WHAT WE'RE READING

Visit this page often to see the newest books and articles that we're reading and recommend.

Articles
More women and TV directors of color working, new DGA report shows

Despite a slight increase in the number of female directors of television shows, women of color directed only 10% of TV episodes.

Joe Biden's Nominees of Color Are Facing Outsized Opposition

And here's some less than great news as the confirmation process continues on Capitol Hill. 

Senate Confirms Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be UN Ambassador

More good news -- The US Senate confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the next Ambassador to the United Nations. 

Aurora James on the Future of the 15% Pledge

Good news -- West Elm and CB2 have signed on to the pledge to devote 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. 

 

How corporate America leaves behind Black Professionals

Axios.com reports on two new studies, from McKinsey and GlassDoor, that complement findings in the proprietary research in "A Blessing."  The pipeline for Black corporate executives needs repair. 

Megan Thee Stallion and Representative Maxine Waters on Misogynoir, Saying No, and the Genius of WAP

What a perfect example of generational alliance:  Representative Maxine Waters in conversation with Megan Thee Stallion. 

A key to ending racism: Make it personal

Harvard Kennedy School's Robert Livingston has been studying racism and advising corporations for almost two decades.  The social scientist has developed an approach that is more effective than just delivering facts and figures.  Creating genuine, human connections is the answer and makes Livingston optimistic about the possibility of real change.  

With Her First Issue as Bon Appetit's Editor-in-Chief, Dawn Davis Has A New Recipe for the Magazine's Success

We wish Dawn Davis the best of luck as she launches her first edition of Bon Appetit as editor-in-chief! 

After being blocked by Trump, first African and woman takes WTO helm

Brava to the brilliant Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.  The former Nigerian Finance Minister will now lead the World Trade Organization.  "A Blessing" Co-author Jacqueline Adams has heard the highly respected Dr. Okonjo-Iweala speak.  Experts warn that she faces a tough job, trying to reduce global conflicts over trade which have only worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Carlyle Inks $4.1 Billion Credit Line Linked to Board Diversity

Here is another strong push toward increasing diversity in corporate board rooms. Carlyle calls its new financial instrument the largest ESG-linked facility of its kind and the first to focus exclusively on board diversity. "The firm's research over the past three years has shown that portfolio companies with two or more diverse board members have seen average earnings growth of 12% greater per year versus those lacking diversity."

 

Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome

Harvard Business Review is tackling a label that has existed for far too long. Authors Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey debunk the concept of "imposter sydrome" as a relic from the 1970s that excluded the effects of systemic racism, classism, xenophobia, and other bias.  BRAVA!!

Male Allyship Is About Paying Attention

Harvard Business Review has published an interesting list of tips to help male allies navigate the changing workplace.  Although much of the article focuses on GQ, gender intelligence, a number of the ideas are relevant for women of color.  Maybe the authors should change their acronym to GRQ, gender AND racial intelligence!  

New Study Shows That Nearly Half Of Black Professionals Have Faced Blatant Discrimination At Work

A new LinkedIn survey found that nearly half (46%) of Black professionals, ages 18-34, have faced blatant discrimination and/or microaggressions at work.  Essence's Kimberly Wilson calls the finding "shameful yet staggering." 

Jo Ann Jenkins, Karen Lynch And the Women Over 50 Who Are Breaking Up the C-Suite Boys Club

Forbes' Maggie McGrath profiles leaders, including Roz Brewer and Jo Ann Jenkins, as part of the 50 Over 50 series. 

Organizing, but not compartmentalizing: LaTosha Brown puts her whole being into increasing voter turnout

This is an important interview with LaTosha Brown, a founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the Southern Black Girls and Women's Consortium.  Ms. Brown previews her talking points for a Harvard University conversation. She discusses the beginning of a new political era in the US and the different definitions of democracy for white and Black Americans.  

Naomi Beckwith Named Deputy Director and Chief Curator at Guggenheim Museum

The amazingly talented Naomi Beckwith has been named the deputy director and chief curator at the Guggenheim Museum. She starts in June.  BRAVA!!  

We must shift from inclusion rhetoric to accountability and consequences

Hugely successful business leader, Jerri DeVard, writes about being an "only" climbing the corporate ladder and hints at plans to build a bigger, better talent pipeline for marketing talent of color!

Mary Wilson, Co-Founder of The Supremes, Dies at 76

Even after a year of far too many deaths caused by the coronavirus, it was shocking to learn of Mary Wilson's passing.  The Supremes were iconic during our childhoods: beautiful, talented, glamorous!  Listening to the Supremes' many hit records might somehow dull the pain. 

One more thing about the Time Magazine issue on The Renaissance is Black

Be sure to look closely at the beautiful, sensitive photography of the amazing Awol Erizku!  Genius! 

'Unity with Purpose.' Amanda Gorman and Michelle Obama Discuss Art, Identity and Optimism

In Time Magazine's new issue about "The Renaissance is Black," Amanda Gorman and Michelle Obama discuss the current and important moment in Black life...as well as a range of issue that echo the themes of "A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive."

Political Firsts Over 50: Women Who Came Out Of Nowhere To Get Elected

Forbes' Maggie McGrath begins profiling women over 50, part of Forbes' collaboration with MSNBC's Morning Joe.  In this first installment, three out of the four new political leaders are women of color.  Their stories will inspire you! 

Invest in Black women to drive the economy forward

Former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and Howard University donor Heather Murren argue many of the same conclusions in "A Blessing."  Black women have a strong work ethic, are ambitious.  If properly recruited and paid, we would indeed drive an economic revolution in the U.S. and globally. 

Poll: Influence to shift to Black people, women under Biden

Axios.com reports on a new Pew Research survey which finds that under the Biden administration, Americans think power will shift to the people who helped elect him: Black pwople and women. 

An unflinching look at racism as America's caste system

"Caste" author, Isabel Wilkerson, explains her analysis of racism in America before an all-star audience at Harvard University. 

Only 19: The lack of Black CEOs in the history of the Fortune 500

Fortune examines why so few Black executives have become CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  One explanation: executives of color have tended to pursue careers in accounting or marketing, not P&L positions which are the pathway to the top job.  

Stacey Abrams Has Been Nominated For A Nobel Peace Prize

What a glorious and appropriate nomination!  A Norwegian member of Parliament, in making the announcement of Ms. Abrams' nomination, said: "Abrams' work follows in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s footsteps in the fight for equality before the law and for civil right."  

As poet Maya Angelou wrote: "We are the miraculous!"

Inside the WNBA's Fight to Turn Georgia Blue

Elle Magazine explores the political activism of WNBA players, especially in the recent Georgia campaigns for the U.S. Senate.

New Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer will be the only Black woman chief executive in the Fortune 500

Good news!  Roz Brewer will become Walgreens CEO on March 15th.  The bad news:  she will be the ONLY Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  

Field Correction: Race-based medicine, deeply embedded in clinical decision making, is being scrutinized and challenged

Academics at Harvard University and elsewhere are examining how and why raced-based medicine is still being taught and practiced.

Harris' rise illustrates the evolution of HBCUs

Historically Black colleges and universities are drawing more attention as a result of Howard University alumna, Vice President Kamala Harris, entering the White House.  In this story, Axios.com takes a look at the changing student bodies within HBCUs. 

The hard part for Kamala Harris will come after she makes history

Vice President Harris has vowed not to be the last woman in her new position.  Yet she acknowledges that she is, and has often been, a first and an "only," i.e. one of the unicorns described in "A Blessing."  Politico examines how this "only" is "teaming up" with allies, specifically women of color.  The article describes many of the concepts and findings in our 2019 Women of Color in Business: Cross Generational Survey.  

After Five Centuries, a Native American With Real Power

Deb Haaland is the first Native American cabinet secretary, "ready to knock down some of the last barriers of time and terrain in this country", and profiled here by The New York Times.

15 AKA Trailblazers Who Made History

The first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha is celebrating 113 years of “Service To All Mankind” this year. Learn about the women who paved the way for Madam Vice President.

Men and women are networking very differently during the pandemic

Fortune's investigation of the gender differences around networking augments the proprietary survey findings in "A Blessing."  Women desk workers seek "sisterhood" -- a sense of connection with their co-workers.  

Relief, Optimism, Foreboding: Black Americans feel mixed emotions on Inauguration Day

Washington Post Reporter Sydney Trent takes a deep look at the myriad emotions of Black Americans on this historic Inauguration Day. 

Kamala Harris and Jill Biden's Inauguration Fashion is the Embodiment of Hope

Representation matters.  The inauguration fashions of Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden shone a spotlight on young, diverse designers.  #TeamUp!

Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in as U.S. President and Vice President

It's official. History has been made. Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of color in the role, were sworn in as the United States President and Vice President. As President Biden said, "Democracy has prevailed."

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman: 'Even as we grieved, we grew.'

A highlight of Inauguration Day was National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.  Her deeply felt poem captured both the dire and triumphant emotions of America's transition of power, especially for young people of color. 

Cori Bush: Can She Bring the Movement for Black Lives to Congress?

Teen Vogue offers a delicious profile of new Congresswoman Cori Bush.  With just two weeks on the job, she is driving change!

The uncomfortable truth: Why more white women didn't rally behind the Biden-Harris campaign

Amid the excitement about the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Fortune's Julie Kohler takes a comprehensive look at how and why majorities of white women have voted against their gender's interests to follow the white patriarchy in the voting booth. 

Stress caused by today's crises can actually damage your health.

Chapter Three of "A Blessing" tackles stress head on.  This Washington Post article repeats some of the stress-relieving techniques that we suggest.  But the current context is so very different from when we wrote the chapter.  Covid-19, the economic downturn, racial and social justice protests and domestic terrorists sacking the U.S. Capitol have dramatically raised everyone's stress level.  It's prudent to take another look at time-tested techniques....and to practice them! 

Can a "Guaranteed Income" for Black Entrepreneurs Narrow the Wealth Gap?

Bloomberg's Brentin Mock reports on an innovative program in Oakland which provides monthly payments to Black entrepreneurs to try to narrow the wealth and investment gaps.  

From Ella to Beyonce: New Museum Celebrates African American Music

Opening the new museum dedicated to African American music in Nashville is a wonderful way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's birthday!

This Black-female Founded Tech Company is Fostering Corporate Inclusivity Through an Anonymous Database

Forbes profiles two Black Harvard Law School alumnae, who have raised $4,6 million to create a data-driven platform to help companies optimize their DEI efforts.  

Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs shed by the U.S. economy in December

Fortune Magazine analyzes yet another horrific development last week, the loss of many more jobs held by American women, the majority of whom are Black and LatinX women in the retail, service and "essential services" sectors. 

Nancy Bush Ellis, Sister and Aunt of Presidents, Dies at 94

This obituary is personal for Jackie, who had a number of delightful exchanges with Nancy Ellis while covering the campaigns and presidency of her brother, Georger H.W.Bush. Mrs. Ellis was funny, charming, a real class act! 

Why Stacey Abrams is One of The World's Most Powerful Women in 2020

The headline should perhaps change to say Stacey Abrams is one of the World's Most Powerful Women in 2021!  At the end of a jaw-dropping first week of the new year, we must celebrate the record voter turnout in Georgia this week that was galvanized by Black women, led by the brilliant, unstoppable, unflappable Stacey Abrams. 

HBS Leadership Initiative Launches Dialogue for Women of Color: Addressing Challenges and Accelerating Development

"A Blessing" authors, Bonita Stewart and Jacqueline Adams, returned to their alma mater, Harvard Business School, to participate in a special three hour Zoom webinar which focused on the challenges and opportunities facing women of color in business.

Exclusive: Black Female-founded Partake Foods Raises $4.8M in Funding from Investors - Including Rihanna

We all need a bit of good news this morning.  Partake Foods CEO Denise Woodard has raised $7.5 million overall and more than half of it has come from Black investors. 

2020 Made It OK to Talk About Our Mental Health. We Can’t Stop Now.

In this piece Naomi Hirabayashi, co-founder of the Shine app, shares her optimistic views on breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Shine was designed by two Women of Color striving for representation in mainstream "wellness".

All S&P 500 Boards Have at Least One Woman - Numbers Unchanged for Minority Women

For the first time in 20 years all S&P 500 boards have at least one women.  In 2020, 22% of new S&P directors are from minority groups, down from 23% last year. Minority women make up 10% of this year’s incoming class of new directors, a number that has not changed since last year.  

Kizzmekia Corbett, an African American woman, is praised as key scientist behind COVID-19 vaccine

Corbett is an expert on the front lines of the global race for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and will go down in history as one of the key players in developing the science that could end the pandemic. 

The Prosp(a)rity Project Wants to Give Black Women a Fighting Chance to Eliminate Student Loan Debt

Yes, Black women are the most educated sector of the US population, but collectively, Black women shoulder some $35 billion in student loan debt.  Forbes reports on a new effort to try to reduce and eliminate the debt. 

Why wealthy women of color are more confident investors than their white female peers

A new survey by JP Morgan Wealth Management finds that Black and Latina of means are more active and confident investors, despite the pandemic, than their white counterparts. 

How Putting on a Mask Raised Naomi Osaka's Voice

Tennis star Naomi Osaka is conveying an urgent and unequivocal demand for change.

Serena Williams: Silicon Valley is wrong about Black women entrepreneurs

Tennis champion Serena Williams discusses her observations and activities as a venture capitalist.

Young Kim discusses the California GOP, after Trump

One of the first three Korean-American women elected to Congress, Young Kim, talks about her new job, state and national politics and the challenges ahead. 

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women

By our count, more than a third of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women are women of color.  Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is #3 and Stacey Abrams is #100.  BRAVA!

Miami Herald names Monica Richardson the first Black executive editor in the paper's history

And more good news!  The Miami Herald has named Monica Richardson its new executive editor.  She is the first Black executive editor in the newspaper's 117-year history.  BRAVA! 

MSNBC Names Rashida Jones President, Succeeding Phil Griffin

Here is another major win for women of color!  Rashida Jones has been named the new president of MSNBC, the first woman of color to helm a major news network!  BRAVA!

COVID has decimated women's careers -- We need a Marshall Plan for Moms, Now

The founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, writes in The Hill that there should be a Marshall Plan for moms, given the devastation that COVID-19 has had on women's careers. She recommends a monthly, means-tested payment of $2400 per month to caregivers. 

Alvin Ailey, Duke Ellington, Robert Battle and Wynton Marsalis -- Hooray!

Check out the Ailey website often this month to see Black brilliance at its finest!  The Company's reimagining of "Revelations" on its 60th anniversary is inspired.  The conversation between Robert Battle and Wynton Marsalis about the partnership of Duke Ellington and Alvin Ailey left our brain cells tingling!   

Congress takes crucial step toward establishing Latino and women's history museums

We may have a long wait until the new Smithsonian museums open their doors, but it's gratifying to read that Congress has taken a concrete step toward building two new museums, dedicated to celebrating Latino and women's history. 

The Black Inventors Who Fueled America's Golden Age of Innovation

Here is an inspiring story from The Christian Science Monitor about Black brilliance.  As we found in our proprietary research, Women of Color in Business: Cross Generational Survey (c), young Black and LatinX women are more innovative than the white and Asian contemporaries, more likely to be first adopters of technology.  Here's to seeing more applications at the U.S. Patent Office!

Climbing routes are riddled with racist and misogynistic names. Meet the people trying to change it all.

Violent and opporessive names on climbing routes are being replaced.  The Lily explains how, why and by whom. 

She built a business with $30M in revenue -- and a mission to root out racism in the construction industry

Inc. profiles Deryl McKissack's history and mission. It is an important and interesting read! 

Georgia Was a Big Win for the Democrats. Black Women Did the Groundwork.

The New York Times does a deep dive on the hard work that Black female political organizers have been doing for years in Georgia.  In 2020, national Democrats, and Republicans, finally took notice.  

The number of Black female founders who have raised more than $1M has nearly tripled since 2018

Good news from Fortune's Emma Hinchcliffe reporting on the newest ProjectDiane survey: 93 Black women and 90 LatinX female founders have secured $1M in investor backing in the last two years. For Black women, that number has tripled.  HOWEVER, the bad news is that only 0.64% of total VC investment in 2018 and 2019 went to Black and LatinX female entrepreneurs, $3.1 Billion.

Why Stacey Abrams is Confident that Georgia Will Stay Blue

Here is a powerful NY Times interview with Stacey Abrams, explaining how and why Georgia voted for Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and future prospects for the Democratic party. 

Meet the woman tasked with turning around scandal-plagued Bon Appetit

Another example of Black brilliance -- Bon Appetit editor in chief, Dawn Davis.

How Debbie Allen Gets It Done

For an uplift, watch Netflix's documentary, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. For more information about dancer/choreographer/Howard University alum, Debbie Allen, the creative force behind the documentary and her Debbie Allen Dance Academy, read this New York Magazine piece! 

I'm a High-Achieving Black Woman in Largely White Spaces. And I'm Exhausted.

This HuffPost essay by Judy D'Agostino captures the emotions of being "an only" especially in this year of multiple pandemics.

How a Brooklyn Sisterhood of Black Women Became National Powerbrokers

Here is yet another example of the power/impact of Sisters as a Service -- SaaS!  The flywheel is in motion. 

Black women entrepreneurs should play a key role in America's post-COVID revitalization

This article is an excellent recap of the pre-COVID growth of entrepreneurship among Black women, the harsh impact of the pandemic, as well as a call for new federal policies to support Black entrepreneurship in 2021.

Biden's UN Pick Boosts Morale for Diplomats Trump Sidelined

Bloomberg's David Wainer has written a powerful profile of Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President-elect Biden's choice for UN Ambassador.  

Giving thanks for what?

The Harvard Gazette assembled Native leaders who discuss marking a "day of loss" when other Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Athletes have taken social stands before. Why this time is different.

The Christian Science Monitor's Phil Taylor takes an in-depth look at athlete activism.

Making higher education anti-racist

Scholar and author Ibram X. Kendi discusses the broad and deep racist conditioning in American society and offers solutions for remediation in academia,  He specifically addresses college admissions and faculty recruitment/promotion politicies.

Women in finance have to ask for promotions. Men don't.

A new study of 2000 finance professionals in Australia found that 76% of men were offered a promotion at least once without requesting it, compared with 57% of women.  The conclusion is that fixing the system can't all be on women to act differently. 

At Wharton, a New Leader Confronts the Culture Wars

The Times' popular Corner Office feature spotlights Wharton's Dean Erika James.  She discusses race, politics and the role of business. 

Democrats expect Biden to name Linda Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador

It is being widely reported that President-elect Biden has selected Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be his United Nations ambassador and that he will restore the position to Cabinet rank. 

Abby Philip is Next-Gen CNN

The New York Times has written a gushing profile of CNN Political Correspondent Abby Philip.  The Harvard University alum is a rising star and the article offers particular praise for Philip's comments about the political strength of Black women in support of Joe Biden during the primary period. 

Women Rise to Record Numbers At Top-Ranked Business Schools

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that women students have almost hit parity at Dartmouth's and Stanford's business schools.  In a year of volatile admissions, percentages of female students dipped at a number of other MBA programs. 

Invest in Black Women because Democracy Is on Their Shoulders

From Nonprofit Quarterly: "Black women have built and protected our democracy, even when they have been deliberately and systemically excluded from participating in it.". This article outlines ways Black women's involvement in politics can be supported at the regional, local, and national levels.

Harvard Business Review Special Issue on Fighting Racism at Work

Harvard Business Review has assembled 20 articles that address fighting racism at work.  Among the topics are: How to be a better ally to your Black colleagues; Move beyond diversity to real equity; and Is your company actually fighting racism or just talking about it?  

D.C.'s Electoral Votes Will All Be Cast By Women -- Including This Howard University Graduate

The Washington Post presents an illuminating profile of Meedie Bardonille, a nurse and Howard University graduate, who is one of the District of Columbia's three people officially casting electoral votes for the President and Vice President. This role has typically been filled by politicians. 

Naval Academy names its first Black female brigade commander

Here's another example of WINNING -- Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, a Black woman who will lead 4,400 of her peers at the U.S. Naval Academy for the first time in the institution's 174-year history.

Oprah's Favorite Things 2020!

Oprah's famous list this year has a special twist. Because so many people want to support Black lives any way they can, Oprah and her team found dozens of gorgeous gifts from Black-owned businesses to celebrate. Black lives - and Black businesses - matter! #TeamUp

How Stacey Abrams and other Georgia activists laid the groundwork for 2020.

Fortune's Emma Hinchliffe has another great article, her profile of voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.  Brava Stacey!!

Black women put Kamala Harris in the White House. Here's how they feel about making history.

Fortune's Emma Hinchliffe interviewed a number of Black female leaders.  We especially applaud author Minda Harts for crediting our "team up" message: "This showed the collective power Black women have to help each other rise," Minda Harts, the author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, told me yesterday. "When we collaborate, we can change history."

America calls on Kamala Harris - and Black women - to clean up its mess

Yes, the victory of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is historic and welcome.  However, The Washington Post's Karen Attiah cites the 91% support that Black women gave to the Democratic ticket and what we expect in return: "It's an all-too-familiar scenario to Black women - White America always hopes that we will clean up its mess. But Black women don't vote to save White America; we vote to save ourselves from White America and its impulses. It's time for Democrates to work to give Black women the better and safer America that we deserve."

LA County's Powerful Board of Supervisors Will Be All Women For The First Time

Every vote is being counted and day by day, we are celebrating more political wins for women and women of color!  

CBS Studios, NAACP Venture Appoints Sheila Duckworth President, Opening Doors for Black People in TV

Another great story found on the ForbesWomen daily e-newsletter -- this time about a new venture between CBS Studios and the NAACP! #TeamUp

Four Black Women - All CEOs - Have Created a "Call to Action" to Close the Health Gap for Black Americans

We address the health gap for Black Americans in "A Blessing."  It's inspiring to read that Black women are addressing the issue.  #TeamUp!

Black Lives Matter Co-founder Patrisse Cullors on Her Activism - and Art - Beyond Hashtags

ForbesWomen, the daily e-newsletter edited by Maggie McGrath, is a constant source of inspiring, sometimes surprising content.  Today's November 5, 2020 issue is filled with terrific content and we've posted four of the items here!  Atta-girl, Maggie! 

Meet the Dancer Behind Chanel and American Ballet Theatre’s New Docuseries

Gabe Stone Shayer seeks to "further the efforts for inclusion of new Black voices in the ballet world".

COVID's triple whammy for Black students

This is a devastating assessment of the increased risks of physical and psychological damage to students of color in the time of COVID.  What more can we do, other than sound an alarm?  

Tulsa reckons with its racist past. What can America learn?

A vicious race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma destroyed what was called Black Wall Street, the Greenwood neighborhood. This history is being revisited 100 years later. 

America Ferrara: Latinas are essential. Pay us.

Activist and actress America Ferrara's call to action on Latina Equal Pay Day!

If America Were in Africa, U.S. Diplomats Would Be Ringing The Alarm Bells

Brilliant Ambassador Reuben Brigety II is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations as well as the vice chancellor and president of the University of the South, Sewanee.  

In The Name of Justice: Harvard Alums Battle Against Systemic Racism

Here are fascinating conversations with Harvard alumnae, Dr. Michelle Morse (MPH '12) and Christina Lewis ('02),

Venus Williams' Advice for Entrepreneurs: Don't Let Fear Take Over - Just Push Through It

Great advice from businesswoman and tennis champion Venus Williams: "It's okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to let it ruin your decision-making process."

Women in STEM Celebrate 100 Years of Women's Right to Vote

This inspiring video features two unicorns in the aerospace field, Mae Jemison and Naia Butler-Craig. We celebrate these trailblazers!

Meet the Solar Industry's First Black Woman CEO

BRAVA to Kristal Hansley, another unicorn.  What a blessing!

Pandemic Pivots

My Harvard Business School classmate and friend, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, on resilience:  "Resilience doesn't happen on its own.  It takes leadership."

What Does It Mean to BE a Political First

This is a timely survey of "firsts" -- a variety of female political leaders, with an introduction by Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris. 

Howard University President: The Pool of Black Talent in America Is Not "Limited" At All

President Wayne A.I. Frederick provides a teachable moment for doubters: there is NO shortage of Black talent in the United States! 

Kristen Welker Praised for Masterclass Debate Moderation

Here is another "win" for an extraordinary journalist of color!  BRAVA Kristen Welker!!

'O' Magazine Changed the Publishing Industry

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since 'O' Magazine launched.  Jenisha Watts has written a lovely appreciation. 

Channing Dungey Takes Charge at Warner Brothers

Brava to Channing Dungey and Warner Brothers!  This is another major WIN. 

40 Black playwrights on the theater industry's insidious racism

Is it a "win" to at least be having this conversation - out loud -- in Hollywood's hometown newspaper and on Netflix? 

Simone Leigh is the first Black woman to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale

Here is another example of WINNING!  Jackie has attended the Venice Biennale twice and it is a breaktaking showcase for the most impactful and innovative artists in the world. BRAVA to Simone Leigh!

What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard

As a college student, she wanted to have an impact. The answer she landed on - working inside institutions - set her on the path to the vice-presidential nomination.

Princeton University Names New Residential College After Mellody Hobson

Here is another example of "winning."  Princeton University has named a new residential college for Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson. Her name replaces that of former President Woodrow Wilson, whose legacy includes his racist beliefs. When future generations of students, especially those who are Black or Brown, see Hobson College, “I want them to think, ‘I belong here,’ ” she said.

Corporate Monetary Pledges Since George Floyd's Murder

This is an interesting graphic showing which Fortune 100 companies are taking concrete steps to battle systemic racism and to what degree. 

Black founders have unique talents. We need to make sure they get to use them.

Author Erica B. Smith-Goetz stresses many of the same characteristics that we cite in "A Blessing" for Black entrepreneuers to find success:  passion, perseverance and self-awareness.  VC investment would be welcome. 

A Black Mother's Letter to Her Daughter

Many thanks to Karole Dill Barkley for alerting us to this powerful essay by Susan Fales Hill and for drawing our attention to these quotes:

Remember, our racial hierarchy is 400 years old, and because we have never truly faced our history as a nation, like clockwork, every 25 years or so we are torn asunder by its contradictions.
 
—I have never witnessed the universal reckoning unfolding before us today. The protestors are of every color and every walk of life. Institutional racism is no longer a concept relegated to obscure left wing scholarly journals but is now being spoken of by politicians and business leaders of every political affiliation. (May their deeds match their words.)
Simon & Schuster Publisher Talks Race, Trump and the Pandemic

BRAVA to Bloomberg's Karen Toulon for this impactful and timely interview with Simon & Schuster Publisher Dana Canedy!  Two powerful women are promoting reading.  As co-authors of a new book, we couldn't agree more! 

Brava to Shellye Archambeau

Successful businesswoman, Shellye Archambeau's new book is about to launch and she tells Fortune Magazine that she is "cautiously optimistic" because corporations are beginning to discuss racism. 

New Nike Ad Celebrating Venus and Serena Williams

Here is a wonderful celebration of "sisterhood" changing the world!  Individuality is great but teaming up makes the records beyond historic. 

It's Time The "Truth Be Told" About Black Women's Leadership In The Fight For The Vote

100 years later, Black suffragettes are being recognized and honored.

Winning: Look at the top two highest paid female athletes

Brava to Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams!

Books
The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Peter Baker & Susan Glasser
Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You
Frances Frei & Anna Morriss
The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership when Algorithms and Networks Run the World
Marco Iansiti & Karim Lakhani
Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World
Robert M. Gates
The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
Minda Harts
Unapologetically Ambitious
Shellye Archambeau
As a Man Thinketh
James Allen

It’s a wonderful reflection on the importance of attitude on life. He writes “They themselves are makers of themselves” and that the mind is the “master weaver” of the “inner garment of character” and the “outer garment of circumstances.”

These Truths: A History of the United States
Jill Lepore
It’s a reframing of the history of the United States now that female and of color historians are beginning to excavate untold stories.
Caste
Isabel Wilkerson
The Origins of our Discontents