Diversity and Inclusion
D&I Dialogues: Continuing the Conversation
August 1, 2020
We’ve seen the disturbing videos and read the countless articles surrounding the unjust murders of Black Americans. From Breonna Taylor to George Floyd to Ahmaud Arbery to Elijah McClain and the countless additional victims of police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement has re-entered the spotlight and become the main topic of conversation. Most of us have had discussions with friends or family, but when we come to work, it’s almost expected that we shut out all outside factors and focus on our day-to-day roles. Here, however, we want to encourage having these important conversations at work, where we spend the majority of our time. Our Diversity & Inclusion group has taken on the responsibility to brainstorm how we can begin talking about this movement together, as an organization. Being in a virtual environment can be tough and leave us feeling disconnected, but we instead are choosing to embrace this time to engage in meaningful discussions that would help us to feel closer than ever. D&I Dialogues were born in order to facilitate purposeful conversation and to encourage ‘Coders to be comfortable bringing our full selves to work each day. D&I DIALOGUE SESSIONS Each month, we have a different ‘Coder moderate the conversation. This month, Account Management Director, Derrick Dalrymple, volunteered to guide the conversation. “With all of the political unrest in the country, I was really interested in hearing what my fellow coworkers thought of the current climate. I have friends from many different backgrounds and they all want to be effective allies but they don’t know exactly how to contribute,” Dalrymple shared of why he was interested in moderating the conversation. The D&I Dialogue sessions begin with setting ground rules. We want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and knows that this is a safe space to share. In addition, to avoid overlap, we ask that everyone keeps their sound on mute and they unmute themselves once they're ready to speak. Lastly, we emphasize that it is okay to not say all of the “right things”. That’s why we have these sessions — to learn from each other and to share our thoughts. It’s important to note that the Dialogues are meant to be open conversations, not teaching sessions. All of us are required to self-educate and do research on our own. BEING AN EFFECTIVE ALLY With that, we begin the conversation. Our most recent dialogue was on the topic of “Being an Effective Ally”. Dalrymple moderated the discussion by posing the following questions:
- What interested you in attending today’s session?
- What does being an effective ally mean to you?
- Have you had difficult conversations outside of work and how have you facilitated those discussions?
- How have monuments coming down and brands reconsidering their strategies affected your understanding of systemic racism?
- How do you think the Facebook Boycott has affected your relationship with being an ally?
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