Perhaps the best way to describe me is that I have gravitated toward the “road less traveled” in my choices.
Valuing diversity means that we value individuals because of the totality of their life experiences, insights, and values. We also have to recognize that some of their core demographic characteristics like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and country of origin may have made them victims of violence, discrimination and harassment.
Valuing diversity means that we acknowledge and empathize with what they have been through, but, at the same time, we value what they can contribute because of their unique histories, insights, and values. We honor their uniqueness, but do so by welcoming them into groups, teams, and organizations in which they can make the maximum contribution.
Throughout my life, I have been taught to treat all people with respect. That is a prerequisite for anyone who aspires to value diversity. However, I have gone two steps beyond that:
I have done so as a business leader, a chairman or board members of organizations like the National Urban League and Catalyst, a supporter of educational, social services, and healthcare institutions and initiatives targeted at disadvantaged people and groups, and as a filmmaker, in developing and producing From the Rough.
This blog and the content I bring to it, as well as many other activities in which engage and about which I will report will continue my lifelong commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion have always been an integral part of my professional values. This perspective has impacted my life as a CEO, attorney, board member, and film producer.
I have been very proud of the long held diversity values at Pitney Bowes. We worked hard to maintain and expand the Company’s long tradition of leadership in diversity and inclusion, ethical business practices, and robust two-way employee communications.
I was proud to serve as the Chair of the National Urban League while at Pitney Bowes.
With diversity and inclusion, I focused as an active executive on building teams with diverse perspectives and life experiences. I also created and produced a full-length feature film, From the Rough that illustrated the power and the challenges of diversity through entertainment.
My Diversity and Inclusion Partners and Resources include:
Finding undervalued and overlooked talent
George Anders: The Rare Find on Facebook
Making everyone feel valued and empowered
Diversity Best Practices, at diversitybestpractices.com
Producing high-performance teams
The Mind Gym themindgym.com
Christie Smith, Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion and Community Impact
Eliminating hidden obstacles to diversity and inclusion
National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science
Inclusion Strategy Blog
Inclusion Inc. inclusion-inc.com
Books and Resources
"The Rare Find on Facebook"
by George Anders
"Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment"
by Sybil Haydel Morial
"Pandemoniums: Ethnicity in International Politics"
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
by Eugene Robinson (about the evolving diversity within the African American population)
"Paying for the Party"
by Elizabeth A. Armstrong et al (about social and racial class divides within colleges and universities)
"The Inclusion Paradox"
by Andres Tapia
"World on Fire"
by Amy Chua (about how Americans fail to understand diversity within countries outside the US)
"Sport Matters: Leadership, Power and the Quest for Respect in Sports"
by Kenneth Shropshire
"Black Rednecks and White Liberals"
by Thomas Sowell
"The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea"
by Robert Wald Sussman (about how race has been misused to enable one group to oppress others)
"What Makes Olga Run: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer"
by Bruce Grierson (about breaking stereotypes on age)
From the Rough
Remember the Titans