In our society, we are socialized to understand that what we wear, how we speak, and even our hairstyle define us. However, for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), the pressure to present “correctly” to be accepted and treated with respect is exponentially greater.
Respectability politics, or the codes of behavior that BIPOC and other historically marginalized groups attempt to use to appear acceptable to the dominant culture, carries significant financial, physical and mental health implications. In the workplace, this dangerous coping mechanism not only continues to perpetuate schisms between BIPOC employees and the organization more broadly, but also results in sustaining toxic workplace cultures where marginalization is allowed to continue. Thus, while it may seem advantageous to both the employee and the employer for individuals to assimilate, there is little proof showing that assimilation leads to the annihilation of workplace discrimination.
The time for performative allyship is over. Accomplices are wanted. In this free webinar, panelists will discuss how respectability politics have impacted their personal and professional lives and how performative responses from management are not the answer. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility work is complicated. While performative measures may be authorized with good intent, the results often negatively impact the very people who these measures seek to support. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to go beyond the performative, toward true organizational change. This requires leaders to demonstrate sweat equity – stepping outside their comfort zone and choosing to roll up their sleeves, get in the trenches, and risk their political capital for a safer workplace for all.
A recording will be made available for registrants.
Erica Buchanan, Executive Director, CADENCE of Acadiana
Xavier Clark, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Analyst, U.S. Department of Homeland Security