Black Diversity Experts Are Criticized for Talking About Race – CNN iReport

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Author, speaker, diversity facilitator and change agent.

Latest posts by Brian V Moore (see all)

Billy Vaughn, PhD CDP is an award winning cultural diversity expert. He is editor of Chief Diversity Officer magazine.



Black Diversity Experts Are Criticized for Talking About Race

I just put my best effort into designing and developing a cultural diversity training based on data received from a client organization’s workforce. The data spoke clearly. Too many employees say and do things that are insulting. Coded words like welfare mothers and lack of initiative seem to be used all too often in reference to African American co-workers or customers. Training that raises their awareness about the impact of what they say on others is needed increase productivity and collegiality.
What I and many in the community of cultural diversity experts too often find is that the client will censor emphasis on race even when the data begs us to address it. The client will tell us that the training needs to be inclusive and focusing too much attention on race will ignore the other groups in the audience. I will never forget the conversation I had with a human resource manager of a major university when I described research that consistently shows how black Americans tend to feel excluded relative to other groups even in the award winning diversity best practice organizations. In the same breath, she agreed with the research results before going back to the conversation about being inclusive. It was as though good data did not matter to her whether it came from employees at her university or a summary of consistent research results from other organizations.

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