EP34 The profound calling of bridge-building in DEI with Martine Kalaw

“I make a distinction between active allies, and passive allies. We’ve got a whole lot of great passive allies in organizations that are wanting to do something and thinking ‘But I don’t know what to do!’

Active allyship can be facilitated through manager and management development. Managers all need management development. If you’re listening and you don’t have a management development program, that is a huge disservice to your managers right there. We know that managers automatically need to upskill themselves to be more effective. What I’m suggesting is DEI just becomes a way to pivot management development. It’s not changing it. That’s why it’s the ABCs!” – Martine Kalaw, CEO and founder of Martine Kalaw Enterprised and author of ‘The ABCs of Diversity’

And might we add??? 

A kindred spirit, for us, in terms of articulation of DEI philosophy.

(I mean, this podcast IS called ABCDEI 😁)

Martine’s firm supports human resources professionals in saving time, reducing burden, and being able to drive return on investment (ROI) when it comes to everything related to DEI in the workplace. They do this via training, consulting, as well as speaking.

Why Martine didn’t name her book ABCs of DEI

“My only reservation was six, seven months ago, I wasn’t sure how familiar people were with the term DEI. I think now it’s more widespread, but we are like we were right. On the same, you know, wavelength!”

Martine’s powerful story 

“So my background is I am a I am a stateless and undocumented immigrant survivor. I was born and I’m from Zambia and the Democratic Republic, respectively, and have been in the US since I was four years old. By the time I was 15, I became undocumented and I was placed in deportation proceedings for seven years and didn’t have a country to return to because I was stateless. In the time that I was navigating these spaces, and navigating and trying to survive in America, on my own, I was exposed to different communities. I went to a predominantly white boarding school. Then I went, as an African child, to a predominantly African-American Middle School. As a result, I feel like I have this privilege, I was given this opportunity to navigate all these different communities in different spaces, and be a bridge builder.”

Listen to the full, fascinating discussion with Susan and Rohini on this episode 👇

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