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To Self Advocate or Not? That is the Question...

In our coaching sessions, I often hear people say,

“I don’t need an ally, I need an advocate.” 

I totally get it. They’re over, as many of us are, having people identify as quiet supporters. You know what I mean, people who genuinely care about us, or care about the same issues that we do, and offer to take us to coffee or reach out with a phone call when they think we could use a hand. In my experience, those kinds of gestures are often, as my daddy says, “a day late and a dollar short.”

Those expressions of care appear to be, at least, more about the person than about me, or you. If the interest was really in actively being a supporter of another person, the act wouldn’t be so hidden, so out of sight, or happen outside of the context in which we really could use it. 


Actively being an ally and advocate is something important to grasp intellectually, but like so many things related to inclusive management and equity, diversity and...

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October Message From DeEtta

At the end of this week, I celebrate my 50th birthday...It's hard to believe. With this milestone birthday I've been doing all of the stereotypical things people do: doubled-down on my healthy food and exercise routines, made commitments about downsizing and de-prioritizing things that aren't a reflection of my most deeply held values, planned celebratory time with my closest friends and family. 
 
Perhaps more than anything, though, I've been thinking about my life's work. I've always been obsessed with fairness and inclusion. As a college student, I led and participated in countless marches and demonstrations. In my early 20's, I was appointed as Director of Human Rights, placing me in a visible and active leadership role in my community. I spent my early career traveling the world delivering speeches and workshops, always nervous about failing but investing in so much preparation that failure was never an option. 
 
In my mid-30's, I ventured out and launched...
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Getting Past Politics: Living Our Shared Values

I do not love politics. Much of this year, and all of last week, captures my why: people are forced to find and accentuate the worst in each other (during the primaries, even attacking people who are mostly ideologically aligned) and no matter the outcome, there are a lot of people who feel that they lose. As a person who’s spent my entire life fighting to expand access, only having two options has always felt limiting to me. At a DJA team meeting last Friday, three days into ballot counting, and with us all in an uncertainty-filled fog, I broached the elephant in the room. One of our team members said “we are up” and held up a “fingers crossed” symbol with their hand. Torn but needing to stand in my values I said, “I know that we are all watching with anticipation as the election results come in. I also want you to know that I am not assuming we all voted the same, and that’s ok. I didn’t ask to see your voter registration card as...

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