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Activating white privilege + Being an ally for Black colleagues + “The Look” + STEM job fair + Being Black in today’s workplace


June 4, 2020 By Tarek Pertew

Going remote? Lots of Int'l HR jobs...`



Hi,

TLDR:  Activating white privilege, A must read on being an ally for Black colleagues, Being Black in today’s workplace, “The Look”, STEM job fair, HR jobs here and abroad

To be clear, we are living, right now, in what could be considered the most significant period in the history of the modern human race. With COVID, no community is excluded. With injustice, no community is excluded. My advice, and take it for what it is (just one person’s advice), please don’t let this period pass without thinking very deeply about who you are, where you are headed and what growth means to you personally (and professionally).

There is so much I want to say right now, but I’m tongue tied and not even this 21-day meditation challenge is helping me articulate these thoughts. Protests, riots, police brutality. People are holed up inside their homes, living in a dystopian reality with what I believe to be universally poor leadership informing our behaviors (as one doctor put it, we are going from being “governed” to being “ruled”). We could all use some semblance of scenario-based outcomes that can at least help people better prepare for their future….

…but not before we deal with the repeated abuse of power that has led to an unconscionable amount of pain and suffering in the Black community. The breaking point hit. It was always going to hit. The fact that a hate crime broke the proverbial camel’s back makes the outcome of these events so much more critical. I believe, as do my coworkers and friends, that this is perhaps the moment for real institutional change. A moment where the power brokers elevated through white privilege within our communities and our corporations, will activate their privilege to make change happen.

I think it may get worse before it gets better. But I believe this is the time for crony capitalism to get exposed, where broken foundations crumble and a collective community made up of the “99%” help to reshape a more fair and equitable future.

Question (for myself): As a mostly white man (I’m Arab-American, but you wouldn’t know unless you were airport security 🤦‍♂️), have I mostly sat on the sidelines, benefitting from white privilege while marginalized communities suffer? Yes, I have.  But I’m grateful for this moment, where I will undoubtedly activate my privilege for good, just like the rest of you.

I’m sorry if the above felt a bit too political for a weekly HR email. The world has probably had enough white people co-opting the narrative to tell everyone what they should be doing right now.

You do you.


 

 

  • READ THIS (RELATED): If you’d like a much more personal take on being a Black professional throughout the recent events, then take a moment to read this.

 

  • READ THIS (RELATED): Legendary basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned an extraordinarily accessible and thoughtful article in the LA Times. Give it a read here (may require subscription).

 

  • SUPPORT (RELATED): If your company is looking for ways to help or places to donate, Tech:NYC shared this #BlackLivesMatter document to support social justice organizations and Black-owned businesses.

 

  • WATCH THIS: A word on corporations championing social causes. And I’ll be honest. I love campaigns that bring awareness and empathy about a cause. I don’t love it when a brand puts their logo on it. I’m glad they foot the bill. I genuinely am. But how can the message be 100% pure if there may be the slightest chance it was solely motivated to gain public goodwill?

 

 

  • HIRING FOR STEM? UPenn & Vanderbilt engineering students will now be joining our July STEM hiring day, along with UVA, Duke, Berkeley and Tufts.

    If you are hiring entry-level across data, engineering, science, etc. then please let me know.

 

  • YOUR HELP: If your company hires entry-level students, please join me for a new 8-minute webinar series that learns about your hiring process. The series includes Peloton, Attentive, iHeart Media, Facebook, Google, Samsung, Flow and more. If you’d like your company to be part of the series, just hit reply or introduce me to the appropriate person.

Before I sign off, I wanted to take one more quote from that CNBC piece:

“There’s this pressure right now to say the right thing, but honestly, there is not necessarily a right thing to say because everyone is processing the situation differently.”

Bye for now,

Tarek

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