Dr. Tiffany Jana returns to the program to discuss recent events in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and calls for greater equity and inclusion. Discover what companies need to do in order to create lasting change and a mindset shift that needs to happen when it comes to how leaders view their employees. Dr. Jana also reveals some of the challenges that keep organizations from truly evaluating their progress when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and what they need to do instead.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why this moment feels different than previous civil rights movements (13:30)
- Why we can no longer compartmentalize discussions about race and racism (16:30)
- The need to hold space for healing (23:00)
- What leaders need to consider when it comes to diverse talent (26:00)
- How the COVID-19 pandemic helped to lead up to this moment (28:00)
- The troubling origins of the police department in the U.S. (36:00)
- Why corporations need to be accountable for their actions (40:00)
- The need for grace when calling out companies and organizations (43:00)
- The myth of “race” (44:00)
Listen in now, or read on for the transcript of our conversation:
JENNIFER BROWN: Dr. Tiffany Jana, welcome back to The Will to Change.
TIFFANY JANA: Exciting to be here. I’m so glad I get to come back.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, I am too. Oh, you know it, I grabbed you right away. I said, you and me, we’re going to talk and we’re going to debrief and connect some dots for our audience, hopefully. I know you always do. You always do for me.
TIFFANY JANA: Thank you.
JENNIFER BROWN: But yeah, you do. So for those of you that don’t know Dr. Jana’s work, Dr. Jana goes by they/them pronouns by the way, so I wanted to make sure we fit that in. And we are both members of the LGBTQ community and both DEI consultants and authors, both with the same publisher, Berrett-Koehler, and I think very arguably really aligned. And I always love talking to you and trying to make sense of our current moment, Tiffany, so this is so fortunate that I was able to get time with you. So tell us what life has been like in Richmond, Virginia, and for you. You can be super honest, as you know, with this audience, because likely there’s a lot of people on The Will to Change who are on the front lines of this or on the back lines of it, or somewhere in between as we’ve been talking about because we all have a different role to play in change, but how have you been riding this through and how have you been? Are you invigorated, are you sad, are you angry, are you… I don’t even know, where are you right now?
TIFFANY JANA: So I am I’m in it for the long haul. The murder of George Floyd and the other murders that took place in fairly rapid succession, they are, while tragic, they are not news. We have been enduring this lynching, this ongoing lynching at the hands of our U.S. police departments from the beginning of time that we were brought to these shores. So since 1619, we’ve been murdered, so part of the reason that I do this work is a search for a quest for equity, for opportunity, for fairness, for love, connection, community, for my people and for all people. So just like when Donald Trump was elected in a very divisive race and now a massively divisive presidency, we saw a lot of allies born after that election for whom I was very grateful because they were people who just really genuinely, good hearted white people who didn’t realize that racism wasn’t over somewhere around the time that Barack Obama was elected.
So we welcomed those allies after Trump’s election and now we welcome a new brigade of allies and it is that brigade of allies that gives me so much hope because the oppressed don’t get to end racism. It is entirely too embedded in our systems and structures. But when we have a critical mass of white allies who are willing to stand beside us and sometimes stand in front of us, when a baton is on its way, this gives us the power to instigate real and sustainable change.
JENNIFER BROWN: And what gives you hope right now that this is going to be lasting? What feels different about this?
TIFFANY JANA: Well, first of all, this is now the largest civil rights movement and moment in the history of the world. I’m doing healing calls for teams and for companies to heal within and across race divides within institutions and I’m also doing community healing sessions and yesterday, I had African-American people from the United States, a few white people from the United States and a bunch of white people from all over the world and they’re seeing their cities erupt. So a city in Denmark was only expecting 2,000 people, 15,000 people came out.
The world stands with us at this point. So I am given hope because there is sustained energy. It is clear that this is the moment and we are already starting to see changes being made that we’ve been told were impossible, would be incremental, would take so much longer to do and suddenly, just like the things that we thought were impossible before coronavirus, suddenly are possible and people have different opportunities and can work from home and everything else. We’re seeing the same kinds of shifts beginning to happen, but the sustained effort is required and we will need much more before this dies down.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, for sure. So why do you think so many companies and brands were caught flatfooted on this? And we’re seeing them kind of struggle to send the right message or if they do send a message, then the questions erupt about, well, what have you been doing and let’s see the receipts for your commitments. So what do you think accounts for how… And I know it makes me upset that they’re behind and it always has, and I’ve known that this moment would come. I didn’t predict this, but I’m sure people that do what you and I do have been sounding an alarm for a really long time and feeling like it hasn’t really been heeded. So why, I guess, why wasn’t it heeded and what do you think about what you’re seeing in terms of how organizations are stepping in and leaders are or are not using their voice right now?
TIFFANY JANA: Well, I mean, I love it when you ask me questions that you know the answer to.
JENNIFER BROWN: I just wanted to talk about it.
TIFFANY JANA: I know, I love you. I love you because you know, full well.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, yes I do.
TIFFANY JANA: We have been beating this drum for years and years and years, and this is what has been so incredibly glorious about having 100% of my clients come to me because when people come to me, they’re at least a little bit ready to begin this journey. They’re at least a little bit ready to have this conversation and whether it was adverse litigation or a sudden wokeness and hipness to what was going on, it’s still, they sought me out and I really appreciated that. What’s happening right now is the sheer consequence of failing to prioritize this thing that the people have been frankly quite aware in what’s going on. Right?
But what we were hoping for, or what certain leaders were hoping for was that people would leave their outside stuff outside of work and bring their work stuff to work, leave your home stuff at home and bring your work stuff to work. And they were hoping that they could contain and compartmentalize all such discussions and any adverse activity and any acrimony that might be associated with race and racism and all of these different things that divide us under the veil of professionalism. Well we’ve been saying that that was not possible. People are going to bring who they are to work.
In fact, we want them to do that. And this is a systemic issue that has been plaguing our nation for hundreds of years. So yes, it was going to eventually be time to pay the piper and those people who have invested over time in creating cultures of inclusion and learning how to talk to each other and learning how to manage challenges and difficulty and disagreement when it comes up, they’re going to fare a whole lot better. And we’re seeing that evidence in the first manifestation of what people are saying in their Black Lives Matter statements, or some people are having a hard time and we’re kind of sorry statements.
JENNIFER BROWN: We’re kind of sorry, but sorry, not sorry.
TIFFANY JANA: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: And we still don’t want to talk about race. So you and I both know that this is not an opportunity to just check that box with unconscious bias training. What we’re really talking about is I think there’s structural shifts that have to happen. And I feel like that’s the really hard work. Running everybody through training is the easy work, but the hard work is really examining the behaviors of the organization that are continuing to cause harm. And one of those things includes naming whiteness, for example, which is, I mean, I’ve been instructed not to use the word white in my presentations before.
So in some ways, this is accelerating now and I think we may be at the doorstep of being able to talk about really uncomfortable truths in the workplace finally, and maybe normalize the usage of things like Black Lives Matter, which I feel like was not something corporate leaders were really comfortable with. And so do you think this could become a part of the fabric of the work world and what will have to happen in order to really make the real work be done?
TIFFANY JANA: So it has to change. It has to change. If people want to, certainly for all of the business reasons to be relevant, right, if people want to stay connected to their communities, et cetera, it has to change. But it has to change because this zeitgeist is changing. There is an expectation certainly by a whole generation or two of employees that these matters are not going to be swept under the rug. And a friend of mine shared a lovely metaphor with me that I absolutely adore. And the shift happens when leadership, when boards of directors and organizations are willing to stop looking into Snow White’s mirror, right? So who’s the fairest of them all, mirror mirror on the wall, right? So what organizations have done until now is they’ve only been willing to see what they wanted to see. And what we have to do is be prepared to actually experience what is truly happening within the context of our organizations.
How are people truly doing within the context of our organizations? So I think I shared with you the last time we talked, I’m moving much of my practice into things that look more like healing diversity. So why am I doing these healing sessions? Because for entirely too long, we have failed to center the humanity of the person, the spirit, the energy, the life force of the individual, that which makes them essentially who they are. We have been engaging in a transactional mode of business that commodifies and minimalizes people down into the work that I can extract from them, just as we’ve extracted from our planet and that can no longer stand. We have to start treating people as the delicate and important and special and amazing human beings that they are and create space for people to heal, create space for people to have conversations, authentic interactions, and not run away from the issues that plague us.
Because again, I will always say, the workplace is the biggest learning laboratory that we have outside of structured education. How are we using that space? Are we using that to bind people to their labor and extract as much as we can and make them feel terrible about themselves and not create equitable environments and only promote our friends? Or are we creating an opportunity where people can become better versions of themselves? So I am looking towards creating a vision for an aspirational workplace. What are we actually working towards, right? So that will be, what is it, the graphic novel is going to be book six-
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh my gosh.
TIFFANY JANA: And then book seven is going to be about this aspirational workplace that is… What are we actually doing here? We have so many toxic work environments. Our work environments are places that people do not enjoy being. People generally hate their jobs. They like the work they do, but they hate their workplace or they hate their manager and that is awful. So we can do better and leaders need to do better.
JENNIFER BROWN: Beautifully said. So given the trauma, the collective trauma, that is then experienced and retraumatized in the workplace, right, and triggered in the workplace, as a non-black person, what is the right way to support a community that is living with this trauma and having that trauma be reenacted really every day? Because you and I know, we do focus groups, we hear the data, right, we hear the stories, and we hear the pain. Historically, when we presented that to leadership, it doesn’t stir the empathy that we wish that it would, which I’ve always found really heartbreaking. So I guess, I wonder what advice… You’re so wonderful in how you address allies. You have so much compassion for allies because some people here only are frustrated with allies.
They’re like, “Oh, welcome. You’re late, take a seat. Shut up and listen.” And all of that is true, but we’re dealing with deep trauma that is continuing to be created in the workplace by these toxic behaviors. So how do you support… When something is so big like that, it can feel all of those things, overwhelming and wanting to be exquisitely sensitive and not knowing how to express. There’s no solidarity, there is no relatability to it because it is experienced uniquely by black people. And so as the allies of the black community, what is your best advice to be this exquisite sensitivity, the homework we all need to do, and the space holding for the healing? How can we be a part of healing that or what is our role in the healing, I guess is probably the question I’d like to know?
TIFFANY JANA: So your biggest role is to work on yourself because it is the uninformed white person that is the biggest problem when we’re trying to heal in your proximity. The privilege daggers that get thrown off of the unsuspecting white person are excruciating to receive. So all the books that I’ve written and they’re like, when we do this work well, we know that starting with yourself is the best place to begin this work. Now you cannot stop there because you can go down a rabbit hole forever. There’s so much information.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes indeed, and I have.
TIFFANY JANA: So we want you to do the work, but you’ve got to practice the skills. You’ve got to learn how to open up your mouth in uncomfortable situations and stand up for what is right. One of the best things that you can do is speak to your people, talk to other white people. As you are learning, get used to having the discussions. Stop giving people a hall pass for the inappropriate things that they do and say around this stuff. Be prepared to lose people. No, you shouldn’t cancel people and give up on them because it is the relationships that you have with other white people that will give you the distinct privilege of an audience with them, a compassionate audience with them, to help move that needle just a little bit each time you interact with them.
You shouldn’t cancel them out, but you need to be prepared …you need to be okay with that because it is the relationships with people who refuse to accept the humanity of their fellow person versus the lives of black people that we continually communicate over and over again to this community that we just don’t care. We don’t care that you’re suffering. We don’t care that you’re being lynched. We don’t care that you’re poor. We don’t care that you’re sick. We love your music. We love your athletes. We love your entertainment. Keep giving us cool things to appropriate, but we don’t actually want to deal with you. And we definitely don’t want to put it in the energy that it requires to become culturally fluent and culturally aware so that we can actually have cross cultural discourse and offer each other cross cultural healing.
So if you don’t do the work, then you’re actually going to be a bigger part of the problem. You must do that work. I know that it’s tiring, I know that it’s exhausting, but it is an absolute necessity if you’d like to thrive in this new world we live in that is so incredibly diverse. So, yeah. And then special note to leaders, special note to team leaders, CEOs, organizations, if you’re not creating space for your black people to heal at this time, shame on you. I really need for people to understand the extent of this trauma. Now the deal is everyone is being traumatized collectively between COVID and the protests that are happening and so it cannot be work as usual right now.
If you have the good fortune of still having work in production, great. But are you forcing people to do the work because the work just needs to be done or are you being incredibly thoughtful and judicious about what is assigned, about the deadlines that are created? Are you making sure that you are giving people the time to take a nap, to rest, to recuperate because people need that? And I strongly believe that the leaders of this next era, of this next decade, are going to be defined by the choices they make right now, because we are all watching.
JENNIFER BROWN: The seeds of all of this was planted with COVID. I think we started talking about empathy. We started to, and I think that all of this is not an accident, the order it all happened in, right? So do you believe these pieces built on each other? The momentum was starting, right?
TIFFANY JANA: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. So talk a little bit about what was most important in the empathy piece before the last couple of weeks here with the protests and the murders? Because we were already coping and kind of reconciling with working in a new way, seeing the truth about each other, seeing into each other’s lives to an extent that we had never seen before. And also the sort of the watching our screens is actually what enabled this rage to occur, because we finally had space to pay attention. And so many of us that weren’t awake, woke up when we saw… When things slowdown is when you see things, right?
TIFFANY JANA: That’s right.
JENNIFER BROWN: And then start to think about things and then you realize I’m not okay with that and then it sort of crescendoed-
TIFFANY JANA: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: And little did we know. But the seeds were sown during COVID of all this. It sounds like you agree.
TIFFANY JANA: Yeah, definitely, definitely. The great slowing down was honestly such an incredible gift to us all. And I put people in these little categories of… There’s this population of people who have been doing the work, who are navel-gazing, deep introspectors, and for those people, the slowdown was wonderful because it was like, “Ah, more, I can do more of this,” or “I can enjoy the fruits of all of that time I put into trying to understand who I am and what I value.” And then for others, this was the first or one of only a handful of opportunities to introspect that they had and I think that the quarantine was much harder on those people. And so when you’re already having to reckon with yourself and your values, and then something like this gets thrust upon you, there’s very little room to escape it.
So I was focusing on making sure that my clients were just creating space for people to be human, just creating space. Not the one minute check in, how are you feeling before we then go down to business, no, no, no, no, no, no. Actually creating space and saying, “Hey, we’re just going to have some open calls once or twice a week. Anybody who wants to check in and fellowship and commune and do some fun things, hang out, watch a movie together, or a game night or just water cooler, yuck it up, what is it, happy hour, whatever the case may be, but non-work related opportunity to be with each other because we kind of…” I mean, I guess we all kind of took for granted the organic bumping into people at the office and what happens when you’re just moving through the world when it was moving at its normal pace.
So creating that space, because again, why do we do the work that we do? We’re looking to create community, create inclusion, and create a place where we value each other. And so that had to be much more intentionally nurtured when we went mostly virtual. So the last couple of weeks, this happens and that conversation about who we love and who we value and whose life matters, just came into really sharp focus. And I am so incredibly proud and so incredibly grateful for all of the allies. I mean, I am not a person who marches on the frontline. Every protest I’ve ever been to… I think I might have gone to two on purpose in my life, big ones on the [inaudible 00:21:05]-
JENNIFER BROWN: They find you though.
TIFFANY JANA: Two of them, but the rest of them, I was walking down the street and there they were, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Of course.
TIFFANY JANA: And so, but because I have a major crowd phobia, it’s one of my many disabilities, but I write. I’m between the front lines. I do speeches. I do this work. And so we see this moment happen. And now these allies are out here on the physical front line, putting themselves at risk, not only of incarceration, of catching charges, of police brutality, of all of the things that can happen when they’re tear gassing and everything else, and also coronavirus. So it means so much that these people, and so many young people, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Right.
TIFFANY JANA: In Richmond, Virginia, the vast majority of the people who are out there are white people. And we’ve got a lot of black people out there, but there is way more. I was trying to take my baby to go see monument, the Lee Monument, because that thing is coming down. We’ve been literally begging the city to take those symbols of racist oppression down for years, as long as I’ve been in Richmond this has been a conversation, and now they’re getting ready to come down.
And I wanted her to see the graffiti because they’re more beautiful than they’ve ever been. And we pulled up to… We were behind the two cops that were separating the people from the cars, and we watched the tear gas happen. I happen to drive a Tesla Model X and she wanted rear heated seats and that package came with the bioweapon shield, which I always thought was hilarious. And I finally had a use, so I turned that on, 12 year old safe, but she got to see it and feel it and be in that space. And the pulse of the people, the pulse of our nation around the world, that heartbeat, it is a unified heartbeat. It is not the heartbeat of black people begging for our liberation. It is the heartbeat of humanity standing on the line for each other and that is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my lifetime.
JENNIFER BROWN: I couldn’t agree more. It’s breathtaking. It’s so deep and so healing. It’s so healing for me to see that for my own people, that they’re waking up and putting themselves out there. And I feel alternatively really frustrated and really proud. Frustrated that it took so long, but proud that it’s finally happening. And I know you and I are going to see that and encourage it in every way that we can.
TIFFANY JANA: That’s right.
JENNIFER BROWN: You know it. And you’re a member of the LGBTQ community along with me and the incidence of pride, right? It’s June, it’s Pride month. The Stonewall movement happened because a butch lesbian of color and a black transwoman basically told the police this is not okay and it turned into riots, right? So we’re hearing a lot about Stonewall was a riot.
TIFFANY JANA: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
JENNIFER BROWN: If you have issues with “what’s been happening and how this protest movement has shaped”, when we in the queer community look back at the way Stonewall started, it was violent. And it was started by black people. So that’s profound to me and yet, somehow in the modern LGBTQ movement, particularly perhaps for say marriage equality, it became a very sort of white male cisgender movement, if you will, and that sucked up a lot of the air and got all the press, whatever, whatever. And so there’s this really also deep reminder right now about the queer community too and the commonality versus the common thread in the intersectionality of our community that we have not been very good at navigating. So I just think it’s this beautiful confluence, whereas I don’t think we should be thinking about this. “Oh, I can’t celebrate Pride. No parties, poor me.”
TIFFANY JANA: Yeah, exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s not that, but I just wonder, could you articulate the deep connections within and between all of these, since you inhabit so many of them personally?
TIFFANY JANA: Yeah, sure. I mean, white supremacy, the delusion of white supremacy shows up quite prominently within our LGBTQ movement. Right? So it’s there. And that’s where the rub is, where the privilege of white dominance and the whole male cisgendered patriarchal structure lays on top of this movement. That’s where it is. So it is challenging for people, particularly white males, whether they’re queer or not, they’re accustomed to being able to take up the air. “Don’t take my party. What do you mean my party is not the most important thing right now? How dare you.” And I love my queers in all colors, shapes and sizes and genders, but yeah, right now is an opportunity. So I don’t think anyone is exempt from the growth opportunity that exists right now.
We are all just… COVID forced us all to think about what is important to us? What do we value? How do we want to make our living in the world? There were so many things that were called into question with the protest and Black Lives Matter. We are now being called to deeply consider our relationship to this blessed people, right? At the end of the day, at the end of the day, if you believe in the science, and I know many people do not, but we are all the descended from some African women.
And if you happened to have lost your pigment and your melanin, that’s just because you got away from the equator, okay? It’s not because you are not my people. So we need to think very deeply about the fact that we are in fact, one people. That is so, so important. And one of our branches of our family is deeply wounded. We are hurting. And if we are able to put our collective energies together at this moment, we will be able to tip these scales once and for all. We will be able to make the systemic changes necessary, but the systemic virus that has permeated our existence for decades and generations and hundreds of years were built with great intention. There’s nothing accidental about any of this, right? Police don’t know how to stop killing black people with full disregard for their humanity, because they started out as slave catchers.
That’s where the police force came from. It’s in their DNA. And so asking them to do something different is kind of crazy. We’re going to have to create a concerted effort to build something new with the same kind of intention. So our queer community has to say, “Do we really love and embrace our community of color, who is part of our community in more ways than arguably some of these other communities that should also be respecting us?” So yes, have your parties, celebrate Pride. It is still important, but you do need to be centering the stories and the lives and the plight of the people of color and the black people specifically around you.
JENNIFER BROWN: Thank you for explaining all that. That’s so important. And that work is long overdue, long overdue. And it’s been frustrating. I mean, there’s so many diversity issues within the diversity, as I always say. And just because you’re in a marginalized community or identity or identities, doesn’t make you somebody who practices and walks the path of true inclusion.
TIFFANY JANA: Nope.
JENNIFER BROWN: So nobody gets a pass. And speaking of not getting a pass, my last question is, is it ever too late? I know we see whether its leaders or allies, well-meaning people, well-meaning companies jumping on the bandwagon, we are cautioning, I think you and I both, we are getting so many calls, “What should I do?” And the first question we always have is, “Well, what have you done? And then what is going to be scrutinized about the fact that you haven’t done anything?”
And so there are consequences even to making a statement right now, when you have nothing to back it up, et cetera. So I know though that, Tiffany, you, like me, we’re always grateful for a step forward. However imperfect it is, however little of a track record you have, sometimes I think some of the biggest resistors or non-actors can become the biggest champions.
TIFFANY JANA: Yes.
JENNIFER BROWN: I think there can be an accelerated learning curve. I’ve seen it happen and it’s so amazing. And it always reminds me, you can never write anyone or any org off because you just don’t know. I mean, so anyway, I think, do you have any advice for treading carefully and respectfully, but still kind of, even if you don’t have a great story or you have no story to tell, how do you take that first step towards this assuming it’s something you deeply want and you’re going to remain committed to?
TIFFANY JANA: As an organization you mean?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes.
TIFFANY JANA: Yes, okay. Yeah. So it begins with the first step. And the challenging thing is that for many organizations, where it looks like it’s their first step, it’s actually not. There have been conversations, but you have willfully sidelined those conversations. There have been conversations. There have been requests from staff to do something about this and to offer certain things and to hire more people of color. And the organization and leadership has made intentional choices to deprioritize those requests. And so step one isn’t really step one, but in this moment, I have a very openhearted, open-minded gracious way of looking at these things, and I personally am willing to wipe the slate clean if you come correct this time. Now is not the time to, I’m sorry, half ass it, going to just go ahead and say the bad word.
Now’s not the time to do that. Now, we’re all being called to be accountable. So I’ve got a lot of organizations that are calling and just saying, “Oh, okay, well we want unconscious bias training.” That’s not going to work, right? So these challenges that we’re seeing that have hit this crescendo in the streets, these are the same attitudes, the same beliefs exist within your organization and if you all don’t learn how to talk about these things and you all don’t learn how to address how specifically the systemic issues are affecting your organization, and I promise you they are, you can ignore them and you can look at Snow White’s mirror if you want, but I promise you they’re affecting your organization.
That if you’re not intentional about creating strong, inclusive diversity strategy for moving forward, then you’re not going to get anywhere and it’s going to create problems for you, especially now that we’ve had this moment, this crack that has just rent itself across our moment in time. That’s going to open up and become a massive doorway as my father says. And that doorway, if you are not prepared to walk through that doorway, frankly, you’re going to get left behind. You’re going to be called out by your peers, by your potential employees, by your potential customers. So now the only way forward is to acknowledge where you’ve been and what you have and have not done. Right? You can make a statement, but you’ve got to own that you failed to prioritize this-
JENNIFER BROWN: That’s right.
TIFFANY JANA: And you’ve got to move forward in the best way possible and do it as a full on systems level commitment.
JENNIFER BROWN: I love your generosity that’s inherent in what you just said. It’s like, “Okay, welcome. I know you haven’t done this well or at all and you have been shown and you chose not to see,” which is so true. And yet knowing all of that, in spite of that, the grace you can give whoever it is, leadership, organizations, allies to say, “Okay, now the work begins. We’re sort of resetting the clock,” and I deeply appreciate that. I think that’s incredibly generous.
And I don’t know how you are a wellspring of that, but you are. That’s why I love working with you because if you can’t meet people where they’re at and move from there and you just say, “It’s not good enough. It wasn’t good enough and now it’s not good enough,” that the problem with it is we’re just not going to be able to move forward together. And I don’t want to leave people behind right now. I want to fight for people to stay in the discomfort, to stay in the growth place and to be a part of architecting what’s next. It has to include all of our voices, it has to. So it’s going to be harder that way, but what do we say if you want to go far, go together.
TIFFANY JANA: Yeah, yeah. I mean, and I think that grace is absolutely required because there’s just too many opportunities for this to break down, there are too many opportunities for us to create additional acrimony and it’s just not necessary. And it’s easy for me to occupy that place, because like I’ve told you before, military brat, lived around the world, speak multiple languages. I have close personal touch with cultures that are not my own. Thinking and dreaming and languages that are not your own is a really profound experience and it just connects you the more you see the globe. 2020 was supposed to be the year I got Antarctica-
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh shoot.
TIFFANY JANA: My only remaining continent, dagnabit.
JENNIFER BROWN: Really?
TIFFANY JANA: It will have to be another year or two, but what it’s done is it’s just made me so, so profoundly aware that we are one people. We are one people.
We cannot forget that race was invented during the Spanish Inquisition. We just needed a justification for killing people and stealing bodies and pillaging lands. It has nothing to do with actual science… inherently less valuable or less important or less sacred from one human being to the next, across any race, across any gender, across any sexual orientation, we are one people and the sooner we as individuals and certainly as leaders, we are able to experience that as a reality, the sooner this abhorrent era will be behind us. We should have never allowed the systemic and ongoing mistreatment of our fellow human, but we have, and now is the time to make it right.
JENNIFER BROWN: On that, thank you for coming on The Will to Change today, Tiffany. I really, really appreciate it.
TIFFANY JANA: Thank you.
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