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Fortune launches a new community for leaders who want to change business for good

September 15, 2020, 11:06 PM UTC

When the world seems upside down, it’s good to work toward something beautiful. In that spirit, some personal—and professional—news.

I’ve been working alongside an amazing team at Fortune (virtual) HQ to create our newest executive community, designed specifically for mid-career professionals who are on the executive track, rising fast, and leadership bound—and who want to be part of a growing cohort of leaders who understand that business needs to make the world better. 

Here’s a preview of the announcement I wrote for our print edition:

Our Most Powerful Women community, now two decades old, has owned the conversation on gender diversity in executive ranks; and as you’ll learn later this year, is advancing a new and decidedly intersectional lens. For six years, our annual Change the World list has been a chronicle of the increasingly creative ways business is tethering profit to purpose. And the CEO Initiative, which was conceived at a historic meeting at Vatican City four years ago, is a community of big company CEOs who are boldly conspiring to use their businesses to generate global economic opportunity, while addressing society’s most pressing unmet needs.

Fortune is building on this powerful history with a clear vision of what we think the business world is moving toward: A bold—and yes, likely radical at times—reimagining of shareholder capitalism. Inclusive. Compassionate. Accountable. Prepared not just to dismantle inequitable systems but to rebuild them. 

Next month, we are launching Fortune Connect—a membership community and online platform for mid-career professionals who understand they are in a purpose-driven world and want to become more fluent in the language of stakeholder capitalism, inclusive leadership, and purpose. We are designing it for inspiration, to help members find the inspiration, energy, and allies they’ll need to grow their careers while make business better. It’s our bold and beautiful idea for this urgent moment; if Connect is right for the moment you’re in, we hope you bring your energy our way.

Learn more here and here. Oh, and do click on the video. Although I’m a little self-conscious, I’m proud of my work on it— shot on a hot summer day with a safe and socially distant crew in my garage. And now that our virtual doors are nearly open, I’m getting excited to welcome new members and watch them change the world.

Ellen McGirt

On point

The coronavirus pandemic is a significant setback for UN Development goals Some 20 years of steady progress has been derailed, says the 2020 issue of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers report. In fact, extreme poverty has increased by 7% and “vaccine coverage, a good proxy measure for how health systems are functioning, is dropping to levels last seen in the 1990s, setting the world back about 25 years in 25 weeks.” Click through for the analysis; if you’re pressed for time, start with this in-depth summary from Stat.
Gates Foundation

City of Louisville agrees to a settlement in the Breonna Taylor wrongful death case The city is set to pay the family of Breonna Taylor $12 million in a record-breaking settlement, and have agreed to a number of other policing reforms, such as changes to the process for warrants, and an early action warning system to identify officers with “red flags” on their records. Lonita Baker, an attorney for Taylor's family, said that "justice for Breonna is multi-layered," and what was accomplished in the settlement is "only a portion of a single layer." Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment by police six months ago.

A whistleblower has come forward with horrific allegations of abuse by a doctor employed at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Georgia. Specifically, that he had been responsible for medical neglect and numerous unnecessary hysterectomies performed on immigrant detainees, largely without their consent. The complaint was filed to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general Monday. The complaint, which is absolutely a must-read, describes a desperate situation of rampant COVID, and desperately ill people living in unsanitary conditions. The unnecessary hysterectomies are a particularly chilling detail. “We’ve questioned among ourselves like goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out...That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector,” says Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse at the facility. “I know that’s he collecting these things or something... Everybody he sees, he’s taking all their uteruses out or he’s taken their tubes out. What in the world.” The complaint is signed by several advocacy groups, including Project South: The Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide.

On background

Happy Hispanic Heritage month! This month, the more generous evolution of the original Hispanic Heritage Week, was born of legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. (It was expanded to a full 30 days by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.) It begins every year on September 15 to acknowledge five Latin American countries that declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Roybal deserves to be remembered. In 1949, after a failed first attempt, he became the first Latino elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Later, in Congress, he earned a powerful spot on the Appropriations Committee, co-founded the House Select Committee on Aging, and established the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Evidently, the Roybal family can trace their roots in New Mexico back some eight generations to before the Spanish settlement of Santa Fe. Let’s see what we can do during the month he fought for, shall we? Check out Google’s plan, below.
USA Today

If you think forced hysterectomies are a new thing, think again Here’s just a snapshot. California led the nation in forced sterilizations for men and women, often in state institutions, from the turn of the last centuries through the 1970s. For about six years starting in 1970, U.S. physicians sterilized — often without their knowledge or under duress — an estimated 25% of Native American women of childbearing age. Conservatively. And the great civil rights trailblazer Fannie Lou Hamer was sterilized without her consent during a routine medical procedure in 1961. These hysterectomies were so common in teaching hospitals serving Black women, they were called “Mississippi appendectomies.” You can search your state’s eugenics history in this database—all 50 states are represented!—and learn more about the eugenics and genocide history below.

All praise queer (virtual) AA Followers of the wonderful writer Britni de la Cretaz will be familiar with some of her story, but her essay on the unique lifeline that queer AA meetings offer is a wonderful snapshot of how intersectionality literally saves lives. “Though I was sober for many years before I discovered queer meetings," she writes. "When I finally did, they were a game-changer for me." Sure, pronouns are exchanged, materials are re-worked to be more inclusive, but it’s really about allowing people to be holistically authentic. “It was the first place where I felt that I could merge the entirety of who I was, instead of siloing it: I used to have my queer community and my recovery community, and those two things were separate.”

When personality and bias collide Quinisha Jackson-Wright does a great service by debunking the use of unscientific personality assessment tools, specifically the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as a strategy for managers who want to understand the strengths and styles of the people who work for them. “Do they fulfill their intended purpose of helping managers get to know their team’s working styles, or simply reinforce stereotypes that encourage managers to seek out people like themselves?” she correctly asks. Particularly at risk to be pigeonholed and marginalized are women, introverts, introverts of color, and immigrants who may be bringing non-majority cultural norms to the workplace. So, a lot of people. While there are truly useful and unbiased personality assessment tools in the marketplace (I’ve taken quite a few) none of that matters if the results aren’t filtered through a welcoming environment run by well-trained leaders. “While the M.B.T.I., and the organizations that use the assessment, promote the idea that there’s no ‘wrong’ personality, real-life workplace conflicts do not always play out so objectively.” Excellent fodder here.
New York Times

raceAhead is edited by Aric Jenkins.

Today's mood board

Smoke from the California wildfires has now reached New York City. Not good.

(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)