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7 Biggest Takeaways from Our Anti-Racism Training

7 Biggest Takeaways from Our Anti-Racism Training

Recently, we had the chance to talk to Charlene Brown, an empowerment coach, business strategist, lawyer, diversity and inclusion expert and co-founder of Howlett Brown, about cultural equality in the workplace. In fact, she led us through a beautiful and informative training on racism. And let’s just say it was INCREDIBLE.

Along with our community, the entire BossBabe team learned SO much about how to be a better ally, how to deal with the current climate of racism, how to look internally & externally surrounding racism, and overall, what you can do (both big and small) to handle biases in and out of the workplace.

As your business starts to grow and you continue to build your audience and customer base, we think it’s important to be able to have conversations about racism, understand why some people have the views that they have and how they’re informed.

Howlett Brown’s anti-racism training covers 3 elements: context, helping people become more aware of what it means to be anti-racist, and the power of social conditioning. It’s not meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but to invite self-reflection, evolve your awareness, and give you the ability to spot subtle acts of racism, bias, and discrimination. Including microaggressions!

Because we found the training to be so informative, and we don’t feel like it’s discussed enough, we wanted to share our biggest takeaways from the training. We hope you learn something, too!

  1. Even though the statement, “I don’t see color,” is well-intended, people do see color. By saying they don’t, they’re becoming a part of the problem because they’re not recognizing certain inequalities, prejudices, and biases happening in society today.
  2. Microaggressions can seem like compliments or jokes but have hidden insults based on someone’s identity. They’re false assumptions based on color. For example, if someone were to tell a POC, “Your English is great!” that’s a microaggression.
  3. Bias is another form of racism. Bias is rooted in prejudice against one group or in favor of another in a way that disadvantages a particular group. Systematic and institutional racism comes from bias, as certain practices and processes that have been built into our everyday lives often come from racist ideologies. For example, think of hiring practices, the court system, laws, and education.
  4. It’s important to question your environment. We’re all influenced by the media, whether it’s online, press, through TV and film, our phones or people in our lives who consume this. Black people are underrepresented or disproportionately represented, in the media. And it’s in ways that are either harmful, limited, or exaggerated. Black people and POC are more associated with support roles, and they’re all created to be the same person. We lack positive associations, which makes it harder to progress anti-racist culture. So, one responsibility of an ally is to question what they see.
  5. Be sensitive. You might find yourself in challenging environments or situations with customers that don’t reflect your values, so businesses have to know how to have sensitive and accurate discussions (especially without being perceived as insincere by customers, clients, and staff!). This is exactly why we wanted to have this training and to open the discussion as a company.
  6. Participate! To combat racism, participate in discussions and learning opportunities outside of your business and workplace, be self-aware and critical, reflect on your own bias (whether it’s conscious or unconscious), use your trusted network as a sounding board (“Did I deal with that properly?” “Is that fair?” “Am I right to get annoyed about this?” “What do you think?”)
  7. It’s important to know what to say to combat racism whenever you find yourself in those environments. Being a better ally is about knowing how to respond to microaggressions, whether it’s in your workplace, with your customers, or at home. And even when it might feel totally uncomfortable!

To learn more about how you and your business can be better allies, keep up with Charlene on her website, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

(BTW, Howlett Brown is a people intelligence company that specializes in internal investigations, culture, people solutions and diversity and inclusion training. We highly suggest you looking more into them since they’re SUCH an awesome company!) from BossBabe

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