About Matthew Whitaker

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So far Matthew Whitaker has created 49 blog entries.

Free to Be You and Me

By | July 4th, 2016|Uncategorized|

There's a land that I see where the children are free And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live In a land where the river runs free In a land through the green country In a land to a shining sea And you and me are free to be you and me ~ The New Seekers My mother, the educator, activist, and child advocate that she is, made singing this tune a part of our daily routine after it was released in 1974.  “Free to Be You [...]

Growing Your Community Bank Account

By | June 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|

In 2004, Steven R. Covey published The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a runaway bestseller and trailblazing leadership manifesto.   The book promised to provide a “holistic, integrated, principle-centered” method for “solving personal and professional problems.”  It delivered.  Despite selling 15 million copies, however, many aspiring and seasoned leaders have yet to unlock the fullness of its potential.  This is particularly true in light of the ever-expanding distrust of authority, recent Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter Movements, and the associated and intensifying condemnation of homogenous an inequitable leadership, workforces, office cultures, and political and education environs.  In particular, many influencers have not done enough to invest and grow what Covey [...]

Orlando and the Pulse of this Nation

By | June 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Unprecedented demographic change, made possible by our documents of freedom, and forged in our crucible of constant immigration and cultural difference, continues to make the United States one of the most diverse nations on earth. Chauvinism and Orwellian insecurity, and the finger pointing fear, angst and emotional stress that they engender, also make us one of the most intolerant and violent. Our propensity to use deadly force, especially against the vulnerable and marginalized, such as the Orlando LGBT community that was devastated yesterday by a homophobic, religious extremist, and his assault rifle, is both an abrogation of our espoused commitment to freedom and autonomy, and an acute reflection of our longstanding love [...]

Muhammad Ali: Worthy of All Praise

By | June 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|

As we mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali, let us also celebrate his life and legacy. As I wrote in the forward to the Butterfly Ball: A National Tribute to Muhammad Ali in 2005, we must also “recognize and appreciate the extent to which Ali and his legacy represents the spirit and essence of Black history and life.” Indeed, as I and others have noted, Ali declared himself “The Greatest,” and for millions of people of African descent, and millions of others, he became just that. Ali embodied the complexity, immensity, and dynamism that characterized Black communities around the world, and his leadership was a testament to the ability of one man [...]

Recognizing and Advancing Positively Powerful Women

By | June 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Women have made significant inroads in governance and management in the last 40 years.  According to labor specialists Mark Brenner and Stephanie Luce, “Legal barriers to gender-based employment and pay discrimination” have been eliminated.  “By 1970, occupational segregation by gender began to fall substantially for the first time since at least the turn of the century.  The gender wage gap narrowed, with women earning 59 cents an hour to every dollar earned by a man in 1964, but 77 cents per hour in 2004. The percentage of women in the labor force with a college degree went up from 11.2 percent in 1970 to 32.6 percent in 2004, rising at basically twice [...]

Eliminating “Practical Racism” in Corporate America

By | May 3rd, 2016|Inclusion|

While everyone makes some adjustments between work and other aspects of our lives, people of color (POC) are often required to check their cultural cosmology at the door and put on their make-White-people-comfortable faces. Women face a similar challenge in having to mimic the work and leadership styles of their male bosses on the one hand, while being covertly and overtly ridiculed as being unfeminine and unattractive in doing so. Women of color are beleaguered by both of these oppressive dynamics. POC often chafe under unspoken and expected Eurocentric professional standards of dress, speech, inter-personal communication, and even thinking. These corporate cultures are dominated by White, male, Eurocentric ways of seeing, thinking, [...]

Colorblindness, Zuckerberg & Diversity and Inclusion

By | May 3rd, 2016|Diversity, Inclusion|

Our society is uncomfortable with difficult dialogues about race, stereotypes, and the salience of racial inequality and inequity. Beginning in our homes and migrating to our social spaces, faith-based institutions, city halls, schools and businesses, however, we need to talk about race and social justice. We need to engage in bold and sustainable dialogue that produces changes in our laws, curriculums, and corporate cultures. Our education and business leaders should play significant and visible roles in efforts to confront and eliminate racial stereotyping, exclusion, and the stagnation, joblessness, hopelessness, and violence they engender. Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for leading the way. Failing to follow his lead will put our all of our [...]

“Making America Great Again”: Diversity and Inclusion in an Age of Divisiveness

By | May 3rd, 2016|Diversity, Equity, Inclusion|

The world has heard much about “making America great again” of late, but more often than not, this message has been delivered in ways that do more to divide than unite us. The missive is usually fraught with racialized and xenophobic language that exploits ignorance and cultural incompetence, and inspires distrust and fear; fear of that and those which hold the most potential to lead us into new an more innovative era of harmony, productivity, competitiveness, and global leadership. Indeed, according to Sophia Kerby of the Center for American Progress, “as our nation becomes more diverse, it is crucial that institutions reflect this diversity. Our growing communities of color are America’s future, [...]

The Social Construction of Race and the Three C’s

By | May 3rd, 2016|Diversity|

Most diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants are good at defining these terms, drawing attention to homogenous educational and corporate cultures, and helping to build environments where diverse populations assimilate into a shared institutional “mission” and “vision.” However, our institutions still struggle with human multiplicity, especially in higher education and corporate American. This is due, in part, to our contemporary yet antiquated understanding of “difference,” particularly “race.” Institutions can formulate inspiring mission statements and visions, but this does not mean that they will be interpreted similarly. Individuals see the world through their unique ocular and cultural lens, and their distinct lens frames their observations and ignites, if they are appreciated and supported, or [...]

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