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racial bias in the workplace

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Racial Bias in the Workplace

Racial bias in the workplace is an open secret to those who experience it and a symptom of willful blindness to those who inflict it. It’s a serious problems.

Today’s guest, Daralyse Lyons is an activist who works tirelessly to shine a spotlinght on these issues and offer solutions on how to start fixing it.

Share this episode with someone you think will benefit from it.

Leave a review at Lovethepodcast.com/BusinessConfidential

What You’ll Discover About Racial Bias in the Workplace (highlights & transcript):

Demystifying Diversity* What most people fail to grasp about diversity [01:45]

* How to calm fears about diversity in the workplace [05:23]

* What it means to “do the work in a meaningful way” [08:59]

* How experiencing racial bias in the workplace is multilayered [11:23]

* Proactive steps employees can take to reduce racial bias in the workplace [13:05]

* Proactive steps employers can take to reduce racial bias in the workplace [14:37]

* The role of microaggressions in contributing to racial bias in the workplace [17:38]

* How start-ups and small businesses can support diversity, equity and inclusion [19:23]

* And MUCH more.

Hanna Hasl-Kelchner:    [00:00:00.90] Racial bias in the workplace is an open secret to those who experience it and a symptom of willful blindness to those who inflict it. It’s a serious problem. Next up is an activist who works tirelessly to shine a spotlight on these issues and offer solutions on how to fix it.

 

Announcer:       [00:00:20.54] This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner. Helping you see business issues hiding in plain view that matter to your bottom line.

 

Hanna: [00:00:32.23] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, I’m your host, Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, and today I am delighted to welcome Daralyse Lyons to the show. Daralyse is also known as the transformational storyteller, and she has an impressive background as a journalist, an actor and an activist. She’s a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and a summa cum laude graduate of NYU. Daralyse is also the author of Demystifying Diversity and has written and spoken extensively on the subject.

 

Hanna: [00:01:04.66] So let’s have her join us now. Welcome to Business Confidential Now, Daralyse

 

Daralyse Lyons: [00:01:10.42] Hi, Hanna. Thank you so much for having me. It’s really great to be here, and hi to everyone listening.

 

Hanna: [00:01:16.51] You know, I feel like diversity is just such an important subject and, at the same time, a raw subject and a very emotional one that some people find difficult to talk about because they don’t want to say the wrong thing and offend someone. But then by standing on the sidelines, they kind of appear complicit, so it’s an awkward, no-win situation. Now, that you have a really fascinating background in cross-cultural experiences, Daralyse.

 

WHAT MOST PEOPLE FAIL TO GRASP ABOUT DIVERSITY

 

Hanna: [00:01:45.46] And because of that, I’d like to have a very real conversation with you about diversity and especially the title of your book, “Demystifying Diversity.” What is it about diversity that, in your opinion, you believe most people are failing to grasp and needs demystifying?

 

Daralyse:          [00:02:05.68] Well, Hanna, that is such an important question, and I wrote a whole book about it. So let me see if I can [Laughter] kind of try to be concise. But, I think how people look at diversity is really behind so much of the fear and the unwillingness to engage in meaningful ways with the topic, and what I mean by that, I’ll kind of just give a little bit of a concrete example.

 

Daralyse:          [00:02:33.94] So you mentioned my rich background and I know your listeners can’t see me, but I’m a biracial woman and my mom is white, my dad is black. And so I think I – from an early age, right? So from birth, I really was gifted with having these multiple elements of self, right? Like having my white cultural identity, my black cultural identity and being able to live with both of those simultaneously operating within myself and never feel torn between them. And so I always just felt like my life has been so enriched by the fact that I’m biracial, that I live in the spectrum between extremes, between these binary black and white identities.

 

Daralyse:          [00:03:17.74] And so, for me, you know, the way that I see diversity is as something that is an enriching experience, but the only reason that I know that, that I’ve felt that, that I’ve experienced that is because I’ve had a lot of exposure to different racial and ethnic backgrounds and to different cultures. And, you know, first within my own home and my own family, and then later as a result of my work in journalism and just my friendships.

 

Daralyse:          [00:03:43.51] And so I have come to see that diversity, the more – my life is richer, the more people that I meet and the more people that I interact with who have different life experiences, different backgrounds, different ways of looking at the world. And so because I operate through that lens, it really – I think I’m able to come to diversity work, not from a space of shame or self-blame, but from a place of pragmatism and looking at like, oh my gosh, within this world, we have all of the cultural experiences, the racial identities, the ethnic identities, gender and sexual orientation and disabilities and like.

 

Daralyse:          [00:04:26.08] There’s just such a beautiful, rich spectrum of human experience, and all of it becomes richer and richer when more people are at the table kind of adding their voices to the conversation. And so that’s what I’m looking to demystify and answer as a long answer to your question, because I think that people look at diversity and think about it as something that maybe, you know, is scary or different or will that’s for those people over there.

 

Daralyse:          [00:04:54.76] But I think that the richness that comes from diversity, everyone can benefit from, and so my work is aimed at enabling people to see that we all have blind spots and that there are things that we all cannot see that exists outside the scope of our peripheral vision, and if we, you know, embrace different experiences in different ways of looking at things, it makes our lives richer and I think drives progress forward.

 

HOW TO CALM FEARS ABOUT DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

 

Hanna: [00:05:23.20] Very good. I agree with you about, you know, the rich tapestry of experiences that just provide different perspectives. But I also understand how some people feel threatened by it. In your work, in helping people with this concept of diversity and trying to be more open to it, how do you deal with that fear factor?

 

Daralyse:          [00:05:45.75] Yeah, that’s a great question. So you mentioned in reading my bio that I’m, you know, I kind of go colloquially by the nickname of the “transformational storyteller,” and I really believe that it’s in storytelling and the telling of stories, and in the hearing of stories that human hearts are changed and are shifted. And so I think I try less to convince people of my perspectives or try less to convince them of this work and really just focus on exposing people to the wide spectrum of stories and human experiences.

 

Daralyse:          [00:06:19.20] So, for example, in my book Demystifying Diversity, Embracing Our Shared Humanity. A lot of the work that I did was really just highlighting the important stories of the people who sat down with me for interviews and sharing. Sharing their experiences, sharing their resilience, sharing the their takeaways and the same thing. I’m also a co-creator of the podcast Demystifying Diversity, the Demystifying Diversity Podcast, and that’s what we do.

 

Daralyse:          [00:06:47.67] We amplify the voices of sometimes marginalized people, sometimes not people with different experiences and. And I think in the hearing of the stories of others, people really start to connect with the fact that actually at base, we all have the same human emotions. We all have the same struggles and internal sort of fears and things that that are meaningful to us as human beings. And yes, those things can be shaped by culture and by experience, and by kind of how we conceive of ourselves moving around in the world.

 

Daralyse:          [00:07:21.75] But I don’t know. I mean, I don’t spend a lot of time trying to get people to see my perspective because I don’t think I have all the answers and I actually spend a lot of work, just a lot of my work life and a lot of my personal life really just trying to ask better questions and listen to other people’s stories, and then share those stories with others.

 

Daralyse:          [00:07:44.07] And I don’t know. I mean, I find that hearts and minds change the more that we’re exposed to other people’s stories. And in terms of the fear, though, the fear specifically of doing the work, I think there’s a lot of ways to approach this, and one way is sort of this passive listening place, which I find many of my podcast listeners, and maybe some of your podcast listeners, too, you know, like it’s less threatening sometimes to be exposed to different in that space and listening to a podcast or reading a book.

 

Daralyse:          [00:08:18.42] I think the fear is can sometimes get amplified out in the world when we’re trying to apply these skills, so I just encourage people to begin with information and exposure and then to start doing the work in more meaningful ways. But I think, yeah, I kind of think first, like we have to have a little bit of exposure and a little bit of that, I don’t know, maybe just information before application.

 

Hanna: [00:08:41.76] Absolutely. It’s part of that, when you get to know more about something or someone, you can identify with that shared humanity, you can like them and then trust them, and then the rest comes a little bit easier.

 

Daralyse:          Yes.      

 

WHAT IT MEANS TO “DO THE WORK IN A MEANINGFUL WAY”

 

Hanna: So, you talk about doing the work in meaningful ways. Can you amplify that a little bit for me? What do you mean by that?

 

Daralyse:          [00:09:05.88] Sure, sure. So, for example, right, like having statistical information isn’t the same as being able to apply that information. And I’m trying to think of an example from all the interviews I’ve done so many. There’s like hundreds of interviews at this point that I’ve done, but I’ll give an example.

 

Daralyse:          [00:09:27.42] So for season two of the podcast, and this episode has not come out yet, but it should be coming out later this fall. I interviewed members of indigenous communities, and one thing that I was not aware of were the staggering rates with which indigenous women go missing suddenly or are murdered. It’s astronomical, actually, when you look at the percentages of indigenous women who are at risk versus white women, let’s say, who are at risk of going missing or being murdered, but those stories are not often told.

 

Daralyse:          [00:10:05.64] And so I did an interview series where I spoke to experts in this subject, and they shared with me a lot of personal narratives about women, indigenous women going missing and being murdered. And so, when I talk about doing the work in meaningful ways, right, like getting that information, getting those statistics is one thing. It’s like it maybe cracks open our hearts or our minds, but. But then what, right? Like, the information doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t shift anything.

 

Daralyse:          [00:10:38.75] And so I often encourage people to take some actionable steps like are there – is there a tribal community council that you can donate money to, or is there a lot of the women who go missing it? It has to do with the fact that, you know, the pipelines that are being put in indigenous communities.

 

Daralyse:          [00:10:59.51] And so are you advocating against those? Are you reaching out to local law enforcement and saying, “Hey, these stories aren’t being told, are you making social media posts?” I don’t know. I mean, different people take action in different ways, but I think that’s what I mean from the information is one thing, but if we don’t do anything with that information, then change doesn’t happen.

 

HOW EXPERIENCING RACIAL BIAS IN THE WORKPLACE IS MULTILAYERED

 

Hanna: [00:11:23.33] Good point. Absolutely. You know, it seems that in the past year or so, there’s been an increased awareness about racial bias in the workplace, for example. And I’d like to maybe talk more about the workplace and how you’ve experienced it or seen it happen in the workplace. And then perhaps what suggestions you have from making those meaningful improvements for doing some of the work that you’re talking about?

 

Daralyse:          [00:11:53.78] Yeah, thank you so much. So, this is multilayered and I will say that I have been working for myself as an entrepreneur a little over 10 years now, and so thankfully, because of that, I’ve had certain freedoms and certain privileges to work with people that I want to work with and work on projects that I want to work on.

 

Daralyse:          [00:12:17.33] But certainly before that, I had a professional background. I worked in finance and I worked for a hedge fund and, you know, and so I’ve been in corporate spaces and I’ve also been self-employed. And I think sometimes the conversation can be very different, right?

 

Daralyse:          [00:12:32.96] Like, I recently did an interview with a woman who was speaking about how she’s an entrepreneur now and she’s a woman of color, and how in more kind of like when she worked for corporate America, she felt like she had to straighten her hair, like she could not let her hair be natural. And so things like that, I think, might like the constant kind of microaggressions and the culture that tells people like, you know who you are isn’t okay, or you need to change who you are in in this space.

 

PROACTIVE STEPS EMPLOYEES CAN TAKE TO REDUCE RACIAL BIAS IN THE WORKPLACE

 

Daralyse:          [00:13:05.76] So I think really my answer would be that if you’re a person who is employed by an employer and maybe noticing that things are uncomfortable for you or uncomfortable for others, I think it’s important to say something that take some sort of action, especially like, you know, there. Yeah, I mean, I just think that allowing things to continue to unfold in ways that marginalize or people is hard and it’s hurtful. And so I would encourage people to be willing to use their voice and say, you know what, like in this space, I’m not feeling hurt or I notice that so-and-so.

 

Daralyse:          [00:13:49.85] You were talking over this person and like, let’s see what they have to say. And I think often you mentioned Hanna earlier like this, the role of the bystander. I don’t remember exactly what you called it, but like, you know, bystanders have a lot of power, right? And so can bystanders move to up standards and really like, you know, say something and create safer work environments for their colleagues and their peers.

 

Daralyse:          [00:14:15.73] So I think, you know, being an employee using your voice is something that that is very impactful and helpful and also kind of keeping a record of things as they unfold and maybe sending emails and whatnot, because really, a lot of people’s perspectives tend to be dismissed in the corporate space. And that’s really sad.

 

PROACTIVE STEPS EMPLOYERS CAN TAKE TO REDUCE RACIAL BIAS IN THE WORKPLACE

 

Daralyse:          [00:14:37.31] But, as an employer or as an entrepreneur, as someone, if someone owns their own business, I think one thing to think about is really, really honoring the voices of employees and thinking about who is being represented in this space and who is absent from the conversation and really trying to listen, you know, to sometimes take a step back.

 

Daralyse:          [00:15:02.69] I really believe in servant leadership. And so I find that it’s helpful. It’s helpful to just encourage the members of your team to share, to listen to people, to not assume that we know. I’ll say that something that comes up again and again in my interviews, especially for female identified employees of companies, is that often what is presented as kindness can be very misogynistic and, actually

 

Daralyse:          [00:15:30.70] can make people very uncomfortable. So I’ll give an example, I interviewed a woman recently who was talking about how in her workspace, she, you know, she’s like an industry leader and a professional, and she’s doing all these great things and she happens to have children.

 

Daralyse:          [00:15:44.50] And so many times in meetings when it gets to be like 6:00 at night, and she has a partner who is at home, you know, with the kids, like, you know, kids, they’re taking care of, everything’s good on that on the home front, but often in meetings, when it gets to be about 6:00, her male colleagues will turn to her and say, “Oh, okay, I guess it’s time for you to go home now, right? You want to be home to put your kids to bed,” and I think they think they’re being well-meaning, but it’s really – that sort of assumption,

 

Daralyse:          [00:16:12.37] and that sort of, yeah, projection really makes people uncomfortable. And this particular woman has said that she feels like her advancement in her professional industry has been very impeded by the fact that it’s often just assumed that, oh, well, she’s not going to be up for that task or that project because she has kids and she’s going to be at home.

 

Daralyse:          [00:16:35.08] So, you know, those are some examples of ways that, as an employer, I think allowing people to trusting that your employees can manage their personal lives and letting them know that you’re there, you know, for them, but not assuming that you know what someone is and is not capable of and not assuming that you know more about a person’s identity or experience than you do.

 

Hanna: [00:16:58.51] Yeah, that’s a good point, because they wouldn’t ask that question to one of their male colleagues, would they?

 

Daralyse:          [00:17:04.32] No, no. And in fact, and I think that’s something that has come up a lot in my interviews. Like people think that being “racist” or being misogynistic or, you know, being Islamophobic. Like, I think they think that those things often come out in these like overtly ugly ways, right, that people say mean and hurtful comments to others and that it’s easily identifiable. But microaggressions are one of the things that tends to be very dominant in corporate spaces.

 

THE ROLE OF MICROAGGRESSION IN CONTRIBUTING TO RACIAL BIAS IN THE WORKPLACE

 

Daralyse:          [00:17:38.59] And what a microaggression is, is it’s like a little, you know, it’s an act that, on its surface, might not seem like a huge cut, right or a huge injury, but there’s a cumulative effect to these small moments of dehumanization or these small moments of putting someone down. And sometimes they can come across as kindness like, “Oh, will you really? You know, you really aren’t capable of that.” Or, “Well, you probably didn’t go to a really, you know, a good school.” Or, “I’m sure, you know, your family didn’t have money when you were growing up.”

 

Daralyse:          [00:18:14.53] And I know many of my people that I’ve spoken to, members of the of the black community, people of color, like often people will say things to them, like making assumptions about their families right or their backgrounds based purely on the color of their skin and myself included. You know, that has happened to me, and it’s just it’s not even – it’s not necessarily meant with this with malice behind it, but it is harmful.

 

Daralyse:          [00:18:45.94] And so I think just really getting people to rethink their projections and their assumptions and their biases and come to each interaction with a new person is like, this person is a clean slate. I know nothing about them and I’m going to wait until they tell me who they are and until I have an authentic experience of them before I make any sort of judgments. And that’s really hard to do.

 

Daralyse:          [00:19:08.89] But I think the more that we humanize ourselves and each other, the better off we’ll be personally, professionally, socially. So yeah, I just encourage people to have authentic interactions with other people.

 

HOW START-UPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES CAN SUPPORT DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

 

Hanna: [00:19:23.92] Absolutely. And especially to listen to ask questions and listen. Very, very good. Let me ask you this, Daralyse. There may be some folks in a startup mode, people who want to start a business or have…

 

Daralyse:          Yeah.

 

Hanna: …a fairly young business and shaping the culture. They may have a lot of good intentions, but they’re, you know, busy knocking down the boxes in the back and scrambling for business and [Laughter] all those things. Do you have any advice for them on how to weave diversity into their culture?

 

Hanna: [00:19:57.25] It’s one thing when somebody says, “Oh, we want to have 20% of, you know, people of color represented in our business,” but there are only three people in the business, you know, so how do you get 20%? And, you know, that can sort of be an arbitrary target, too, because I don’t know that it needs to be a special number as much as a voice that’s respected and heard.

 

Hanna: [00:20:19.81] Whether that is a 10% or 50 or 75%, you know, but being open to what you said earlier about those different perspectives, and capturing some of the good things that that brings to the table. What can an entrepreneur or somebody in a startup business do to encourage the type of culture that we aspire to?

 

Daralyse:          [00:20:46.64] Yeah, I think that’s such a great question, Hanna. And I think what I want to point out is that there are so, so many people who have an involvement in any business; whether it’s an entrepreneur of one or whether it’s a Fortune 500 company. There are so, so many people involved.

 

Daralyse:          [00:21:04.55] And what I mean by that is there’s not just the person who’s forming that startup or hustling for their own business. There’s all of the vendors that that person engages with and interacts with, all of the businesses that they utilize in order to support their business. There are the customers that they’re serving, right?

 

Daralyse:          [00:21:24.68] And so I think thinking broadly, like whether you can be a business that serves people in a diverse way and have to, you know – yeah, you have to non-diverse like, you know, corporate founders or like, it’s not just about who is in the room and at the decision-making table, although I did use that example earlier, it’s also about like, okay, well, what contractors are you using? Who are the people that you’re outsourcing work to? And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to solely utilize minority businesses to do that.

 

THE SPORTS CAMPAIGN STORY

 

Daralyse:          [00:21:59.96] But I think there is a richness that comes from having a diversity of vendors that you work with and a diversity of perspectives, or if you’re bringing on outside consultants, you know, thinking about that or focus groups. Like I recently did a presentation seminar for a corporation, and it was it was really interesting because they gave an example of how they were doing a sport related sort of campaign.

 

Daralyse:          [00:22:25.79] And so there were four white men around a table just making decisions about the ad copy and making decisions about the graphics, and then they sort of casually, in passing, another woman, a woman came onto the team or came into the room, I guess rather, and they were like, “Oh, what do you think about this?” And she said, “Well, it leaves women out, and here’s why.”

 

Daralyse:          [00:22:46.79] “And here’s the little things that you could do to make it more inclusive.” And it turns out that her ideas were hugely, hugely helpful. And it’s not to invalidate the four white men who were sitting at the table. Their ideas were also very valid and good, and in the end, what they all arrived at was way more inclusive and enrolling for potential customers than it would have been if it was just them making that decision.

 

THE POWER OF MORE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN DECISION MAKING PROCESSES

 

Daralyse:          [00:23:14.54] So I think bringing people into the decision-making process, if you’re launching a new product, hiring outside consultants, yeah, having a focus group that is more diverse and then appealing to consumers of all races, genders, body types, religions, ages, disabilities, abilities and asking those consumers like, “Okay, you know, feel free to give feedback. We want to we want to serve you.” And taking that feedback to heart and kind of making your products malleable.

 

Daralyse:          [00:23:45.08] I think just entering into any space with a mindset of teachability and an openness, I think will serve an entrepreneur very well and allow them to serve a broader client base. So I don’t want people to think that, you know, the only way to have a diverse organization or a diverse company is to hire people that look different, although that certainly can be part of it. I think in the early days of startups, it’s often one person or a couple of friends getting together or whatever, and that doesn’t always look – you don’t always see a lot of diversity in those spaces, but it doesn’t mean that those companies can’t embrace diversity.

 

Hanna: [00:24:26.33] Very good. I like that refreshing perspective about thinking more broadly about how to weave it in and take a good thing and make it better.

 

Hanna: [00:24:36.26] Really.

 

Daralyse:          Yeah.

 

Hanna: Yeah, so –

 

Daralyse:          Absolutely. Because most of us – if you have a business right, like or any sort of corporation, any business, usually there’s two reasons that people form companies. It’s because they’re really good at something and they want to share that skill or that tool or that talent or that product, right?

 

Daralyse:          [00:24:55.82] Because they’ve got this innovation and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so good at this. This is what I’m meant to be doing.” Or they see a need and they want to fill a need. And often it’s some combination of both things. And so I think because, as business owners, we’re looking to serve people and to be more marketable and to utilize our skills and our talent, diversity can only help with that, because then we bring on other people who can utilize their skills and their talents, or then we expand our perspectives to incorporate the needs of a wider clientele, and that only makes us more – so.

 

Daralyse:          [00:25:31.20] You know, these things aren’t just wonderful from a human rights perspective and from a social justice perspective, but they’re also profitable and fiscally responsible, and just in keeping with good business practices, and they push us to become better, more well-rounded people and to form better, more well-rounded companies. So it’s a win-win-win.

 

Hanna: [00:25:54.72] It’s smart business.

 

Daralyse:          [00:25:56.94] Yes. [Laughter] Yeah, I know. And your podcast is called Business Confidential Now. So I’m like, “Yeah, we don’t have to be confidential about that, though.” Share that with everyone; that it is good business to practice diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

Hanna: [00:26:12.15] Absolutely. You know, but the reason I picked the name is because this is the type of information that the big companies pay big bucks for. It’s the kind of advice they get in the back rooms, you know, confidentially. “Here’s the report. Here’s – you know, here’s what to do.” And, I wanted to make it more mainstream that these are tried and true best practices. It’s good. It’s a smart thing to do.

 

Hanna: [00:26:35.70] And here’s somebody who has expertise such as yourself that can help you with some pointers. These are all about the tips, so thank you for being so real, Daralyse. I really appreciate your sharing these insights – no, seriously.

 

Hanna: [00:26:49.80] You know –

 

Daralyse:          Thank you, Hanna. I real – I appreciate it. I think of it too.

 

Hanna: You know?

 

Daralyse:          And there are so many tangible things that companies can do to just pan their offerings. And often, I mean, I do a lot of consulting with different companies, and I have to say that, often, they’ll make these minor tweaks, but people will feel so much more included. Their profitability will go up.

 

Daralyse:          [00:27:13.11] I mean, it’s not rocket science, but sometimes it can take an outsider’s perspective coming in and just saying, “Okay, well let’s – you know, let’s audit things and why do you do this?” And often it’s because – you know, “Oh, well, this is the way things have always been done.” Well, okay, where are you open to seeing [Laughter] things a little bit differently? And I’ve never worked with a company where there hasn’t been a tangible benefit to doing diversity work. And that’s often not why people go into it.

 

Daralyse:          [00:27:41.07] They go into it because it’s, you know, the right thing to do, or they just – you know, it’s like a buzzword nowadays or whatever, but it’s so enriching. It is so enriching to be able to be exposed to different perspectives, different viewpoints, different cultures, different – I mean, it’s just – like, I think that’s why we’re here as people, is to learn from and grow with one another.

 

Hanna: [00:28:07.80] I couldn’t say it better. You know, on the one hand, this topic is simple and straightforward, but at the same time, there are layers and nuances that we need to be mindful of and respectful of, if we want to make meaningful progress.

 

Hanna: [00:28:21.99] So, for the listeners, if you’d like to contact drills and learn more about her book Demystifying Diversity, her podcast of the same name, and how to move that whole diversity discussion in the right direction in your organization, you can find that information in the show notes here at BusinessConfidentialRadio.com.

 

Hanna: [00:28:41.13] And if you found today’s program helpful, interesting, tell a friend and leave a positive review on your podcast app or at LovethePodcast.com/BusinessConfidential.

 

Hanna: [00:28:54.21] And yes, you have been listening to Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner. I hope you have a great day at an even better tomorrow.

Best Moments

What Most People Fail to Understand About Diversity

How Racial Bias at Work is Sadly Seen as a Multilayered Experience

How to Create Vibrant Diversity in Small Businesses and Startups

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Guest: Daralyse Lyons

Daralyse LyonsDaralyse Lyons, aka the Transformational Storyteller, is a journalist, an actor, and an activist. She has written more than two dozen full-length books, a handful of short stories, and countless articles, performed in various plays and in improv comedy shows.

A member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and a summa cum laude graduate of NYU, with a double-major in English and Religious Studies and a minor in History, she is passionate about exposing the painful side of history, the side that is not written by oppressors. Through her studies, she has come to see the beautiful and overlapping philosophies of Judaism, Islam and Christianity and wonders why people so often use religion as a battering ram, instead of a source of solace and support.

As a Biracial woman, she has made it her mission to stand for a more integrated world. As a sexually fluid person who has had relationships and experiences with both men and women, she has had to find her place amidst a multitude of communities that attempt to erase her orientation and has been a voice within the darkness.

After writing an award-winning children’s book (I’m Mixed!) about embracing her multiethnic heritage, Daralyse found her passion and her purpose educating others about the need to embrace all aspects of themselves. Since then, she has written and spoken extensively on the subject of diversity. Her perspective is one that looks to acknowledge the past while refusing to become incapacitated by it. As a Biracial, multiethnic and sexually fluid woman, she is uniquely empowered to use her seemingly disparate background as a catalyst for cross-cultural understanding.

 

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Contact Daralyse and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as hear her Demystifying Diversity podcast.

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