Welcome to Crazy and the King!!
Sept. 15, 2022

Delta Closes the Gap, Leadership is Hard, and Anti-Racism Yay or Nay

Delta Closes the Gap, Leadership is Hard, and Anti-Racism Yay or Nay

This week on CATK: Delta's diversity transparency report is out and we ask are they "closing the gap."


This week on CATK: Delta's diversity transparency report is out and we ask are they "closing the gap." We discuss the challenges of giving hard feedback to our teams and the many mistakes we have made as a people leaders. HR Executive puts out news on increase in late stage cancer diagnoses and we discuss how HR needs to prepare for the before, during and after to support employees with cancer. Finally, do you use the term anti-racism? Do these terms matter or do we get lost in our over use of always trying to get the language perfect?

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Cred:

Production and Music: DJ Cellz

Transcript

0:00:01.0 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 to cover news, tips from 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.

 

[applause]

 

0:00:35.2 Julie Sowash: Welcome to Crazy and the King.

 

0:00:41.8 Torin Ellis: Okay. So I wanted to start a little bit differently today. Did you look at that Twitter video that I shared with you? Our listeners can't see it. But did you see that?

 

0:00:51.2 Julie Sowash: Oh my God, I loved it. It was amazing.

 

0:00:53.6 Torin Ellis: Say that again.

 

0:00:54.0 Julie Sowash: It was amazing.

 

0:00:58.8 Torin Ellis: It literally was amazing. And so for our listeners, let me just share with you. I wanted J and I to start with a little bit of different energy. And so I found this video when I was looking for Tweets to highlight during our disability Twitter section. And it was a person in a wheelchair coming down a biker, like a BMX biker, maybe a skateboarder, a ski person doing like... It was like a sla... What do you call that? Like a slalom ski jump?

 

0:01:34.9 Julie Sowash: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, yeah.

 

0:01:37.4 Torin Ellis: In a wheelchair.

 

0:01:39.0 Julie Sowash: Oh yeah.

 

0:01:40.4 Torin Ellis: Two, three, four flips mid-air, landed wheel tilted. It was... If we could put it in gymnastic terms, it was absolutely a perfect 10. I'd be willing to give him an 11, and people discredit me as a judge for cheating. I'd literally go and grab a black marker and write an 11, and it was absolutely incredible. And the reason I bring that up and I smile, because one, we're always trying to look for something, J, to put us in a better mood than we might be because of some of the stories that we are reading. But two, something that I'm wrestling with. I hesitated for a moment, because I said, "I wanna throw this one down in Disability Twitter." But it's not gonna really make sense to people, because well, we would have just had to do what I just did, which was talk through it.

 

0:02:40.7 Torin Ellis: But it takes me back to that whole inspiration thing, what do you say to that? Do you put under that like, "Whoa." Like one guy put, "Wow." that was all he wrote. He was just like, "Wow." One word. It was absolutely incredible. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, shit, I'm... I wouldn't do it today in my current condition. I wouldn't even get on a rollercoaster. This cat, he just... He blew my mind. Anyway, I'm sorry. As you can see, I'm kinda pumped about it. I absolutely loved it. That tweet was... Who was that? It was by Evan Kirstel. Evan, E-V-A-N, Kirstel, K-I-R-S-T-E-L. If you go out to Evan Kirstel's timeline and maybe scroll back half of the week, you'll find the tweet of the person in the wheelchair. How are you?

 

0:03:33.2 Julie Sowash: I'm good, I'm good. And we'll make sure that we have Tricia share that tweet on our Facebook page. So if you don't follow us on Facebook, go to crazyandtheking.com, and give us a like and a follow. I love it, and I...

 

0:03:47.3 Torin Ellis: Shoutout to Tricia, shoutout to Tricia.

 

0:03:49.2 Julie Sowash: Yes, who's doing an amazing job on our social.

 

0:03:51.9 Torin Ellis: Indeed.

 

0:03:52.8 Julie Sowash: And I really, really appreciate her.

 

0:03:55.0 Torin Ellis: Indeed.

 

0:03:56.8 Julie Sowash: I think it's super-fun, just to go back to your point, is when things are actually inspiring, it's okay to say, "Wow." If it was Toni on a skateboard, you would say, "Wow, that's pretty badass." This dude in a wheelchair, pretty badass."

 

0:04:12.3 Torin Ellis: Pretty badass.

 

0:04:12.8 Julie Sowash: It's the things that are just every day living. Like I saw this picture on Facebook yesterday. And it was a young mom, a really beautiful young woman who had both legs amputated knee-down. And she had prosthetics on, and she was running around on the corner with her kid and doing just a little like, "Hi, cheesy cheese." And everyone's like, "Oh my God, that's so inspiring. She's so amazing." She's just a regular woman living her life, who happens to be a mom who doesn't have legs. That's inspiration porn, when it's regular things that people do that are like, "Oh, you're so inspiring." No, this dude is inspiring.

 

0:04:53.8 Torin Ellis: Oh, you just did something, you just did something. I keep telling you all, the biggest learnings for me has really been in the disability community, you just did something. What you did was you have made it plain. And I say this word often, parrhesia, P-A-R-R-S... I'm sorry, P-A-R-R-H-E-S-I-A, parrhesia. Which is plain speak, plain talk. You just made it plain. Inspiration is when you are amplifying and celebrating just the normal day-to-day. Saying that her playing with her children is inspiring. What you did, J, you indirectly, and you didn't know you were doing it, but you connected it to when people say, "Your children are so well-spoken." I can't tell you how many times I have been angry, disappointed, perplexed when people in restaurants, in events in the community, perhaps in the mall, and not so much so lately, but when my children were little, it mostly happened when my children were three, five, six, seven, they would say, "Your children are so well-spoken." And my initial thought was, "Well, how did you expect them to be?"

 

0:06:26.4 Julie Sowash: Right. Yeah.

 

0:06:28.0 Torin Ellis: I love what you just did. Just the normal day-to-day. That's when it could be a bit offensive, when we are inspired by them just living their normal day. Thank you so much for that.

 

0:06:43.0 Julie Sowash: Hey. Here to help. Happy Jesus. Middle of September.

 

0:06:48.9 Torin Ellis: Yes, where are you?

 

0:06:49.4 Julie Sowash: I am...

 

0:06:49.9 Torin Ellis: Can you tell me where you are? I don't want you to feel like your passport is gonna get taken or the Secret Service is gonna come find you. I was listening, before you answer that, before you answered that, real shoutout April Taylor, shoutout April Taylor. I was listening to a podcast, Vapor Taylor, she's a friend of mine, and I was listening to a podcast and she was like... In the podcast, she said I had to leave Dallas because she had too many speeding or parking tickets or something like that. So I just want you to know, if you can answer, and tell people where you are, that would be awesome.

 

0:07:23.6 Julie Sowash: Alright. People live vicariously through Chad and I's travel, so I'm not gonna deprive anyone.

 

0:07:28.9 Torin Ellis: Okay.

 

0:07:29.0 Julie Sowash: We're in Vegas this week.

 

0:07:30.0 Torin Ellis: Yes, indeed.

 

0:07:33.4 Julie Sowash: HR tech is happening, so I'm actually here on a media pass representing Crazy and the King. I'm gonna be seeing what's out there, what's hot in the new DEI tech, and see if there's anything that actually makes a difference or if it's all just fluff and bullshit. We'll find out. So yeah, after I hang up today with you, we're gonna just head down to the expo hall and I'm gonna spend most of my day in the start up space and see what's there.

 

0:07:57.0 Torin Ellis: So again, one day they'll see this video, but right at this moment, listeners, good listeners, I have my arms wide open as if I am inviting Julie in to explain to me, Well, what does representing Crazy and the King entail? Because we didn't talk about this before you left, like I knew... [laughter]

 

0:08:19.8 Julie Sowash: Surprise!

 

0:08:21.3 Torin Ellis: I knew you were gonna do the media pass, I knew you were going. I just thought that you were gonna have a great time, meet some people, do some networking, but you made it an official business trip. So just enlighten me and the listeners, what does that mean? Does it mean we might find some great guests? Does it mean we'll push some people to perhaps download the pod while you're on the floor? What does representing Crazy and the King look like?

 

0:08:48.0 Julie Sowash: Well, it's...

 

0:08:48.7 Torin Ellis: And by the way, we don't even have any paraphernalia. We don't have a hat. We don't have a shirt.

 

0:08:54.4 Julie Sowash: No. I'm starting to get some shit about that too. We need a t-shirt at least. I would like a hat too.

 

0:09:01.5 Torin Ellis: A hat?

 

0:09:02.2 Julie Sowash: A hat, like a nice trucker hat, I think we do trucker hats.

 

0:09:02.9 Torin Ellis: Trucker hats. Okay.

 

0:09:07.5 Julie Sowash: Yeah, so basically all of the things that you just said, also going to parties.

 

0:09:11.4 Torin Ellis: That part.

 

0:09:12.5 Julie Sowash: Which is a big part of HR tech, if you've never been, it's just sort of a wow mess. Also the Evergreen team, our podcast network is gonna be here this week getting to know all of the sponsors and vendors in our space, as we are thinking about our 2023 sponsorship packages for the HR channel, including Crazy and the King. So I'm gonna be showing those guys around, hanging out and just sort of talking about us and also talking about Disability Solutions, but mostly Crazy and the King.

 

0:09:44.3 Torin Ellis: I love it, I love it. And make sure you give Disability Solutions a little bit in love as well.

 

0:09:48.2 Julie Sowash: A little bit of love.

 

0:09:49.8 Torin Ellis: Absolutely. Alright. Tina Ramirez, she is the founder of a leading Hispanic dance troop, and she actually passed away at 92. Her company is called Ballet Hispánico, and they have performed for audiences all across the United States and beyond. They actually trained a number of dancers. And so we wanna just give a quick little piece of love to Ms. Tina Ramirez. So Delta actually updated its annual Diversity Progress, and they're closing the gap report. They actually put out a report last week around the work that they've done around D&I inside of the organization and the progress that they have made over the last two years. What did you think when you read the report? It's brief. It only took three, five minutes to read it. What did you think?

 

0:10:47.6 Julie Sowash: So I think there was good and bad. I think the good part is it is actually transparent. There are places where they made vast improvements and the pipeline looks full particular to women, no distinction between white women and women of color, but women. It had a lot of progress there and didn't do as well on black growth up into that director level and above role, and actually saw some attrition, it looks like. And they put it out there like, "Wow, Delta, thank you for that." I think that is... That's what I think of when I think about actually doing the work, it's not just talking about the things that you do well, but it's being transparent about the things that you don't do well. And that really speaks a lot to me. The other thing, and I know I'm like a broken window or like a broken wheel.

 

0:11:54.1 Torin Ellis: I was waiting, I'm waiting.

 

0:11:55.5 Julie Sowash: What?

 

0:11:56.7 Torin Ellis: I'm waiting 'cause I already know what's coming.

 

0:11:58.4 Julie Sowash: You know what's coming, right? It's like, "Hey, we're doing this... " Hold on, I wanna pull up the exact sentence. So, "Our 2020 commitment to accelerate the closure of diversity representation gaps between the front line and leadership in the three most underrepresented areas," and by that, I think they mean women, black talent, and other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. So people with disabilities are the quarter of the nation, we are the largest other than women under-represented group, and we are left out of this. I'm not gonna be that way because we're gonna celebrate the wins and know that women have disabilities and people of color have disabilities, and black talent at Delta has disabilities, but it's always just frustrating to have the absence so glaringly called out and no one noticed.

 

0:13:00.9 Torin Ellis: Yep, and we're going to talk more about that, and I am actually going to personally. You know how some folks on their Twitter handles, they'll say the views represented in my tweets are my personal views? I don't necessarily have to do that when it comes to Crazy and the King, you give me the freedom and the flexibility to be able to tweet and say whatever the hell I wanna say. And I am gonna tweet it out with a bit of love, but I want Delta to recognize and I want others to begin to recognize, we see your good work and your good effort, your good intention. We see it, we absolutely see it, we're celebrating it. But we also want you to know that because so many people are looking at your report and reports like this, that we do wanna see the disability community called out, spelled out, named. We want to see them named in the report so that they then begin to be on the radar of all of these hundreds of thousands and millions of people that are reading the progress that you all are doing. So shout out to you Delta, I'm gonna actually tweet it out. This article was over on LinkedIn, leadership, the hardest part of such is giving people difficult feedback. Do you agree with that?

 

0:14:21.2 Julie Sowash: Oh, hell yes. I always wanted to lead people. I was like, Man, I can't wait to lead people and do all these things, man. Leading people is hard. It is hard. And it doesn't matter how hard you work at it. It's something you have to continue to work at your whole career, and sometimes you're gonna fuck it up and sometimes you're gonna be disappointed, and yeah, it's hard and it's hard to give feedback for people that you spend so much time with and that you care about and that you want to be successful. But sometimes that is the way that you help them to be successful is having that difficult feedback. You never talk... Well, we talk a little bit about your management experience, but what's your style in terms of feedback?

 

0:15:10.1 Torin Ellis: Yeah, that's a very good question. So I only spent five, six years inside of corporate America. My other leadership experience came when I was in the military. In basic training, you have this opportunity to get these other ropes and these ropes designate you to be at a certain level of leadership for your group of people. And so in almost everything that I've done, J, in my life, I've always been in some capacity of leadership to a degree. And so even in that short tenure in corporate America, I rose to the ranks of leadership. And I will tell you, part of the reason why I think that I was an effective leader, and I don't say that in a bragging way, I say it because looking over my shoulder, I can still see paintings, art works and some of the other gifts that my people gave me back in 1995, '96, '97, really a remnant, celebrating the work that we did, thankful that I encouraged and developed them the way that I did, and I think that my style of leadership is really just hands-on. I'm really about being hands-on with an individual. When you are doing something that deserves celebration and recognition, I'm the first one to give it to you, or I'm going to make sure that I give it to you.

 

0:16:37.0 Torin Ellis: But equally as important, if admonishment or accountability or some sort of reprimand is required, I am going to give that to you. The two areas that I failed in most when I was a leader, number one, enabling people when they had dependencies, I was an enabler. So in one incidence, I had an extremely, extremely talented sales person that was a drug addict, and they would disappear two days here, a day here, half a day there, whatever, but I never held them accountable because in doing so, it impacted my commission because they were one of my top sales people. And at some point, I recognize all you're doing is enabling their addiction because you allow them to make money, therefore they keep. My other enabling was a person who had a really rambunctious, loud, disruptive, toxic personality. But they too were an incredible salesperson. So in terms of holding people accountable, while I would take them in the room and acknowledge all of that, I still never cut the cord in a timely manner. I eventually cut the cord, but it took way longer than it should have. And so what I knew and learned in my leadership is when decisions need to be made, you need to make them, and you don't draw that out. I was guilty of drawing out decisions that I knew needed to be made.

 

0:18:23.3 Julie Sowash: Yeah. That, I think we've all done that as leaders.

 

0:18:28.7 Torin Ellis: Absolutely.

 

0:18:28.8 Julie Sowash: So another important decision that we all need to make is to get back to the doctor and get back into our regular healthcare screenings, because one of the things that we're seeing across the country and potentially across the world is a rise in late-stage cancer diagnosis. And it's gonna be a huge challenge for our HR listeners, for our teams, for each other, for us as humans, and a lot of that from Human Resource Executive is really delays in care... Or not caregiving, in screenings that you would normally get, that didn't happen during the pandemic, which I think we've probably all been guilty of, and then just need to catch up on.

 

0:19:16.8 Torin Ellis: What's the title of that article over on Human Resource Executive, what's the title of that?

 

0:19:22.2 Julie Sowash: It is Late-stage Cancer is Rising: Here's Why That's HR's Latest Challenge.

 

0:19:28.9 Torin Ellis: You know, that was an interesting title, here's why cancer is HR's latest challenge, and it goes back to something that we talked about a lot at the beginning of the pandemic, J, we would have these conversations around organizations revisiting their healthcare and benefit plans, particularly as they related to women. And I am not suggesting that cancer is only a woman or a gender disease, but it's important. And when I saw that title that it was HR's latest big thing, I just... That was one of those moments where I said, "I wish I had more HR friends that I could hear from and talk to and find out. 'Okay, I know the story is there, I'd like to hear more real example of how that may be playing out in people's workplaces.'"

 

0:20:31.3 Julie Sowash: Yeah, I think I can speak to a little bit of it, just 'cause we work with so many companies, and I'm so close to the HR side of the house. One thing is a huge potential for increase in cost. Healthcare in this country is ridiculously expensive and it's not as good as it should be. And so, constantly, HR is re-evaluating, renegotiating to try to keep those costs contained for both the employer and the employee. That's a huge piece, and a lot of times what happens is that you give up some benefit to keep the cost down. And when you have something like a late-stage cancer that needs more aggressive, more costly, more out-of-pocket costs, that can really add up for the employee. So, you've got that kind of battle. Obviously, you have leave and all of those kinda things, but you also have a return-to-work status when, hopefully, people get past that cancer and they come into remission, the lingering disability, mental health stigma that is associated with a cancer diagnosis is another huge issue.

 

0:21:44.3 Julie Sowash: Something I'll give Bristol Myers, and one of the reasons I know as much about this as I know, is that they've started a cancer support network within their organization that functions a lot like an ERG, that supports cancer survivors as they return to the workplace and addresses the specific issues that that community manages once they return to work, and also encourages being able to return to work. And it's really... It's a new way to kinda think on the disability community and engage people where they are in a, frankly, a number that unfortunately is gonna continue to grow in our workforces for a while.

 

0:22:23.0 Torin Ellis: A number that is going to continue to grow. So listen, we wanna take just a quick break because, I'm smiling, we have a conversation that I think is going to be a bit revealing and maybe even some more learning for myself. I don't know about Julie, but I know it's going to be a bit of learning for me. We'll be right back.

 

[pause]

 

0:22:50.9 Torin Ellis: In a flash, while Apple focuses on other products that it's banned, it's mote, Justice Text raises $2.2 million to make the criminal justice system fair for low-income Americans. And Winston-Salem State University is the first HBCU to embark on new research programs in partnership with NASA. Snap CEO, Evan Spiegel isn't buying Zuckerberg's $10 billion Metaverse, while the president is tapping again and again, for changes to Section 230, which is a statute that protects online platforms from legal liability tied to content published on their sites. And speaking of content published, Uju Anya had them spinning last week with her social post regarding Queen Elizabeth. Many railed to her defense, while others called for her to be fired. Platform of choice? It was Twitter. I wonder what might have happened if it were through social. Some of y'all will get that next week.

 

0:24:00.4 Torin Ellis: Pockets got fatter for one Peter Mudzutko who reached a $7 million employment settlement, just days before he filed a whistle-blower complaint, and they also got fatter for a few parents. Princeton is now going to be covering expenses for families making up to $100,000 a year and slashing costs for those earning a bit more. And remember the good people, remember, remember, remember, we appreciate the micro donations that we have been receiving since we set up our donation fund. Julia's looking at me probably side eye right now, like, "We don't have a donation fund," and I'm looking back at Julie saying, "No, we don't," but for all of you that are listening, all we ask is that you share a tweet or two of the pod, and support our show sponsors. That's donation enough.

 

[music]

 

0:24:51.0 Torin Ellis: So listen, this past summer, Next Street actually announced, Julie, that there was going to be the establishment of the Economic Opportunity Coalition. It's a partnership with the Office of the Vice President of the United States and the White House, designed to increase private sector investments in underserved communities alongside those made by the Biden administration. The Economic Opportunity Coalition is a three-sector collaboration, consisting of a number of recognized senior leaders: Leaders from Ariel Investments, Bank of America, Capital One, Ford Foundation, Goldman, Google, McDonalds, Mackenzie, Netflix, PayPal, just the list goes on. A number of high-profile individuals. Here's the reason why I'm bringing it up, because the Managing Partner of Next Street, her name is Charisse Conanan Johnson. Ms. Johnson says, "What we need to be talking about is anti-racism."

 

0:26:04.9 Torin Ellis: So I thought about a conversation that I had, Julie, with one of my coaching clients, and I said to him, "I don't really know what it means to be anti-racist." Now I needed him to take that at face value. Sure, I could surmise what being anti-racist means, I could have long ago and even in that moment, grabbed my keyboard and just typed in "anti-racism" and began to understand it and be able to define it. When I say, "I don't know what being anti-racist means," I'm suggesting and sharing with you and our listeners that I don't have, at the ready, an official definition. I can't extol at length around what it means to be anti-racist. So I'm curious, do you have a position or a feeling around hearing the phrase or when a person says, "Julie, are you anti-racist?"

 

0:27:23.7 Julie Sowash: I think so. In my brain, it is a little innocuous in terms of it can mean a lot of things, but the way that I think of it, at least, is just that it's... I've always heard, it's not enough to not be racist, you have to be anti-racist. And to me, that's being proactive when you see racism, when racism is happening, or that you are recognizing where racism can exist in systems and working to change that. And again, even that sounds a little wonky, but it's basically, to me, it's doing something instead of doing nothing.

 

0:28:06.5 Torin Ellis: Doing something?

 

0:28:08.2 Julie Sowash: Being not a racist is doing nothing, being anti-racist is doing something.

 

0:28:12.3 Torin Ellis: Okay, I see what you said. I see what you did there, I like that. So Charisse, going back to her statement, and I'm just abbreviating the statement. It was a part of an interview that I found over on Black Enterprise. Again, it was a dated interview, but this has been an article that I've been holding on to for just a bit of time, because I wanted to kinda digest it and sit with it a little bit. So again, Charisse said, "You know, what we need to be talking about is anti-racism." In that moment, she also went on to say, "What we've done is we've stayed too heavy in the diversity, equity and inclusion sandbox, but that we've also allowed a number of organizations to placate us, to pander, if you will, to say things that they are not aggressively doing something about." Very similar to what you just said a moment ago, Julie. One of the examples that she raised is how much people stood on their soapbox, pound their desk and chest about what needed to be done in the wake of George Floyd, but that those declarations had not been... They have not been netted out.

 

0:29:29.3 Torin Ellis: So, let me say it in a different way. In a different way, anti-racism work is integrated. To me, it's immersive, it's intense, it's uncompromising. I tend to think about anti-racism work as I think about all of the DE&I work as something that can't be separated from everything else that we are doing. So when I think about people who say, "Well, why would I have a target or a goal or a metric around hiring people?" Like Delta talked about, like you pointed out in the report earlier in the show. Or, "Why would I make it my missive that we are going to do X, Y, and Z inside of the organization?" Well, you would do those things, you would report those things because it's intrinsic in how we do work. To me, that's how I see anti-racism. And so I think part of the reason why I struggled, J, was because I didn't feel like I needed a definition to just be better and be intentional.

 

0:30:45.7 Julie Sowash: Yeah, and I think that's one of the ways that we get in our own way a lot, is we always have new words, new labels, new things all the time, and it's like, just do the fucking work. That's all we mean, right? Do the fucking work, that's it. And that's what you're talking about, is like, we spend so much time lost in our definitions and lost in all of the litany of things that we could be doing wrong or could be doing right, or could be doing, that we just end up doing nothing. And that, to me, is part of the challenge of our community, and a very diverse community, is we all have our own ways of thinking and doing things and taking action, but what we need are measures. We need measures, we need stuff that gets done, we need people who own things outside of DEI, to get things done. One of the... My favorite accomplishments, I'll give a shoutout to the team at my parent company, Ability Beyond. This week is our Black ERG started some work around making sure that we had more supplier diversity and getting some measures on our supplier diversity. As a non-profit, that's something that we've never thought of, they started that work last year.

 

0:32:16.3 Julie Sowash: Last week, our CFO came to us and said, "Hey, this is something finance should be leading. Let's take the work that you've done, Black ERG, and put it into our business model, and you'll continue to help and support us, but we have to own it." To me, that's when I see action happening, and it's out of DEI's hands because it becomes a functional part of our institution at that point, because a vertical owns it. You know what I'm saying? Is that kind of what you're getting at?

 

0:32:50.9 Torin Ellis: Absolutely. I absolutely am getting at that, and I love the fact that it was recommended that finance get involved, finance being one of the value points inside of the organization. When I think about finance, I think, and I'm gonna be a bit fuzzy on the number, but I think that there are less than 24 black-owned banks in the US. I don't even know the number that may be categorized as Latin or Latina or Latin-owned banks in the US. I don't even know where that number is, but then that raises the question as I say that out loud, black-owned banks, Latin-owned banks. I don't know how many banks are owned by a person from the disability community, or I don't know how many banks are owned by people from maybe the Muslim community. So, there's always a bit of a journey, a bit of exploration, curiosity that's required in our doing this work. But I love the fact that the leader of Ability Beyond said, "Wait a minute, this is something that finance should be doing," weaving the effort, the work, the groundwork that the Black ERG did, weaving that work throughout the entire organization. I absolutely love that.

 

0:34:19.5 Torin Ellis: And I wanna say that I just want people to really understand, I raised this issue around anti-racism, this was a story that I found back in the summer, and I didn't cover it... I did not cover it because Julie and I took all this off, I actually didn't raise it because I just wanted to just sit with why is it that I don't really use that phrase "anti-racism?" To that point, why don't I use phrases like "anti-heterosexism" or "anti-ableism" or "anti-sexism" or "anti-ageism?" Why am I not using these phrases? Why am I not putting that "anti" in front of them? And I think I have an answer to that. I think the answer that I am... As to the reason why I'm not doing that... What's that? Exclamation? Exclaiming, is because I don't see it as being necessary, for me.

 

0:35:23.7 Julie Sowash: Yeah, well, first of all, let's stop and take a pause for a second. What in the holy hell is anti-heterosexism? That one is challenging because we aren't anti-heterosexuals, we're just pro-LGBTQ. That one sits weird with me, I would love to hear some explanation if someone has it. Did it sit weird with you?

 

0:35:46.6 Torin Ellis: It did, and when I saw it, I said, maybe the resource where I grabbed it from was... I'm trying to see if I still have it up on my screen. I was wondering is that a typo? I can't find it right now, but I wasn't sure, but it was there, so I said, let me write it down because I'm always willing to spend some time and sit with some of the things that you and I discuss, things that I think that we should be exploring and becoming better about. But the reason why I said I don't do the exclamation point, J, is because, when I rise up... And let me tell you, every single year for the last 25 years, my schedule changes in the month of August, because every single year for the last 25 years, I've had somebody that I've had to take to school. This is the last year, the youngest King graduates this year. But every August, my schedule changes.

 

0:36:53.9 Torin Ellis: Sometimes, I had to rise as early as 4:00 in the morning, others, I was able to sleep in until 6:00, 6:30. Every day when I wake up, one of the first things that I say is how can I be better and how can I help others to be better? I don't say to myself... And I'm not... Listen, I'm not judging if a person wakes up and says something around how can I be an anti-racist? I just know that, genuinely, I'm asking myself a question every single morning, how can I be better, and how can I help others to be better. So, I don't really get caught up in the semantics of the language and all of these moving definitions and fluidity, and this... Listen, I don't get mired down in all of that. Call me guilty, but that's just my position.

 

0:37:53.0 Julie Sowash: Yeah, I think it's funny, I think if you listen to our podcast, maybe season two, part of season three, you'll probably see me struggling and processing through those things, as I'm like, "Oh, there are so many words, there are so many things, I need to make sure that I don't fuck it up." You and I've had several conversations a couple of times and I have fucked it up. And I'm pretty much, I think, at that same point with you now, and I recognized this maybe like a week or so ago, it's so funny how you and I always sort of trend, even when we don't even know we're trending together, is... I'm like, I'm just gonna go back to the simple, keep it simple stupid approach to things, right? What do we wanna do? We wanna take action. That's what we wanna do.

 

0:38:40.0 Torin Ellis: That's right, that's right.

 

0:38:41.0 Julie Sowash: We wanna have measures, that's the thing, and I'm gonna get less caught up in making sure that I say every word and have every single thing correctly, because I'm never gonna get it right, because it's always gonna shift. I'm gonna do the best I can, but what matters is the measures of the work that we do.

 

0:39:05.1 Torin Ellis: So let's close with listeners walking away with a couple of things that they can do. What's one thing that they can do?

 

0:39:15.6 Julie Sowash: So, my number one thing always is always ask, how do you make sure equity, and by equity, I mean that everyone is included and a part of your entire business strategy? You don't build for people with disabilities after you build it, you build with them first. Same thing, right? How do you make sure equity is embedded into your business strategy from the beginning, not as an afterthought? What about you?

 

0:39:50.6 Torin Ellis: I think another thing that we absolutely know that we can do is we have to start assigning some things. And when I mean... When I say assigning, we have to assign some people, we have to assign some resources and we have to assign some accountability.

 

0:40:10.7 Julie Sowash: Absolutely.

 

0:40:13.1 Torin Ellis: We absolutely must start doing more assigning inside of our business units, departments, teams and organizations, assigning people to certain tasks, certain projects, certain endeavors, initiatives. We need to start assigning resources. And we absolutely, absolutely, J, have to assign accountability.

 

0:40:36.4 Julie Sowash: Yep. And the thing that you and I have learned together all the time and are always learning is, you can't armor up. You have to remove your armor. Be prepared to be corrected, be prepared to be wrong, be prepared to listen, to learn, and then keep going. And find people around you that build you up when you get tired, that's how you do the work.

 

0:41:00.3 Torin Ellis: Find people around you that build you up when you get tired. We'll be right back.

 

[pause]

 

0:41:11.6 Torin Ellis: Her Voice is our segment where we amplify women that are making moves. And this week, we have PwC who has hired Yolanda Seals-Coffield as its Chief People Officer for the US and for Mexico.

 

0:41:26.2 Julie Sowash: Yes. And I love this one. The US open is the only grand slam tournament where women use different tennis balls than men. [chuckle] Men play with an extra duty ball, woven slightly more loosely than the regular duty ball hit by women, which while here, let's highlight Diede de Groot and you can follow her at Diede, D-I-E-D-E theGreat...

 

0:41:49.9 Torin Ellis: That's right.

 

0:41:51.4 Julie Sowash: On Twitter, who won the Calendar Grand Slam. It is her fifth in a row.

 

0:41:57.2 Torin Ellis: Awesome, awesome, awesome. And finally in Her Voice this week, healthcare staffing platform CareRev has promoted Filiz Genca to Chief Operating Officer, and the nonprofit organization for executive women, How Women Lead, appointed LHA Ventures president and CEO, Lorraine Akiba, and Salesforce Executive Vice President and Chief Equality Officer, Lori Castillo Martinez to its executive board. We give a hearty round of applause to all of the women that we've named and others to be named for the moves that they are making in the corporate corridor. We absolutely, absolutely, absolutely amplify each of them.

 

0:42:45.9 Julie Sowash: Couple of quick mentions, resources this week. So we've got the Inclusion Summit 2022 sponsored by ADP, which is Wednesday, September 22nd. I'm sorry, Wednesday, September 28th. You can visit ADP FMI to learn more on Twitter, or just check out adp.com.

 

0:43:04.7 Torin Ellis: Awesome, awesome, awesome.

 

0:43:06.7 Julie Sowash: Also... Go ahead.

 

0:43:09.2 Torin Ellis: No. Awesome. I was gonna say, Psychological Safety and Belonging at Work, it's another event that's happening on November 7th and November 8th of this year. The event is titled Creating An Unbreakable Organizational Culture. You can get more information on the event by visiting hackinghrlab.io. Again, hackinghrlab.io. Take us to Disability Twitter so we can get out of here and you can go have some fun.

 

0:43:38.3 Julie Sowash: Absolutely, absolutely. So finally, we have talent search. So, @DisabledInTV has a tweet from this week, saying, "Who are your favorite disability influencers, actors, stars, YouTube celebrities? Shout them out there so that we can work to get more people with disabilities on television and in movies."

 

0:44:03.4 Torin Ellis: And this one right here for Disability Twitter was a really beautiful capture. It comes from Helen Rottier. I think she is Helen Rottier, if I'm pronouncing it correctly, on Twitter, R-O-T-T-I-E-R. She says, "Neurodiversity and disability justice taken together are indeed celebrations of who we are and how we exist in the world."

 

0:44:28.5 Julie Sowash: And then we have @RachelCurtis82 also on Twitter who says, today, "I will mostly be blacking people who use my condition, bipolar, to describe their lives having ups and downs. It's not yours to appropriate. It's disrespectful, it trivializes a serious mental health condition that is fatal to many." Follow @RachelCurtis82.

 

0:44:51.0 Torin Ellis: Love, love... That's right. Love, love, loved our segment of Disability Twitter. More of what I love is just our episodes and just how we have grown, not over the four years, but we've grown even in the year of 2022. Like, if I look back at our first show in January of this year and where we are right now as we round out September and move into and through this fourth quarter, we continue to grow. So I love, love, love our show, and I hope that each and every one of you love it. And again, you do that donation that we talked about earlier, to tweet us out, to share us with others, to subscribe to the newsletter @crazyandtheking. Follow us across all of social media @crazyandtheking and make sure when you do post or repost us, to use the hashtag.

 

0:45:42.1 Torin Ellis: We close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe and find your voice, be a better human, create better culture teams and workplaces. For now, J and Vegas and I, are ghost.

 

0:45:57.6 Julie Sowash: See ya.