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This writing assignment is based on a TED Talk by Mellody Hobson, president of money management firm Ariel Investments. In it, Hobson discusses the difference between being “color blind” and “color brave” when it comes to the subject of race. She contends that diversity in hiring makes for better businesses, products, and research.
Watch Hobson’s TED Talk, below:
You can read a transcript of the video by clicking this link (Links to an external site.).
Write a discussion paper that answers the three questions below. DO NOT write this in a bulleted format. Use paragraphs and an essay style paper. This is a free write, so no need for citations.
- Hobson says, “Now, race is one of those topics in America that makes people extraordinarily uncomfortable. You bring it up at a dinner party or in a workplace environment, it is literally the conversational equivalent of touching the third rail. There is shock, followed by a long silence.” Why do you think it’s so difficult to talk about race and diversity in our workplaces and institutions?
- Hobson says, “We cannot afford to be color blind. We have to be color brave. We have to be willing, as teachers and parents and entrepreneurs and scientists, we have to be willing to have proactive conversations about race with honesty and understanding and courage, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do, because our businesses and our products and our science, our research, all of that will be better with greater diversity.” Identify opportunities you have to be “color brave.” Why do you think Hobson says diversity will make our businesses and products better?
- Your reading discussed influences on organizational culture and methods for maintaining or changing culture. How do you think these influences and methods could work to foster open discussion about race and diversity in an organization?
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