Would You Prefer to Listen? I got you.

I’ve decided to do something. And I’m starting with a survey for professionals of color inside companies. I know my own experience, but I want to understand what is going on for other folks, look for patterns and think about what I can create that will add to the workplace experience for professionals of color like me.

So….I’m on a mission, because that is how I work best. And I’m asking for your help in hopes that what I discover will be of service to you.

I’m looking to get 111 responses to my short survey by 11/1. That means I need 7.4 professionals of color to complete it each day until 11/1. Wanna help? You can do so by either completing the survey (bit.ly/brunypocsurvey) and/or getting 1 or 2 of your homies to complete it.

Why Are You Doing This?

I’ve been fighting against something, against a feeling, a feeling of something that is right…for me.

I’ve been fighting focusing on serving Black and Brown folks. I didn’t want to be the cliche; “Oh Black guy talking about Black things and fighting for Black causes.”

I justified serving everyone in much of the work I do because I went to college at a Predominantly White Institution and I am part of a multicultural fraternity. There was a sense that I should serve everyone because I am so “multicultural.”

But guess what?

For all the cerebral multicultural-ness, there are very visceral reactions to things and there are very real experiences that I can’t deny.

For example:

The way I felt and cried when I was 17yrs old after I heard a guy at a session labeled international affairs in a program I was attending in DC was totally bashing the home of my ancestors (Haiti).

Or the way I felt when I attended the first annual MassChallenge awards banquet and saw only one brother (from Montreal) on the stage as part of the people who were getting awarded funds for their businesses.

Or the way I feel when I sit in the room and hear about so many initiatives focused on diversity, which really ends up meaning women, which really just ends up meaning white women.

Or how excited I got when I received a text with a photo of all the Black & Brown folks (at a conference where I didn’t traditionally see many Black and Brown folks) from a homie that said, “Yo, where you at? #BlackatINBOUND.” Just the day before I was at an event less than one mile away where I was the only black face in there—I didn’t go looking for such things but it dawn on me as I walked back to my car.

Or the feeling I get as a co-chair of an employee group for Black employees, when we all sit around a table and share resources and opportunities that we would have never heard or been involved in otherwise. Those who were usually the “only one in the room,” get to feel the solidarity of being one-of-many in the room.

I really do appreciate it and will keep you in the loop along the next 15 days.