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  • Black Hair Remains a DEI Battleground, Colorism Persists in the Workplace, & Republicans Diversify Their Own Ranks While Shutting Down Diversity Programs

Black Hair Remains a DEI Battleground, Colorism Persists in the Workplace, & Republicans Diversify Their Own Ranks While Shutting Down Diversity Programs

DEI in 5: Biweekly DEI News

👆🏾 Image: Catalyst

Read time: 7 minutes

Today’s Top 3 DEI News Bites👇🏾

An image of a wide array of brown skin tones.

Credit: Getty Images

Summary: Maya Richard-Craven's article "We Need To Talk About Colorism In The Workplace" confronts the ingrained issue of colorism that Black individuals with darker skin tones face within professional environments. This deep-rooted problem is highlighted by Catalyst's report which found that over half of the women from marginalized racial and ethnic groups experience workplace racism, notably affecting women with darker skin tones.

The Details:

  • Historical Context: The article provides a historical overview of how the division between house slaves and field slaves has perpetuated a colorism divide that still impacts socioeconomic status and workplace dynamics today.

  • Personal Experiences: Dr. Sarah Webb, founder of Colorism Healing, shares her personal encounters with colorism and the need for open discussions on the subject.

  • Societal Impact: The legacy of the “one-drop rule” and colorism in the United States has led to a spectrum of discrimination within a single racial category.

  • Workplace Dynamics: Individuals with darker skin often face harsher stereotypes and are more likely to be targeted by them, even by people within their own racial group.

  • Dismantling Colorism: Dr. Webb stresses the importance of acknowledging internal biases and diversifying hiring processes to combat colorism.

Why is this relevant: Addressing colorism is essential for creating truly inclusive and psychologically safe workplaces. Acknowledging and actively working to dismantle colorist practices is a crucial step towards equity for all Black individuals, regardless of skin tone. The article calls for solidarity among Black professionals to bridge the divide created by historical systems of oppression, urging a collective effort to validate and uplift the voices and work of individuals with darker skin in the workplace.

Delmaine Donson via Getty Images

Summary: Caroline Colvin's article for HR Dive delves into the cultural and DEI significance of Black hair in the workplace. The piece highlights the unique and personal relationship the Black community has with hair, emphasizing its historical, social, and political importance. Despite this, Black workers still face discrimination based on hair, with styles and textures often deemed unprofessional under Eurocentric standards.

The Details:

  • Cultural Significance: Black hairstyles, such as box braids, cornrows, and locs, carry significant cultural and political weight, symbolizing heritage and identity.

  • Legislation and Compliance: While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers some protection in the US, the CROWN Act specifically addresses hair discrimination, with over 20 states enacting it.

  • Workplace Discrimination: Reports suggest that Black women are more likely to alter their hair for job interviews and are disproportionately affected by hair-related workplace bias.

  • Microaggressions: Non-consensual touching of Black employees' hair is a common workplace issue, reflecting deeper racial stereotypes and biases.

  • HR's Role: HR professionals are encouraged to reassess grooming policies and create inclusive environments that celebrate natural hair and protect against discrimination.

Why is this relevant: The ongoing discrimination against Black hair in the workplace is not only a matter of personal identity but also a significant DEI issue that affects Black workers' professional experiences and opportunities. Recognizing the depth of this issue and implementing protective measures is crucial for building truly inclusive workspaces where all forms of natural expression are respected and valued.

Mazi Pilip, a congressional candidate in New York's 3rd District, campaigns with Brandon Judd, left, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, opposite Creedmoor migrant center in Queens, N.Y., on Wednesday.

Adam Gray / Getty Images

Summary: The Republican Party is actively recruiting women and minority candidates for the 2024 elections while simultaneously critiquing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Despite this dichotomy, the GOP views the recruitment of a diverse candidate slate as crucial for strengthening their congressional majority (😂), highlighting success stories such as Prasanth Reddy, Alison Esposito, George Logan, Kevin Lincoln, and Mayra Flores. However, Democratic leaders view these recruitment efforts skeptically, pointing out the contrast with Republican-led legislative actions to curb DEI programs.

The Details:

  • Candidate Diversity: House Republicans are showcasing a diverse roster of candidates for the upcoming elections, aiming to reflect America's varied demographics and attract a broad voter base.

  • Legislative Actions: Simultaneously, Republicans in at least 17 states have introduced bills to limit or disclose DEI programs, despite efforts to diversify their own ranks.

  • Political Strategy: The GOP believes that candidates with compelling personal narratives can appeal to a wide electorate, regardless of party lines.

  • Democratic Response: Democrats remain critical of the Republicans' approach, emphasizing that actions speak louder than words and that Republican policies often undermine the interests of diverse communities.

  • Voter Demographics: The growing racial and ethnic diversity among U.S. voters makes the recruitment of minority candidates a strategic political move.

  • E-Pac Initiative: Rep. Elise Stefanik's E-Pac supports the election of more Republican women in Congress, indicating a recognition of the importance of diversity within the GOP itself.

  • Congressional Representation: Despite recent gains, Republicans continue to have fewer women and racial minority members compared to Democrats.

Why is this relevant : The Republican strategy to recruit a diverse array of candidates while criticizing DEI programs highlights the complexities and sometimes conflicting priorities within political party dynamics. This approach also underscores the importance of representation in politics and the influence of voter demographics on party strategies.

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A few other developments…👇🏾

Until later,

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