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Diversity and Inclusion 30 Day Challenge: Include U

August 31, 2017, 7:03 PM UTC

Here’s the funny thing about the quest to become a more inclusive leader: You can’t “include” what you just don’t see. You have to make an effort to understand the world and yourself differently.

This is also the essential challenge facing the inclusive organization. To help employees better understand the lives of others, smart companies offer catalyst experiences – bias mitigation, candid town halls, cross-cultural mentorship programs, etc. – all purposefully designed to help break down barriers, develop new listening skills, and reveal what was once overlooked. Teams generate better ideas. Customers stick around. And employees feel seen. We report on these efforts often, and they can be extremely powerful.

But shouldn’t we few, we happy few, we band of believers, also be designing these catalyst experiences for ourselves?

This is the big idea behind the 30-day Include U Challenge, a fun new raceAhead production that I hope will help give our inclusion muscles a workout in small, daily ways.

To get us started, I decided to get a little help from our friends.

Every day in September, I’ll be asking an extraordinary person who truly knows inclusion and creativity – some already high-profile, some who deserve to be – to suggest a single action that someone can take that day that will help them become more open, curious, and empathetic.

We’ve got a diverse line-up — Fortune CEOs, artists, activists, educators, entrepreneurs — and I’m working on a couple of cool surprises, too.

Think of it as a crowd-sourced leadership course designed to help you master the fine art of being human.

Play along on your social feeds, and post your successes — along with suggestions of your own — using the #IncludeU30 hashtag.

The beauty of this: You can repeat the crowd-sourced Include U curriculum, in whole or in part, as often as you like. It will always help you grow.

On Point

Women face higher risks after natural disastersA study from the London School of Economics found that more women than men were killed during natural disasters. The survey looked at natural disasters in 141 countries from 1981-2002 and found that in addition to impacts from the disaster itself, troubling themes emerged in the aftermath. Here’s just one: Women are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted after an event. "Every stage of disaster—preparation, impact, recovery—happens in ways that reinforce our raced, classed and gendered experiences,” one expert told Newsweek.Newsweek

What the military transgender ban actually means
Don’t miss this Q&A with USC professors Jeremy Goldbach, an expert on LGBT mental health, and Carl Castro, Director of the USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR). The experts cite the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a watershed moment of inclusion that has now been profoundly harmed. “Policies that promote discrimination have significant implications for the mental health of communities,” explains Goldbach. “This could lead many to believe that transgender people don’t have the same rights as the rest of us and lead them to become victims of crime,” says Castro.
USC Blog

Ikea will not be serving meatballs in India
The big box retailer famous for its in-store restaurant, has joined a bevy of multi-nationals in adapting its menu out of respect for local customs. In the case of its expansion into India, the iconic Swedish meatballs will be replaced with samosas. “We respect the faiths in India and our meatballs have pork and beef, so we won’t bring that to India,” an executive told the The Economic Times.

There’s a new game in town and everyone can play
I’ve spent much too much time studying the Kaepernick drama to notice that an entirely new sports phenomenon, the Global Mixed Gender Basketball (GMGB) League, has been making a splash. First, rap mogul Percy “Master P” Miller signed on as president. Then WNBA star Lisa Leslie signed on to coach Miller’s own team, the New Orleans Gators. The first GMGB exhibition game is set for September 23 in Las Vegas. Essence has the scoop.

The Woke Leader

One, two, three, what are we sculpting for?
There’s been an explosion of new political protest art since the recent presidential election, and it’s gotten people talking. What should we make of all the political meme-making? And what about the statue removing? The Whitney Museum has thrown together what it's calling “An Incomplete History of Protest,” a curatorial attempt at real world artistic SEO. Click through for a brief slideshow of their poignant look-back. It gets real pretty fast.

Survey: Research librarians are overwhelmingly white
At this year’s Association of College and Research Libraries conference in May, the keynote speaker Roxane Gay evidently looked out at the audience and said, ““Wow, there’s a lot of white folks out here.” The numbers back up her observation. A new report called Inclusion, Diversity and Equity: Members of the Association of Research Libraries, published by Ithaka S+R today, found that 75% of research librarians are white. “It seems employees of color face a steeper incline toward advancement than their white colleagues do,” said the study’s co-author. And that turns out to be a problem.
New York Times

The 'Lost Arcade' is a really good documentary about the way people love games
The Lost Arcade was a complete surprise. On the surface, it’s the story of a sketchy looking arcade in Chinatown that drew together a diverse group of people who loved playing digital games. But it ended up being so much more. For one, it has the best opening scene of any documentary I’ve seen in ages. But it’s also about misfits and cast-outs, of people with imagination and no homes, business visionaries disguised as maintenance people, and how communities are transformed in the strangest ways by the people you least expect. It’s also about how the shallow victories of gentrification and technology innovation don’t really matter if you’ve got friends who will battle you and quarters in your pocket, especially if you’ve got next. It was so good, that when I finished watching it I watched it again, just to be sure.
Arcade Movie


I was born in a bourgeois community and had some of the better things in life, but I found that there were more people starving than there were people eating, more people that didn’t have clothes than did have clothes, and I just happened to be one of the few. So I decided that I wouldn’t stop doing what I’m doing until all those people are free.
—Fred Hampton