Leading With Empathy & Allyship Show

About the Show
Join us weekly to learn how to be a better ally and advocate, and lead with empathy. Come meet a new thought leader each week for a deep and real conversation about how we can be better allies and advocates – in our workplaces and communities. Each discussion will focus on building empathy and learning tangible, actionable steps we can all take to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.

Host: Melinda Briana Epler

Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.

As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world. She co-leads a series of global solutions-focused conferences called Tech Inclusion, where she has partnered with over 450 tech companies and community organizations and hosted 43 solutions-focused diversity and inclusion events around the world.

Previously, Melinda was a Marketing and Culture Executive and award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.

Melinda is a TED speaker. She speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, allyship, social entrepreneurship, underrepresented entrepreneurs and investing. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, including SXSW, Grace Hopper, Wisdom 2.0, the World Bank, Obama White House, Clinton Foundation, Black Enterprise, Google, Indeed, Capital One and McKinsey.

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Upcoming Episodes

Episode 36:

Understanding Privilege & Using It to Create Change with Karen Catlin

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Karen Catlin, Author of “Better Allies,” in a conversation about Understanding Privilege & Using It to Create Change.

Recorded live with audience Q&A on

March 2, 2021, 12-1pm PT

"Mar 2, 2021: Leading with Empathy & Allyship: Understanding Privilege & Using It to Create Change" Photos with text below: Karen Catlin (White woman, blue blouse, necklace), Change Catalyst Logo

Stay tuned for more episodes!

Thank You To Our Sponsors
AppDynamics
InterpreterNow
Recent Episodes

Episode 35:

Bridging Racial Divides through Radical Empathy with Terri Givens

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Terri Givens, Founder & CEO of Brighter Higher Ed, in a conversation about Bridging Racial Divides through Radical Empathy.

Podcast coming soon!

"Feb 23, 2021: Leading with Empathy & Allyship: Bridging Racial Divides Through Radical Empathy" Photos with text below: Terri Givens (Black woman, black hair), Change Catalyst Logo

Episode 34:

Raising Our Children to be Allies and Advocates for Social Justice with Margenett Moore-Roberts

In this episode, Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler engages in an important conversation with Margenett Moore-Roberts, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer of IPG – DXTRA, about how to raise our children as allies and advocates who can disrupt and redress race-based harm.

You’ll come away from this episode with an understanding of why and how to have tough conversations with children about racism, so that they can live in a just, fair, and peaceful world. We also discuss the critical need of reforming the white supremacy built into our American educational system, one that has often taught a one-sided and biased perspective of history.

About This Episode’s Guest:
Since joining the industry in May 2018, Margenett Moore-Roberts has been nominated for an IPG Inclusion Award, and selected as one of The Holmes Report’s 2019 Innovator 25 and one of The Network Journal’s Top 25 Women in Business. Her perspective has been featured in industry publications and events, including PRNews, PRSA LA Diversity & Inclusion Panel, The Atlantic Roundtable on Diversity, and the PRSA Tri-State Conference.

Some of Our Favorite Quotes from This Guest:

  • “Kids can be purveyors of race-based harm or disruptors of race-based harm. Help them become a disruptor.”
  • “Working through the discomfort of this, this becomes the opportunity. We have not figured out how to stop racism in hundreds of years. We haven’t. We are born into it. All of us. But, again, as a parent… you can change the trajectory of racism just by having a conversation. Let that be your motivation.”
  • “Children don’t process differences as a deficiency. How did we arrive at the conclusion that if you are different, if you are not white specifically, somehow you are deficient? Just because it is different doesn’t mean it is a deficiency.”

Additional Resources:

This episode is sponsored by AppDynamics, builders of the world’s only full-stack Business Observability platform. Join their team to help businesses thrive by turning performance into profit. Learn more at www.appdynamics.com/company/careers And by our in-kind sponsor Interpreter-Now, providing high-quality ASL interpreters.

You can watch the live show on Change Catalyst YouTube Channel here, with live captioning and ASL interpreters.

[Image description: promotion for the Leading With Empathy & Allyship show with the Change Catalyst logo, a photo of Melinda Briana Epler, Co-Founder Change Catalyst, white woman with long red hair, smiling and Margenett Moore-Roberts, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer of IPG DXTRA, Black woman with black hair smiling, and text reading “Raising Our Children to be Allies & Advocates for Social Justice”]

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Episode 33:

How To Advance Pay Equity & Reduce the Pay Gap with Sharawn Connors

In this episode, Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler discusses “How To Advance Pay Equity & Reduce the Pay Gap” with Sharawn Connors, VP of Diversity Equality & Inclusion at Micron Technology.

You’ll learn:

  • What “pay gap” and “pay equity” really mean
  • How you can prepare for negotiating a salary
  • The research you should do before talking numbers with a prospective employer
  • How to know your professional worth
  • How your company can improve the pay gap and pay equity, and the data and processes to consider implementing to reduce the pay gap across your organization in order to reach pay equity

Our Leading With Empathy & Allship host Melinda Briana Epler is a TED speaker, author of the upcoming book How to Be an Ally (McGraw Hill 2021), and Founder and CEO of Change Catalyst. She works with leaders to build empathy and inclusive leadership skills, and develop diverse, equitable, and inclusive companies.

Some of our favorite quotes from this guest:

  • “When we look at the pay gap, we know that a lot of time the majority group is paid more because of the positions that they are in. They are more likely to be VP and higher and even manager. Our broken rung starts to happen at the manager level. How do we impact that? One way is through hiring but another way is through growing and retaining the talent we have and paying people fairly helps us to do that.”
  • “At Micron, I want to be clear. It is not optional whether our managers pay fairly or not. We audit that data. If there need to be corrections, there are corrections made. We want to understand the disparities in pay and we are committed to paying fairly. I would encourage companies to mandate it. Not to depend on the manager or the process.”

The live show is made accessible thanks to Interpreter-Now and White Coat Captioning.

This episode of Leading With Empathy & Allyship is sponsored by AppDynamics – builders of the world’s only full-stack Business Observability platform. Join their team to help businesses thrive by turning performance into profit. Learn more at www.appdynamics.com/company/careers And by Interpreter-Now – providing high quality ASL interpreters.

Continue learning with these resources:

#allyshippodcast #changecatalyst #payequity #paygap #inclusion #allyship #diversity #equity #blackhistorymonth

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Episode 32:

What Allies Can Do During Black History Month With Rachel Williams, Lionel Lee, and Almaz Negash 

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with a conversation on ‘What Allies Can Do During Black History Month’ with Rachel Williams, Head of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity at X- the moonshot factory, Lionel Lee, Head of Diversity Engagement at Zillow Group and Almaz Negash, Founder & Executive Director at the African Diaspora Network

In this episode, we talk about

  • How Black History month goes far beyond a month of celebration.
  • How Black history should be part of American history program in school.
  • The importance of reflection on policies and KPI within communities and workplaces.

Our host Melinda Briana Epler is a TED speaker, author of the upcoming book How to Be an Ally (McGraw Hill 2021), and Founder and CEO of Change Catalyst. She works with leaders to build empathy and inclusive leadership skills, and develop diverse, equitable and inclusive companies.

Some of our favorite quotes from our guests this week.

  • “People talk about us without us. We need to be at the table. When people talk about our future, we must be at the table… Where are they talking about the continent, when I am from the continent, and I’m not even at the table?” – Almaz Negaz, Founder & Executive Director at The African Diaspora Network
  • “When I am talking about reflection, I’m talking about reflecting on yourself and your experience, and how you’ve interacted with the Black community.” – Lionel Lee, Head of Diversity Engagement at Zillow Group
  • “I would do away with the current set of history books we have all been learning and actually incorporate Black history as a part of American history because it is. To me, that acknowledgment would go a long way in actually helping with some of our equity, inclusion and diversity strategy, or the things and ills we are seeing inside the company and out in the world. Because you would have grown up knowing we are in fact builders and the foundation of this country. We are not separate. It is not a separate month or a separate education.” – Rachel Williams, Head of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity at X, the moonshot factory

The live show is made accessible thanks to Interpreter-Now and White Coat Captioning.

This episode is sponsored by AppDynamics – builders of the world’s only full-stack Business Observability platform. Join their team to help businesses thrive by turning performance into profit. Learn more at www.appdynamics.com/company/careers.

Additional Resources

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Episode 31:

How to Use Empathy to Create Change in the Workplace with Kate Johnson

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Kate Johnson, President Microsoft U.S, for a deep dive on how Microsoft is creating changes within the company by leading with empathy.

We talked about:

  • Microsoft’s ongoing program to building an inclusive workplace
  • Leading with empathy and how to foster vulnerability and courage
  • The need for top-down clarity on the company’s goals, values and outcomes
  • The importance of processes and data analytics

Kate Johnson is the President of Microsoft U.S., a $45 billion subsidiary including all of Microsoft’s solutions, services, and support revenues across the public and private sector in the United States. Focused on driving transformation within Microsoft’s largest commercial organization, Kate leads a 10,000-person field team to pursue Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.⠀

Our favorite quotes:

  • “Empathy is a superpower. And it’s, the common denominator for leaders and individual contributors in a successful organization and one that’s high-performing, and it’s so relevant to Microsoft’s mission.”
  • “Just trying to become a great leader or to change something without the focus on the outcome and the ability to see progress can be really hard. And so the mandate for us is no matter who you are in the organization, you see a gap between our house culture and live reality. That’s the gap that you’re on the hook to try and help close no matter what your responsibilities, no matter what your role is. So I’d say if you’re an individual and you want to do this, the first thing is the why. What are you trying to accomplish? And then the second thing is what skills do you need?”

Additional Resources

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Episode 30:

Want To Be Inclusive? Support Women Of Color As Leaders In The Workplace with Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Deepa Purushothaman and Rha Goddess, co-founders at nFORMATION on how to support women of color as leaders in the workplace.

We talked about

  • The future of work and what managers can do to become real allies for WOC
  • The new mobile app for women of color that nFORMATION is launching to support the community
  • How to address systemic oppression and create a safe space for WOC to bring their full self to work and lead in the workplace.
  • How the concept of power might differ for WOC and how it can benefit everyone in the workplace

About The Guests

Rha Goddess and Deepa Purushothaman were brought together over 5 years ago. Deepa was a “first” Senior Partner at a Big 4. Rha left corporate America and the chemical industry as an “only” two decades ago to focus on helping leaders find their passion, purpose and calling. Deepa has spent years focusing on women’s leadership and inclusion strategies to help women of color navigate corporate structures. Rha has helped hundreds of high impact leaders realize they can work in ways that honor their values and uplift new definitions of power, profitability and success.

Together, they have discovered that there is a collective untapped power that WOC have yet to harness and leverage, so they came together to create nFormation, a first of its kind membership community for professional women of color offering brave, safe, new space and career advancement opportunities.

Favorite quotes

  • “We need companies to do what they’re saying they want to do but show up in a totally different way”. Deepa Purushothaman
  • “Many women of color don’t feel that they can necessarily bring that natural and organic sense of concern into the (working) culture in a way that is valued” Rha Goddess

Learn more about Deepa & Rha’s work at www.n2formation.com/index.html

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Episode 29:

How to Create a Culture of Belonging at Work: Put People at the Center with Kat Gordon

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Kat Gordon, CEO and Founder of the 3% Kat Gordon talk to us about the evolution of gender equity in the advertising space.

We talked about:

  • Kat’s background as a creative director and what led her to create the 3%movement.
  • How she helped move the industry from 3% of creative directors to 29%.
  • And how to create a culture of belonging in the workplace, with the importance of putting people at the center.

Some of our favorite quotes of the conversation:

  • “This is working from home in an absolutely impossible situation where society has failed us and I am nervous that the motherhood penalty is being reinforced with every Zoom call where a child is there, needs something, interrupts or the mother attends to the child at a particular point.”
  • “I think so much of belonging is about having the courage to ask and engage your employees in ongoing conversation about what’s working for them, what’s making them anxious, what do they need.”

Learn more about Kat and The 3% Movement at www.3percentmovement.com

Additional Resources:

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Episode 28:

Empathic Leadership And Emotional Tax In the Workplace with Andrea G. Tatum 

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Andrea G. Tatum Senior Director, Corporate Equity Engagement, Catalyst Inc on discussing how to create a supportive working environment.

We discuss the Catalyst’s research and the challenges of the emotional tax for women, particularly women of color: the state of being highly “on guard” at work, which can impact well-being and ability to thrive in the workplace.

In this rich conversation, we learned about:

  • Andrea’s personal experience experiencing racism in the workplace and how that led her to become an advocate.
  • The role of inclusive leaders to develop workplace cultures where people feel valued and enabled to contribute their skills and expertise fully.
  • The powerful change leading with empathy can create in the workplace

Some of our favorite quotes of the conversation:

  • “I think everybody has the opportunity always to be a learner. And I had never really thought about empathy as a skill. You’re not either born with empathy or not. You can learn it. You can learn to have empathy as a leader, and it’s really a superpower and has the ability to drive so much change within the workplace.”
  • “Just like anything else. I can’t expect to lose weight if I eat what I want to eat and I don’t go to the gym. That’s not realistic. So I always think about empathy and inclusive leadership as skills that you actively have to work towards. It’s a muscle that you can build over time.”
  • “What really makes emotional tax so unique is that it’s not limited to just the workplace. As people of color, this is our experience day in and day out. Everywhere we go, we don’t have the luxury of being able to put aside our skin and say, well, today, I’m not a woman of color. I’m not a black woman.”

Additional Resources:

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Episode 27:

How to Make Disability Accommodation and Inclusion the New Working Norm with Commissioner Victor Calise

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Commissioner Victor Calise, on discussing how to make disability accommodation the new norm in the working environment.

We talked about Commissioner Victor Calise’s disability journey and how he turned it into a strength, becoming one of the most innovative advocates for disability. In this rich conversation, we learned about:

  • The forward-thinking work NY is doing in collaboration with other cities to build inclusive working environments.
  • The need for ‘accommodation’ of the disabled community and how Covid-19 has helped accelerate the workplace’s transformation.
  • The impact of outdated regulations on the community
  • How we should not separate disability from the other movement fighting for a more inclusive working environment.

Some of our favorite quotes of the conversation:

  • “People with disabilities who didn’t have the opportunity to get to work because of their disability didn’t allow them to for transportation or immune reasons, whatever that might be, now is the opportunity. It is important because people with disabilities live in poverty and a way to get them up from poverty is through work.”
  • “The reality is that people with disabilities aren’t really disabled. It is our environments that disable us. If we can fix those environments so we can live our lives there is no such thing as disability.”

Additional resources:

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Episode 26:

Exploring What It Means to be an Upstander with Daralyse Lyons

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Daralyse Lyons on understanding what it means to be an upstander. An upstander is an individual who sees wrong and acts also called an ally.

We talked about Daralyse Lyons’s upbringing as a biracial kid and what led her to become an advocate and an upstander. In this fascinating conversation,

We learned about:

  • Colorism and the dangerous path to rank people based on their skin colors.
  • The difference between an upstander and bystander and how can we become an ally.
  • The intersectionality of diversity and its assets to the corporate world and product development process.
  • The inclusive leadership path people can choose in a corporate environment to lead by example.

Some of our favorite quotes of our conversation:

  • “Once people start to connect with other people in a way that is emotional and real and maybe visceral, it becomes kind of impossible to disengage at that point.”
  • “I don’t pretend to know what’s best for any person. But I do think that when we start allowing ourselves to be defined by society and by other people’s expectations of us, that’s a huge problem.”
  • “I think that’s one thing that people can do if they really want to be allies is not to sort of superimpose our own definitions on to other people, but to ask them.”
  • “I think that this idea that we have to kind of rank people, and rank ourselves is so problematic”
  • “The bystanders are actually the ones who tend to make up the majority of the social collective and who tend to be the ones who have the ability to, if they will step into that upstander role, these atrocities don’t happen or at least we could stop them a lot sooner”

Additional resources:

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Episode 25:

Understanding the Effects of Racism on Black Boys & Men

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Dr. Kevin Simon on Understanding the Effects of Racism on Black Boys & Men.

We talked about Dr. Kevin Simon’s journey to becoming a force for good and his work during COVID-19, helping Black and Brown kids and their families understand intergenerational trauma and historical trauma, and how the effects can manifest through depression and addiction.

We learned:

  • What ally can do to support this community
  • What are intergenerational trauma and historical trauma and their impact on mental and physical health
  • How important is to communicate with teenagers in a time of Covid-19 and social justice protest
  • How Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) like trauma are the roots of addiction and depression in teenage years

Some of our favorite quotes of our conversation:

  • “If you’re an ally, particularly to black and brown boys, particularly to the persons of color, you should be trying to promote institutions and environments policies that would be protective of that community.”
  • “ Whether we’re talking about mental health outcomes, depression, anxiety, suicidality, trauma or substance use, adverse childhood experiences are (ACEs) as are classically labeled. The more aces, you have, the worse your physical outcomes. So, hypertension, diabetes, like you’re talking about the worst mental health outcomes. So it is hugely important to try as best as we can to create an environment that can be responsive to what happened in my past, yet at the same time, shift, so that my future will look a little bit different”.

Learn more about Dr. Kevin Simons: www.kevinsimonmd.com/.

Additional resources:

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Episode 24:

Pandemic and Parenting: How to Juggle the Impossible with Muna Hussaini

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler interview with Muna Hussaini, Chief of staff to Indeed CTO in conversation about how to navigate parenthood during the pandemic.

We talked about Muna’s own story as an American Muslim of building more inclusive workplaces. the impact of Black Live Matters on her kids and family and the new norm of handling Zoom calls with kids.

We learned:

  • The opportunity to redefine success in this tumultuous time.
  • The fact that it is ok not to handle everything.
  • The need for companies to walk the talk when they say that their employees are their most important assets.

Some of our favorite quotes of our conversation:

  • “We have an opportunity to redefine what success looks like so that the costs that were incurred by the few are now shared collectively and I think if we can redefine what that looks like, we win together.”
  • “People have to know that if they share something that maybe makes them vulnerable that they have the psychological safety to share and that they won’t be penalized for it and it can be really hard.”
  • “I have always struggled with is guilt from being away from my kids.”

Listen to Muna’s new podcast, 3 Righteous Mamas on Apple Podcasts.

Additional resources:

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Episode 23:

Opening Doors For The Disabled Community with KR Liu

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with KR Liu, Head of Brand Accessibility at Google in conversation about how we can make the working environment more inclusive for people with disabilities.

We talked about KR Liu’s incredible journey to becoming an advocate, based on her own story of struggling in the workplace with dealing with hearing loss.

We learned:

  • The importance of speaking up and making the disabled community part of every department in a company.
  • The dramatic statistic with regards to the representation of the disabled community in the workplace and even more for the Black disabled community
  • The simple actions you can put in place to help to make this community more visible. 1 in 4 people experience disability at some points including permanent, temporary or situational.

Some of our favorite quotes of our conversation:

  • ” Every day I have the power to influence someone’s life”
  • “50% of the people killed by the police are black and have a disability”
  • ” Disability is something we all experience at some point in our lives”
  • “If anything, we want people to feel empowered by us on what we have been able to achieve. That’s really, really important that people understand the contribution that disabled people have made to society”

Learn more about KR Liu www.krliu.com/

Additional resources: 

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Episode 22:

Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate with Jeannie Gainsburg

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Jeannie Gainsburg, Founder Savvy Ally Action in conversation about how we can become a better advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

We talk about actionable steps companies can make to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ employees and some tips about having difficult conversations with people who might not think like us. Jeannie shares some tips based on her 15 years of practice leading workshops for companies.

Learn more about Jeannie Gainsburg: www.savvyallyaction.com/about.

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Episode 21:

A Conversation on Impostor Syndrome with Dr. Adia Gooden, Clinical Psychologist

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Dr Adia Gooden, Clinical psychologist in conversation about how we can support ourselves and each other to overcome Impostor Syndrome.

We talk about how Impostor Syndrome shows up and how it is affecting our lives preventing us from reaching our full potential. The pervasive influence of Impostor Syndrome is underestimated, and often exacerbated by discrimination and stereotype threat. It can prevent us from asking questions, and speaking up. It can hold our career and relationships back. Dr. Adia Gooden discusses with us some of the solutions and practices we can implement to overcome this well-spread syndrome.

Learn more about Dr Adia Gooden: https://dradiagooden.com/

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Episode 20:

Using Data to Drive Change with Danny Allen

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Danny Allen, VP of Tech Diversity & Inclusion at SAP Labs in conversation about Using Data to Drive Change.

Danny Allen has been an engineer in the tech industry for over 30 years, and the last four as an executive focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. In this episode he talks about why he made the jump to create change, and the different projects he oversees across the tech ecosystem to make that happen. We discuss how he uses a diversity dashboard to help drive understanding, accountability, behavior change and equity across the organization.

Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at SAP – including their integrated report.

Additional Resources:

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Episode 19:

Cultivating Empathy as a Skill with Corey Ponder

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Corey Ponder, Empathy Practitioner & Facilitator at em|PACT Strategies, in conversation about Cultivating Empathy as a Skill.

We talk about Corey’s story, and how he started emPACT Strategies after the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Then we dive into three types of empathy, and ways to build empathy inside organizations by using design thinking frameworks. We talk about allies as being the “trusted sidekick” in a super hero movie, and how to show up as an ally in this crucial moment – to ensure we are moving racial equity forward. And we discuss ways that we can facilitate difficult conversations so that people with widely different backgrounds find common ground to move toward solutions. We end with a conversation with the audience about what barriers they face as allies, and talk through some solutions.

Learn more about Corey’s work at www.empactstrategies.com/
⭑⭑If this is helpful, don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and like this episode!⭑⭑

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Episode 18:

Leading the Change with Irma Olguin Jr.

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Irma Olguin Jr, CEO & Co-Founder at Bitwise Industries, in conversation about Leading the Change.

We talk about Irma’s story as a granddaughter of immigrants, who starting out working as a farm laborer in the California Central Valley. After earning an engineering degree, she eventually became CEO of a company working to improve diversity and inclusion in tech through technology education. Irma recently closed a Series A round of fundraising of $27M, one of the largest ever led by a Latinx female founder. We discuss innovative ways that leaders can build empathy and allyship across the organization, how to build a sense of belonging during unprecedented times, and what allyship looks like for Irma.

Learn more about Irma’s work at Bitwise Industries.

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Episode 17:

Engaging Leadership with Lionel Lee

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Lionel Lee, Head of Diversity Engagement at Zillow Group, in conversation about Engaging Leadership. We talk about Lionel’s story, what empathy looks like in 2020, how Lionel has worked with leadership to build allyship and deepen understanding for people from underrepresented identities, and the deep work of building empathy across the company.

Learn more about Zillow Group’s work on Equity and Belonging.

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Episode 16:

Becoming a Great Ally

Join Leading With Empathy and Allyship Host Melinda Briana Epler, Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, as she shares what it means to be an ally in 2020. She’ll discuss her own path to allyship and the Stages of Allyship. She touches on ways to be anti-racist, interrupt microaggressions, and address systemic inequities in the workplace, and of course some very tangible ways you can be a better ally in the workplace.

This is the end of Season 1 – we will be back with Season 2 in early September!

Learn more about Melinda Briana Epler and her work.

Additional resources:

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Episode 15:

Creating Structural Change in the Workplace

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Rachel Williams, Head of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity at X – the moonshot factory to discuss Creating Structural Change in the Workplace.

Learn more about Rachel on her website: www.rachelannwilliams.com/

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Episode 14:

Moving From Structural Inequality to Human Flourishing

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Dr. Angel Acosta, Principal Consultant at Acosta Consulting to discuss Moving From Structural Inequality to Human Flourishing.

Learn more about Dr. Angel Acosta at www.drangelacosta.com/

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Episode 13:

Women Championing Women

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President & CEO at Anitab.org to discuss Women Championing Women.

We address the role allyship plays in advancing gender and racial equity for Black women, how women can better support and champion other women, and how companies can support women and build allyship between women.

Learn more about Brenda’s work at https://anitab.org/

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Episode 12:

Hiring Veterans to Drive Innovation

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Jerome Hardaway, Founder & Executive Director at Vets Who Code to discuss Hiring Veterans to Drive Innovation.

Learn more about Jerome’s work at vetswhocode.io/ or donate at vetswhocode.io/donate/

Additional resources:

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Episode 11:

Advancing Racial Equity in the Workplace

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Tonya Ladipo, Founder of The Ladipo Group to discuss Advancing Racial Equity in the Workplace.

Learn more about Tonya’s work at theladipogroup.com/.

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Episode 10:

Living & Leading through Fear, Bias & Othering

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Ritu Bhasin, Speaker, Author & Consultant at Bhasin Consulting Inc. to discuss Living & Leading through Fear, Bias & Othering.

Learn more about Ritu’s work at bhasinconsulting.com/

 

Resources:

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Episode 9:

Being a Great Ally for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Colleagues

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler (she/her) with Sloan Leo (they/them), Max Masure (they/them) and Madelena Mak (she/her) to discuss Being a Great Ally for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Colleagues.

Learn more about Sloan’s work at sloanleo.com/ and thevaidgroup.com/
Learn more about Max’s work at www.maxmasure.com/
Learn more about Madelena’s work at startupbus.com/

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Episode 8:

Understanding Intergenerational Trauma & Its Impact in the Workplace

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Michael Thomas, Shareholder at Ogletree Deakins to discuss Intergenerational Trauma & Its Impact in the Workplace.

We discuss deep, intergenerational racial trauma that can be passed from generation to generation. We explore how that can show up physically, emotionally and spiritually; what some triggers are; how we can recognize and heal these in ourselves; and how we can collectively recognize and correct continued trauma and make space for healing.

Please note this episode does talk about trauma, as well as ways to heal. Please make sure you watch in a safe space where you have time to reflect and practice self-care afterward.

Learn more about Michael’s work at ogletree.com/ and www.linkedin.com/in/michael-thomas-46b7a212/.

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Reading:

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Episode 7:

Strengthening LGBTQIA+ Leadership in the Workplace

In this episode, Change Catalyst CEO Melinda Briana Epler speaks with Jennifer Brown, Founder & CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, about Strengthening LGBTQIA+ Leadership in the Workplace. We discuss language, covering, coming out, intersectionality, employee resource groups, and creating safe and inclusive workplaces.

Learn more about Jennifer’s work at jenniferbrownspeaks.com/

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Episode 6:

Exploring Empathy, Islamophobia and Muslim Identity

In this episode, Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler speaks with Najeeba Syeed, Associate Professor of Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology on Empathy, Islamophobia and Muslim Identity.

Najeeba speaks a bit about her story as a young immigrant from Kashmir, who grew up bicultural and exposed to many religions, which has given her a great skill to work with people across religions. We talk about the breadth of intersectional Muslim identities, Islamophobia vs. anti-Muslim bias, and religious pluralism. We dive into embodied empathy and how to build empathy and prevent conflicts across organizations, and Najeeba shares a wishlist for allies.

Learn more about Najeeba’s work at najeeba.com and twitter.com/NajeebaSyeed

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Episode 5:

Advocating for People with Disabilities

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Tiffany Yu, CEO & Founder at Diversability to discuss ways to be an effective ally and advocate for people with a wide diversity of disabilities.

In this episode, we talk about Tiffany’s disability origin story, and her path to growing into her disability identity. We speak a bit about #NoBodyIsDisposable and what people with disabilities are experiencing during COVID19. Tiffany shares her experience as a person with intersectional identities as an Asian disabled woman, we discuss the significance of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and go over disability identity language. And we go over many ways that leaders can better lead with empathy and allyship for people with disabilities.

Learn more about Tiffany’s work at Diversability 

 

More to learn for Allies – Tiffany mentioned many of these in this episode:

  1. Diversability’s Resources for Allies
  2. Building Equity and Allyship for People with Disabilities” at Tech Inclusion 2019, panel moderated by Tiffany Yu
  3. Disability is Diversity” – Tiffany’s Tech Inclusion talk:
  4. The Power of Exclusion” – Tiffany’s TEDx talk
  5. Change Catalyst’s Ability in Tech playlist on Youtube:
  6. Watch “Crip Camp” on Netflix
  7. I’m disabled and need a ventilator to live. Am I expendable during this pandemic?” by Alice Wong on Vox
  8. I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much” by Stella Young on TED
  9. No Body Is Disposable
  10. Stop AAPI Hate

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Episode 4:

Amplifying the Latinx Experience in the Workplace

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Daisy Auger-Domínguez, CEO of Auger-Domínguez Ventures, to discuss Amplifying the Latinx Experience in the Workplace. Daisy has been an executive at Moody’s, Time Warner, Disney, Google and Viacom, and is the new Chief People Officer at Vice Media Group.

In this episode, we talk about Daisy’s path to leadership as a Dominican-Puerto Rican – a journey full of sponsors and allies that believed in her, promoted her, pushed her and supported her. We discuss the difference between Hispanic, Latino/Latina, and Latinx, and we dive deep into how to create change through amplification. Finally, we discuss what individuals can do to be great allies and create culture change within organizations.

Learn more about Daisy’s work at daisyauger-dominguez.com

Additional resources for allies:

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Episode 3:

Supporting Indigenous Power, Leadership & Community

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler with Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO at Roanhorse Consulting to discuss Indigenous Power, Leadership and Community. In this episode, we talk about Vanessa’s path to leadership and helping entrepreneurs access capital, what’s happening with Native American tribes during COVID-19, what Power really means and why it’s so important, and how allies can help repair the deep inequities created by years of colonialism and marginalization. Vanessa also talks about her own path as an ally and advocate for other people.

Take Action:

  1. Learn more about, and support, Vanessa’s work at Roanhorse Consulting and Native Women Lead.
  2. Donate to Native American Community Response Fund (also a great resource to continue your learning).
  3. RELEARN American history from the point of view of Native Americans. History is usually told from the point of view of colonizers, we have to relearn what we’ve been taught.
    1. Recommended Reading List from FirstNations.org
    2. Reclaiming Diné History by Jennifer Nez Denetdale
    3. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  4. Read more about the COVID Crisis and take action:
    1. “The risk to Native American nations from Covid-19” by Kent Sepkowitz (CNN)
    2. “10 steps to save Native Americans from Covid-19 catastrophe” by Van Jones (CNN)
    3. “Navajo community left to fight COVID-19 with limited resources” by Matt Gutman, Robert Zepeda, Tenzin Shakya and Allie Yang (ABC News)
    4. Navajo Department of Public Health COVID-19 Resources

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Episode 2:

Addressing Mental Health During COVID-19

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler in Episode 2 of a new series: Leading With Empathy & Allyship. In this episode we discuss Mental Health During COVID-19 with Dr. Jessi Gold and Dr. Ayana Jordan.

If you need help please reach out:

  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Textline: Text TALK to 741741
  • Physician Support Line: physiciansupportline.com
  • Project Parachute – pro-bono therapy for COVID-19 Frontliners: eleos.health/parachute

Additional resources for allies:

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Episode 1:

Countering Xenophobia in the Workplace

Join Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler for the first installment in a new series: Leading With Empathy & Allyship. In the first episode we discuss Countering Xenophobia in the Workplace with Co-Founder and CEO of Awaken, Michelle Kim.

Defining xenophobia and anti-Asian racism, harassment and bullying during COVID-19 and beyond; intersectionality and the myth of the “model minority”; holding ourselves accountable as allies and accomplices; practical ways companies can address these issues in the workplace; and more! 

Additional resources for allies:

  1. Awaken’s virtual training on Combating Xenophobia
  2. Allyship (& Accomplice): The What, Why, and How by Michelle Kim
  3. Coronavirus fears show how ‘model minority’ Asian Americans become the ‘yellow peril’ by Matthew Lee, NBC News
  4. Report Hate Crimes and Incidents via Stop APPI Hate

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