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raceAhead: MPW Next Gen Breaks Down #MeToo, FBI Releases Hate Crime Stats, Kaepernick Is Citizen of The Year

Fortune’s MPW Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. continues today, and I hope you’ll tune in. The livestream is here.

While there were many outstanding moments yesterday, including this wonderful interview with Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Estelle, other discussions about the serious issues of safety, workplace sexual harassment and campus rape were very much top of mind.

To that end, four panelists Niniane Wang, founder and CEO of Evertoon, filmmaker Amy Ziering, Stanford sociology professor Michele Landis Dauber and Christa Quarles, CEO of Opentable, helped bring the #MeToo moment into broader context.

“I never thought, in my lifetime, I’d see people naming perpetrators and believing survivors,” said Ziering, the filmmaker behind The Hunting Ground, a documentary about campus rape. “This is a moment. We must seize it and we must not turn back from it.”

They offered practical tips for executives looking to stop sexual harassment at work. Wang, who was one of three women who worked tirelessly to expose harassment in the venture capital community, called for an end to the use of non-disclosure agreements to protect perpetrators. “Don’t use NDAs to silence women,” she said.

Michele Landis Dauber, who is leading the campaign to recall the judge who famously sentenced Stanford’s Brock Turner to only six months in county jail and three years probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year, said not to forget the system. “Utilize the processes of democratic accountability to hold perpetrators responsible.”

The video from their discussion is here.

I would add to their crucial advice, this recent post from Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s Chief Human Resources Officer, who is calling for a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment, a value which must come from the top. “This is an opportunity for us all to hold the mirror up to ourselves as leaders – and our organizations – to identify where we can do better.” She specifically calls for accountability and transparency, and a commitment to equal representation of women in the workplace.

“Aggressively working to shift the balance to 50% men and 50% women will create a different dynamic that further strengthens a non-complicit and zero-tolerance culture,” she says.

Freedom from abuse is an underlying benefit of full representation that has yet to be fully quantified but is desperately needed.


Mark your calendars: I’ll be leading another conversation about the “black ceiling” that black women face in corporate life, today at 3:55 Pacific time. I’ll be talking with Jamie-Clare Flaherty, director of strategic initiatives, Obama Foundation; Tracey Patterson, Service Delivery Lead, Accenture Operations, and Bärí Williams, head of business operations, North America, StubHub. You’re not going to want to miss it.

On Point

FBI releases hate crime statsYesterday, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report, a compilation of reports from 15,254 law enforcement agencies reporting data over a 12-month period. The report showed 6,121 criminal incidents “that were motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity.” The vast majority of offenders, 46.3 percent, were white, and some 57 percent of incidents were motivated by race or ethnicity. While alarming, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the number is too low – a recent special report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that half of the 250,000 hate crimes that took place each year between 2004 and 2015 went unreported for a variety of reasons. But of the ones that are reported, most take place near people’s homes or a major roadway. The Root has the full scoop below.The Root

Colin Kaepernick gets the cover treatment from GQ
Kaepernick is one of four GQ “Citizens of the Year,” and the cover photo is thrilling fans around the world. (The other three are Gal Gadot, Stephen Colbert, and Kevin Durant if you’re curious.) It’s been an interesting run for Kaepernick; the editors first put him on the cover in 2013 because he had been playing football; now he’s on the cover because he isn’t. “[H]e has been locked out of the game he loves—blackballed—because of one simple gesture: He knelt during the playing of our national anthem,” specifically to protest systemic oppression and police brutality toward black people.  While the narrative around his protest was been lost somewhat, Kaepernick has clearly joined the ranks of athletes who have sacrificed their careers for their ideals. The photos accompanying this piece, many taken in Harlem surrounded by kids, help cement his image as a transformational figure. First-person analyses of Kaepernick’s activism work by experts like Ava DuVernay, Tamika Mallory and Nessa, round out this package.

Renee DiResta is the social media executive we need, but may not deserve
DiResta is part of a small group of experts, obsessed with understanding how disinformation campaigns spread online at the hands of “malicious actors,” and working to reign in the propaganda machine gone wild. She’s also been helping Congressional aides prepare for the recent hearings on the role social media played in Russian disinformation activities ahead of the 2016 election. “How a small group of self-made experts came to advise Congress on disinformation campaigns is a testament to just how long tech companies have failed to find a solution to the problem,” says the New York Times. The dozen or so hobbyists, working feverishly in their spare time, have identified an astonishing array of issues and say that in the quest for damage control, companies like Facebook have allowed the problem to scale. “Facebook has the tools to monitor how far this content is spreading,” DiResta says “The numbers they were originally providing were trying to minimize it.”
New York Times

Larry Krasner’s excellent adventure
By now, last week’s historic off-season election has nearly faded from news cycle memory. But this profile from The Star makes it clear that Philadelphia’s new district attorney is not planning on shrinking from view. Larry Krasner, a left-leaning defense lawyer who has sued the Philadelphia police department 75 times, has embraced both the Black Lives Matter activists and platforms, and convincingly took his message to the streets. And yes, he hung at black-owned barber shops and actually blended right in. “Real recognize real in the hood. And Larry’s as real as it comes,” said Asa Khalif, a lead BLM activist in Philadelphia. “So he’s an honorary brother right now.” Krasner ran on a plan to end “stop and frisk” police searchers, mass incarceration, and cash bail for non-violent offenses. He won 75 % of the vote.
The Star

The Woke Leader

Writer Roxane Gay calls for empathy in accepting all body types
Roxane Gay has earned legions of fans for her unapologetic exploration of the real lives of real women, through her essays and books, like  Bad Feminist, Difficult Women and Hunger, her recent memoir about food, weight, personal violence and self-image. While her social media clapbacks are legendary, in this interview with Harpers Bazaar, Gay talks about the burden faced by fat people living in a society that sees them as sick and diseased. “I wish people had more empathy and consideration for different types of bodies and didn’t immediately start to approach fat bodies as, ‘Oh, this is a problem and this problem needs to be solved.’ That’s just such a bad way to go about treating other human beings.”
Harpers Bazaar

On colonialism, race, and losing your mother tongue
Derek Owusu, a writer, mentor and podcaster, has written a beautiful essay on the complexity of being a first-generation U.K. immigrant, and the unexpected realization that not learning Twi, his Ghanian mother’s first language, was a missed opportunity. “For a long time, I underestimated the impact language had on shaping who I am.” His mother came to the U.K. at 18, escaping poverty and political unrest. But with a child in tow, she faced both racism and rejection for being a single mother. “Still, the way my mother sees it, she suffered so I don’t have to. England was still better than Ghana,” he says. While Derek got an Anglo name, he lost the language of his heritage. Without it, he feels he will never fully understand here he comes from. “[E]lements of cultures are codes that almost seem meaningless if you don’t have the key.”
Media Diversified

A story of race and family, mixed yet separate
Not that long ago, “mixed marriages,” were emotionally fraught negotiations for many families, who struggled to balance the racist societies they lived in with the surprise of a new son- or daughter-in-law of a different race. With a black and Japanese mother and a white father whose family disowned them, Sarah Ratliff shares a deeply personal tale of community, racism and struggling to define herself in a world unprepared to let her name herself. “For many of us, my family included, [identity] had to do with which parent’s race was more discriminated against.”
Swirl Nation Blog


In all societies, both women and men are powerfully conditioned to repress the daily realities of (sexual harassment and workplace glass ceilings) and to collude with the rest of society in keeping these dimensions of shared experiences hidden.
William Keepin