Posts tagged with "inclusion"

Dr. J. Goosby Smith

Named Vice President for Community Belonging and Chief Diversity Officer at Pepperdine University

Dr. April Harris Akinloye will join Smith as assistant vice president for community belonging.

Press Release: The KAIROS Company for Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University announced today its long-anticipated selection of the University’s inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer, Dr. J. Goosby Smith. 

Smith will join Pepperdine on June 1, 2021, from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she currently serves as associate professor of leadership; associate professor of management; assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center. 

Smith received her BS in computer science from Spelman College and her MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She anticipates earning her master of divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in December 2021. 

“What an honor it is today to announce Dr. Smith is returning to the Pepperdine community,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash. “I’m especially grateful to the Search Committee for identifying an amazing and experienced leader. I simply cannot wait to work alongside Dr. Smith as we chart a distinctively Pepperdine path forward addressing one of the great issues of our time. Our goal isn’t just to have a community of belonging but to train generations of graduates to create the same in their own communities.”

Smith is no stranger to Pepperdine having served previously as an assistant professor of organizational behavior in the Seaver College Business Administration Division from 2002 to 2006, and then as a tenured associate professor of organizational behavior in the same division from 2011 to 2015. She has also served as assessment coordinator for the Seaver Diversity Council and as an adjunct professor in the Graziadio Business School’s MBA program. 

Smith will report directly to President Gash, serve as a member of the University’s Steering Team, and be a principal leader on the University Diversity Council for which she previously served as inaugural faculty co-chair in 2005. 

The selection of a vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer is one in a series of initiatives the University has been implementing to cultivate a community of deep belonging and to build and model a diverse, informed, loving, and unified community at Pepperdine. 

Joining Smith in leading diversity and inclusion initiatives at Pepperdine will be Dr. April Harris Akinloye (’00, MA ’05), who will return to her alma mater as the assistant vice president for community belonging.

Harris Akinloye is a double alumna of Pepperdine, receiving her BA in speech communication and religious studies from Seaver College and her MA in education from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She earned her PhD in education with a focus on cultural perspectives from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Harris Akinloye will join Pepperdine from Social Good Solutions where she is currently a senior consultant for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She previously served as the chief diversity officer at Vanguard University.

“When I was a candidate to be Pepperdine’s eighth president, I made it clear that hiring a chief diversity officer would be among my top priorities,” said Gash. “Though we began our national search for a chief diversity officer, after getting to know these two extraordinarily qualified leaders, each of whom has a deep love for Pepperdine and our mission, we decided to hire a team—and what a team it is! Drs. Smith and Harris Akinloye will be a venerable force to help lead Pepperdine to a new level of inclusion, excellence, and genuine belonging, befitting the Pepperdine community’s unwavering commitment to radical Christian hospitality.”

Business woman article illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Isn’t it Time to Smash the Myths of Women in Business?

By Andi Simon, Ph.D.

How many times have you heard something said about women that was just not “true?”  The myths seem to be everywhere, even as women penetrate areas that seemed out of bounds in the past.

What do we hear? Women aren’t great leaders. They aren’t decisive or they are too collaborative or too caring. Then you watch Angela Merkel or Kamala Harris, or all the other women today who are leading the way forward in challenging times.

Maybe you are a young woman dreaming of becoming a surgeon, like my granddaughter wants to be, and your teacher suggests you might consider being a pediatrician instead. They might tell you that women don’t make great surgeons, except on “Grey’s Anatomy.” 
 
Maybe you just have great ideas about the fashion industry like so many of those women graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology—and the graduates are almost all women. Those women look around wondering how to smash the ceilings holding them back when they see men running most of the major fashion companies. Women don’t run the companies as well as men do, or so you are told. Women do the work, create great fashion designs, while the men run the companies.

You aren’t even sure that becoming an attorney is the right career for you when you see that 40% of the lawyers are women today but only 19% of equity partners are women and women are less likely to get to the first level of partnership than their male counterparts. You aren’t sure why being a lady lawyer is going to be so tough for you. It is much the same in accounting firms where women are more than 61% of all accountants and auditors, yet less than a third are partners and principals.  

As a woman you feel your boldness emerging. You see the dreams that are becoming realities. You feel a sea change in public and private stories that are being told about what women can do and are doing. But you realize that we are not there yet. We still have a lot of myth-smashing to go before people expect women to be those leaders, surgeons, and great CEOs.

I bet that all you heard from others through much of your life is that your dreams “will never, or might never, happen.” In reply, you might have asked, “Why?” Well, they would tell you something like “that’s not what women do” or “women are meant to have and raise the children, not start their own business.”  You might have been encouraged to study IT, only to find that the world of coding is filled with men who are not particularly encouraging to you and your dreams. You find that, indeed, most surgeons are men, and women are discouraged from going into surgery, are rarely welcome, and often are held  to a higher standard than the men are. 

In the entrepreneurial arena, 40% of the businesses in the U.S. before the COVID-19 pandemic were owned and run by women. Yet less than 3% of the venture-capital investments were in women-owned businesses. The women were going to start and grow their businesses, and hope to succeed, by relying on family, friends, and revenue to underwrite their growth. If we dug deeper, we would find that their markets, often controlled by men, were not particularly supportive of those women-owned businesses, and neither bought from them nor helped them build their businesses. 

The gap between the achievements of women and the culture in which they are trying to succeed reflects the myths that men have created over centuries and reluctantly modified in more recent times. What is a myth? Think about the stories that we tell each other, our children, our friends, about what we believe to be those “sacred ways we do things” in our societies. 

As people, the secret of our success is in those imagined realities that we create to give meaning to our daily lives. Our cultural myths have driven how we believe our lives should be lived. Once we give these stories, these mythical “truths,” almost “godlike” power, these myths become what we believe are immutable realities. Are they “real”? Yes and no. They are what the stories in our minds believe to be our “reality.” But they can change, if we collaborate with our minds, change our stories, and share those new ones so our shared stories can change as well. This is not a solo act, even though it might feel that way.

These are myths that need to be smashed if we are going to change how men and women relate to each other, how women can succeed, and how organizations of all sizes and in all industries can find greatness in the women with whom they work and live. 

None of this is happening to diminish the value or importance of men. Many men are great mentors and coaches to their women employees.  It is just time for men to shift over and enable, encourage and empower women so both men and women can create better societies, businesses, schools, hospitals, and everything that is so important in our lives. Let’s change those men’s clubs enough to let women in without the men fleeing them. 

It is time to get past the gender fatigue that men are feeling about having to actually address the inclusion, equity and need for diversity in their workplaces, in their organizations, and in our government. The times demand it. Women are ready for it. And the shift is happening, despite the brick walls, the glass ceilings, the enduring men’s clubs. These are important times to rethink our myths about what women can do and what men will allow them to achieve. It is time for men and women to rewrite these myths so women can thrive, and our society can become the best that it can be. 

Andi Simon, Ph.D., author of the new book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants. A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

Octavia Spencer illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Octavia Spencer × Ruderman Family Foundation

Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer today joined the Ruderman Family Foundation in calling on the entertainment industry to increase the casting of people with disabilities, including in on-screen roles that portray characters with disabilities.

“Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities,” Octavia Spencer says in a new public service announcement with the Ruderman Family Foundation

Appearing in a newly released public service announcement, Spencer recounts Hollywood’s long history of inauthentic representation and exclusion of marginalized populations — from men playing women until 1660; to white actors playing Black, Asian, and Native American characters; to LGBTQ stories getting left out of film and television until the last two decades.

“All of these communities of people had to endure not only their stories being told inauthentically, but also seeing themselves portrayed inauthentically,” says Spencer in a message filmed for the Ruderman Family Foundation. “But nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation. That’s why it’s imperative that we cast the appropriate actor for the appropriate role, and that means people with disabilities as well. Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities.”

She continues, “I am joining with the Ruderman Family Foundation to call on the entertainment industry to increase casting of people with disabilities. There is no reason that we should continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Together, we should and can do better.”

Spencer’s call amplifies the Foundation’s series of initiatives to foster greater inclusion in the entertainment industry.

Last December, the organization circulated an open letter calling on studio, production, and network executives to pledge to create more opportunities for people with disabilities, and to make more inclusive casting decisions. Among those who signed the pledge were Oscar winners George Clooney and Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar nominees Ed Norton, Bryan Cranston and Mark Ruffalo, Golden Globe winner Glenn Close, Oscar-winning director Peter Farrelly, accomplished actress Eva Longoria, and acclaimed filmmaker Bobby Farrelly.

A separate Foundation-initiated pledge to commit to auditioning more actors with disabilities was signed by CBS, while the BBC pledged to implement more authentic and distinctive representation of people with disabilities on screen. The Foundation also released a white paper showing that half of U.S. households want accurate portrayals of characters with disabilities, and despite that only 22% of characters with disabilities are authentically portrayed on television.

“As an Oscar-winning actor, Octavia Spencer embodies Hollywood’s vast potential to serve as a powerful catalyst for positive social change if studio, production, and network executives commit to more inclusive and authentic representation,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We are gratified that Ms. Spencer has joined our call and we look forward to have other actors and actresses, filmmakers, producers and studios continue to create unprecedented momentum that brings about greater casting of people with disabilities.”

To view Octavia Spencer’s video message in full, please see here.

Follow Octavia Spencer: Instagram | Twitter

Follow Ruderman Family Foundation: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Superhero illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Black-Owned Superhero Brand

Aza Comics, owned by black woman creator Jazmin Truesdale and known for its roster of multicultural female superheroes, is aiming to continue providing hope and escapism for the world as people support the Black Lives Matter movement. “Aza Comics has always addressed the issues of black people in its storylines,” says Truesdale, “I’m just happy that now people are finally understanding what is happening and joining this fight that is truly everyone’s fight.”

The Aza Universe is centered almost entirely around women of color and has always tried to provide hope and inspiration for women around the world as they face various issues like racial inequity, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. This hits especially close to home for Truesdale as countless black women like Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor have yet to see justice in a time when black women face the highest rates of homicide in the US.  During this time, Aza Comics received an incredible growth in sales and exposure as more people discovered what the Aza superhero universe is all about. “I just want people to at least feel safe in their imagination,” says Truesdale.  “For black people and many other people of color, everywhere we look pain is reflecting back at us.  I want Aza Comics to be that escape where you can feel heard and empowered to fight another day.”

Aza Comics has a lot in store this year for its growing number of fans. “We will do what we’ve always done,” says Truesdale,” Continue to grow and enrich the lives of people of color around the world and partner with people and brands who truly care about the lives of others.”  The company plans to use its revenue to invest in entrepreneurs of color, support women athletes, expand its universe with more inclusive superheroes and do what it can to continue being a voice.

Aza Comics is a superhero brand based in Durham, North Carolina founded by serial entrepreneur and author Jazmin Truesdale.  The company is known for its multicultural female superheroes and philanthropic initiatives that have been featured in Vogue, TIME, USA Today, and various other national and international publications.

Follow Aza Comics:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Jazmin Truesdale:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Justice illustration

Global Though Leader on Ending Racism

George Floyd’s murder ignited a wave of national and global protests demanding justice and change, including police reform and reparations for Black Americans. Structural Racism is not exclusive to the United States. Racism is clearly a global problem.

In a new interview with C.M. Rubin, Michael Baran, the Co-Author of Subtle Acts of Exclusion, says communities “need to work to address structural inequalities in societies in health, wealth, education, and criminal injustice.” Baran believes that it is important to start talking about bias with preschool children. “If we don’t teach them about this, they will learn passively through all the subtle messages in our culture, which leads to unconscious biases.” Baran additionally advocates for more focus on training teachers to be inclusive, “as teachers can have unconscious biases as well.”

Michael Baran is the Senior Partner & Digital Solutions Lead in InQUEST. He is also the Co-Author of Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions. As an Author, Speaker, and also a Strategist for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Baran has been committed to conducting and organizing ethnographic research for varies social issues, including race and identity, racial disparities in education, violence against children, healthy housing, environmental health, human services, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, climate change, and early childhood development. CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by most nations. The series has become a highly visible platform for global discourse on 21st-century learning, offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin, together with the world’s leading thinkers.

NAMIC CHAPTER EXPANSION

NAMIC REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY WITCH CHAPTER EXPANSION

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), the premier organization focusing on cultural diversity in the communications industry, is expanding its national footprint with the installation of two new chapters NAMIC-Virginia and NAMIC-Detroit. 

The chapters will be led by Vonya Alleyne, vice president, human resources, Cox Communications, Virginia Region, and Mikel D. Slater, vice president, human resources, Comcast, respectively.
“With a membership of more than 3,500 professionals across 18 chapters nationwide, we are dedicated to driving and developing a pipeline of diverse talent,” said Eglon E. Simons, NAMIC president and CEO. “Our chapter additions in Virginia and Detroit reaffirm our mission to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the workplace.”

Incorporated on May 31, 2017, NAMIC-Virginia will provide events and programs for communications industry professionals located in the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets, including Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Williamsburg and Newport News. The chapter is also committed to engaging local universities, technical community colleges and local media companies, as well as offering leadership, business and strategic development opportunities to its membership. 

More information is available on the chapter’s website at namicvirginia.com and LinkedIn, as well as on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

NAMIC-Virginia’s inaugural executive leadership team and advisory council comprise a diverse team of leaders with 100+ years of collective professional experience: 

NAMIC-Virginia: Executive Leadership Team

President: Vonya Alleyne, VP, Human Resources, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Vice President: Lakysha Laing, Director, Customer Care, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Secretary: Shinese Collins, Sr. Manager, Marketing, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Treasurer: Kenneth Rand, Business Manager, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Project Manager: Lakiesha Jones, Project Manager II, Cox Communications, Virginia Region
NAMIC-Virginia: Advisory Council

Stephanie Dewald, VP, Sales Centers, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Ramcess Jean-Louis, Director of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, Comcast

JD Myers, SVP and Region Manager, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Kimberly Voxland, Director of Public Relations and Office Operations, Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association
NAMIC-Detroit was incorporated on June 12, 2017. The chapter is dedicated to providing innovative professional and leadership development programs and initiatives, and establishing mentoring and professional networking opportunities to the Detroit area. NAMIC-Detroit will also educate, develop, empower and advocate for communication industry professionals and entrepreneurs. Additional chapter information is available on NAMIC’s website at namic.com/membership/detroit/.

NAMIC-Detroitߣs inaugural executive leadership team and advisory council include the following industry professionals:
NAMIC-Detroit: Executive Leadership Team

President: Mikel Slater, VP of Human Resources, Comcast

Vice President: Mark S. Lee, President & CEO, The LEE Group LLC

Secretary: Jackie Underwood, Sr. Director of Human Resources, Comcast Heartland Region

Treasurer: Abhijeet Kumar, Manager of Product Sales Support and Analysis, Comcast Heartland Region
NAMIC-Detroit: Advisory Council

Andrea Agnew, VP of Human Resources, Comcast Spotlight

Pamela Dover, Sr. Director of Business Development, Comcast

Michelle Gilbert, VP of Public Relations, Comcast Heartland Region

Maria Holmes, Director of Community Investment, Comcast Heartland Region
NAMIC’s 18 chapters are the heart and soul of the organization and constitute the most accessible opportunity for members to cultivate the relationships and knowledge to leverage career growth. NAMIC chapters are also learning labs for leadership competencies most sought after in the industry. To join, visit http://namic.com/membership/.

ABOUT NAMIC:

NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on cultural diversity, equity and inclusion in the communications industry. More than 3,500 professionals belong to a network of 18 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that target leadership development, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC collaborates with industry partners to grow and nurture a workforce that reflects the cultural richness of the populations served. Please visit www.namic.com for more information about NAMIC and its many opportunities.