us what one of those moments felt like. There are some takeaways, why don't you list a couple of them, Julie, so that Deanna can speak to 'em.

0:33:10.2 JS: Yeah, so some of the books takeaways, gaining buy-in from stakeholders at every level of the company for DEI. Designing and implementing inclusive policies, all the way from job advertisements and how we write them to conducting performance interviews.

0:33:31.4 DS: Absolutely. If you go through the book, somebody asked me this question the other day, what can people expect when they get out of the book? You can expect that there is no excuses. No like, "Oh, I don't know what I should do. I'm not sure what the first... " It's not that everything is listed, that's impossible. Every organization has different things going on, different priorities, different cultures, different things they're trying to achieve, but there's no way that you can pick up the book and set it back to... And read it. I mean, you can pick it up and put it back down again and then get nothing out of it, but if you pick it up and you actually read it with the intention of taking some actions, there's no way that you can walk away without having something that you could do immediately.

0:34:09.1 TE: You know, I love the take aways Deanna and I wanna challenge you in one way, and I don't know where this comes from, so receive it from me, certainly out of love, observation and love. On the website for the book, down at the bottom, when we look at the reference to job advertisements, they say on the website, inclusive job advertisements, because quote, "Minorities just don't apply here. Isn't an excuse, you're just not reaching them." I don't know if that's an actual quote, if it's an actual quote, then good, the integrity is there, but if it's some language that Penguin house put together to market the power of what you have in the book, can we please recommend that they change that from minorities to underestimated, to under-represented, to marginalized, but let's use some language, like you said earlier, let's use language that doesn't take power away from us, the ones that we want to apply. Let's make sure that we leave them feeling powerful and welcomed and all of that. So, I would only ask that you look at that, is that a fair ask of me?

0:35:19.2 DS: It is a fair ask, but you know why it's in quotes, because it's a direct quote.

0:35:22.8 TE: Because it's a direct quote, which I said, so the integrity is there, the integrity there.

0:35:27.9 DS: But you know what, it's so wonderful that you said that because one of the things that I really struggled with in the book is like, how do we talk about under-represented populations and what does that look like? So, one of the first things that happened in the book, I just read this part. Were you in the studio with me? But I just read this definition in the book where we talk about under-represented, and I say, you know, in the book, I might use... Just from stylistic reasons, I might use different words, but let me be really clear about what I mean by under-represented. I mean under-represented in your organization as compared to what is happening outside of your organization. Because again, it is one of those words we throw around a lot of different words, and we think that they're... They mean the same thing, but they really don't. And so that word, I would say, that's about two weeks in my life, just writing that little bitty paragraph, trying to figure out how do I do this in a way that doesn't get people stuck, because that doesn't help us either.

0:36:22.5 DS: If we're so worried about the words that we're using, that we can't even have a conversation. Then we're gonna have another kind of problem, which I think it's hard, but it's a hard line, it's a really hard line to balance. And so in there, I can't wait for you to read that chapter and read that section, and tell me what I could have done better. Let me put it like that. But I really tried to be like, "This is what I mean. This is why I'm using it." There was a whole other edit of it that was like, "And this is why it's inappropriate, and this is why we're gonna continue to use it." It got edited, a lot of it got edited out, but I hope the heart of it is still there, that... It's challenging, it's not easy.

0:37:01.2 TE: The heart of it is still there. The book, Actions Speak Louder, is designed for teams to read together, equipping them to come up with shared behaviors that advance an inclusive culture at work. As Deanna Singh has seen time and time again with the right tools, the right attitude, right temperament, right approach, observation with the right whole bunch of stuff, any organization can change meaningfully from the inside out. And we need you to change first inside, so that you can show us on the outside that you genuinely and authentically care. Deanna, your second time on Crazy and The King, we absolutely thank you. And we know that you will be back. Thank you so much.

0:37:45.3 DS: Well, thank you so much for having me, and thanks for all that you do, it's an honor.

0:37:49.1 JS: Alright, let's hop in to our last break. Thanks, Deanna.

0:37:55.4 TE: Cool, I will... Her voice segment where we amplify women making moves, we wanna kinda stay with the theme, and so I'm gonna run these three off very quickly, but this is one where instead of us highlighting specific women, we're giving you a bit of homework. And so in this particular episode, of her voice, we want to one, apply Black women that have authored business books, consider grabbing a copy, prominently showcasing that on your next team or Zoom call, and consider How Exceptional Black Women Lead by Avis A. Jones-DeWeever or Lead From the Outside by Stacey Abrams. The second thing that I want you all to consider doing is listening to some podcast content by Muslim women. Here's a suggestion? Boss Hijabi Preneur a podcast by Halimah DeOliveira, I know I messed that up. But Halima DeOliveira, DeOliveira. Halima DeOliveira, how about that? Anyway, find her Boss Hijabi Preneur.

0:39:04.4 TE: Why don't you do that for us? Have a listen, and she teaches folks how to build six and seven-figure businesses, and I've listened to five episodes and walked away with the a jewel from each episode, and then last but not least, the hosts of Dear White Women, another podcast. And the authors of the book, Dear White Women, Let's Get Uncomfortable Talking about Racism, Misasha Suzuki Graham and Sara Blanchard. You've gotta listen to their podcast, you have to listen to how those two white women have a conversation around race, being uncomfortable in a way that Julie and I can't do it. In a way that Deanna and Julie can't do it, in a way that Deanna and her partner and other peers in her organization can't do it. Those two white women can take you on a place where we can't, and it's important for you to get your information from a variety of trusted sources.

0:40:07.7 JS: And a perfect way to close out our guests this week, our quote of the week is, "Passion is often masked as a luxury, when it is really an essential ingredient of life," by Deanna Singh.

0:40:20.5 TE: And I close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe, find your voice, be a better human, let's build better teams, better cultures and better places. For now, watch this. For now, Jay, Deanna and I are ghosts.

0:40:36.5 JS: See ya.


Deanna SinghProfile Photo

Deanna Singh

Chief Change Agent / Author / Mom

Deanna Singh wants to live in a world where marginalized communities have power. As an expert social entrepreneur, she is obsessed with making the world a better place, and she will build or break systems to create positive change. While tackling complex social challenges, Deanna gives audiences the tools and courage to imagine, activate, and impact the world as agents of change. She is described as a trailblazer and dynamic speaker who is at the forefront of social change. She is an award winning author, educator, business leader, and social justice champion who speaks to over 50,000 people annually!

Deanna is the Founder and Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant, an umbrella organization for four social ventures. Through their work in the spheres of DEI, healthcare, children's literature, and leadership, these four varied companies are united in their mission to shift power to marginalized communities.

Deanna’s current projects include serving as lead instructor for the Professional Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offered through University of Wisconsin’s Center for Professional and Executive Development and publishing two new books: Actions Speak Louder (Penguin Random House; release Spring 2022) and a new book for American Girl (release June 2021).

Singh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Fordham University, a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has been recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as one of the community’s most influential 40 Under 40 Leaders, the State of Wisconsin as a Women Who Inspires, and by Forbes as an African American Woman Everyone Should Know.