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raceAhead: Discrimination in the Justice Department and McDonald’s Broken Wage Promises

A view of a woman's eye looking through a hole in yellow paperA view of a woman's eye looking through a hole in yellow paper

Just a quick note up top since I’m on the move today (and tomorrow). But the good news is that I’m moving with you in mind.

I’ll be at the fantastic Greenhouse Open Conference 2018 tomorrow, moderating a panel that promises to explore the real deal on building inclusive organizations. The best part is that you’ve provided much of the fodder for this great discussion, so thanks in advance.

Joining me will be:

  • Emilio Castilla, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Jolen Anderson, SVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Visa
  • Richard Cho, Head of Recruiting, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Tariq Meyers, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Lyft

You can follow the live stream by registering here. Our panel is on Tuesday, April 3, at 10:30AM Eastern. By all means shop around — the entire two and a half days are rich with relevant content for anyone who wants to build better teams and companies.

See on you on the flip side.

On Point

McDonald’s under fire for minimum wage promiseThree years ago, McDonald’s pledged to pay all workers at corporate-owned stores in the U.S. at least one dollar above the local minimum wage. Now, employees in eight cities are saying that the company is not keeping its word. Paystubs shared by their union-backed “Fight For $15” campaign show pay that is markedly lower than promised and has not kept apace with rising minimum wages, nor has it delivered on promised benefits including tuition reimbursement and paid time off.Fortune

Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on vacation after advertisers flee her show
The television host is leaving her show in the hands of guest presenters this week, after a tweet she posted mocking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass-shooting survivor David Hogg, upset the show’s advertisers. The tweet, which mocked Hogg’s recent college rejections, was amplified after Hogg suggested that people complain to the brands who advertised on the show. An exodus followed, including Wayfair, who said in a statement that “the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values.” 

Disturbing allegations of discrimination and harassment from the Department of Justice
Here’s a disturbing story from the Department of Justice’s death penalty unit, and allegations of gender bias and a “sexualized environment” leveled against the unit’s chief, Kevin Carwile and his deputy, Gwynn Kinsey. There have been at least 12 formal complaints since 2010, which included unwanted groping and sexual conversations, and discriminatory behavior like men-only meetings, favoritism, and plum assignments for less qualified men. Some of the issues had real-world implications, like in the Boston Marathon trial. While Carwile has now been removed and Kinsey demoted and moved to another division, “I have always wanted to pursue a career with the Department of Justice, but it failed me when I reported misconduct,” said one complainant. “No woman should feel compelled to deal with the pervasive harassment that I experienced, much less have her complaint be effectively disregarded,” said one complainant.
New York Times


The Woke Leader

Creating a diversity program: Five lessons
This is a dispatch from the diversity and inclusion team behind University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a federally funded institute focusing on, well, atmospheric research. In 2015, the team began with a series of internal conversations exploring the lack of diversity at UCAR, the result was a co-created, four-part diversity training program that explores power and privilege, gender, and race, and includes a three-hour bystander intervention training. “While we still meet resistance from employees who do not understand how diversity and inclusion are related to their job in a scientific organization, this resistance is becoming less common,” they report. Click through for their five tips to replicate their success.

A black woman rode a motorcycle alone across the U.S. during Jim Crow and you’re going to want to meet her
Her name was Bessie Stringfield and she taught herself to ride a motorcycle in her teens, then at the age of 19, she flipped a coin onto a map of the U.S. and started what was to become the first of eight cross-country jaunts, the first black woman to ride to all 48 connected states. There were no interstates back then, just dusty roads and bigotry: She often slept on her bike in gas stations, or in the homes of black folks, if she could find them. But she loved the road. “When I get on the motorcycle I put the Man Upstairs on the front,” she told her biographer. “I’m very happy on two wheels.”

A curriculum to better understand racism and racial politics
Writer, poet, researcher, and all-around intersectional badass Vriddhi Vinay has published her best efforts at a list of books, essays and videos exploring colonial history, racial terminology, intersectional injustices, global anti-blackness, the indigenous struggle for liberation, “scientific racism,” and a good helping of gender and queer theory. While it clearly reflects her own work and influences, it’s a fascinating list of resources. I haven’t checked them all, but I bet if I did I’d be smarter and probably pretty tired.


The years of imprisonment hardened me … Perhaps if you have been given a moment to hold back and wait for the next blow, your emotions wouldn’t be blunted as they have been in my case. When it happens every day of your life, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear… there is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known.
Winnie Mandela