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Why Time’s Up Plan B should have been Plan A

August 27, 2021, 5:31 PM UTC

Time’s Up in a time-out, Big Burger struggles with the big questions, a diverse network of overlooked creators gets some buzz, and if Padma Lakshmi says you’re not funny, you’re not funny.

But first, here’s your Paralympian week in review, in Haiku.

The roar of the crowd.
Nothing but adrenaline
pounding through your heart.

This is it! All the 
training, setbacks, and breakthroughs
lead to this moment.

Control your breath. Now:
Forget all the people who
said you couldn’t do, 

be here now. You are
among the best in the world!
Narrow your vision.

Get your mind ready.
Roll up to the starting line.
And bring home the Gold.

Here’s to the Paralympians, who exhibit excellence despite any and all barriers. May we all know the roar of the crowds. 

Ellen McGirt

On Point

The shakeup at Time’s Up continues Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen has stepped down, as the organization continues to deal with public outcry into the role she and other Time’s Up advisors played in counseling former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his response to sexual harassment claims. Current COO Monifa Bandele has been tapped to be interim CEO, to “rebuild the organization and honor and respect the experiences of survivors and the broader community of women at work whom we serve,” the board said in a statement. Bandele has been a powerful policy analyst and organizer for years, with a rich history of accomplishment tackling maternal justice, voting rights, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline. Not a Beltway insider, and not a power player? Seems like she would have made an excellent first choice.
Hollywood Reporter

A burger with a side of a living wage? McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski unwraps his thinking behind vegan menus, vending machines in schools, their commitment to Black Lives and the minimum wage — “Our people deserve to be paid well. The question is what is the living wage? Is there one living wage?” —in this recent Corner Office column from the New York Times.  It offers an interesting snapshot into how the leader of one of the world’s most ubiquitous companies in the world sees the burger maker’s role in meeting the moment. “I learned through the last year that while we have a lot of things that we should be proud of, there are a lot of places where we’re still falling short,” he says of Black civil rights.  
New York Times

Burt’s Bees becomes the first brand to launch a campaign through Omnicom’s Diverse Creator’s Network The Diverse Creators Network (DCN) was launched this summer by the global marketing firm to help brands reach millions of BIPOC content creators, in partnership with Twitter. (Two other platforms are signing on.) The five week lip-balm campaign kicks off this week starring Tiara Willis, a licensed esthetician and makeup expert with some 276,000 Twitter followers. Clorox Co. is launching a campaign later this year. (Subscription required.)

This edition of raceAhead was edited by Wandy Felicita Ortiz.

On background

Understanding Afghanistan is, I realize a tough bit of business. While I’ve been searching for things to pass along and share, I stumbled upon this powerful testimony from Sarah Chayes, a former NPR journalist who covered the fall of the Taliban in 2001, and who went on to become a special advisor to the Pentagon, author, and a renowned expert in corruption, insurgency and governance. Her dispatch is deeply affecting and worth your time. “I and too many other people to count spent years of our lives trying to convince U.S. decision-makers that Afghans could not be expected to take risks on behalf of a government that was as hostile to their interests as the Taliban were,” she writes. “I finally stopped trying to get it across when, in 2011, an interagency process reached the decision that the U.S. would not address corruption in Afghanistan. It was now explicit policy to ignore one of the two factors that would determine the fate of all our efforts. That’s when I knew today was inevitable.”
Sarah Chayes

Padma Lakshmi takes aim at an ugly stereotype The food author and television personality responded to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gene Weingarten’s recent Washington Post Magazine column with a cutting opinion piece in the same paper. In “You can’t make me eat these foods,” Weingarten states his dislike of Indian food, curry in particular, as “the only ethnic cuisine in the world insanely based entirely on one spice.” Of course, he’s entirely wrong. But worse, it’s racist and unfunny. “For generations, people have slung racist insults about the ‘stinky’ foods of immigrants: Italians with garlic, Irish with cabbage, Koreans with kimchi and, yes, South Asians with curry. It was never funny,” she writes. “On the heels of a pandemic that particularly devastated India and a cultural reckoning with racist structures in the United States, mischaracterizing and denigrating the food of 1.3 billion Indians is not a good look.” And that was just the appetizer.
Washington Post

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before Laugh and the world laughs with you, as the saying goes, unless you’re a woman, of course. (Gene Weingarten exception, noted.) This is the finding from research from four industrial-organizational psychologists who studied 300 workers in a variety of work settings and performed two controlled experiments to isolate the effects of gender and humor. Yadda yadda yadda, they found that when men added humor to their presentations they were seen as more capable leaders; when women added the same humor to the same presentation, they were seen as less capable leaders. Ladies, whaddaya gonna do? Stay funny, stay sane and point out the bias to others. Maybe print it on a whoopee cushion, just to be sure.

Mood board

RaceAhead-April Holmes-Paralympics 2008
Full speed ahead —meet four-time Paralympian April Holmes (right).
Chris Hyde—Getty Images

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