Black Liberation, Ethics and the Future (w/ Preston Mitchum)

Zach welcomes Preston Mitchum, the Director of Policy at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, back to the pod to talk about Black liberation and the future of Black and brown folks in the corporate and non-corporate spaces. Check the links in the show notes to connect with Preston!

Struggling with your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) work? Kanarys—a Black-founded company—has your back. Regardless of where you are on your DEI journey, we arm you with the insights you need now to take action now. From audits to assessments to data-informed strategy, we’d love to be the partner you have been looking for. Email or learn more at

Find out more about Preston on his official website.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Check out URGE’s 2020 Election Report Series. Part 1 is about the 2020 youth electorate and how they participated in the election.


SPEAKER 1 0:10

What’s up, y’all this is Zach with live in corporate and do something a little bit different. I’m really excited about this, you know, the reality is that we have a ton of content, right? A lot of content because we have plenty of people that want to be on the show. And everything can get aired, as soon as we record it. So you know, we have a bit of a vault every you know, show that you know, has a vault. And so we’re going to let some stuff out the vault for Christmas, because we love y’all. And so what you’re about to hear is a conversation from our vault, as a part of our 12 days of podcasts campaign. This is one of those shows, make sure you check it out. I’m really excited about whoever you’re about to hear. Before we get there, I’ll tap in with Tristan, and we’ll be back.

SPEAKER 2 1:03

What’s going on live in corporate it’s Tristan and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Let’s talk about making a career change in the New Year. With the New Year comes the idea of a fresh start, many of us began to reflect on our jobs and start considering the new possibilities. With many companies shifting their business models and more remote options becoming available. A career transition may look appealing. But let’s discuss a few things to think about if you’re considering a career change in the New Year. If you’re thinking about making a major change in your career, ask yourself, am I actually looking to change industries completely? Or am I looking for something to challenge me in different ways? Every shift in your career doesn’t have to be a major one. If you work in finance, and you’re good at it, but you want a job that allows you to be more creative. Consider looking for roles in your financial institutions marketing department, who better to market products and someone already familiar with them. Nonetheless, we know COVID has affected some industries and definitely and many people may have no choice but to consider other industries. Either way, get clear on what you want. You all have heard me say time and time again that a good job search begins with clarity. Many of us start a job search with no direction. That’s like getting in your car, opening your GPS and expecting it to get you to your destination without an address. You can’t develop an actionable plan if you don’t know your end destination. When I say get clear, of course, I’m talking about the job title, but you also want to consider what skills you want to learn or exercise more and which ones you want to avoid as much as possible. You also want to figure out what is important to you when it comes to a job. Do you want to be remote have flexibility? Are you looking to move? Having an understanding of all this will help you find a role that aligns with your needs and values. Develop and expand your skill set. When we’re job searching. We all too often want to rely solely on the skills we have currently, we often overlook investing in ourselves to expand our skill sets and make ourselves more competitive for the roles we want to make sure you’re focused on upskilling in the right area, do some research on the most in demand skills and review three to five job descriptions for the same type of role at different companies look at not only the required skills, but the preferred ones as well. It takes some time to research people who are already in the field, what type of training or programs were they a part of what licenses or certifications have they obtained. You can even take it a step further and request informational interviews with some of these people to gain additional insight. Now, I don’t want to be overly cynical, but I would also consider figuring out a backup plan. One thing this pandemic has taught us is that having a job is not guaranteed. The reality is new employees are often some of the first to go off a company has to make layoff decisions. Throughout this process, I give some thought to what my plan would be if I were to lose my new job. The last thing I’m going to mention is that you want to pack your patience. According to all the research I’ve seen job searches will be longer for everyone in 2021. Most are estimating anywhere from six to 12 months, you may want to consider hiring a career coach or resume writer who may be able to help you get clear, package up your skill set and develop an actionable strategy to get you to where you’re trying to go. Thanks for tapping in with me this week. This tip was brought to you by trusting of lay field resume consulting check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at lay field resume or connect with me Tristan Lay field on LinkedIn.

SPEAKER 1 4:47

Preston Welcome to the show man How you doing? I know that’s a loaded question.

SPEAKER 3 4:52

It is a loaded question but it’s one that I appreciate always being asked because I am good. You know try to make a way out of no way and just the fight going so I’m happy to be back. Yeah,

SPEAKER 1 5:03

It’s been a while. Since we’ve talked on here. I know, we’ve been keeping up in other ways. But um, you know, is what it’s been two years. Like, talk to me about. You know, in the two years that you’ve been away from, like the living core corporate platform. What is clear to you now? That was not as clear two years ago?

SPEAKER 3 5:28

That’s a really good question. I don’t know, the thing is, I actually believe that I’ve been right all along about white supremacy, and how it showed up and manifested in spaces corporate, non-profit, and otherwise. That’s the one thing that became like, crystal clear is that you know what, I found social media, it made me realize that I wasn’t as ridiculous as people once tried to make me out to be many years ago. And I realized now that people are actually starting to many people, right, many people have always been there. So let me be clear, yeah. But I think what I’ve discovered is that many people are now realizing that you know what, Preston may have been onto something since he was 18, when he was going off about white supremacy on campus, and, you know, disgusting homophobia and transphobia years ago, maybe he wasn’t so ridiculous on these conversations that are defending the police. Maybe reform isn’t the answer. And so I really kind of been wrestling with this a lot lately. Because lately, I get so many messages from people actually offering that insane that telling me that I wasn’t wrong. And not that I needed that affirmation. Because I knew that, you know, I felt at least what would get black folks to liberation were these particular factors. But part of like advocacy and movement building, part of what that actually looks like sometimes is you give people the information, some people can argue and resist it. And then eventually, many of them come around because of their own personal or other lived experiences, too. And sometimes that’s actually what it takes. So you know, to answer your direct question, I deeply believe that people realize that some of us on you know, farther left of the spectrum, work so ridiculous. And we just see the world a little different than others do.

SPEAKER 1 7:18

You know, to your point, we’re looking at about a week before the election, right, huh, you know, this this, you know, we’re recording this on the 25th. Of October. And, you know, this will likely air after the election, can we talk about the feelings you’ve navigated during this season and the feelings you’re experiencing now?

SPEAKER 3 7:46

Yeah, this, you know, considering that this will air after the election, I want to say that, for the past several years, I’ve worked at youth rights organizations. And I just talked about this actually, this morning, one of the things that I’ve realized are the way people oftentimes view what’s politically engaged and who’s politically engaged or disconnected, is based on how they vote, and if they vote at all every two to four years. And that’s such a myopic way to view voting, voting patterns, and whether people are engaged or connected. And it’s oftentimes used as a sword against young people, and black people in my experience. And so you know, of course, there’s been so many young people who’ve already early voted, and I mean, young people, specifically between 18 to 34, but really 18 to 29, who already voted early. And some of that was to be expected, because quite frankly, it’s a pandemic. So people are figuring out how to navigate this right now this world, in the grand scheme of the information that they have to be safe. But one of the things that has really stood out to me around this time around as I deeply believe that when young people quote unquote, save the election, many people will celebrate them. And ironically enough, it will be many of the same people who have once attempted to be adults hissed over them who’ve attempted to be condescending to young people. And so you know, that’s one of the things that I’m wrestling with and I’ve wrestled with for the past umpteenth years, I feel is that the way we oftentimes view, engagement politically, is really terrible, frankly. And it really just reduces people to their vote, and their vote every two to four years, not whether they’re mobilizing their communities, not whether they’re writing op eds, not whether they’re actually organizing during a pandemic or not, whether all these things it’s just did you vote in the election for someone who ultimately will disappoint you every two to four years. So that’s one of the things that is standing out to me a lot right now. For the past several years, I’ve been wrestling really since 2016, I’ve been wrestling with what is actually engaging and training young people, and creating a leadership pipeline and other spaces for people to actually be connected to the policy in the political world that doesn’t just revolve around, you know, a random vote every two to four years. It’s how do you actually stay connected and inform how you actually get an information to your communities, time actually sharing information with you so that you can actually share with your peers and other people in your communities. And so one of the deepest things that I’ve just consistently realized are that, you know, so many marginalized communities are already under a threat of white supremacy, and every other antagonism that you can look like. And we’re also still forced to be the ones to save this country. And so you know, it’s really unfortunate how, like, insular many of these things are becoming and how much infighting occurs from people who ordinarily should be on the same side anyway. So again, when I look back the past several years, you know, a lot of fighting that we’ve endured a lot of fighting that we’ve done, we’ve had a whole pandemic that we’re still experiencing, we’ve had a Muslim ban and be inactive, we’ve had so many fights to chip away the Affordable Care Act, we’ve had three, almost three supreme court justices be confirmed since 2016. I mean, we’ve experienced so many things over the past several years. And I always want to go back to this, it has been young people who’ve taught us that we always need to push for more than what we have before us is never going to be enough. And so again, though, the political space may be a little rocky, and has been rocky both in terms especially in the Senate and the White House. One of the things that gives me so much hope and joy is really looking at young people, and especially young black people, young, queer, Trans, non-binary people, young immigrants, and other folks who realize that this is not enough. And no matter how ridiculous you think I am, I’m going to keep fighting for more. Because even if you don’t think you deserve it, I know you do.

SPEAKER 1 11:58

You know, I love that I’ve been thinking a lot about collective organizing and galvanizing power within marginalized spaces. Not so much in like seeking representation in white spaces. But in imagining greater power, where I am with those who look like me, and share a desire for liberation. What do you think black folks should be focused on in our collective journey? To true freedoms?

SPEAKER 3 12:26

To be honest, I think we’re already focusing on it. So I guess I’ll pause and say that one of the things that I’m always baffled by is by how many black people don’t believe black people know how to organize ourselves in our communities. And there’s always something that I always end up observing. And it’s usually this Well, I wish we knew now what we knew in 2016, or whatever, or I wish we would have voted more in 2018. And it makes me think that your fight is not with people is with the systems. And if you want to blame anyone, for 2016 blamed the Electoral College, right? Blame this winner take all system, blame the fact that our institutions are set up in ways that actually give areas and regions votes more than people. Right. And I’m like a, you can be upset or find it, you know, frustrating that people are not buying until the system that you know, that others have bought into but that’s not the fight. Like certainly, I can be upset that people in certain places where I’ll be very political here, but Clinton ended up losing. And you know, and because some people didn’t vote, but the truth is, it assumes many things. One, it assumes that the people who didn’t vote would have voted for Clinton, to it assumes that Clinton had a strong ground game, which as a Midwestern, I can tell you that her ground game was incredibly weak in some places. And it actually like completely disinvest from the reality that Clinton won the popular vote by millions. And so again, you can use this very again, myopic argument that people were not voting, but people were voting and they did vote, they just didn’t vote, according to this random system of winner take all. And so you know, and that’s because black folks, we already know black women organize everything. Right? Like, they organize everyone, they vote, they vote in churches, they take people, you know, from the churches to the polling locations. I mean, so many Black Muslim are saying, Oh my gosh, they’re saving communities in ways that really they shouldn’t have to. And that’s really not right, and it’s not on them to do so. Um, you know, and black men, frankly, if you want to be very honest, we’re the ones who need to do a lot more work and a lot better. You know, I think that’s the thing that’s been frustrating. It’s like really seeing these really high numbers that many black men are now siding with Trump. And it’s, I mean, it’s actually astronomical, how many black males are liberties have actually come out in favour of Trump, usually because they don’t understand how taxes work. But frankly, it is because many of them want to beat Trump. And we don’t really want to address it in that way. But yeah, black people have been collectively building and organizing for so long, that I think it’s all we know how to do. All black people know how to do is collectively a mobilize deal, because we do what our survival and we’ve done it for so long, I think it’s the I think it’s the truest thing that connects us to our ancestors, Frankly.

SPEAKER 1 15:31

No, I feel that there’s something to be said about, like, how black men, we as a collective need to step up. And I better engage and coordinate and support and stand in solidarity with, with black women, particularly straight black men, for sure. And yeah, and also, there is an ignorance in terms of understanding how taxes work, or the reality that like, you know, these things that you believe are going to benefit you, you’re not even going to touch these things anyway, because of the systems that we have. They’re going to block you from even having the access or success you, you believe that you’re going to you’re going to have like this and that and also this, the scarcity mind-set. And I did have a zero sum game of, well knocks if we do this, then I mean, that’s going to hurt my pockets. I can’t, I mean, No, it won’t. But then let’s say you’re part of that group, and you end up getting tax a little bit more, your people would suffer significantly less in this context, if you were to participate in it. So I do agree.

SPEAKER 3 16:27

And I say to what’s wild, though, and I agree with you. And what’s wild, as far as I hear you make those comments is that I also think about the number of people that are not a part of that someone proposed a tax plan. And again, I’m not going up for either candidate, frankly, but yes, you know, I, I will be casting my vote for Biden. And I say this as someone who’s been very critical of Biden for years, and will continue to be right, because Joe Biden is not my friend, he’s a policymaker. And that’s our job, you know, as citizens and people who live in this country, frankly, to hold our administration accountable, regardless of what political spectrum they fall. But I’ve been thinking about like this plan where essentially, like, if you make more than $400,000, then your taxes may increase. And it’s wild to me how many people I saw get frustrated. Like, y’all don’t make that amount, right. It was actually one of the things that baffled me, because I’m just like, this is how I know, like, white supremacy is working well. When you make less than $80,000 a year, and you’re protecting the rights of people who are millionaires. I know white supremacy and capitalism have done its job. Of course, like I know, it’s run its course, like when you are someone who’s living check to check. And you’re frustrated about the idea that a tax plan of someone making more than $400,000 a year is somehow not good, or somehow impacts you directly or your community directly. It’s how I know white supremacy is one and I that’s what I find truly petrifying to be honest. Like, there are so many people, there’s so many working poor people who deeply believe that they’re middle class. And that frightens me.

SPEAKER 1 18:12

There’s something to be said about that. For sure. I don’t think that we really understand how impoverished we are as a group. You know, something else I want to say too, about like this narrative. And I agree, I do agree that, again, black men, like we do need to vote and heavier interest of our like, of ourselves and our people is interesting, though, like, so I’m looking at this tweet from Charles Preston. And so it’s a screenshot and its saying it says black people were 10% of the electorate. So this was back in 2016. Exit poll. So black people were 10% of the electorate, why people were 81% of the electorate, and the majority voted Republican. He says, I wonder why the emphasis on black men. He goes on, he says Latino women voted in the same numbers that black men did in Pennsylvania. And the pay gap is worse for them than all others. Why aren’t special speeches catered for them? I just don’t get why Barack Obama has always delivered to black men. I find it like curious. So that’s him. I’m just I’m literally reading all this in real time. Like I’m trying to like, I’m trying to spice it up, Preston. But point is like, I’m looking. When I’m looking at this content. I’m like, I wonder. This is me thinking aloud. For real. Like, I wonder how much of this like, we recognize a black man benefit from and engage in. patriarchy, says that black men, straight presenting black men participate in patriarchy, and do oppress black women, like they like we have that we have the ability to do that. I also wonder like if there’s any space where we harm each other, when we like jump on narratives that like over index, or blame black men in spaces where it’s like, we’re not even talking about white women, and their engagement and participation. And as much of the voting power that they have in terms of the percentage of the electorate, how much they just where’s the responsibility? Like I get it. I’m looking at these percentages. 83% of black icommand voted for Clinton in 2016 99% 99% of black women voted for Clinton. In 2016, black women were 66% of the electorate, black men were 4% of electorate, white women were 43% of the electorate, and half of them voted for Trump. White men are 38% electorate and 64 64% my word 64% of them voted for Trump. And so like I’m not anti to be clear, like I’m not anti-holding black men accountable. Perhaps I have some deep, unconscious biases or defensiveness, it’s very possible. But I guess I’m trying to figure out like, how do we push against, like white liberal narratives that are propagated in social media that I think sometimes can propagate into communal wars?

SPEAKER 3 20:48

Yeah, I really appreciate this conversation, honestly, because it’s incredibly nuanced. And shout out to Charles. Charles is really brilliant, really appreciate him. So I think the question is, ultimately, and I think we you got to it in your in your last statement is how do we hold white liberal media, by and large, are communities accountable? Because, you know, my, my fear is that when people hear those numbers, they’ll be like, completely disengage black men will disengage, because they’ll be like, see, that’s not our issue. And the truth is, it still is our issue. I think sometimes we’ve gotten so invested in like this white versus black, that we don’t realize that actually what we’re discussing this intro community things. So you know, so again, patriarchy is real. And I think that people who like actually most violent harm doors around patriarchy are white men, for sure. But it also doesn’t mean that black men are not harmed doors, and black were not also patriarchal, or at least experienced that, you know, or at least, like, give off violence through patriarchy. Just because it doesn’t mirror or the same way that white men does it, there’s still an issue with patriarchy, and black men, and we have to actually discuss it in ways, right, because if that wasn’t the case, you know, transport black trans women would be being killed by black men, by sis black men, and by and large. And so again, like they’re, you know, just because it’s not comparable, so white folks responsibility and being accountable, it doesn’t mean that we should disengage or disinvest from the reality that black men, gay, straight trans whomever, also have an accountability, to like voting our interest in voting our community’s interest to, to your to your direct points. So yes, by white people will always be I’m going to say this very clearly will always be the greatest harm doors should always have the greatest level of responsibility. And the reason why, and I think Charles know this, and I think, and I’m pretty sure you know, that Zack is it’s easy to pinpoint and to blame marginalized communities for our own conditions, right, even though those conditions are because of white supremacy, racism, anti-blackness, you know, all the things, right? So again, we know that that’s the case. And we know, it’s easy to blame people who already lack access to power and privilege and resources. So I think the question then becomes, what are we doing in spite of that, or, you know, be in with knowing that information? What are we doing? And I think, again, you know, when I’m talking to other black people, if a black person gave me those statistics, I would affirm them, right? They’re absolutely correct that those are the statistics. And that still doesn’t remove the responsibility that we have to still do political education, to still engage in mass mobilization to steal organized, black folks have been walking and chewing gum, since we’ve been alive. That’s what again, that’s all we know how to do. So while there is absolutely a responsibility for white liberal media, and that’s, we should push back on that all the time, right? If I was going on TV, right now, my message would be that message, because that is who should be viewing it. And that is the people that should be reaching white people. This is what you organize your people, collect your folks, you know, stop trying to organize people of color, we know how to organize ourselves, you need to talk to your cousin, who you heard, say the N word, you need to talk to your mama who said that she going to vote for Trump, but she’s not really a racist like that. Those are the people you need to talk to and organize. And yes, white people’s job in this space is when they hear people blaming black people, or other folks of color for why people like Trump when he won the election, quote, unquote, won the election in 2016. I think the reality is white is white people shocked to say, But wait, wait, wait, fellow white people, wait, friends, we are the ones who are the biggest percentage of electorate in this country, and 80. So anytime someone wins or loses, ultimately, it’s because of us. And that could be a good or bad approach in the future. Right? But we know because the 2015 or 2015, excuse me, there’s going to be a new American majority where obviously most folks of color are aging out white people by and large, at least as far as population growth. And so again, I think ultimately it becomes who your audience is what the message is. So again, I have two answers. But it all is the same thing. One is that yes, white people are the biggest electorate, and they need to collect their own folks, too. When it comes to inter community conversations, it is still the responsibility for black man to collect each other to make sure that we’re actually holding ourselves accountable. And being the alleged protectors that we always say that we are. And that ultimately, both of those things are true.

SPEAKER 1 25:24

I love that. Yeah, no, and I appreciate it too. And, you know, like, I think like, we you and I vibe, and I’ve always appreciated your time. And your mind-set because you do embrace nuance. And I agree, depending on, it’s the context of the audience, right? Of like, what the discussion needs to be 100% agree on both sides, both takes of that rabbit. Let’s see here. Last time, you were on, you should go home, because we were talking about ally ship. And the role that white folks should be playing in this space. You know, I asked you about clarity in terms of just overall life and what you’re seeing in the world. I’m going to ask you again, what is clear to you now than it was two years ago regarding effective ally ship in all contexts, but certainly in the workplace, I know that your career has continued to grow and shift and change. I’d love to just get your perspective on. You know, a lot of folks listen to live in corporate and they stay engaged, and they tap into this seeking to really better position themselves as allies or just to grow and develop as aspirational allies, accomplices, whatever word you want to use. I’m curious to get your perspective in 2020.

SPEAKER 3 26:39

This is I reflect on this so much now, especially as someone in management now. So this is my first job my past year, I’ve worked at a really wonderful organization, name urge, urge stands for United for Reproductive and gender equity. And it is my first job in as someone with a senior leadership role. And one of the things that’s really clear now is how tough it is to be an effective manager. There are so many tools and resources out there for people, and I think we should always engage in those. But there are really few tools to talk to managers of color. And deeply. Even the tools that are existing aren’t really, as I would like to call it, this real talk conversation on what it means to be a manager of color, particular, black or Latinx. Manager. When I’ve had conversations with other people in senior leadership, at other organizations, particularly a non-profit, has been this exact conversation, and making sure that we are not becoming the people who we complained about when we were more junior. And I think in having some of these conversations, that’s one of the things I’ve realized is that some of us have been some of us actually become the people who we once complained about. And you know, for me, that’s, that’s heart-breaking. You know, and I think sometimes we don’t even know that we’re doing it, and sometimes your reality shift, right. So you start now thinking through whether you know, for the entire organization’s interests, as opposed to, you know, some things that you think would be good for you. And I think, again, all of that is right. And all of that is wrong, to some degree. In terms of ally ship, one of the things that I realized too, is I deeply believe that ally ship is still not real, like I don’t believe it is a real thing. I believe in co-conspirator ship, I believe in accomplices, because I believe that there are more investments that you make, if you’re hoping spirit or with someone or an accomplice with someone, right, it means that you are willing to like go to bat. And in the context of management and leadership and corporate or non-profit or other spaces, I think sometimes that means actually willing to stick your neck out on the line for people who are more junior than you who are likely to be more people of color, who are more likely to get paid less than you who are likely to be younger, among other things. And so that means that when you are in those hard senior meetings, and you hear something that may not be going well, according to you, and you have the right to determine that, that means that you need to speak up. That is what it means to be an effective co-conspirator. It means willing to sometimes risk your position and your seniority. So people who are not in the room can be heard. And I think for me, I rarely experienced that. I really hear about those stories. I rarely hear about those narratives. Because when we get in those positions, especially as folks of color, it’s like I’m not I’m not losing this role. I’m here, like I’m here to stay in something many of that is not as much of that it’s out of survival, but it still doesn’t relinquish us of the responsibility to protect the very people who we just were not too many years ago. So yeah, so that to answer your question. Question I deeply have gone through these epiphanies of what ally ship is. And I still believe it’s not a real thing, because I believe ally ship is very passive, you’re not really requiring much of yourself, you’re not really giving much of yourself as being a co-conspirator being an accomplice are those things you’re giving a lot of yourself, you’re willing to go to bat, you’re sticking your neck on the line, you were the ones coming up with programs around leadership development and pipelines, or at least offering people those incentives or more understanding of things that they can do to help themselves grow. So yeah, like I, I deeply appreciate communities connecting in this way. But I still think we have to dig deeper, and figuring out what is our relation to people who don’t have as much privilege or power resources than we do.

SPEAKER 1 30:48

Now, I’m right there with you. First off, on the top of the top of what you said around the fact that we do need a resource specifically for black and brown managers, and leaders of people in organizations. I think that that is there’s a lot of just nuance there in terms of how you show up how you communicate with folks who are junior to you, but who also are members of the majority. And like this wasn’t mean to lead those individuals and navigate some of the resistance. I think that we don’t talk a lot about the fact that white folks do not like listening and doing what black and brown people tell them to do. And I just I don’t understand, like we’ve yet to have an honest and frank conversation about that, like, white people find black and brown authority uncomfortable. And it’s weird. It’s weird that we have to, like, we have to people try to debate or like, look at you like you’re crazy when you say that, when we have the biggest case study of that for eight years with Barack Obama, like we saw how y’all treated somebody who had a white mom, y’all did not like the idea of having this person being in such a position of just unquestionable authority by America’s own design. And you’re having to submit to that in some degree. I just hated that. And so like, it’s not unreasonable to consider that, you know, a lot of people just don’t like listening to black and brown folks. And then. So there’s, there’s training that needs to happen not only for the leaders, but it does training that needs to happen. For those who have never had a black or brown manager before. And what does that mean? Let’s see, again, we can’t talk about that. So instead, we roll out technical skills, training for managers, or other things as if in upskilling, black and brown managers, you fix racism, which isn’t in itself racist, but…

SPEAKER 3 32:31

Exactly, And they and it’s interesting that that’s even done, because it’s like, if you’re not facing the structural issues, the issues that you’re describing Zach, then it doesn’t matter how many black and brown managers that you have, because that means there will still be a lot of resistance from people who are not Black and Brown, who are more junior than you who didn’t challenge your leadership challenge or authority. And it makes it difficult to even want to be a manager after a while. So yeah.

SPEAKER 1 32:54

no, it’s like, I just, you know, I have, I have my own experiences of like being on teams, where you can tell people don’t really respect your authority, they don’t respect your presence. And whether you want to admit it or not, it creates barriers, and it impacts your performance and your desire to be there. Because you’re like, Okay, I don’t even want to do this. Because every time I talk to you, every time I say something, I’m being questioned and challenged if, if I’m valid, my skill set, though I know I have it, you ignore it, you undermine it. And then it doesn’t help when you have white folks who are senior to you. Whether they realize it or not, they end up slowly taking the side of those subordinates, and then you end up being so you get undermined all across until eventually, you’re toothless. There’s nothing you can really do.

SPEAKER 3 33:43

Yeah, no, you’re right. You’re absolutely right.

SPEAKER 1 33:46

And then to you, and I guess like to just to your other points just around like accomplish it. And being an accomplice, I agree that I’ve rarely seen folks stick their neck out for me, and really put themselves in harm’s way, in the name of just doing what’s right for me just treat it like in the name of me being treated like a human being. And sadly, the people that stick their neck out for me the most are the folks who, who really can’t afford it. They don’t even have the capital to extending it they have. And so that means that’s meant a lot to me, but I feel you on that. So you shut the room again, but you kind of just you slip past it. So your take is that ally ship is not real period?

SPEAKER 3 34:27

I don’t think it is. And I think that’s true across the board. Right? Not just right. I think what and also when people think about ally ship is usually in the context of race, but there are so many spaces for people to actually speak up, give up power, etc. So many communities that are marginalized right, so what does that mean in terms of heterosexual folks and bisexual you know, lesbian and gay people? What does it mean for sis people to be, quote unquote, ally to Trans people? What does it mean for men to be a critical ally to women? And yes, what it means for white people to be an ally to Black people and indigenous and other people of color. So again, I think the way we just view ally ship is wrong from the start, I think it’s usually myopic. And I think it’s usually rooted in this idea of how fast can someone toes pro people of color messages on social media. But when you actually talk to people offline, you see that they’re not giving up power and privilege and resources in person that you could, like I’ve seen in a real time, I’ve seen a real time people who probably should be given their space other people for are still the first to jump to sit on panels are still the first to actually be in spaces where they shouldn’t be privy to, or at least consistently have access to. And I think that’s because there’s only invested in what it means to be an ally to them, of being an accomplice and being a co-conspirator is deeper than that. Right? It may it makes you question whether you should be the person assembled that panel, it makes you question whether you should actually like give some of your resources to other communities who don’t have it like, that’s why I don’t believe in ally ship, because I think it’s the way we view it is completely wrong. And it’s actually most of the time you end up censoring yourself, and not the communities that actually need to be centered in those communities who need more resources and a little bit of, you know, reallocation of those resources that are already available to be clear, they’re just not in the right in the hands of the right people.

SPEAKER 1 36:21

Man 100% 100%. Now, look, this has been a dope conversation. I’m frustrated with myself that it took two years for us to get you back here. So my hope is that we see you again really soon. Yes, yes. Before we let you go, what are you excited about? What are you working on? Where can people learn more about you all of that stuff, I just want you to just plug as much as you can.

SPEAKER 3 36:43

Yes, thank you for that. So right now, what I’m most excited about is an election report that we’ll be releasing at my organization at urge knife reproductive in gender equity, really on young people all about how young people are mobilized communities building for policy change, and pushing back on this narrative that young people don’t care. Young people are just engaged in different ways that people are trying to force them to believe. So again, engagement may not look like just voting patterns, maybe it looks like mobilizing your community. Maybe it looks like sharing content, maybe it looks like shifting culture and other forms of communications and messaging. It doesn’t have to look like voting and again, so this reports this report tackles that it tackles and tries to demystify that false narrative. So that comes out November 5, or six. So I’m really excited. You can find that at URJ u r. For more information about me, I wanted to share that I’m an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. So I’ll be teaching again this spring of 2021. LGBT health law and policy. So if at any moment you randomly just have a listener, wanting to talk about you know the law on what it means to be LGBTQ of the law. Definitely feel free to message me. I’m mostly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For the purposes here, I’ll give my Instagram which is Preston dot Mitchum, on Twitter. It’s Preston Mitchum, all one word. I am really excited to be connected. You can find more information on my website, Preston And Zach, this has been fun. I’m always excited to talk to you and join you. I know it’s been two years but we can rest assured we will not have another election before we speak again. So really excited to talk to you,

SPEAKER 1 38:33

Man, this has been dope. All right, Preston Look, we’ll talk to you soon.

SPEAKER 3 38:36

Absolutely. Thank you so much.

SPEAKER 1 38:38

Peace. Alright, and we’re back. Listen, again. I hope this holiday season is treating you well. I know that the holidays are not the most joyous time for everybody. I hope that you’re able to find some peace and some restoration during the season as we get ready for hopefully what will be a better New Year. Until next time, this has been Zach. Make sure you give us five stars and that good old Apple podcast. We’ll catch y’all later. Peace.

SPEAKER 4 39:19

Living corporate is a podcast living corporate LLC. Our logo was designed by David Dawkins. Our theme music was produced by Ken Burns. Additional music production by Anton Franklin from musical elevation. Post production is handled by Jeremy Jackson. Got a topic suggestion. Email us at living corporate You can find us online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and living dash Thanks for listening. Stay tuned.

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