11 Questions to Ask Prospective Employers About Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism

2021 is a particularly complicated time to job hunt given social, political, and economic uncertainties. While those things are largely out of our individual control, selecting prospective employers is not. In fact, now more than ever, interviewees can and should ask direct questions about corporate and organizational commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), as well as antiracism, as a part of the interview process. Surprisingly, some employers may find it strange if you don’t.

Racial unrest sparked last summer after the killing of George Floyd served as…


When COVID-19 became a harsh reality in March 2020, within 48 hours, I had five speaking engagements rescheduled or delayed indefinitely. I had to cancel flights and hotel reservations. Presentations that were already in development had to be put on ice, and of course, the revenue expected from those engagements was no longer in the pipeline.

For professional speakers, particularly those of us who have yet to publish a book, consistently securing speaking engagements is critical for visibility, relevance in the marketplace, and a steady flow of speaking opportunities. …


An Uncomfortable Commentary

In the movie Monster-In-Law, Viola (Jane Fonda) and Ruby (Wanda Sykes) have the following exchange that is hands down, the best part of the movie.

Viola (JF): Ruby, what’s wrong?

Ruby (WS): I am sick! I am sick, sick, sick of your shit! And when I’m not sick, I’m tired! I am sick and tired!

Viola (JF): What are you trying to say?

Ruby is sick and tired of Viola undervaluing and devaluing her, not to mention, she is exhausted from being dragged into Viola’s craziness while being expected to clean up the mess that is sure…


Nike’s announcement in September that Colin Kaepernick is the face of their latest ad campaign sparked mayhem online. His peaceful protest against police brutality, kneeling at NFL games during the National Anthem, has garnered fervent support and stoked bitter opposition. In the midst of the back and forth on social media, I noticed a theme emerging from a number of self-identified white mothers. They repeatedly declared their commitment to raising colorblind* children while calling on other parents to do the same — often as they voiced support for Kaepernick. Many said that if we were all just colorblind, police brutality…


The very existence of identity-based, particularly race-based privilege is what led to the initiation of a police encounter for two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks. It is what led to their subsequent arrest — merely for BEING. For EXISTING and being SEEN. For OCCUPYING space. For BREATHING air.

For 400+ years, identity-based privilege has been a weapon used to oppress, marginalize, and even murder people without privilege. Through economic systems that ensure “haves and have-nots,” state sanctioned violence, and social and political oppression of Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian, gay, immigrant people and women, privilege has been the weapon of…


American English is littered with obvious and insidious expressions of privilege and supremacy. Researchers use these words. Activists use these words. Journalists use these words. Good and bad people use these words. I have used these words. We have consciously and unconsciously perpetuated language that oppresses and marginalizes human beings based on their identities and the groups to which they belong while re-enforcing myths of supremacy and granting privilege to others.

As I have listened to debates rage over Donald Trump’s racist statements, including calling Africa and Haiti “shithole countries,” I notice pundits, academics, and the “woke” continue to call…


It’s Complicated and It Matters More Than You Realize

Our social fabric is damaged as though it was splashed with acid and left to dry in the hot sun — neglected, battered, and abused. That fabric was woven by the interdependence of many components including families, small and rural communities, agrarian culture, the immigrant experience, the slave experience, Judeo-Christian traditions, and indigenous spirituality. What do these things have in common? For better or worse, they required people to engage in the intimacy of survival. That interdependence has unraveled, dissipated — leading to the expression of malevolent characteristics of our human nature.

This should be no surprise but many of…


Feeling overwhelmed or unmoved by talk of equity, diversity, and inclusion is no excuse for paralysis or inertia. Human beings are hardwired for fairness, so you are already well prepared to take these eight easy steps.

Check out the demographics of the country. They speak for themselves. The success of your efforts depends on your ability to harness the power of equity (all people having fair opportunities to achieve their full potential) and committing to diversity and inclusion.

What’s Fair? Fair is not what you think it is or what I think it is. Fair is whatever is necessary to…


What determines our values?

America is having a crisis of values. The current efforts to repeal, or repeal and replace Obamacare speak volumes. Pending healthcare legislation indicates what one party and its members value — just as opposition arguments speak to the values of people from other political parties. Do people value the freedom to choose to be uninsured over ensuring individual and public health? Do they value tax cuts for the wealthy as a strategy to stimulate job growth over Medicaid coverage and access to care for people in poverty, in rural communities, and with disabilities? …


Music of Sound Co.

In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to avoid the echo chamber. Yours is likely giving you a false sense of security, maintaining a false reality, stroking your ego, and not making a lick of difference in a world that is on fire. When the cable news cycle is down to 17 minutes (my snarky estimate of the time between “breaking news” alerts) — yes, the world is on fire. That hyperactive news cycle and ever-present social media are like heroin to our issues-addicted brains.

From one minute to the next we consume large volumes of information that co-mingles facts…

Natalie S. Burke

#GetUncomfortable. A full-bodied embrace of all that I am and full-throated expression of all that I think. I opine strongly but judge rarely.

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