Racism In the Ivory, COVID-19 and Liberation (w/ Dr. Uché Blackstock)

Zach sits down with Dr. Uché Blackstock, founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, to talk about racism in the Ivory, the COVID19 Vaccine, and the ways organizations need to prioritize vaccine accessibility for Black and brown people.

Connect with Dr. Blackstock on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Read Dr. Blackstock’s piece Zach mentioned in the show, “Why Black doctors like me are leaving faculty positions in academic medical centers.”

Find out where you can get vaccinated and when using the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool.

TRANSCRIPT

Zach: Living Corporate is brought to you by The Access Point. The reality is this is the largest influx of Black and brown talent corporate America has ever had, and as a result, a variety of talent entering the workforce are first-generation professionals. The other reality? Most of these folks aren’t learning what it means to navigate a majority-white workplace in their college classes. Enter The Access Point, a live weekly web show within the Living Corporate network that gives Black and brown college students the real talk they need and likely haven’t heard elsewhere. Every week, our hosts and special guests are dropping gems, so don’t miss out. Check out The Access Point, airing every Tuesday at 7p.m. Central Standard on livingcorporate.tv.
Dr. Blackstock (00:52): There are parts of the rural south where the average life expectancy for a Black person is well below those initial age cutoffs for the vaccine, right? And so when we’re not using an equity lens, who suffers? It’s Black folks.
Zach (01:19): What’s up. y’all, it’s Zach with Living Corporate. And look, I hope everyone is taking care of themselves. We talked a little bit about the Derek Chauvin trial last week, but I want to reiterate that I hope that you’re prioritizing yourself. I hope that you’re prioritizing your health, you’re prioritizing your wellness, your peace of mind, your mental well-being. Every time I stumble across a clip here or there, I get so, so triggered. Truly. I get disturbed just about the clips that I hear. And I recognize everyone’s different. And I also recognize that some of you all maybe want to be in the know. For me, I had to back up. And I hope that, and not just on that situation, I just hope that everyone who’s listening to this is prioritizing themselves. We live in a world that constantly asks of us, and that box will never be fully checked. They will continue to take, they being just the world. They’ll continue to take. Your job will continue to take. Truly, your job will continue to take. They will never be satisfied with you. They will consume you until you are gone. That’s a function of white supremacy, it’s a function of capitalism. Capitalism–a friend of mine has said a few different times about capitalism [that it’s] really white supremacy in action. But my point is that the way that these systems work is they consume you. And so you can’t wait for the system to tell you to take a break. You have to give yourself that break. So I hope that you take care yourself. With that in mind, I’m really excited about the guest that we have today, Dr. Uche Blackstock. If anyone follows the pod, for those who are friends of the show, who keep up with Living Corporate, you all know that Living Corporate has deep respect for Dr. Oni and Dr. Uche Blackstock. And I’m just thankful for the fact that we were able to have them both on. We have a really good conversation. We talk about a lot of different things, between health inequities, and COVID vaccine accessibility, to racism in the ivory and just what does a more liberated future look like for Black and brown folks in all spaces. And so I’m excited about that, but before we get there, we’re going to tap in with Tristan. So we’ll see you in a second.
Tristan (03:49): What’s going on, Living 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. Today, I want to talk about procrastination. We’ve all been there, whether its during our job search, with tasks at work, or just something we need to in our everyday lives. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on the things you need to get done, and you’d rather sit on the couch to binge-watch something on Netflix. Sometimes you start to even doing what my best friend and I call “productivating” where you do other things that need to get done instead of the task at hand. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that, and got multiple t-shirts. When we find ourselves in that situation, we tend to shame and guilt ourselves for not doing what we need to do. This only leads to a terrible cycle of more procrastination, which means that the task ends up still not getting done, and you feel even worse. So what should you do? Well, according to Forbes’ Amy Blaschka, the next time you don’t feel like doing something, you should try these 3 tips: First, acknowledge why you’ve been avoiding the task. It’s not that you’re lazy; it’s that you’re scared. You’re afraid of failure, success, or simply not doing it perfectly. Those feelings are what we are actively trying to avoid by doing something that temporarily boosts our mood. So next time, instead of endlessly scrolling Instagram, try to face your emotions so you can work towards managing them. Second, forgive yourself for procrastinating. Research shows that people prone to procrastination are less compassionate toward themselves. But since procrastination is linked to negative feelings, if you can be self-compassionate, you will reduce the guilt you feel about procrastinating, which is one primary trigger. Studies show it can help you procrastinate less the next time around. Third, just get started. Let’s be real, you more than likely will have a hard time getting yourself into the right mental and emotional state to get your task done. Instead of focusing on finding the right time, try to focus on getting started. I always suggest simply dedicating 15 minutes to the task you’re avoiding. Any progress you can make will make you feel better, boost your self-esteem, and reduce your desire to procrastinate. All of us procrastinate at some point in our lives, but instead of telling ourselves to “just do it” like Nike, just try to get started. Next thing you know, you’ll be done with the task you were dreading. Thanks for tapping in with me today! Don’t forget; I’m now taking submissions from you all on career questions, issues, concerns, or advice you think may help others! So make sure to submit yours at bit.ly/tapintristan. This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.
Zach: Living Corporate is brought to you by The Break Room. Have you ever felt burnt out, depressed or otherwise exhausted by being one of the only ones at work? You know what I’m talking about. Hosted by Black psychologists, psychiatrists and PhDs, The Break Room is a live weekly web show in the Living Corporate network that discusses mental health, wellness, and healing for Black folks at work. Name another weekly show explicitly focused on mental health, wellness, and healing for Black folks at work. I’ll wait. This is why you’ve got to check out The Break Room airing every Thursday 7PM Central Standard time on livingcorporate.tv.
Zach (07:25): Dr. Blackstock, how are you doing?
Dr. Blackstock (07:28): I’m doing well. How are you?
Zach (07:31): You know what, I’m doing okay. I’m doing okay. Still in the middle of this pani. You know what I mean?
Dr. Blackstock (07:36): Yes, I hear you.
Zach (07:36): It’s tough. It’s tough. Look, let’s start off with this, you and I connected in, what was it, in 2019?
Dr. Blackstock (07:43): Yes, it was a while ago.
Zach (07:45): That’s a lot.
Dr. Blackstock (07:45): Yes, definitely a while ago.
Zach (07:48): We connected in 2019 because of a piece that you wrote about you, basically, making a career transition. Can we talk a little bit about that piece and talk a bit about what inspired it? And then, what were the immediate outcomes after you published that?
Dr. Blackstock (08:10): So actually, that piece had been months in the making. I had actually written it about six months before it was published, but I was still at my prior institution, NYU School of Medicine, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it being published until I had finally and officially left. But I had been thinking, I’ve been there actually about 10 years on faculty, I was an associate professor of emergency medicine, and in the last two years I was there I was actually hand-picked for a diversity leadership role at the medical school. I was super excited about it. I loved attending events with our students, mentoring them and working on diversity equity and inclusion initiatives. So I got what I thought was my dream role, and come to find out it really was just a figurehead role, that the institution didn’t actually want me to get any work done. They just wanted to say that they had someone in that role. And I have to say I was very naive going into it. So it just crushed me. And not only that, but there was a lot of muzzling and silencing over the work that we could do within the office of diversity affairs. Everything had to be vetted by the more senior leadership, who were mostly older white men. So essentially, you had them telling us what we could and couldn’t say, and that was not going to fly with me.
Zach (09:51): It sounds as if, your experience, sadly, it mirrors so many experiences of other folks in these roles. Particularly for what we’ve observed, at Living Corporate, of Black women. So it’s like you said, as figureheads. They put these people in position who have incredible profiles. I rarely see Black women in these roles. And I recognize you were in a medical space. So you having your advanced degrees was not, I guess, rare. But I’ve seen that in other spaces too, where people have all types of additional education certifications and long backgrounds only to get in these positions and really just do whatever the white folks tell them to do. They can’t really move outside outside of that. And frankly, even the diversity and inclusion roles, not only are they beholden to white male executives, t hey’re really also beholden to the organizations PR and legal departments.
Dr. Blackstock (10:51): Yes. There were times when I remember I organized a Grand Rounds. Which was a very large official presentation and invited a Black woman law professor who does work on race, law and health to come speak on patient discrimination against providers. She had written a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine on an algorithm pathway with how institutions, healthcare institutions should handle patients who are essentially, racist. And I invited her, and she gave this great talk. It was really well attended, but there was a reporter from the Wall Street Journal in the audience. And she wanted to speak to me after the Grand Rounds, since I organized it, and since I was very familiar with the topic. And I remember that, the media office basically was, well, we need to talk to you before you talk to her. And I was why? And essentially, they just wanted make sure I didn’t say anything inflammatory, or what they perceived as inflammatory. And I don’t think that this is something that was unique to NYU. I think this happens in a lot of organizations and institutions.
Zach (12:09): You’re a hundred percent right. And you’re speaking to something that just gets me. I’m being honest with you, Dr. Blackstock. It’s like this constant catering to white fragility, and to this white moderate. So we’ll say, well, we don’t want you to say anything inflammatory. By what standards? What is the rubric that defines inflammatory language? How did you come up with that? It’s just like, well, we don’t want to say anything that’s going to make you uncomfortable. But how are you coming up with that? And so, then it becomes a sliding scale, again, a fragility as it pertains to what can we say, what can’t we say? And so, then we end up not even speaking. Not only who are we talking to, what are we even talking about?
Dr. Blackstock (12:58): Yes. Essentially, and all of this to appease white people, to not make them feel uncomfortable. And essentially, It’s interesting because, I guess Audrey Lord has that saying about, being silent, and then speaking up. That either way, you’re going to get backlash. So you might as well speak up. And so, that’s how I feel. I think while these institutions, they muzzle us and they silence us. I think at the same time we have to speak up. And that’s why I wrote that piece, because it was sort of like enough is enough. And if I can’t do the work in this institution, I’m going to do it another way.
Zach (13:46): Well, speaking about your piece, I want to read a little excerpt here. Because, first of all, while I was reading it, when I was reading the piece. And the piece I’m talking about, we’re going to hyperlink it in the show notes. But the piece is, Why Black doctors like me are leaving faculty positions in academic medical centers? What’s interesting about this piece is that, you’re talking about academic medicine. But everything you said, and I know that you’ve gotten plenty of folks who have hit you up, and told you this already by now, is everything that you’ve said is directly one to one, apples to apples, applicable to any industry with Black professionals.
Dr. Blackstock (14:22): Right.
Zach (14:23): So I’m reading it, right, o here’s an excerpt that just sticks out to me. And I sent it to a couple of my mentors and some colleagues: Black faculty members have cited lack of mentorship, and sponsorship, barriers to promotional advancement and lack of support, sometimes hostile work environment, as factors in their attrition from academic medical centers. In addition to the typical obligations of academic faculty, they’re often expected or told to execute diversity efforts such as chairing diversity committees, mentoring minority trainees, and the like. And then, theu are rarely recognized or compensated for this valuable work. My goodness.
Dr. Blackstock (15:07): Been there.
Zach (15:07): Let’s talk a little bit about this. In your experience, in your space, when you say lack of mentorship and sponsorship, and then you also say barriers to promotion, how are those things different? Talk to me about that.
Dr. Blackstock (15:19): Well, it’s interesting. I think we essentially are without any support in these environments. There is no one mentoring us. There’s no one sponsoring us. And I even thought about my own experience that, while I was in academic medicine, I had accomplished so much, but at the same time, felt like I hadn’t. But I really had, and I had done so without really any formal mentorship without anyone who was, “Oh, Uché, how can I help support you?” Or finding someone who’s doing similar work as me, it just was not there. And that is the case for a lot of Black faculty in those predominantly white institutions. But then it’s like, okay, so then I also feel like I’m working hard, and I deserve to be promoted, but because I’m not having any support or given any support, I’m trying to meet the criteria needed to be promoted. And then these institutions have these very traditional ideas of what valuable work is and what valuable work is not. And so, is it the number of papers that you’ve published? That often is considered very prestigious in medicine, and if you’ve done different kinds of work where you’ve impacted students, or you’ve mentored students, and we definitely are mentoring a lot of our own students, Black students and other students of color. That’s just not given as much value, not enough value is placed on that. And so I went up for a promotion, and my department said I had everything needed to be promoted from assistant to associate professor, and I was denied the first time I went up for promotion. And I literally felt blindsided, because I had been commended for the work that I did. My internal department committee unanimously voted me up for promotion. And then, when I went to the school’s committee, they did not agree. And I can’t help but think it’s because of the kind of work that I was doing, again, was not valued. I also think that, being a Black woman and people seeing my application, I think there are probably some people who didn’t feel strongly in support of me. And that’s just–they are just being honest. And so, that first time my promotion got denied, and I went back to my department, and we did a few things, and nothing major revised, but then I had to go back up and I got promoted. But that experience, like I said, blindsided me because I thought I was doing everything right. That’s the other thing. We think that we’re doing everything right. Everything that we’re supposed to be doing. We’re working hard. We’re trying not to ruffle any feathers and things still don’t work out. So again, like Audre Lorde said, we still have to make a commotion. And I realized that, after that promotion denial, that there was no way I could stay there. I felt so utterly, just betrayed, undervalued, under-appreciated. And, as I said in the article, this is not just my experience. You can talk to lots of Black faculty and I know it’s been documented in the literature, but many of us have this experience where when we go up for promotion we’re not given the promotion. And this is not unusual.
Zach (18:57): You said we think we’re doing all the right things. I’ll push it a step further as we’re told that we’re doing all the right things. We’re given the parameters by which to earn this next level, whatever that may be, and then, when we finally get up and we say, “Okay, well, here it is,” then there’s some goalpost movement. There’s some excuse, there’s some reasoning as to why “This isn’t enough.” I have my own examples, but before I get there–I’m not speaking from an academic medicine perspective but more so from just corporate America, I talk to Black and brown folks who sit in the top positions, the one or two people that be up in there, and I’m talking to them and they’re miserable. They’re miserable. Or we’re having conversations and they go, “Man, I just love what you’re doing over there at Living Corporate. You’ve got to keep it up.” And I’m like, “Can you help me? You’ve got bread. You have bread.” Your title alone, I know you making at least $800,000. Can you do something? Like, “Hey, you know, X, Y, and Z, can you talk to them?” And there’s so much fear. The tight rope is so thin and the safety net is so small that they can’t afford–and also, they don’t feel like they can afford to risk anything. And I’m like, “Okay, if this is what it looks like to be in these positions, if the higher up you go, the less power you actually have, then what are we doing?” Not to mention, those who don’t sit at the top, those who are in the middle are more often so at the bottom. What are we doing? We’re all fighting to get at this position that–what do we think is going to happen when we get up there? It’s not for us.
Dr. Blackstock (20:38): Unless we’re going to get into that position and change stuff structurally within the organization. I think there’s some people who enjoy being the only at the top. Those types that they’re happy being the only Black person. But for me, no, I want to pull everyone up with me. I want everyone to go, we all go up together. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Zach (21:02): I don’t know. And I’ve heard these comments, and I’ve talked to people who say, “No, I’m going to bring everybody with me,” but every time they have an opportunity to actually bring somebody with them, there’s some excuse that they have. “Well, they’re not really here. They’re not ready.” You’re still gatekeeping. I had a conversation with somebody some months ago about this very thing. They were a senior leader in the organization and they were very passionate. And I was very transparent with them. I said, “Look, I have tension when I see Black folks in these mid-level manager positions who have been with the company for, I don’t know, seven, eight, 10 plus years,” and I said, “My experience with them is 90% of the time, they’re operating as gatekeepers. They’re not really here for dismantling anything. They’re happy about being one of the onlys in the spaces that they engage.” And it’s tough. And here’s my thing. I’m not trying to demonize Black folks for seeking to survive. But I’m not really speaking to survival at this point. I’m trying to speak to what community are you building into. That’s really where the bulk of my question comes from.
Dr. Blackstock (22:19): Yes, I hear you. I hear you. And even with my own experience, especially over the last few years, I’ve had to just every now and then just reflect and be like, “Uché, are you doing the work that you want to do? But also, who are you helping? Who are you providing support to? Or who are you trying to bring up with yourself?” Because I have to admit sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in that success, because that’s what we’re always fighting for, but it’s almost like we need people around us to always make sure to remind us that, “Hey, remember what’s important and what you need to do and what work needs to be done.”
Zach (23:05): Let’s talk about this panoramic, because it’s been over a year. Dr. Blackstock. I feel like I’m ill-equipped to ask super targeted questions. I would really like to give you some space just to talk about your perspective on COVID-19, its impact on Black and brown communities, language around this whole vaccine hesitancy thing and how the media is framing the vaccine in poor communities. And then, also, what organizations and institutions can be doing to create more equitable access to the vaccine?
Dr. Blackstock (23:49): This vaccine rollout it’s been interesting to say the least. We’re still seeing–the most recent numbers from last week is that we are nowhere near having enough vaccine representation or vaccine uptake in Black communities and other communities of color, even for our share of the population, let alone for our share of COVID cases and hospitalization. So we are behind. Absolutely. And my sister and I, we wrote two op-eds on vaccine equity. One was about what we felt like the Biden-Harris administration needed to do to prioritize Black communities, and I think, you know, part of that was ensuring that we are collecting racial and ethnic demographic data that we have that data that is complete, so that the government, right, and the administration could respond as necessary to target resources to the communities that need it most. We also talked about, you know, just how policy often is, you know, embedded with bias and racism, like these age cut offs that have been used are not fair to Black people because we have a shorter life expectancy. There are parts of the rural south where the average life expectancy for a Black person is well below those initial age cutoffs for the vaccine, right? And so when we’re not using an equity lens, who suffers? It’s Black folks. And so, I do appreciate some of the efforts that the Biden administration is using. Putting Dr. Marcella Nunez Smith as the head of the Health Equity Task Force. She is the bomb, and just brilliant, an amazing Black woman. But, I do think that more can be done, and I think what that looks like is using–we call them the health equity metrics. Like, structural vulnerability index, looking at which communities have been hardest hit, and taking the vaccines to the people. There’s no way around it. And making it easier for people to register and have vaccine distribution centers more locally. We know that works. And to have it in people’s physician offices and their churches and community centers. So this is something that–we’re in an urgent time, and so we need an urgent response. And so I definitely do think that we need to put more resources into our communities than is currently being put.
Zach (26:22): You made a statement, Dr. Blackstock, about–you talked about policy, and then you had some quantitative data points to then connect those two things. Can we talk a little bit about how data informs policy? And I say that because I was having a conversation with a group. And I’m not going to air out the group on this podcast, but I will soon. But it’s like a fellowship, and they’re focused on equity. They’re focused on racial equity. It’s like a group. And I was talking to them about data analysis and looking at data to then help inform policy, and they did not really see the connection between data and policy. I’m curious, what would you say to those who say, “Well, we’re not really focused on data, we’re just focused on policy.” What would be your response to that?
Dr. Blackstock (27:10): I would say that data informs policy. You cannot have policy without the data. How do you know where to target your intervention? How do you know what outcomes to look at? So I think the data piece is crucial. It’s crucial. So that’s interesting that the organization said that, because when I’m thinking about even all of the policy changes that need to happen in response to the pandemic, we are looking at what are the needs of the communities? What is the data showing us in terms of who’s being hospitalized and who’s surviving? What do the institutions need in terms of resources? So definitely the data has to inform policy. I can’t see how it can’t.
Zach (28:04): Yes. Here’s my thing. I’m going to be honest with you. Living Corporate is really therapy for me, Dr. Blackstock, ‘cause I’ll be out here talking to folks. I’m like, “Who raised y’all?” That don’t make any sense to me.
Dr. Blackstock (28:17): I know.
Zach (28:17): It’s so scary out here. All right, so now look, we’ve been going for awhile. You also made a statement about the sense of urgency still is not there. There’s still much more to do. I’m frankly terrified. Right now I’ve gotten my first dose. At the same time, the numbers are scary still. And so I a hundred percent agree with you about just where we’re at. Talk to me about what more you think should be done. If you had to give me three, or five or whatever, give me those things that you think are just critical that can happen and they need to be enacted right now.
Dr. Blackstock (28:53): Yes. Simply, we need to get as many vaccinations into the arms of people, because the more people who are vaccinated, the less chance that these variants have to spread and change and mutate even further to be even more resistant. I also think that we need to have our state and local leadership reconsider all of this re-opening that’s happening. I know that people are tired, and I don’t think it has to be all or none. I think that we can put certain restrictions in place or just pause reopening. But what we’re seeing now, we know why it’s happening. People are getting tired. States relax their work restrictions. And the other thing is we need surveillance for the variants because the United States has not had a robust surveillance system for viruses of this type, and we need to see where they are, because we know that’s also driving the search. Those are the three things. Increased vaccinations, putting back restrictions in place, and improving our surveillance of these viruses. I think that we’re learning a really tough lesson. One, we have a fragmented, decentralized healthcare system. So that’s one reason we’re not as successful as, for example, the UK, in vaccinating people. I also think that we under-invested in our public health infrastructure. And that’s another reason why we don’t have robust surveillance system or we can’t respond quickly to these sort of emergencies. And then I also think that there’s just something inherent in U.S. American culture. I think people are very individualistic. And I think that when you’re in a situation like this one where you need a collective response, you’ll probably find people are more willing to do so in other cultures.
Zach (31:00): It’s so true.
Dr. Blackstock (31:00): I’m sure of West African cultures, but not in this country because people are seeing these restrictions as an infringement on their personal rights.
Zach (31:09): And I’m just like… I don’t know. I don’t even know what to do with that, Dr. Blackstock. Because it’s, at a certain point, do you want to live or not? So many people have died.
Dr. Blackstock (31:20): I know. Yes. And again, what do you need? What do you need right now? I don’t know.
Zach (31:28): I’m over here just thinking about even like a sound effect. I don’t have one. I don’t know what to say. Now, let me put on my–I’m not going to say conspiracy. Let me put on my cynical hat, okay, because I want you to tell me “Zach, you tripping,” or “No,” all right? Now we got these various vaccines. Some of them have a higher level of efficacy than others. Is it valid to have a concern that Black and brown communities will get the vaccine with a lower efficacy?
Dr. Blackstock (32:01): So I think the one thing that hasn’t been communicated well is that the reason for the differences in the efficacies are because the first set of vaccines, the MRNA vaccines, those two that came out. Those trials happened at a time where we didn’t have one widespread transmission we have now. And, also, the variants weren’t around. And the reason why we’re seeing the differences with those two vaccines, and the adenovirus vaccine, the one dose one, is because there’s stuff–there is the South African variant around, and the B117 variant from the UK. So, the trials occurred at different times. So comparing efficacy is like apples and oranges. But what is important to know is that of the end points that we care about very deeply, severe disease, hospitalization, and deaths, they’re all equivalent.
Zach (33:03): That’s helpful to know.
Dr. Blackstock (33:03): Yes. And that is what’s important. And we also have some evidence that all of the vaccines decrease transmission of the virus. So, not only will you hopefully not get sick if you’re infected, but you most likely won’t even pass the virus on to someone else.
Zach (33:21): Well, that’s important though. Because I’ve put a lot of things on hold just trying to stay alive. You know, Emory, people want to see her in person. All the things have been just paused. Now, Dr. Blackstock, this has been a dope conversation. I told you I was going to get you up out of here in a reasonable time. Before I let you go, what are you excited about most in terms of what you have going on with your sister, with yourself? Just talk to me about what is it that, if folks want to learn more about what you’re working on, plug your stuff. This is your space. I want to give you some time to write.
Dr. Blackstock (33:58): Thank you. Yes. I’ve been so busy this year with Advancing Health Equity, just working with a lot of different types of healthcare related organizations, in different capacities. Some is advisory roles, others I’m doing organizational assessments of their racial equity culture. For others, I’m doing an audit of a medical school’s admission and financial aid policies to make sure it’s equitable. So just a lot of different projects, and just also trying to figure out, like, how big or how small I want Advancing Health Equity to be. I’m leaning more towards wanting it to be just a boutique firm. I’m working with maybe two or three clients a year. And so I have time for the other piece, and the other piece is the media work that I’ve been doing, which I kind of fell into, but I thought was a really important way of getting that health equity message out there…
Zach (34:51): You are out there. Yes.
Dr. Blackstock (34:51): …on television. Thank you. I try to make sure that, also, I put my perspective as a Black woman, as a Black physician, as someone who is deeply committed to health equity. Making sure that I frame all of my comments on and my discussions on media about that. So I’m feeling very blessed in that respect.
Zach (35:12): Well, let me tell you something. I saw you and I was like, “Oh!” So you know, when I first interviewed your sister–you know Black folks are like this, when one of us win, we feel like we all winning. You got on there and I was like, “Oh, snap, Dr. Blackstock’s on CNN!” It was crazy. Man, you’ve got to, please, continue to do your thing.
Dr. Blackstock (35:32): Thank you.
Zach (35:32): I did ask Dr. Blackstock if the air horns are culturally appropriative, and she said no. So I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to drop the air horns.
Dr. Blackstock (35:40): Awww.
Zach (35:43): Thank you so much for being on the show.
Dr. Blackstock (35:47): I love it.
Zach (35:47): We consider you a friend of the pod. And look, I’m going to add some links in the show notes. Make sure you learn about the COVID vaccine, your options. But it varies state to state, but things have been opening up in terms of access. So my hope is that you check out the links in the show notes, make sure you educate yourself, take care of yourself, take care of your family. And Dr. Blackstock, we look forward to having you back soon.
Dr. Blackstock (36:12): Thank you so much, Zach. Be well.
Zach (36:12): Alight. Peace.
Zach: Living Corporate is brought to you by The Leadership Range, a podcast within the Living Corporate network. Hosted by globally certified and Fortune 500 executive coach and leadership development expert Neil Edwards, The Leadership Range is focused on having real, raw, soulful and accountable conversations about inclusive leadership, allyship, professional development. Every week is a new episode with new learning, new actions to take on to grow inclusively. Make sure you check out The Leadership Range everywhere you listen to podcasts.
Zach (36:53): And we’re back. Look, I just want to thank Dr. Blackstock again. Make sure you check out the links in the show notes. Hey, if you haven’t signed up for the vaccine, I want to say the vaccine is now open to everybody over 18. So, click the link in the show notes, make sure you’re signing up. You know what you need to do. Just take care of yourselves. The goal is to get older. Shout-out to anybody who watched the Verzuz over the weekend. Earth, Wind and Fire and the Isley Brothers. My biggest takeaway from all of that, besides the fact that beards continue to be a cheat code–it’s like a weave for your face. It’s just–you look so much–for me, Ron Isley, I really didn’t recognize him. I really didn’t. For real, he looked great. But beyond that, I also was reminded that the goal is to get older. The goal is to be here. And let’s do everything we can to be here. If you’re listening to this, make sure you click the link in the show notes. If you haven’t set up time to get your doses for the vaccine, do your thing. We’re going to have some more content coming soon for your head top to really encourage you to get out here and take this vaccine. But in the meantime, just hear me when I say take care of yourself.Until next time, make sure if you haven’t already, give us five stars on Apple Podcasts. Don’t be a hater. Don’t give us four stars. I see some of you, you are giving us four stars. Now, our average is still five stars. I ain’t tripping. Shout out to the five star voters, but some of you all, I just don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out. What’s going on? Email me and tell me why you’re giving me four stars. Why you giving Tristan Layfield four stars? That’s right, I’m going to personalize it. I’m gonna make it personal. Nah, but anyway, look, tell a friend. We appreciate you. We’ll talk to you next time. Peace.

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