“Hey, you got a little racism in your teeth”


This article acknowledges the complexity of addressing systemic injustice and the need for individuals to approach it as an ongoing effort, not a one-time exercise. The author asks us to recognize that we all make mistakes when working on diversity, equity and inclusion, and offers examples of how to show compassion and grace when confronting interpersonal issues such as racism, sexism or homophobia.

This resource is a good reminder that a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is a long-term commitment that requires patience and diligence at the relationship level and the systemic level; in particular, the article offers practical advice on how to address a colleague’s uncomfortable and unexpected behavior. The author advocates for approaching the situation with openness and a willingness to learn from it. He offers personal examples of how his organization is approaching this work and navigating the challenges it presents. Organizations interested in learning more about how to show compassion and grace in their exchanges can watch a related video by Jay Smooth, which is referenced in the article: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxHampshireCollege-Jay-Smooth.

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