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What's Your Why

A significant amount of my consulting and speaking work is in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging space. Likewise, as a Goodwill Industries leader, I advocate for people with various barriers to employment.

The truth is that we are still living in a time when people are ostracized and judged unfairly based on race, religion, gender, abilities, education, social-economic status, and more.

The recent Supreme Court Justice rulings to reverse Affirmative Action in college admissions, the 303 Creative v. Elenis case, in which the court sided with a Colorado website designer who sued for the right to refuse service to LGBTQ+ people, and the denial of the Biden debt plan, all solidified my "why."

It's obvious that the first two rulings are a blow to diversity and inclusion efforts, but you have to dig just a little to see that striking a blow against the debt plan is a blow to lower income families, and families of color. Student loan borrowers who struggle are disproportionately from lower-income families, first generation students, and students of color, according to Council of Economic Advisers (2016). “Investing In Higher Education: Benefits, Challenges, And The State Of Student Debt.”

So, there is much work to be done. To drive more equitable practices, it will take individuals from every walk of life and every sector of business and education.

This is a pivotal moment in history. We can sit back and wait to see what others are going to do or every person can actively look for ways that they can educate, encourage and use their circle of influence to advocate for the fair treatment of all people.

I am passionate about helping others to develop inclusive and fair practices in their organizations. My lived experiences have undoubtedly led me to this career path. In other words, I know my "why." Why I do what I do and why I am so driven.

I've been in situations where I was not treated fairly based on the color of my skin or because I was a woman working in a male dominated field. It was unacceptable, but when others advocated for me it made a difference in helping me to feel as though I belonged. Later, I recognized that I had the power to change perceptions and policies.

I encourage you to find your why and how you can make a difference at work and in the community.

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