In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge talks to anti-racism impact strategist and the CEO of Ascribe Educational Consulting, Sonia Lewis. Sonia shares that she has done this work for over ten years – and the last two years have seen quadruple the work for her, understandably.
Diversity, equity, and inclusivity should be a part of each and every organization, no matter how small. Every team member should feel a part of the whole, and Sonia works strategizing and developing how to make an inclusive space for every member of a team. Sonia shares that they facilitate a lot of conversations – and do a lot of listening. Sonia also talks about what doesn’t work and they collaborate with these organizations to help develop that team inclusivity.
Josh shares his take – we all have blind spots. Sonia shares some ways to educate yourself. Individuals who have worked hard and worked their way up to achieve their goals sometimes don’t realize how many others missed out on those opportunities. The United States is a talent-resource rich country. No one is coming to take what you have, which is a primary fear that many groups feel, Sonia shares. That’s just not reality – equity comes with having perspective on your own situation.
Equity is about meeting the needs of those who are most marginalized, disenfranchised, and most vulnerable in an organization. More often, those individuals are black, indidgenous, female, LatinX, LGTBQ+, and/or a lower socioeconomic status. Equity means creating opportunities for those in these marginalized groups. The truth is, it will never be an even playing field, and that’s what equity is all about.
Josh and Sonia also discuss how they’ve heard entrepreneurs struggling to hire a diverse team. It’s all down to how you treat people and the world around you. Everything you say and do impacts how you’re perceived, and if your company culture isn’t dialed in, having a truly inclusive and diverse team just isn’t possible. Positive messages of inclusion are absolutely essential.
Sonia also shares some of her incredible background. She shares that her experiences have helped her to spread the message that children should be seen and heard. Encouraging children to be open about their struggles, especially those in marginalized communities, is critical to fostering a better future generation.
According to her website, Sonia Lewis's debut children's book focuses on encouraging children to trust their voice and adults to do the same. Be ready for reflective questions, insightful conversation, and a new perspective on how children see and experience the world. Pre-order her book here.