Melinda Briana Epler, Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, talks with TDo, Senior Solutions Engineer at Gladly, for “Influencing Your Company To Address Racism.” TDo describes her work to address racism and violence against the AAPI community in her workplace, as well as building coalitions, influencing leaders, and the role allies have in this work.
- TDo’s Tech Inclusion Talk: My Journey In Tech As A Triple Minority – Then & Now
- Resources Supporting the AAPI Community
- Dare to Lead with Brené Brown and Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: “The Heart of Hard Conversations” & “Creating Transformative Cultures”
- Leading With Empathy & Allyship Episode 28: “Empathic Leadership & Emotional Tax In The Workplace With Andrea G. Tatum”
The live show is made accessible thanks to Interpreter-Now and White Coat Captioning.
- “In terms of anti-racism, literally ask people how they are doing first and foremost. I can only speak from an Asian background – but any minority group should ask how they are doing. As an Asian, we are raised to be quiet and not cause trouble or cause issues. ‘Keep your head down, do your work, and don’t cause any trouble.’ With that, it becomes ingrained in us to not say anything even if it is painful. Some people might just be bearing the pain, fear or anxiety – and if you don’t ask, you don’t know.”
- “It has been hard to balance the anxiety and also my real work and also the emotional labor that is required to continue these conversations all in any single second of the day. That is just what goes on in my body and mind. If you think about it, most folks don’t have to worry about, ‘hey, is my mom safe going for a walk? Is someone going to hit her over the head with a brick?’ But I am constantly thinking about it…. I just want to reiterate that the fear and anxiety about anti-racism or just racism is really real and it affects your nervous system.”
- “A lot of people want to be allies and they think they have all the answers – and that’s OK if you don’t. Ask how you can help. It is different for each person, quite frankly. For me, you know, what’s helpful is hearing outcry, outrage. The donation part is secondary for me. My colleague who might be Asian, maybe donations for organizations might be a priority for her or him.”
Senior Solutions Engineer at Gladly
TDo (Theresa Do) is a Sr. Solutions Engineer at Gladly based in San Francisco, CA. She has over 10+ yrs of pre-sales experience in SaaS based companies. Providing insight and offering consulting on how to deliver radically personal customer service is a long-held passion. TDo is well-versed in helping companies of all sizes – from start-ups that are building their name – all the way to established Fortune 100 brands. TDo is deeply passionate about racial equity, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, martial arts and any dog that crosses her path. Ask her about Dozer, her dog that is the same size and weight as her!
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.
Watch Melinda’s TED Talk
Change Catalyst Co-Founder Melinda Briana Epler has spoken across the globe in hundreds of venues and virtual events. Empathy, Allyship, Advocacy, Microaggressions, Inclusive Leadership, and Building Inclusive Teams are just some of the topics Melinda has spoken on. Let us know about your next speaking engagement needs! Melinda has also spoken on how to build organizational capacity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as how to lead behavior change or how to build allies and advocates.
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