CW: assault, gaslighting

Photo by Tembo Tones

The first time, I was mugged in a coffee shop. Two teenagers came up behind me, one restraining my arms and the other jamming and pulling my arm, wrenching free the phone in my hand. The barista chased them down the street and returned the phone to me.

The second time, I was walking home, and a man on the street started yelling at me. “Why are you looking at me? Why are you looking at me that way?” I hadn’t even seen him, and…

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

275,000 women left the workforce in January of 2021, according to the Bureau of U.S Labor Statistics.

Before the pandemic, reports estimated that women were responsible for twice as much unpaid care as their man-identified counterparts. The recent global health crisis has widened this gap, with some estimates suggesting that women have added three additional hours of caregiving to their days — or fifteen hours per…

Small Actions for Improved Morale

Photo by Pooja Shah/Tembo Tones

When I was not but a wee teen, my favorite Johnny Cash song was “Cocaine Blues.” At the time, the lyrics and premise seemed edgy, which, as an absolute goodie-two-shoes, made me feel a little more “alternative.”

Still, apart from that, the idea that addiction could drive bad decisions that would impact the course of your life interested me. …

An image of Alida’s hands potting a green plant  on top of a table with white tablecloth framed by other foliage.
An image of Alida’s hands potting a green plant  on top of a table with white tablecloth framed by other foliage.
Photo by Pooja Shah/Tembo Tones

I coach and teach a lot of woman-identified People of Color. When I do, I often observe that their successes are bigger, brighter, and more worthy of appreciation than they give themselves credit for, especially given the myriad way systems are stacked against them. Their success is valuable and worthy of celebration in itself, struggles or not. But, their success is also radical because it challenges an existing social structure while also reminding those who identify with them that they do, in fact, have agency, choice, and even power. …

Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels

We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We grieve for them and the many, many others before them who lost their lives to police brutality and racial injustice.

We know these are not isolated incidents; they are part of a larger system of institutionalized racism, structural violence, and dominant groups abusing and misusing power to hold onto their own status.

White supremacy has brought us to this current moment, where Black people are 2.5x more likely to be killed by police (Statista), with a Black person killed every two to three days —…

In Honor of Mental Health Month

Photo by Igor Yemelianov on Unsplash

I graduated from the Diversity Management Executive Leadership Program at Georgetown in February of 2020.

As a practitioner, I knew this intuitively, but I never named it, which meant that I did little to rebound and recover after long days and difficult conversations.

On the last day of my program, our facilitators shared postcards with us and invited us to write a letter to our future selves with reminders and messages from the program. …

A step-by-step process for uncertain times

Mug with “begin” printed across it
Mug with “begin” printed across it
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

In my work as a coach, consultant, and facilitator, I am often indirectly asked to take on the role of psychotherapist. Work and life are connected, and mental health absolutely shows up in professional settings, no matter how strongly individuals try to keep to work-life balance.

While I am a big proponent of trauma-informed leadership as a concept and will bring its approaches into my own, I have also learned to set clear boundaries with clients around what I can and cannot do for them. …

When I launched Ethos almost exactly two years ago, I never imagined I would spend up to half of my time collaborating with companies on their affinity groups. In these groups, which also include employee resource groups (ERGs), business resource groups (BRGs), and diversity, equity, and inclusion committees, I saw a real opportunity to launch grassroots initiatives that supported belonging in organizations. So, I signed on as a facilitator, designer, expert panelist, and project manager over and over again.

Overwhelmingly, my clients handed me an ambiguous brief that could be distilled down to a simple and lofty goal: enhance the…

Reaping the Rewards of Diversity through Team Development

Image by StockSnap, Pixabay

Several months ago I was sitting in a circle of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals discussing the power of diverse teams. Naturally, we were all listing the benefits of diversity in our own organizations. That’s when our facilitator said:

“The thing about diverse teams is that they aren’t more successful; they actually underperform. Unless they engage in team development. Then they outperform non-diverse teams.”

Her central argument was simple.

When we are different from one another, we are more likely to have opposing points of view which leads to conflict. Without…

On Being Trustworthy

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

Defining the word “trust” is hard. In fact, there are more definitions for trust than love. It’s that complicated of a concept.

In my work supporting and shaping high-performing teams, I start with establishing psychological safety and trust, which much of the organizational science research shows are the two most foundational elements of exceptional collaboration. This involves sifting through definitions of trust to concretely establish what the ideal might look like.

Until recently, I’ve fallen back on the original etymology from Old Norse. In Old Norse, “traust” means confidence, help, or protection. This feels vivid, weighty, and actionable, at the…

Teaching Love. Scaling Empathy. Founder & CEO of Ethos Talent. Executive Director of Embolden & Co. Program Director for 1871’s WIC Accelerator.

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