HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode 2 · 1 year ago

From Awareness to Action: How to Develop Diversity and Inclusion Strategies at Your Company w/ Amber Cabral


A critical responsibility of CEOs is creating the space for people to be their greatest selves.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that companies and the people who make decisions in them have a long way to go in understanding and growing diversity and inclusion.

How can CEOs create an environment where everybody has equal opportunity to become their best selves if they don’t really understand the underlying dynamics that different types of people face?

To find the answer, we talked with Amber Cabral, Inclusion and Diversity Strategist, Executive Coach, and Author of “Allies and Advocates” about how to identify privilege in our own personal lives and how leaders can develop diversity and inclusion strategies at their companies.

What we talked about:

-What led Amber to become a D&I strategist and author.

-The difference between an ally and an advocate, and how to be both.

-How to become aware of privilege and extend privilege to others.

-Tangible steps for moving from awareness to action.

-Tips for intelligently and compassionately engaging in conversations on diversity.

For the entire interview, subscribe to HR Superstars on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

Yes, it's uncomfortable to speak up. Yes, you are going to at times, not know what to say. Yes, you're going to have to connect with people. You have this slightest idea how to do that right. But, like the value that you're going to get back for your life, it's tenfold. How do I get you to take that first step? And that's the part that's not happening fast enough. You're listening to HR superstars, a podcast from fifteen five that highlights stories from the front lines of HR and people ups. Each episode will showcase fascinating conversations with leaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building an extraordinary company and culture. Let's get into the show. Really excited to have amber cabral with us today, and amber is actually the DII consultant that we've been working with at fifteen five for quite a few months now. We've had amber come in and give some great unconscious bias trainings in the company and she's informing behind the scenes how we're we're learning and growing and, you know, developing in our sophistication around implementing dei strategies at our own company. Amber is an inclusion and diversity consultant and CEO at Cabral Co. Formerly a diversity strategist at Walmart stores, INC amber founded Cabral code to guide organizations of various size and scope seeking to create an execute strategies that achieve sustained the bowl inclusive behavior shifts in the workplace. Amber as a master's an organizational leadership from Siena Heights University and Adrian, Michigan, and a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from Wayne State University from her hometown, Detroit, Michigan. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of decision makers, she serves on the boards for multiple nonprofit organizations, including brown girls do ink, that are committed to promoting diverse representations in the arts, in Workplaces, it in communities, as well as empowering women and girls globally. And a free time, she travels and writes articles focused on equity, culture and working class life. She completed her first book, allies and advocates, published on Whiley Press, in two thousand and twenty. Welcome to the show, amber. Thanks so much for that wonderful I need to take you everywhere with me in duty. It's always actinating listening to our own BIOS. Huh, it has kind of impressive. Yeah, exactly, your under with the right I'm like, that was great. I want to hire her. Exactly, and we have congrats on your on your new book. It's awesome. I haven't ready yet, but I'm excited. And while he's a great, great publisher, we you didn't mention Shane that we've actually been working with with amber here at fifteen five. Maybe you did and I missed it. I did, but you did. Okay, started as that. I know you are swept away with the rest of the bio, but I was swept away with the rest. I was riveted and and I obviously missed that. But you know, we've been on quite a journey this year, I think collectively as a society, certainly fifteen five as a company and me as a CEO. I think that you know, and I've shared previously in the PODCAST, that the conversation of Dei for me earlier in our tenure in fifteen five, it was I felt it was important, we should be doing it and I delegate it to delegated it to others to go do this Di thing and I think throughout this year, I came to, I think, have a much deeper understanding of the criticality of it and that it's not something to be delegated, that it's actually a part of my job as CEO to to know it, to own it, to be responsible for it, number one. And then also that, you know, fifteen five mission of creating the space for people to be their greatest selves, which we now say, you know, creating highly engaged, high performing organizations by helping people become, you know, become their best...

...selves, is inclusive of this conversation because, you know, how can we create an environment where everybody has equal opportunity to become their best selves if we don't really understand the underlying dynamics that different types of people face, where it might be easier for some people but not others? And so that was a big kind of insight and realizing that our mission as an organization is inclusive of this conversation. So I've been so grateful that you've come in to help kind of guide US and in form from us and work with our team. I'm curious, you know, as a starting point to understand how did you get into this realm of thinking and contribution and doing what you do. What was what was your path in that journey? Yeah, great question and I'm going to answer that, but I want to just say this. I really appreciate you understanding how you can say the words and the words can be inclusive, but you have to actually do the stuff. And so there is a lot of value there and a lot of folks take a long time to get to that awareness because it feels like how a lot of things at work can feel like, oh, someone needs to go do this, you know, and you send it off and then you have to get to the place of realization to say like wait, what I could talk about is bringing this to life, and so how do I get it to be baked into the fiber of the organization? And so that's a really important mindset shift that I think that CEOS have to make the but I mean particularly if anyone else in the you know, the leadership, is going to make it. But also, as you think about the ways that you want to bring things like your aspiration or your mission or your purpose or your vision or whatever that is, to life, when it already sounds like it's doing it, you know, because it can sound really good, but it's like what's that tactic? That's, you know, I'm going to take to actually make it occur inside of the organization. So I love what you just shared. So a bit about how I got started into this work. I was well and told. To be honest, I yeah, it was not a thing I thought out intentionally. So I didn't think I was. I'm originally from Detroit, Michigan. It's a very it's, you know, black, a city in the nation eighty percent black. I grew up very comfortable and well aware of my own identity. I had a lot of awareness about certain things like skin tone and all of that stuff, just because I grew up in a city where blackness was really important and skin skin tone was a part of that and just a very culture rich city. You know, especially even from like, you know, a racial standpoint, you know the evolution of just how that city has changed, and so I had awareness in that sense, but it wasn't necessarily a thing that I was like, this is going to be my job, like it wasn't purposeful. I was working at Blue Cross Bull Shield of Michigan, actually their HMO arm, which is Blue Care Network, and I at some point got tapped because they were putting together a diversity council and it was like ever, you should join it, and so I'm like okay, and I was like I don't know if I want to do that, but they're like, nope, you should, you're going to do it. And I know now looking back, it was because I was always, and I've always been this way, really willing to challenge, really willing to ask questions, not really preoccupied with just the idea that like, I should have some kind of limits because of some aspect of my identity, and they wanted that perspective to be a part of that conversation. And so it was through that, I don't know, I guess it was like three or four years of experience, you know, doing that work where I was able to realize I loved it, and I still didn't know how much I loved it. Like we, you know, I'd helped develop training, you know, the whole organization, you know, added at that time it was only diversity to you know, to our values. It was, you know, this really big movement and recognition around a part of my identity that, like to me, felt very accepted and normal, but that I also noticed didn't show up the same way at work. I mean I remember, you know, at Boo Book Care Network, the first floor wall the executive set was called the Crystal Palace and there was no one black up there. They're, you know, like you're talking about a city that's like eighty percent, you know what I mean. So like that's weird, you know. And I didn't necessarily put those things together until I was doing the work with door, the company in that way. So I fell in love with it. I ended up deciding I was going... leave Michigan and move to Atlanta. I relocate to Atlanta, I take the same job and another health plan. But of course they're not into diversity yet. This is like two thousand and nine. And I'm like right, same job but basically making same amount of money. And what's the little lower in Atlanta? In Atlanta? Yeah, yeah, and Atlanta. And so I'm like very diverse city. Yeah, also, right, also a very diversity. Right. So I'm just like, you know, great, you know, I'm still you know, I wanted warmer weather. You know, machine it is cold. So I was like, okay, so I'll do this. And six months and I already knew something was wrong. Like I was was like I am not happy here and I don't know why. And slowly I came to realize that it was the diversity piece that was missing and I started looking for it. I started writing articles, I started blogging and I was kind of finding ways to kind of fill that space. I eventually hit a wall with the company and was like I'm out, you know, and so I quit the go of Barton and realize that wasn't quite right either, and had a friend reach out to me that worked at Walmart and she's like, you should come work at Walmart. I'm like, I'm never gonna do that. Like you know, I came from a union company, right, like Blue Care Network across those are union company. So, like you know, unions and Walmart don't go together. So I'm like now, I'm not doing that, like right. And after bit of convincing, I went through the interview process. I ended up taking a role where I was responsible for mentoring globally, and what made them actually offer me the job was me telling them about my experience living in the city of Detroit as a black woman adopting he is, like, you know, like just as a young person, just figuring out how to support people that were different to me, that needed something else, which is really what this work is about. And here I am in the biggest company to history of the world. So that's how I got into it. It was accidental, like it was not purposeful at all, but I'm glad that it worked out this way. I love how it was just like a continual process of almost like surrendering to your destiny. You know if you've been like no, no, I have a different idea for my life and then correct, okay, I'll surrender, I surrender and then all of a sudden that actually brings you to your Dharma, to your work to do in the world. Great Call Out, Shane, because that time it still feels like I'm surrendering. I mean, I think, I think. Why I love that is I had I never ever was like I want to start an HR tech company, you know, like right, Ho Heck, did this happen? Yes, this was this is so different then how I envisioned my life. And yet it is that like, okay, I'm going to just I'm going to surrender, I'm gonna I'm going to let go of my own minds preferences and follow the thread that's being presented, which I think it's kind of in a way, it's it's so much of the work that we need to do of UN learning all of the social and societal conditioning that is taught us to be uninclusive and to judge other people and to have biases, and it's kind of that's surrendering of all the bullshit of our head, of it that's in our minds, and actually following what's being presented. Yeah, absolutely, I couldn't have said it better myself. For sure. I'd love to know. You know, the book that you've put out allies and advocates, and I think the subtitle is creating an inclusive and, e could equitable culture. We have loads of different listeners. We have folks who are in HR there. They've been deep in this conversation with other people who, you know. It's still maybe a new thing where if you could even just kind of give us a high level overview and especially the distinctions between what's an ally, what's an advocate, what are the what do you mean by those terms, so that we can kind of make sure we're all speaking the same language. Yeah, for sure. So the book is actually based on a training I did. It's a little you know backstory on that. I was teaching people exactly what you just asked me, like what is an ally and like what is an advocate and how do I do it? And so in that process, you know, a book came out of it. I tell the story about how that happened actually in the book. But just to kind of answer your question, the book is really a brief, direct practical is a word I think I've heard a lot of people use to describe it. Approach to how to be an ally and not a how do I...

...find permission for this, not a what is my job? Need to do, not, you know, how does the world need to be different for me to show up in it? It is what you individual in your own bones, can do to bring alley ship to life and how that should look when you're doing it. So it's very not so much step by step, but just very real life and accessible. So the examples that are in there are things that you're going to know or see or have experienced and it's going to offer you the ability to see those things from a different perspective and apply, you know, the the learnings that you're gaining a bit differently than you might have without having that insight. So it's a quick read, it's very digestible, eighth grade level, you know, and that's purposeful because I think that the concepts of changing who you are and being in behaving differently is challenging enough, like why do we need to mire it and complicated language. So I try to simplify as much as I can. Now, what alley ship is is essentially figuring out what your privileges are and figuring out how you can extend them the folks that are different than you. That's the really simple, you know, definition, particularly in the time frame that we're in, and I think even the definition that's in the book. How can you extend your privilege to a marginalized group? Because that's who were really noticing needs the lift. You know, we're not seeing, you know, black and Brown communities get access to the same opportunities. We're not seeing LGBT you people represented in leadership roles. We're not seeing, you know, women, you know, whatever it might be right. And so it's being able to recognize I have a privilege, this person doesn't, and then being intentional about how you extend that. So that's alley ship. And then advocacy is really in. Another word for this is accomplished ship, but, like you know, that word has like a little bit of a criminal connotation, so I try to not always use that. But so some people who will think of advocacy as accomplished it. But accompliship is when you are being purposeful about destroying the systems that are the obstacle to that. So it's one thing. Isn't kind of a criminal act in they can, you know, when you look at the stomach oppression and y'are to say that that's destroy the systems of oppression. Unfortunately, that is kind of a criminal it or, you know, it's a rebellious act, which it is. It's verily for sure. Yes, absolutely, like totally spot on. But to bring the readers along, you know, I was a bit intentional about my word choice. So that's essentially what advocacy is. It's being able to say I notice that this system, it, while not obstructive to me, is obstructive to this person. So we need to destroy how this is working, we need to find a better path, we need to create new avenues. I am willing to be disruptive about it, even though I am not the person that may be directly impacted in some challenging way. That's what advocacy is. So simple way of thinking about it is like allship is about the people and then advocacy is about the systems. Got It? Okay, cool. I would you know, when you when you talk about being an ally and and you said it's, you know, identifying your own privilege and then extending it to others, how do you guide someone into even becoming aware of their privilege, which, for a lot of people who have privilege, you know, it's like the sea they swim and so they don't even notice it. And then, and then, what does it actually look like to extend that to somebody else, like in practical reality? Yeah, absolutely. Well, great questions. Really simple. For the first one, you can figure out what your privilege is by asking yourself just quite simply, and what ways am I normal and what ways are my you know, experiences in my life normal? And so if that still feels really difficult, just get really, really basic about it. Did you wake up this morning and have hot running water? If they answers yes, that's privilege. Like there's some fifteen percent of the world it doesn't have clean water. Little like leaning more hot running water right. So, you know, if you think about that, like do you think about it? Did you think about if your shower was going to be hot? Did you have to contemplated and figure out what to do if it wasn't? Like that's a privilege. And still think about that in the context of the way people may look at you, like is your skin tone normal? Is your hair texture normal?...

You know, are you able to find things to eat when you're out? Are you? Do you struggle to get in and out of buildings? Are you? You know, like what is normal for you and if you can start to think about the ways that your life in someone else's perspective might be seen as normal. Do you have a normal upbringings? You grow up in a normal neighborhood, etc. Etc. Those are the places where you have privilege and it is purposeful that you don't see it. It's I mean, like, why would you, like we're all trying to figure out to fix the things that we're not normal. But right, like, so, if that's you ever think about it, right, and so then you automatically kind of go like, Oh, yeah, no, I don't prove I don't know. You mean, my life was difficult and it's like, yeah, like everybody, no one makes it to adulthood without scars, like that's part of it. But like you still have privilege some some kind. Someone has, you know, privilege in some way, regardless of where. They may also, you know, be lacking or have some challenges, and so that's how you figure out what it is and that would, depending on what it is, can kind of drive how you're going to extend it and what's your power, right, like you know some sometimes you are are in a position like, you know, the two of you are senior leaders, right. That I mean you've got an opportunity to awful offer a window and two some things that lots of people might not see. How are hiring decisions made? How do you build the company? How do you present yourself for an interview? You know, how do you assess an organization to decide how I should show up? Like those are some insights that you're going to very naturally have because of what you do, right, and so it's it's being able to think about like Oh, that's normal for me, like I don't even consider it and then say, Oh Gosh, if it's normal for me, how can I give someone access to that so that they also get the opportunity to have that experience, so that they can potentially, you know, encountered. And that can be anything. And if we go back to our water example, it might be saying, Oh Gosh, there are people that don't have water, which is one of my personal passions. I donate a lot to clean water and like access for you know, to water for children like that. I give a lot of money for that. It's something I also will spend my time on right and so how, then, can I extend the privilege that I have to have clean, winding water to people who do not? And I some people may choose that to make that their life, like the Scott Harrison from charity water has done that, and people like yourself, in like I have in the past, may choose to contribute to that. Yeah, I'll let you and go. Sorry about that. Well, so what I love about the examples around privilege is that I think that, and I think this typically happens with I've seen this happen a lot with white people who start to kind of get involved in social justice, is that they start to wake up to their privilege and they feel really guilty about their privilege. And you know, I just think that that's such a in a way, just a not the right direction, because privilege, like we privilege, is not a bad word and like I do think that, you know, it's like it's not bad that I have access to clean, hot running water when fifteen percent of the world doesn't. All that is is that, oh my God, yes, can we please get every human being on this planet access to clean running water? Yes, that I do not need to be ashamed of my white privilege. I need to be aware of the enormous blessing it is that I can, I can drive through pretty much any state in this country and not have the running fear behind, behind me of that I might get pulled over and killed by a police exactly exactly. And and I want that for every single black person in this company to have that same privilege exactly. And so it's that. It's so. I often tell people that if you find yourself like really, really covered in guilt, that means you're not doing anything, like it's time for you to do something with it, like you've identified the privilege, you feel guilty about it because you're not doing anything. If you start to do something, then you won't feel so bad, you know what I mean, like you'll have perspective, you'll be better able to talk about it to others, you'll be better able to share like tactics to address it, like how to extend the pret you know what I mean. Like it's when you start to do something with it that you get out of that guilt. But I think the instinct is almost to like hide the privilege instead, like, you know, even have politicians that will say, like I came from humble beginnings and they've got like forty ten billion dollar homes, you know, and you're like what, you know it, because there's just this instinct that says covered up. And I still do this, like...

...just, you know, for perspective. I still do this. You know, my face is on my book, you know, and that was not what I wanted, you know, and let's be very clear, it's a privilege, right. I have some very stereotypical aspects to my appearance that would make someone willing to say, I'm going to put you on a book and I was like no, I don't want that. It's a business book. Don't do it. You know, I went back and forth with my publisher about this before I finally agree to it and I had to realize they, like my resistance, was me rooted in guilt about my privilege, and I was like, okay, what can I do about it? Well, let's turn that over. This picture was taken by a black woman. That's me giving access and visibility to her work. There's a black woman that actually helped to edit parts of this book. That was my developmental editor to make sure that things were in order. That's also an opportunity for me to give visibility. It's also really important that people know that, like, like, it's not just going to be white folks on books anymore, right, like, and I'm a black woman that wrote a book about allies and advocates, not a white woman. My name is amber. You wouldn't necessar necessarily know that, right, like most people think of members of as why girls? Right. So it's that, and so it. I had to work, I had to do the Labor of getting out of Oh my God, do they just want to put me on there because they think I'm cute and I fit the stereotypical light enough skin but still a black woman, stereotype that you want to put me out there. And I had to decide like, okay, some of that may be true, but how do I use that? How does that help someone else? And so here we are, you know. But yeah, this that's a normal feeling. So I do try to tell people it's normal, but it does mean that you need to do some labor. Okay. So, you know, I think that it's two thousand and twenty, almost two thousand and twenty one. Oh, thank God, everybody. You know, I was like yes, although you know, no guarantee that twenty one is going to be any less to multus. I think we're I think we're in for actually a really rough decade. You know, the the emperor's clothes are coming off and were we have some back taxes to pay as a species that I hope we make some some good progress against the principle of that debt we have. Yeah, but I mean I think it's going to be kind of insane. Yeah, where do you think we are from your perspective and all of the work you're doing and the multip kind of probably the variety of organizations you're seeing in terms of phistication and on the kind of Bell Curve of development here? Do you think things are going in the right direction around building more inclusive, diverse organizations. Do you mean like for fifteen five with specifically, or do you mean like, Oh, no, I mean I mean in general. I mean, yeah, zoomed out broad view. Yeah, yeah, so I the answer is yes, there is progress happening, but not fast enough, like and and you know, and here's the thing, like it's it. We are still very much at the phase of awareness in some ways, and some people are just really clinging to that awareness, like they really just are, like they're still really enjoying the you know, the POPs in the perspectives and the new Soh my gosh, I just didn't know people were doing this and they're like addicted to it. And so, like the majority of folks are like still there. And so when the follow up question comes, like great, you seem to have it. What are you doing, they're like she I don't really know that right. So I am eager for us to start making mistakes and steps and traction and you know, but people are afraid of all that stuff still. People are afraid that, like, you know, and there and there's some reasons behind it. Like people are afraid if I make a mistake, it's going to be cancel culture, and you know, I can't tell you how often that comes up and I'm like, so, let me tell you the solution for cancel culture. Like this is how you fix it. And what it really comes down to is you have pressure tested this ridiculous idea that you put on...

...the Internet in your little bubble that's just like you, and no one's told you that's not right and now you've gone out and done it. So the solution is that you need to diversify your group, like you need to figure out how you can stop talking to folks just like you, and then someone would have been like, so, listen, I care about you. This right here is going to get you in some trouble, right, and you don't have to worry about cancel culture if you do that Labor right. And so it's it's getting people to understand that the steps that people like me, that do work like I do, are asking people to take are really about putting you in the best position. Yes, it's uncomfortable to speak up. Yes, you are going to at times not know what to say. Yes, you're going to have to connect with people. You have this slightest idea how to do that. Right, but like the value that you're going to get back for your life is so like, I mean it's tenfold, but it's just that, you know, it's almost like how do I get you to take that first step? And that's the part that's not happening fast enough. So great the conversations are happening, like I'm glad that that's happening. Do you think that there's like some people who don't get into action because they feel like the problem is just so big and it's so daunting and what can they possibly do? I feel like that happens in different realms and I wonder if that's part of it. And I you know, the thing I really strikes me about your book is that it really is about what you can do in your sphere of influence as an individual. So it's almost like there's no place that's too small to actually start. It's true. Whenever you so yeah, definitely, so that's I mean your spot on. That is a common pushback that I here on my God, the problem is too big to solve. I don't know what to do about it, like I'm not supposed to even do anything, like and I often tell people like yeah, that's not a good enough reason. You know what I'm saying? Like the fact that it's a big problem is all the more reason why we should be concerned about solving it. Like look at the impact climate is a big problem there. Do we just like sit back and like do nothing about it? Like No. And so how do you create, you know, a bit of mobility around this idea that this is too big? Well, what you do? As you start with yourself, right, like I can control me. I can make decisions about how I show up, I can be purposeful about how I communicate and what message is. You know, I'm trying to use to connect with others, and so, like take control of the controllables you have, like I can do this part. And if we can just get enough eyes to do this, then like you'll start to get the culture shift, you'll start to have the hard conversations, you'll start to get the results. But, like if no one, if everyone just kind of looking at everybody else like, oh my gosh, we're we're gonna do it's so big, like it's you know, we'll never get anywhere with that. Can you speak to I guess the upside of doing this work, you know, because sometimes I think it's presented as it's like, Oh my God, it's always going to be about leaning into our discomfort and going of going against our conditioning, and it's like, you know, kind of emotional weightlifting. I don't think there's that much attention given to how much richer our lives can be when we're associating and having friendship and real, real connection, real authentic intimacy with people that don't look like us, that don't think like us, and have that broader perspective. Yeah, yeah, so, you know, it's interesting, like I never even have to contemplate the upside because I am a descendant of slavery, and so I'm like, we have results already, you know what I'm saying, like and so I don't often struggle with that, but I do get that, like for people that haven't had to do this kind of like emotional and identity labor, it's like she's like what what I do that, you know, like my life is, my life's good as it is. I exactly. Yeah, like, I I don't want to do that all the time, you know, I don't want to have to carry that. And so when I do encounter those folks, like what I usually ask is like okay, Great. So, like what are you willing to get uncomfortable for? And you be amazed how many people like really struggle for that.

And I'm like, well, what do I mean? What are you willing to get uncomfortable for? Because, like, do you agree that growth comes from discomfort? Oh Yeah, yeah, you know, you grow and you're uncomfortable. Okay, so what are you willing to get uncomfortable for? And then you struggle to have an answer for that and I'm like, so do you not want to grow, like, do you not see value and growth? And so now there's this introspective like situation happening. And so so it's like, I think once I help people see that, like this is a people issue, and so all the folks that want around around and say like Oh, we're all humans, right, but look at how some humans are experiencing life, right, like you know. So, like let's get back to great where all people, you know like okay, so, like let's be considered about how we can spread this around. So I think I kind of take that approach to force people into like holding themselves accountable to their own beliefs. Like you believe that growth is important and you believe that girl can be uncomfortable and that there's something that comes from that. Okay, Great. What does that look like in an actionable, purposeful way in your life? So that's one way I try to bring it to life as far as like, you know the value, like the meaning. You know. I know the data. You know. There's tons of data that says like, when you include diverse identities, you make more money. There's tons of data that says the people who are doing the consuming are largely a part of black and Brown and indigenous communities, and so you are looking at an opportunity to increase your profits. So if you need that to be your motivation, there's also that option as well, you know. So it's I really try to figure out, like, what's the Golden Nugget for you here, and for most people, I'm pleased to report, it's not the money. It's not. It's that I want to feel a sense of fulfillment, I want to feel a sense of impact, and I'm like ghost. Spend a weekend at a children's shelter, like and look how many Brown kids there are and look how many of everybody else it is. You're going to be like Whoa, you know what I'm saying. Everybody that's working there doesn't look like those Brown kids a lot of the time, you know what I'm saying. So it's like pay attention to that. You know. Now the people that own it might look like those brown kids. You know what I'm saying. So it's like pay attention, I mean not on it. I'm sorry, the people that are cleaning there, I look like those brown kids with the people who own it don't look like those brown kids, right. And so I was I was I was like yes, I love it that the people. Yeah, you know, right on. That's that's student for. That's what we're shooting for. And so it's like, but you have to realize that, like, this isn't the way it goes. And so I feel like put yourself in the position to see, like see what it looks like for the humans that you say you care about. See what it looks like for the things that you want to be impactful one, see what the discomfort is gonna you know, like feel like so that you can actually get some of the results. And that's usually the point where people are like, Oh, I'm not doing my part, you know, and honestly, that's most of the work I do, is getting people to do their part. Yeah, you know, it's interesting. Just real quick. You know, one of the things that I'm I reflect on a lot in this work is I grew up in a predominantly native American and Chicano Hispanic Community and northern New Mexico, and so I was, you know, I I got I got picked on a lot for being white, but I also had a lot of native and Chicano friends and the ways that I have benefited from their perspective, from, you know, going going to the dances on the Pueblo, from learning indigenous perspective and world views that have deeply informed my life and what a good, meaningful, rich life really is. I'm just like wow, I'm so grateful and I kind of forget that not all white people come from a background with that exposure and I feel infinitely richer and more prosperous and happier because of that. Yeah, and it's a lot out of because I was helping those communities or anything, right, because they contributed to me. Yeah, exactly. And the thing about it is we all have some Labor to do in that space. Like there's an activity that I do. It's actually in the book called the trust test in the you know, whoever's hearing this from giving it away a little bit. But like one of the things I have you do is...

...a list out, like the folks that you trust, like make a quick list, you know, doesn't have to be like, you know, life or death. I'll leave you my children. Trust, but like, you know, trust right and so and I asked you to fill out this grid and I'm like, look at the ways that you're in an echo chamber, you know. And so when I did that for the first time, I realized that, like, first, almost all my friends were black. I grew up in a black city, right, and then, in addition to that, everybody that I was like, a person that I trusted was highly educated. So I'm like dual degrees law, you know, lawyers, like, you know, people who like just no one would just a high school education. And I was like, Oh, you know, like I'm an education stop, like and you know, it was a moment for me that made me realize, like the same way I think that, you know, lots of white people can afford to get out of whatever their little bubble is. You know, I got to do the same thing. And so, like, I can appreciate your perspective around, like, you know, I realize a lot of white folks haven't had this perspective, and you're right. But there's also this other layer of like and how are you continuing to diversify that? Because I've got to do that too, you know what I mean, like how am I making sure they like I need white friends, you know, like I need that. I need access to the social circles that they have. I need insight in two things that I mean, like I just don't know any black people ask this question. Some black people don't know how who would go to ask that question, right. So it's like how can you diversify just the sharing of information and how critical that is, even just like I'm a survival you know, I'm looking for a job basis, and in the only way you can do it is by being willing to figure out how you're going to open your aperture and diversify those people that are going to otherwise be an echo chamber if you're not intentional and purposeful about it. And so, yeah, there's there's so many different experiences and one of the things I like to make sure people see is both you can have a rich experience, that can always be richer. And so like decide to do that instead of saying like Oh no, you know, like I've done this, I've had that. I'm about like right, so like now what you know? It's kind of my response to that. So, speaking about you mentioned you mentioned Echo Chamber, and I feel like in a lot of cases, you know, we're we're often preaching to the choir. You know, even if you'res have somebody WHO's not in action and they you know, maybe they feel guilty about their privilege or don't, but they know they have. You know, they've reflected on this and they say like oh well, I have privilege. The other side of that is there's, you know, certainly people out there who say, you know, why are you trying to make me feel guilty for who I am, who believe that, you know, identity, politics is is bad and all these other things. So how do you reach people who, you know, I feel like there's a war of narrative really out in the world and and and I'm curious if you've kind of put any thought into like how do you kind of you know, invite somebody in to reflect when maybe they're really afraid or resistant. So there's a couple things here that I want to touch on. I want to be very candid with you and say that I do this for work and I love it, but I don't invite additional conversations, mostly just because it's labor intensive and I know that I am good at this and I know that I know how to talk about it and you will not let me out of your Uber if we start this. But that said, I've also been in the conversation. I also feel listens of accountability. So, like, if someone expresses an interest or I get an indication that you are a person who's at least pondered this and you're curious about if you're falling on the, you know, quote unquote, right side of the line or whatever, I'm going to go ahead and push and I'm particularly skilled at that. I use a lot of really, you know, just kind of thought provoking questions based on what I'm hearing to kind of guide people to places. But I'm not the person that's like, you know, I heard someone say paralyzed, and now I am like standing up for the entire disability community and need to like drag them across the public park like that. That's that's not me, you know, like I don't do that, and so I'm not intentional in that way. So that you know that's part of it. But the other side is when I do have someone...

...that I get a window, like a little tiny, little sliver of air into that window, like I am going to like really, really do what I can and get it open a little bit wider before you leave. You know, I can remember I was in Texas, I was landing, I landed in the airport and I was headed to you know, my godparents say, about forty five minutes from the airport. So here this man pulls up. He's got a personalized play doctor. I won't say his name, but older white gentleman. Clearly you know s plus, you know, probably mid s. So I'll get in this truck in Texas to in Texas. Okay, I get in his truck. All kinds of her somehow already serials a right, exactly, and most of the ones you're making our right. And so, by the way, if you're in your bias, let me just tell you you can't control it. It's how bias works. But so your bias is in this case, are probably right, like, I mean long beer, like, you know, just you know, I'm like, Oh wow, this is an interesting circumstance. He's got a truck, like a Taho type vehicle. So I get in there and we're riding along and, you know, before we even off the campus of like you know the way this is. This is your Uber driver, this is my uber driver. Okay, God, yeah, and so we're getting yeah, we're leaving love field. So it's like it's not even like the big airport, it's love field. So like it doesn't take any time to get off the airport property. At love field. It's like a two, three minute stretcher road. And so before we even off airport property, he's like so what do you do? You know, I'm like, Oh, I, you know, try to keep it vay because I don't always want to get into it, but I'm like, you know, I'm a facilitator, you know, and I just kind of leave it at that. And so he's like, Oh, what he's teach? You know, I'm a teacher. You know, Love was like down this conversations going, and so I answer, you know, our teaching clusion and diversity and he just I mean it was the button was pushed. And so he's talking to me about, you know, teaching and seeing the changes in like college communities, and he goes, you know, I don't never forget this. He says, I don't know why, you know, black people want to go to like their own separate schools, like we integrated the school so they could go to school with us. See, you know, I'm just like holding my laughter, you know, like okay, you know. And so I let him kind of finish and so I said, well, I'm going to give you some perspective. I said, you know, nice neighborhood, amazing neighborhood. Right pops up right, you want to look at some houses over there. You go stroll through the neighborhood and like man, find a house you're really interested in, and then you go to like look at making a purchase and, you know, contacting a real turn, and the real turn like kind of just on the slide, tells you like yeah, it's predominantly black neighborhood. Like are you going to still go look at the house? He's like, Hey, I'll still look at the house. Okay. Are you going to move in? He's like, wow, you know, I got to think about you know, my kids and you know I'm a family and you know they have some family members that aren't necessarily I was like that's exactly why. So when you have someone that's looking to learn, do you think that they're going to want to go sit in a group of folks that they know, or do you think they're going to want to go sit with a group of folks that they know could be looking at them or watching them or evaluating them? He was like, oh, that's a good perspective. I'm like right. So, like you know, that's what happens. People go to predominantly, you know, historically black colleges or predominantly white institutions a lot of times. Because I got to go here to learn, I want to be comfortable and identity is a thing that we are not necessarily comfortable with the mix all the way yet. Like that's still a work in progress. And so he's like, okay, great, so Kea's we continue down the road. He proceeds to start telling me the story about his grandfather, or maybe it was his father, I don't know, but his grandfather had a farmer, somebody had a farm. It was during slavery or chalk sharecroppers. And like at some point he drops the in word and he's basically telling me a story about how like his grandfather or father was correcting someone for saying the word. But he's saying the word. You going so as it. So I just, you know, I let him finish and I got to the end and he's like, you know, we don't believe in that, like we don't treat people that way. And he's basically making the point that someone was correcting someone else for saying it. But as he's telling the story, saying it, and I said to him, I said, you know, so it's such a powerful story.

Can you help me understand why you felt like you had to say the word to me? And he was like, Oh, I'm not trying to offend you, as I said, nothing about being offended. I want you to explain to me why you felt like you had to say the word to me. And like just in that moment it's like this thing went off and he was just like I didn't even contemplate it, and I was like, exactly, I need the Labor to be the contemplation before you put yourself in the position. I said and I'm going to be very honest with you. You are in your S, we are in Texas. You are a white man. Had I been a black man, this could have been a very, very challenging car ride. This could have become a violent car ride because of your choice of words. How can you be more responsible about that? By the time we get to where we're going, he's like, oh, we gotta step keep doing the work. He gives me a hug, like this is all like free covid like it's like but it's like I live for that, like that moment that, like this seventy plus eure o white man in Texas that meets all the stereotypes, is like, shoot, I learned something today. I'm here for that, like that's what I want, and so I try to force windows open in that way when I have the chance, and that's how I see the work happening and I think if we all can do that and whatever your skill set is or whatever it works for you way it works for you, that's how the change is going to happen. It's not going to be the people that are completely opposed, it's not going to be the people that are stuck in their ways. It's going to be the ones that are just a little bit curious right about how far they can go and you pushing that window open. Well, I think it's really commendable that you stayed curious in that situation, that you didn't immediately shut him down and make him wrong, but you actually used curiosity as the thing to actually prop the window open more, which is, you know, I don't think that's a should be expected. Know it, it seems like it is. If you want the window to open more, curiosity is the key. Absolutely, the curiosity is really the key. But you're right, no one owes anyone that Labor like no no one owes anyone that. So you're going to get people that are going to stop long before I would have. There are people that would have ended the ride gotten out the vehicle immediately right, like I am not willing to engage in this conversation. So I think it it's a combination of understanding that there's a way to connect and when you see the way, if you can lean in. If you can't, then let it go. Like you don't have an obligation to fix everything. I tell people all the time, like no one owes you repair no one owes you correction, and so if you get it, be grateful for it. But if you don't recognize that, like there's probably some work you still need to do. You know what I'm saying? It just hasn't presented itself in away this song. I could give you the feedback yet, but you're one hundred percent right. No one has to do that Labor. I just happen to enjoy it for work. So we're coming up on the hour and I'm I'm wondering, what do you like? What does give you the most hope? Where do you, where do you source your optimism in such turbulent times when, you know, I mean there's enough day to look at anywhere to like, there's data to kind of be optimistic about, and there's data that's you know, you look at that and you're like, Oh God, humanity's in a, you know, downward spiral. And so what, where do you go to? What what waters do you drink from that that do nourish your optimistic vision of the future? Yeah, young people. I think young folks are like really thinking about things and talking about them, and I'm really optimistic about the idea that young folks are having some challenging conversations and bringing forth ideas that probably existed in previous generations but no one felt safe talking about them, no one could have gotten people to rally around them. And so I I am excited by the idea that we've had young people lead marches. You know that,...

...and I mean like young, young, you know, eleven years old, like stop shooting kids in school. You know, like that's huge, and so I think that's my biggest source of inspiration. And then the other thing that I'm truly inspired by is just really the willingness of people to lean into like just ideas that seem really far into them. So even just that curiosity moment we were just talking about, like sometimes we tend to right off folks like, you know, just this old man in Texas, like anybody else would. I'm like yeah, I'm just I'm not engaging with this today, you know, but I am. I am really, really excited by the places where I do find curiosity and the places where I do find just a genuine interest in how the world can be better, even if it's not for them personally, and so I'm inspired by that. I had a woman send me a note on link then just the other day, and I mean, let's be writing a book is hard. I don't know, we all rea need blue. The writing book is really hard to its tedious, is time consuming, it's emotional labor, it's hard and so and then you put it out. It's got your big old face on it and then you're like oh shoot, like people are going to make opinions about this now, you know, and they can post them online, they can like say whatever they want. I don't even get to like put the filter on it. And so, you know, I had this woman send me, and knows I've had all kind of anxiety about its books. been on about a month and I had this woman sending me a note and the note was like Hey, I have asked my university to, you know, add this to the library, make it free for all students and also I am going to make it require reading for my course. And like that moment was like, oh my gosh, like this can matter, you know what I mean? Like I mean like great, you know, you're buying the book. Like anybody knows me about publishing. Unless you're like a huge, huge author, you're not really making money like that on your book. It's really just like, do people really want these ideas? Do people really want to hear it and feel it? And that inspires me that people actually are like listen, this was good and I went and found you on Linkedin to tell you that is really valuable for me too. That's awesome. Yeah, amber, this has been really great. Thank you for coming on today. Can you share with our listeners where they can find out more about you? Where can they follow you online learn more about your work? Sure, absolutely so. To find out more about my work, it's probably best that you've had out and find me on Linkedin. I do a lot of sharing and posting there. You can always go to amber cabralcom and learn about the other organized stations I support, but to see like a current running list, I think linkedin is really good at that. And then, in terms of just connecting with me online, I give you just want to chat and have some conversation, I'm probably best found on instagram. I do a little bit of tweeting, but instagram is my platform of choice. I will warn you, I am myself, so you will get it all there. So if you are looking for more of a professional experience, you should go to Linkedin. If you're looking for more real reality experience, you will enjoy joining me on Instagram, and my name there is at Bam Cabral, and that's be AMC Abra al. Really Great. Thank you for joining us today. All right, thank you for having me. Fifteen five is the only evidence based people and performance platform for highly engaged and high performing organizations. Strategic HR leaders in all industries use the platform to win by improving communication, up leveling their managers and increasing company wide engagement. Learn more at Fifteen Fivecom you've been listening to HR superstars stories from the front lines of HR and people ops. Be Sure you never miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcast player. If you're listening on Apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a thoughtful review or give a quick rating by tapping the stars. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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