Episode 59 – Inclusivity in Your Business with Natajia Miller

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What We Talk About

In this important and judgement-free episode, we’re tackling a HUGE social issue: diversity in your business.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a growing concern for many large corporations – but entrepreneurs aren’t off the hook, either. It’s vital that we not only understand what diversity, equity and inclusion really IS… but how we can focus on ensuring that our businesses are set up the right way to maximize our efforts.

This is not simply hopping on a fad; it’s making a conscious decision to do the right thing and highlight real talent that until now, has gone unnoticed because of a difference in race, gender, physical or mental ability, orientation or identity.

Natajia Miller breaks down exactly what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion MEAN and how you can focus your efforts the right way withOUT being inauthentic, jumping on the bandwagon, or experiencing cancel culture.

Resources

Follow Natajia on Instagram
Connect with Natajia on LinkedIn
Find Natajia on Facebook

Natajia's Website – Click this link to download your guide where you'll discover 5 Ways To Make Your Business More BIPOC Friendly

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:01
Okay, so I'm going to say this as a white person. Yeah, I opened a podcast episode with that. I'm going to say this as a physically able person, someone who speaks the main language of the country I grew up in someone who is mostly neurotypical, minus some ADHD and depression. diversity, equity, and inclusion is a huge deal when it comes to running, marketing, owning your business, as well as you know, being like a good citizen of the planet. And that's why today we have an integer Miller with us, she's going to talk to us about what all that is, what it means for our business, how to be better about it, what to do if we're not, and all of those good things. So this is a completely judgment free episode, we're going to get real talking in here. This is gonna be some real talk. So I'm super excited invitation. Thank you for being with us.

Natajia Miller 1:00
Thank you, Alison. I'm so happy to be here. Really excited to have this conversation with you.

Alyson Lex 1:05
Awesome. And I get to join in a little bit too, Jenny. Yeah, Jenny's here to

Natajia Miller 1:11
any always happy to see you too, Jenny. Don't worry. Sorry,

Jennie Wright 1:14
I just need I just need a little bit of attention for a second.

Alyson Lex 1:19
So I want to dive right in talk to me about what is inclusion, Equity and Diversity is, it's not just a race thing.

Natajia Miller 1:27
Definitely not. And you know, a lot of people when they think about diversity, equity and inclusion, they try to lump it in as like one thing and give it like all one definition. But that is not the way to go people listening, that is not the way to go. They each are like a different thing that we require something different. So diversity is all about having different people on your team. Like you talked about Allison, you're able bodied, maybe there are people that are disabled, that are a part you are a woman, we have men too, you know, like making sure you have that mix LGBTQIA plus people, of course, people of color, all of that is a part of diversity, having different people come into your team, because there's so many benefits of that, like you don't have group thing. And there's different ideas coming in and things like that. So that is all related to diversity. And then equity. equity is basically making sure that that person that is able bodied feels the same feels like they're in a level playing field with the person that is not. So do you have wheelchair ramps when you're going to offices or do that does that person in a wheelchair, you don't have to basically have somebody lift them up and over for the LGBTQIA plus community? Are you making sure that people are respecting them and the way that they should be respected? nobody's looking at them like they shouldn't be looking at them and things of that nature. Pay is a huge thing. We know that like pay between women and men, there's still certain industries and certain companies where that's still an issue where as women are getting paid less than men for the same position. So all of that is what is related to equity. And last, but certainly not least, is inclusion. And one of my favorite diversity and inclusion experts. Her name is Bernie. She says that basically diversity is inviting you to the party, and then inclusion is inviting you to that. So you're invited to the party diversity is Hey, you LGBTQIA community Hey, you person of color. Hi, how you doing? What's up over there? My disabled peeps, hey, but then they're at the table. They're at the party. But did you invite them to dance? Did you invite them to speak up in the meetings? Did you invite them to bring their ideas to the table? If not, that's not inclusion, baby inclusion is bringing them to the table and making sure that they feel that they're included, they're a part of something greater, and they're just not just like employee number one.

Jennie Wright 3:46
Okay, Allison and I are giggling over here, because you're making something that can be a very serious conversation, really interesting to hear and talk about, and you're making it fun. And there's something to be said there. I also want to take a second to also maybe mentioned that there might be some things that we talked about today that may be triggers for some people, and we should address that and just make sure that everybody understands that, you know, this is a real frank and open discussion with Natasha. And you know, just just have that and bear that in mind. So I love how you explained inclusion as making sure everyone shows up to the you know, is invited to the party, but then they're asked to dance. I thought that was really cool. Does that help you understand it better?

Alyson Lex 4:26
Allison? It does. So I always thought, you know, just my own privilege here. But I always thought, Oh, it's great if you just make sure you have a good smattering of different people. But I never thought about giving them a voice, giving them a seat at the table, giving them an opinion, giving them power in those positions. Just having the positions isn't enough. But allowing those those positions to actually mean something. Exactly.

Natajia Miller 4:58
Because think about it. Like this, I like to use analogies and stuff. So think about if you were a part of a family like you have your brother, your sister, your mom and your dad, and like, they always invite you, you can come to the event, you can come to the event, then Allison comes to the event and nobody speaks to Allison. They're when they're making plans for the party. Nobody calls Alison and says, Hey, Alison, should we do pumpkin pie? Or pKn? How does Alyson feel? And this happens over and over? Where it's like they make all the decisions, Alyson is left out, they're like, Oh, yeah, Alyson, we're having Thanksgiving. Oops, I forgot to tell you, we moved, we moved in location. Alyson You were the last to know, again. And we don't want you to bring in your macaroni this year. And we don't want you to bring your mashed potatoes, you know, like, how do you feel as a person and that's what I like to say to my clients and everybody, when you think about di for me, it's a lot about empathy. As a human being we all want to be included. Belonging is like one of those things that we need just as human. So just in the same way that I want to feel like I belong in my family. If you run a good business, it's supposed to feel like family, right? So in the same way you want to, you want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to say whether they want pecan pie or pumpkin pie. That's all I'm saying.

Unknown Speaker 6:06
Can I say both?

Unknown Speaker 6:07
Yes. Can we have? Again?

Natajia Miller 6:09
Yes. And that is equity. equity is having both.

Jennie Wright 6:14
So okay. So we understand diversity, equity and inclusion. But I really want to talk about intention. Does intention matter? Behind dei?

Natajia Miller 6:27
That is a really, really good question. And it's a it's kind of a buzz question these days, because there's a lot of things happening. Because I know Allison, you also asked earlier, if D is just about race, I'm so happy that we bumped that myth because a lot of people do think that Oh, d i let me make sure people are politically comfortable. No, it's everybody guys, it's inclusion of everybody. So I just wanted to drop that in. But in the P OC space, intention versus impact, it's something that people are talking about a lot. And intention matters. But impact definitely matters more, right? Because in like, again, let's use an analogy of something that I recently saw on social media, there was a person that was holding, um, there was a white lady, she went to Africa, and she took a picture with a little black, very, very hungry looking child, right. And she had like a series of photos like this. So a lot of

Jennie Wright 7:26
you muted. So do you want to go back?

Natajia Miller 7:29
Yes, I was saying that there was a lady that actually went to Africa. And she was taking a lot of pictures with the children that are in Africa that like, you know, that looked hungry, that look like they needed food, you know, their ribs are showing and everything like that. her intention was to take a nice photo with a cute baby that she you know, had a relationship with. So when she started posting about it consistently, about, you know, this child and other children, the people of color that are in the social justice space took offense to it, because what is the impact of that? The impact is that a lot of people in the Western world, the US and Europe and stuff, when they think of Africa, the first thing that they think about is that hungry child, so they don't think about all of the natural resources, they don't think about the beauty of the beaches there. They don't think about the wonderful, you know, national resources and the animals and all of this great stuff that Africa is they think about the hungry children. So by her taking this picture, and she's like an influencer, so she has like a million people following her. And she takes this picture like, not of anything else during her vacation, but of the hungry children. It Like, it shows that, you know, it basically plays into the stereotype that Africa is just a bunch of hungry people. There is like Africa equals poverty. And that's the impact of it. So was her intention to like, Oh, yeah, I'm gonna perpetuate a stereotype about African poverty. No, it wasn't. But what was the impact of that, for the non knowing person that went, she had the opportunity to go to Africa to say that there is more to life in Africa than a hungry child, but the person on her list, the 100,000, people that are liking and commenting, they might just be thinking, Oh, look, now I know for sure. There's definitely there's a lot of poor children in Africa. So that's intent versus impact. An example there,

Alyson Lex 9:20
that to me, is so incredibly powerful. Because you're right. Not that you didn't know you're right. But it's even if our intention is good. If the impact that it has is bad. It's not a good thing. And so what,

Jennie Wright 9:43
like how have people on a journey of, you know, learning this process? How are they going to know where's the feedback going to come from? How are they going to understand? Where's that education coming from? That's, that's a question.

Natajia Miller 9:56
That is a question. That's a great question. And that's why like, you know, We always say that anti racism ally ship, it's at D AI as a whole, because we don't want to just talk about only that, but like, since we're talking about the PLCs, like, it's a, it's a journey of learning. And I know that people don't want to be outed, and they don't want to, like, you know, do something wrong. But the thing is like, when, okay, for example, you use the same influencer, when that happens, the way that you respond to it is extremely important, right? Because for her, right, she didn't know, like I said, it's obvious that she wasn't like, let me perpetuate a stereotype today, she was thinking, Oh, my gosh, I really made a connection with this child, I just want to take a picture. And I want to share with my followers, this beautiful moment that I had. But after she got the feedback about like, you know, like, you shouldn't do this, you're perpetuating a stereotype, etc. She then took the picture down, and then also wrote a very long post saying, like, I am sorry, I didn't understand this was not my intention. But I understand that, you know, because I have such a great platform. It's not about like what I intended to happen. It's about what happened and how my followers are perceiving this. And then she started sharing photos of the beauty of Africa. And she did an entire series on that. Now, nobody from the community from the PLC community is going to say, That's not enough. You know what I mean, get less money now. Because that's not it. And a lot of people think to that, it's like, how do we ever like we can never make it right, you know, that we can never do enough. But I think that's a part of impact a part of the impact factor, if you do something wrong, the accountability is what is going to basically clean your slate, making sure that because she could have responded and said, No, guys, that was not what I intended. My intention was not to perpetuate a stereotype. How dare you come for me in the comments, how dare you put me in your stories and talk about me like I'm a bad person, if she did that, I can promise you that the canceled culture would have been upon her. So it's like we understand, everybody has to understand. That's why again, I said this journey is about empathy. And not just on one, one side, it's both sides, the empathy has to be there. We make mistakes, you know, we make mistakes in our relationships, we make mistakes in our friendships, we make mistakes with our colleagues. But in the same way that if I am with a colleague, and I do something that's not right, and then she like tells me like Natasha, you hurt me by doing this, I can say, Well, I didn't mean to hurt you. So get over it, Jenny. Or I can say, Jenny, I apologize, I did not realize that by taking the last coke in the fridge that it was going to hurt you so much. I didn't know that coke was your favorite soda, Jenny. And I apologize. Jenny's not gonna kill me in the same way. PLCs are not going to kill you, if you make a mistake and be accountable for it.

Unknown Speaker 12:43
There you go. It's bright, by the way, spray right

Natajia Miller 12:48
around the corner, I'll keep that on

Alyson Lex 12:50
my husband. And I had to. And we see that in relationships. So I just want to kind of bring it home, we talked about empathy. And the easiest way to do that is to imagine it with yourself. And I'll say to my husband, like, this XYZ thing is upsetting to me. While I was trying to help, that doesn't make it less upsetting. And that's intent versus impact. And make that literally just drove it home for me. Because it he may have just been trying to help but it

Unknown Speaker 13:23
the impact of what he did whatever it was

Alyson Lex 13:25
was negative on me. Okay, thank you. Now, I want to back you up a little bit, because you mentioned two really big words, cancel culture. So I know that in our businesses, and I'm thinking more about the solopreneur online entrepreneur, because we hear a lot about dei for large corporations. Right. But here's somebody working in my home office is canceled culture, something that I should be thinking about worried about stressed about? Talk to me about canceled culture a little bit?

Natajia Miller 14:04
Yes, Allison, let's chat about canceled culture. So as a solopreneur, myself, I know that you know, one of every solopreneur wants to scale, right? You don't want to just have four or five customers for the end for the rest of the year for the rest of your life you want to scale. And the reason that canceled culture, a lot of people talk about it and corporations is because it's big. It's just like if I have a new boyfriend, nobody cares. But if Beyonce and Jay Z breakup, it's in the news, you know what I mean? So in the same way, we hear a lot about canceled culture at the corporate level, because they have 1000s of people watching 1000s of people following and as solopreneurs. I hope that one day we all have 1000s of people following and watching us too. But even though you're not like on that big scale, like celebrity status, corporate status, that doesn't mean that you can't be affected within your community. So just to give a brief definition, my definition of canceled culture if it is a new word for you watching, listening Then counter culture is basically when like you do something, you do something negative towards a certain group, whether that is LGBTQIA plus, or people of color, or what has been happening a lot is trans black people that there's been a lot of canceled culture surrounding that. So if you say or do something that is seen as offensive or seen as you know, basically this tasteful, if somebody calls you out on it, and it becomes like a snowball effect, you can be canceled, that means that I don't care. If you are, you know, I don't care if you are Google, people will stop searching using your search engine, people will stop buying your products, people will stop using Gmail. So that's what kancil culture is. And now bringing it down to, you know, to you and me when it relates to that. We want our market share to be big. And we know that there are so many different types of people out there. So in order to keep yourself away from canceled culture, it's important to respect all of them. respect the fact that you know, people that are watching, listening, whatever it is that you buy or sell, you want them to come in and you want them to feel included, you know that inclusion word that we talked about earlier, I'll give you I'll give you an example. An example of Jenny. So Jenny, Jenny has a lot Jenny does great graphics guys. It does great everything, but like her graphics are super, super awesome. And what I love about her graphics, and what caught my eye is that Guess what? There are people that look like me and her graphics, right? So because there are people that look like me and her graphics, I feel more comfortable like, well, these people are like stock images. But even though they're like they still make me feel like oh, Jenny, Jenny. Jenny's recognizes me. You know what I mean? Jenny sees me. Jenny sees that, you know, I couldn't be a potential client. Because if I only see white woman, white woman, a white woman, guess who's not going to be like buying Jenny stuff. Think about it like Exactly. Yes, exactly. So when you think about it from a huge level, if I see a suave commercial, suave commercials hardly ever have black people in them, well, I ever buy a suave shampoo. No, because I realized that you know what, they don't even have me in their commercials. So they probably don't know how to deal with this kinky coily hair. So now bringing that back down to you. You might be on Facebook, you might be you know, you might have a website, you have all of these ways where you can show people that, hey, I see you. Now here's where canceled culture can come in. There's another word that I would like to introduce you to and it's called. So goodness. Um, yes. tokenism is basically when you like, like, put one black person or one person that has an LGBTQ a flag or one person in a wheelchair and say, hey, I've done my duty for 2021, I have put one person so like, we're scrolling down your social media page, and you'll see that one speck of an image, you might be called out for canceled culture. Or if you have like multiple pictures, but then like, there's nothing else they're like, all you have this picture. So you're doing everything at the front end. But then that's about as far as it goes. You can be canceled. Oh, yeah, you posted all these pictures. But what else are you doing behind the closed doors. And like I said, Don't just think about PLCs we're talking about D, I thought it could be like, as it relates to all of these other people that we just talked about. And there are more you know what I mean? So just making sure that you avoid canceled culture by being as inclusive as possible, not only on the outside, which is, you know, your Facebook, your your graphics, your everything else, but also make sure you do it on the inside.

Jennie Wright 18:39
You're literally answering all of our questions before we get to them. It's kind of fun, but also,

Alyson Lex 18:45
oh my gosh, I'm going to run out of questions we are

Jennie Wright 18:47
but I have a feeling we're not going to run out a topic. So you introduced tokenism, which I think is amazing. And I love that you talked about that, because that wasn't even something we were going to bring up. So thank you for adding that into the like, you know, the discussion. Something that happened early, early, early for me, which was a huge learning curve is that I was starting to do a bunch of video on Facebook, like Facebook Lives. And I was getting messages from this woman who said, I'm hearing impaired. Could you please do closed captioning for me? Could you please provide these with closed captioning? And I'm like, I don't even know how to do that. But I'm gonna learn. This is before Facebook had the functionality built in this was you had to you know, load a file, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, Well, I'm Darnell gonna do it. But it took me a beat to figure out I'm like, but why like this is this is gonna be there's gonna be some work, but it took its intention, right. It's the intention of actually wanting to do something that's a little bit better. And I get that and you know, that makes a lot of sense. It's not it's it's also just like, what would seem like a little thing or And, or to some people like maybe not an important thing is an important thing.

Natajia Miller 20:04
Yeah, definitely. And you know what, that one herring and peppers and because everybody's not gonna do that right Jenny like there's different people that do, I guess what you do in the space that you do it. But if you do that that one thing by adding that close caption that one thing by including more people of color that one thing by, you know, recognizing Pride Month, you will get that person is going to say, Hey, I don't know if you're looking for a coach, but call Jenny because this is what she did. And that is like the beauty of it. You know, when you make those little small things that are seemingly unimportant, it could be the difference between you having an entire market share

Alyson Lex 20:40
of clients. Exactly. Exactly that. Yeah. Okay, so I know that we're in business to make money. And so you just mentioned this whole market share of clients thing. And I struggle with some of what we're talking about, not because of a lack of desire to be inclusive, but because of a major desire to be hyper authentic. And so when I choose graphics, although Jenny doesn't let me touch her page, my pages anymore, but when I choose graphics, I try to either choose pictures of me, or pictures of no people. Right, so that it's just no people. And because I'm I try to avoid that tokenism. I guess I feel like how do I do this in a way that's authentic and not going overboard? And is there an overboard

Jennie Wright 21:37
and I go the other way, Allison, just before Natasha answers, I go the other way. And I make sure that if I have a sales page, or a webinar, that there are pictures with people, and it includes a good representation of everybody, because I want my opt in page on my sales page. I want people to see themselves. Right. So that's what i and i and i go that different route, but I understand exactly what you're talking about, from somebody who wants to make sure that they are being tokenized. Right, but also our eating.

Alyson Lex 22:09
Yeah, like, I want to be respectful and that it's all born of a desire to be respectful, not a desire to exclude, which I may actually be accidentally excluding because I'm being respectful. I don't even know how to handle this. So since you're here, I'm gonna ask you that question.

Natajia Miller 22:27
Oh, yeah, you know, what's crazy? I know that there's gonna be a lot of people listening that have that same question because I get a lot of like, I don't want to be a performative Li I want to be authentic, but I don't know how to be authentic because it feels inauthentic when I'm trying to authentic stuff that you're telling me to do in a day job. So it's like okay, so basically first of all it's like it's kind of a mindset thing it's kind of a mindset thing where it's like I don't because you're because you're like I don't like you Alyson for example you like I am no I'm not even gonna post anybody and their name is not Alyson Lex they are not on my page. And that is from a fear of being inauthentic even though you the the absolute desire to do this for not for you not for your business to make money with market share is your is the first priority and that's the one sole reason to get more clients, you're probably going to be performative Let's just be real if that is your goal, and that is like the your why is to get more clients the likelihood that you're gonna be doing stuff performatively is because you will be because guess what you're like, oh, let me post a picture of a black girl with an afro because the tape because I want you to see it, then then that that comes from it will come from within right. But you Allison, whom I know and love, are not a performative ally is just like, imagine it. Imagine a relationship right? Imagine if you're like, I want to love this person, but I don't want them to think that I'm like, pretending to love them, right? You know that you love them, you know that you you're not buying them gifts, because you you want to pretend to love them. You're not like spending time with them because you want to pretend to love them. You're not doing things because you want you're like, Oh my God, let me make him love me because he has money. Let me make him think that he loves me you authentically care about them. So the authenticity doesn't come from what picture you post how you post repost it is a reflection of the authenticity that's already inside. You see what I'm saying? So like, don't allow the fear of being performative stop you from doing like what you authentically want to do. If you are authentically want to post post if you authentically want to share share you authentically like something like it.

Alyson Lex 24:36
I think that yeah, I mean, that's, you're right. I don't want to be performative because I see so many people that I'm like, Oh, girl, yes, that's not real. And I'm, I guess there is that fear that someone else is going to think that about me. And, you know, if you've heard the podcast for more than five minutes, you know Jenny and I are all about authenticity. Yes.

Jennie Wright 25:03
Nobody's gonna think of you like that, Allison, because of the rest of your life. You don't act like That's true.

Alyson Lex 25:07
That's really true.

Jennie Wright 25:09
I think I think I think you have to embrace it. and not worry. Because true Allison real Allison that people know, would never be like that. And I think that's what people will see. And I don't think you need to worry, because you're that you're that authentic, and you're not real. And people already know what,

Natajia Miller 25:29
and I say that times 10. And not only that, okay, so there's so many things I want to say about this, because it's such a huge thing, right? And it holds me back. It holds people back from showing up in the way that they want to show up and being the ally that they want to be because they're so stuck in the headspace of I don't want to be performative because there are so many performative people out there. So, first thing we like, people have a performative radar, right, like LGBTQIA plus people, they can tell when you're like, Oh, yeah, this cool flag, but then, you know, really and authentically, like you're like, is Pride Month in March or September? I don't even know. But like, outside, you're like, yeah, pride, everything. Let me post this trans person. Yeah. People can tell. It's just like, if, you know, like, if you have that, that thing, where it's like, oh, yeah, this guy, this guy is just trying to sleep with me. This is an open honest conversation, guys remember that? So it's like this guy, cuz he's like, Oh, yeah, I want to be with you. Oh, my gosh, the days you're like everything that I've dreamed up in a wife. And I'm like, you're trying to sleep with me guy. So in the same way, in the same way that you have that type of that type of radar, that type of feeling. That's the same man is on the other side. So if he authentically wanted to build a life with me, he doesn't have to worry about me, because the other guys, the other guys just wanted to sleep with me. But he actually wants to build a life, he doesn't have to worry about what the other guys did, or how I feel about the other guys, because guess what? He's authentic. So when he shows up, he shows up with his flowers he shows up with like spending time together, he shows up as his authentic self. So he never even has to be like, I wonder if the data's gonna think I'm one of these player guys. Because he knows within himself that he's not that said, second part of that. Maybe somebody will mistake you as that and that sucks. But in the same way, remember that you know yourself. To thine own self be true. Like, you know, people, people tell me stuff all the time, like people's like, Oh my god, nutation You're so fake. And I'm like, I'm doing cool. Say what? You know, like, because I know that that's not me on a taser. You're just doing this for whatever, like, even in your own life, like, let's come out of the dei space, you are going to be accused of something. Oh, Alex, you don't really this Oh, Jennie, you're not really that like, because that's the world we live in. Sadly, we don't live in a world where it's like cherries and hugs and give compliments. We live in a world where it's like judge, Judge, Judge, Judge judge? So people are gonna say, Oh, you don't really you're not really this person that you say you are? And what are you going to do with that? Like, like I said, Let's come out of the dei space. What do you do when somebody says, Oh, you don't really care about your clients? Oh, you don't really care about this? What do you say to them? What do you do to them? You say, Ah, you know, I know myself and my back into the dei space. I am not telling you to like if somebody says, By the way, Alex, I don't think you really say, Hell no, don't do that. That's gonna cause some canceled culture issues. But in a respectful way, you can respond, because like you said, Alice, Allison. It's all about respect, right? So if you if somebody comes and says, Allison, I think you're performative. stop posting people of color on your page. Dear Bob, dear Bob, I appreciate your comments. But please understand that I am on this ally ship journey. And I have been on his ally ship journey for X amount of time. I am definitely an authentic ally. And I know that not because not because Oh, and I donated to the NAACP today. And I did this yesterday. No, not because of that. Because I don't don't don't bring up stuff like I did this, this this because that will put you deeper in the hole. I see it happen all the time. But just say like, I appreciate your feedback, and I'm going to try to see how I can be better, but I will not. I will not take on that identity as a performative ally. Because I know that I'm not that person. Period.

Jennie Wright 29:10
I love that. Alright, I want to I want to ask you a question. Ah, okay, I'm gonna ask you a question. And I know that it's a safe space. And we've got that and that's great.

Alyson Lex 29:20
And I'm sorry about my worries about being performative. Go for it tonight.

Jennie Wright 29:24
No. So this is this is something that I've seen online and it's a question that I've actually been asked myself, like, it's been another person asking me, how do we win we're building up relationships with our customers and our audience and our peers and we see peers who you know, in whatever way are different than ourselves. And they're talking about their experience, be it PRC or you know, diversity, inclusion, whatever it is person, a person with the disability etc. Trends. How do we authentically participate in those posts is that, you know, is it performative to like the post? Or is it authentic to like and comment? What's the right way to approach this? I think? I think I'm asking a question that there's other people thinking the same. Yeah.

Natajia Miller 30:12
Yeah, I definitely think so too. So let me give you let me give you an example. It's definitely related to the previous one, where it's like, for example, if a trans person, if a trans person wears a dress that I like, and I like the dress, I'm going to say that dress is gorgeous. There are people, I'll give you an example. There are people that would like my photos and say, Oh, my gosh, I absolutely love your hair. And it's like, really, like super, super, like, over the top ask. So sometimes I look at those photos with the side eye, because I know that it was a bad hair day, but then maybe they don't know that too. So there's this one, there was this one side of it, where it's like, how much are you putting into that? If I like your hair, Jenny? I'm gonna say, Jenny, your hair's cute. Rather than Oh, Angie, Jenny, I think your hair is super amazing. Where did you do it?

Jennie Wright 31:04
So like, up over the top that sort of like that relationship build that seems inauthentic or fake? So that's definitely Yeah. So I think I think everybody's radar can kind of pick up on that. So my example would be that one of my previous clients, a woman of color was talking about wash day. And I remember I mentioned this to you in a previous conversation you and I had, so she was talking about wash day, and she went into what the experience of wash day is for women of color. And I didn't understand as a very straight haired woman. I didn't understand what that meant. And so when she posted that my reaction was a big like, wow, I had no idea. But it sounds like such a self care like a loving thing. And I can see I can see so much in this and that was my reaction. And I, I probably hemmed and hawed about hitting send on that for a little bit of a nanosecond, because I didn't want to be seen as invading on something that wasn't my experience. So I didn't want to invade on it and go white woman here. Yeah, talking about wash day. But I wanted to recognize the the what I felt from it, which was that love that self care, that attention to self and all those kinds of things. Talk to me about if that was handled right? Or what people like how people could react in that kind of instance.

Natajia Miller 32:34
Great, great love. Thank you for clarifying that, Jenny. So cute. few things. First of all, this lady is your previous client, and she is not a stranger that you see on Facebook. Right? That is a totally different thing. Because, again, let's think about it as like a normal life. You know what I mean? If someone if a stranger comments on your post, and you're not like a super celebrity type of person, like this is a personal post, right? This is not like something where it's like, Yeah, what a lot of likes and comments, and a stranger comments on it. Like it's like, like, regardless of where they're from, or who they are. Second thing is the fact that people have different personalities. Let me first say that so the tasia is super inclusive, super empathetic, super. Hello, everybody. I love everybody. I want everybody to get a law. I'm going to introduce you to another word audience. It's called a monolith, right? a monolith is basically when like, you see Natasha and the tasia is a black woman. So and it just speaks for every black woman, which does not exist, because you know, I can't even speak for some of my cousins, because we're different people. You Jenny can speak for Allison Allison can speak for her sister, her sister can speak for her sister in law, because everybody is different. So the tasia might think flowers are great, but that doesn't necessarily mean Jenny might hate flowers, even though we're both women. So in the same way, the reaction between for example, there's like there's these different influences, right, that are also in this dei work in social justice. One person might say, Listen, you should never invade that space. You have never had watched it. You don't know what it's like to spend five hours getting your hair done. don't post on that text, because you should stay in your little swap circle. And then there's Natasha, who was like, This person is your previous client. If you feel that you had you you have this connection with her and you like to like, wow, this is a self love experience. She you know her you know that she's not going to look at it and say, How dare Jenny because you're not a random stranger. And you're an amazing person to your you're an authentic person, and your client knows that everybody on her list might not know you, and some people under her list might say, Who is this gentleman who cares about that right now? Right? You didn't post that for them to see, see, cuz that's where like you had, you know, this performative stuff, if you were posting that for other black people to see so that they can say, Oh, look at her, she cares, then you know, then I give Jenny a special On the rest, but that's not jelly. But there are people that do that. And that's another issue, right? where it's like, there are people that do that. So it's difficult for somebody that doesn't know you at all to separate you from, from Marissa who like always posts under every she literally looked for a black woman's photos to post underneath, and like and comment and share. So it isn't interesting, but those are just a few tips that you can think about, like during the post relationship is important, and everybody's gonna be different. She's gonna not she's not gonna say anything, because she knows you personally. And from the outer space of other people of color, everybody is not the same. So I might say, Do whatever you want, and somebody else will say, No, stop it performative person, it's the end.

Alyson Lex 35:45
I really appreciate how you I know, you know, very at the very beginning of this, we talked about it being a no judgement area, like episode, a no judgment episode, we are really having a frank conversation. But I just want to tell you that I really appreciate the liberty that you're bringing, to help us actually get through what can be difficult conversations, we're opening up, we're talking about our own mind blocks, and getting some real information about how to talk to people who are different than we are in whatever way. Because we all go through the world with our own bias with our own privilege, with our own experiences that are unique to us, and only us. And we can't pretend that we can fully understand what other people are going through. But I do have to say that if we just communicate a little bit better, and thank you for helping us to understand how to do that in a more respectful way. With our businesses as well. We can begin to bring everyone together a little bit more. And just understand each other's day. Life, just your day.

Unknown Speaker 37:04
Yes.

Alyson Lex 37:06
So I just really wanted to say thank you so much for for being so open with us and teaching us things in a way that you know, make it not suck to learn.

Jennie Wright 37:22
It reduces it reduces and removes a barrier. Yeah. And not only for us, you know, some of these questions we asked aren't necessarily just for Elsa and I, these are questions that we know, other women and other entrepreneurs and other people in general, you know, have these questions and would love an opportunity to ask, or will, you know, would love to be able to have a conversation where you can express these thoughts. So I just want to you know, that he or you know, I adore you? But you know, and I mean, I remember the first night I met you and I was like, first off, I'm like, you need to tell me how to say your name properly because I want to I never want to say it wrong. And I was like determined and you're and you're like yeah, good enough. I'm like, No, it's not good enough. I want to say it perfectly. And I think that's part of inclusion. I want my name said properly. Allison, what's her name said properly. Right? And I think that's that's part of it, too. But anyways, um, having said that, how do we how do people find you? How can we connect with you? Tell us all the good stuff about that, please. Okay, awesome.

Natajia Miller 38:23
Before I get there, I just want to say I am grateful to you guys, you know, opening up this platform, by the way for those watching. If you have a podcast or a video series or a blog or any place that you can, you know, you're because right now we're talking about how to be inclusive, right? If you can open that space up for more people, invite more people on your platforms, invite more people into your space. That is a great way to do the inclusion bit. I'm just gonna throw that out there. Firstly, and secondly, say, you know, Jennie and Alison you guys are like you guys are like awesome people and just awesome people in general. But also you're an awesome an awesome showcasing of what a what a true ally on authentic ally is like, you know, like, you're not just like getting you're not only posting black people are not only posting you know, people of the LGBTQIA are only posting the people that say, Oh, yeah, look at me, look at me, my name is Jenny and I'm inclusive. You're doing it in a way that's like, Oh, this is a cute picture. So she's black. Let me put it in. I like it. I like the way that she looks in this picture. And that's what it's all about. And you know, Allison yours, you're being so vulnerable right now, for your audience, you know, the questions that you ask your question that people would look at me and say, I'm not asking that question, you know, so like, I'm grateful for your vulnerability, and I'm just grateful to for you guys opening up this platform. Now back to me. So, basically, you can find me everywhere. Um, my name is Natasha and at AJ. And My website is myrtaceae.com. So it's pretty simple. And then I'm also on social media. So Facebook And Instagram, I am at mind pro travel. No, it's not mindful. It's mine fro travel as in hair. And on LinkedIn, I'm just mutation Miller. So please find me anywhere. And if you have questions that are follow up, they're like, Oh, my gosh, I wonder for you Let me ask her, the answer is yes. Get in my DMS. I just asked me the question, and I'm happy to assist.

Jennie Wright 40:21
She will absolutely. And I can attest to this firsthand. And we've had some really frank discussions to tasia. And I, and even with Allison as well. So, you know, if you have questions that you're like, Oh, I'm not sure this is, you know, the teacher is the person to come and ask because she will absolutely answer and she won't, she won't judge you for you there. She just wants, we just all want to do better. And on that note, I just want to thank you so much for being on. This has been transformative. This has been enlightening. It's also been a giggle. Allison, I wrote tons of notes. We can't wait to put some of the resources and things that we talked about on our notes page on System to thrive.com with the teachers episode, and we're really, really happy that you took the time to be with us. So thank you. And on that. If you're listening, and you haven't already subscribed to the podcast, please think about subscribing. We're trying to bring incredible content to you with really dialed in information, lots of nitty gritty. We have three episodes a week, we have a tip on Mondays, we have our Wednesday, or sorry, Tuesday episodes, and we have our Thursday episodes as well. So we're really doing all of that. And if you can, and it feels authentic to you. Please do leave us a review. Be honest, let us know what you think we'd love to get your feedback. So again, thank you so much for being on and we'll be back again answering another big question.

Listen Now:

What We Talk About

In this important and judgement-free episode, we’re tackling a HUGE social issue: diversity in your business.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a growing concern for many large corporations – but entrepreneurs aren’t off the hook, either. It’s vital that we not only understand what diversity, equity and inclusion really IS… but how we can focus on ensuring that our businesses are set up the right way to maximize our efforts.

This is not simply hopping on a fad; it’s making a conscious decision to do the right thing and highlight real talent that until now, has gone unnoticed because of a difference in race, gender, physical or mental ability, orientation or identity.

Natajia Miller breaks down exactly what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion MEAN and how you can focus your efforts the right way withOUT being inauthentic, jumping on the bandwagon, or experiencing cancel culture.

Resources

Follow Natajia on Instagram
Connect with Natajia on LinkedIn
Find Natajia on Facebook

Natajia's Website – Click this link to download your guide where you'll discover 5 Ways To Make Your Business More BIPOC Friendly

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:01
Okay, so I'm going to say this as a white person. Yeah, I opened a podcast episode with that. I'm going to say this as a physically able person, someone who speaks the main language of the country I grew up in someone who is mostly neurotypical, minus some ADHD and depression. diversity, equity, and inclusion is a huge deal when it comes to running, marketing, owning your business, as well as you know, being like a good citizen of the planet. And that's why today we have an integer Miller with us, she's going to talk to us about what all that is, what it means for our business, how to be better about it, what to do if we're not, and all of those good things. So this is a completely judgment free episode, we're going to get real talking in here. This is gonna be some real talk. So I'm super excited invitation. Thank you for being with us.

Natajia Miller 1:00
Thank you, Alison. I'm so happy to be here. Really excited to have this conversation with you.

Alyson Lex 1:05
Awesome. And I get to join in a little bit too, Jenny. Yeah, Jenny's here to

Natajia Miller 1:11
any always happy to see you too, Jenny. Don't worry. Sorry,

Jennie Wright 1:14
I just need I just need a little bit of attention for a second.

Alyson Lex 1:19
So I want to dive right in talk to me about what is inclusion, Equity and Diversity is, it's not just a race thing.

Natajia Miller 1:27
Definitely not. And you know, a lot of people when they think about diversity, equity and inclusion, they try to lump it in as like one thing and give it like all one definition. But that is not the way to go people listening, that is not the way to go. They each are like a different thing that we require something different. So diversity is all about having different people on your team. Like you talked about Allison, you're able bodied, maybe there are people that are disabled, that are a part you are a woman, we have men too, you know, like making sure you have that mix LGBTQIA plus people, of course, people of color, all of that is a part of diversity, having different people come into your team, because there's so many benefits of that, like you don't have group thing. And there's different ideas coming in and things like that. So that is all related to diversity. And then equity. equity is basically making sure that that person that is able bodied feels the same feels like they're in a level playing field with the person that is not. So do you have wheelchair ramps when you're going to offices or do that does that person in a wheelchair, you don't have to basically have somebody lift them up and over for the LGBTQIA plus community? Are you making sure that people are respecting them and the way that they should be respected? nobody's looking at them like they shouldn't be looking at them and things of that nature. Pay is a huge thing. We know that like pay between women and men, there's still certain industries and certain companies where that's still an issue where as women are getting paid less than men for the same position. So all of that is what is related to equity. And last, but certainly not least, is inclusion. And one of my favorite diversity and inclusion experts. Her name is Bernie. She says that basically diversity is inviting you to the party, and then inclusion is inviting you to that. So you're invited to the party diversity is Hey, you LGBTQIA community Hey, you person of color. Hi, how you doing? What's up over there? My disabled peeps, hey, but then they're at the table. They're at the party. But did you invite them to dance? Did you invite them to speak up in the meetings? Did you invite them to bring their ideas to the table? If not, that's not inclusion, baby inclusion is bringing them to the table and making sure that they feel that they're included, they're a part of something greater, and they're just not just like employee number one.

Jennie Wright 3:46
Okay, Allison and I are giggling over here, because you're making something that can be a very serious conversation, really interesting to hear and talk about, and you're making it fun. And there's something to be said there. I also want to take a second to also maybe mentioned that there might be some things that we talked about today that may be triggers for some people, and we should address that and just make sure that everybody understands that, you know, this is a real frank and open discussion with Natasha. And you know, just just have that and bear that in mind. So I love how you explained inclusion as making sure everyone shows up to the you know, is invited to the party, but then they're asked to dance. I thought that was really cool. Does that help you understand it better?

Alyson Lex 4:26
Allison? It does. So I always thought, you know, just my own privilege here. But I always thought, Oh, it's great if you just make sure you have a good smattering of different people. But I never thought about giving them a voice, giving them a seat at the table, giving them an opinion, giving them power in those positions. Just having the positions isn't enough. But allowing those those positions to actually mean something. Exactly.

Natajia Miller 4:58
Because think about it. Like this, I like to use analogies and stuff. So think about if you were a part of a family like you have your brother, your sister, your mom and your dad, and like, they always invite you, you can come to the event, you can come to the event, then Allison comes to the event and nobody speaks to Allison. They're when they're making plans for the party. Nobody calls Alison and says, Hey, Alison, should we do pumpkin pie? Or pKn? How does Alyson feel? And this happens over and over? Where it's like they make all the decisions, Alyson is left out, they're like, Oh, yeah, Alyson, we're having Thanksgiving. Oops, I forgot to tell you, we moved, we moved in location. Alyson You were the last to know, again. And we don't want you to bring in your macaroni this year. And we don't want you to bring your mashed potatoes, you know, like, how do you feel as a person and that's what I like to say to my clients and everybody, when you think about di for me, it's a lot about empathy. As a human being we all want to be included. Belonging is like one of those things that we need just as human. So just in the same way that I want to feel like I belong in my family. If you run a good business, it's supposed to feel like family, right? So in the same way you want to, you want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to say whether they want pecan pie or pumpkin pie. That's all I'm saying.

Unknown Speaker 6:06
Can I say both?

Unknown Speaker 6:07
Yes. Can we have? Again?

Natajia Miller 6:09
Yes. And that is equity. equity is having both.

Jennie Wright 6:14
So okay. So we understand diversity, equity and inclusion. But I really want to talk about intention. Does intention matter? Behind dei?

Natajia Miller 6:27
That is a really, really good question. And it's a it's kind of a buzz question these days, because there's a lot of things happening. Because I know Allison, you also asked earlier, if D is just about race, I'm so happy that we bumped that myth because a lot of people do think that Oh, d i let me make sure people are politically comfortable. No, it's everybody guys, it's inclusion of everybody. So I just wanted to drop that in. But in the P OC space, intention versus impact, it's something that people are talking about a lot. And intention matters. But impact definitely matters more, right? Because in like, again, let's use an analogy of something that I recently saw on social media, there was a person that was holding, um, there was a white lady, she went to Africa, and she took a picture with a little black, very, very hungry looking child, right. And she had like a series of photos like this. So a lot of

Jennie Wright 7:26
you muted. So do you want to go back?

Natajia Miller 7:29
Yes, I was saying that there was a lady that actually went to Africa. And she was taking a lot of pictures with the children that are in Africa that like, you know, that looked hungry, that look like they needed food, you know, their ribs are showing and everything like that. her intention was to take a nice photo with a cute baby that she you know, had a relationship with. So when she started posting about it consistently, about, you know, this child and other children, the people of color that are in the social justice space took offense to it, because what is the impact of that? The impact is that a lot of people in the Western world, the US and Europe and stuff, when they think of Africa, the first thing that they think about is that hungry child, so they don't think about all of the natural resources, they don't think about the beauty of the beaches there. They don't think about the wonderful, you know, national resources and the animals and all of this great stuff that Africa is they think about the hungry children. So by her taking this picture, and she's like an influencer, so she has like a million people following her. And she takes this picture like, not of anything else during her vacation, but of the hungry children. It Like, it shows that, you know, it basically plays into the stereotype that Africa is just a bunch of hungry people. There is like Africa equals poverty. And that's the impact of it. So was her intention to like, Oh, yeah, I'm gonna perpetuate a stereotype about African poverty. No, it wasn't. But what was the impact of that, for the non knowing person that went, she had the opportunity to go to Africa to say that there is more to life in Africa than a hungry child, but the person on her list, the 100,000, people that are liking and commenting, they might just be thinking, Oh, look, now I know for sure. There's definitely there's a lot of poor children in Africa. So that's intent versus impact. An example there,

Alyson Lex 9:20
that to me, is so incredibly powerful. Because you're right. Not that you didn't know you're right. But it's even if our intention is good. If the impact that it has is bad. It's not a good thing. And so what,

Jennie Wright 9:43
like how have people on a journey of, you know, learning this process? How are they going to know where's the feedback going to come from? How are they going to understand? Where's that education coming from? That's, that's a question.

Natajia Miller 9:56
That is a question. That's a great question. And that's why like, you know, We always say that anti racism ally ship, it's at D AI as a whole, because we don't want to just talk about only that, but like, since we're talking about the PLCs, like, it's a, it's a journey of learning. And I know that people don't want to be outed, and they don't want to, like, you know, do something wrong. But the thing is like, when, okay, for example, you use the same influencer, when that happens, the way that you respond to it is extremely important, right? Because for her, right, she didn't know, like I said, it's obvious that she wasn't like, let me perpetuate a stereotype today, she was thinking, Oh, my gosh, I really made a connection with this child, I just want to take a picture. And I want to share with my followers, this beautiful moment that I had. But after she got the feedback about like, you know, like, you shouldn't do this, you're perpetuating a stereotype, etc. She then took the picture down, and then also wrote a very long post saying, like, I am sorry, I didn't understand this was not my intention. But I understand that, you know, because I have such a great platform. It's not about like what I intended to happen. It's about what happened and how my followers are perceiving this. And then she started sharing photos of the beauty of Africa. And she did an entire series on that. Now, nobody from the community from the PLC community is going to say, That's not enough. You know what I mean, get less money now. Because that's not it. And a lot of people think to that, it's like, how do we ever like we can never make it right, you know, that we can never do enough. But I think that's a part of impact a part of the impact factor, if you do something wrong, the accountability is what is going to basically clean your slate, making sure that because she could have responded and said, No, guys, that was not what I intended. My intention was not to perpetuate a stereotype. How dare you come for me in the comments, how dare you put me in your stories and talk about me like I'm a bad person, if she did that, I can promise you that the canceled culture would have been upon her. So it's like we understand, everybody has to understand. That's why again, I said this journey is about empathy. And not just on one, one side, it's both sides, the empathy has to be there. We make mistakes, you know, we make mistakes in our relationships, we make mistakes in our friendships, we make mistakes with our colleagues. But in the same way that if I am with a colleague, and I do something that's not right, and then she like tells me like Natasha, you hurt me by doing this, I can say, Well, I didn't mean to hurt you. So get over it, Jenny. Or I can say, Jenny, I apologize, I did not realize that by taking the last coke in the fridge that it was going to hurt you so much. I didn't know that coke was your favorite soda, Jenny. And I apologize. Jenny's not gonna kill me in the same way. PLCs are not going to kill you, if you make a mistake and be accountable for it.

Unknown Speaker 12:43
There you go. It's bright, by the way, spray right

Natajia Miller 12:48
around the corner, I'll keep that on

Alyson Lex 12:50
my husband. And I had to. And we see that in relationships. So I just want to kind of bring it home, we talked about empathy. And the easiest way to do that is to imagine it with yourself. And I'll say to my husband, like, this XYZ thing is upsetting to me. While I was trying to help, that doesn't make it less upsetting. And that's intent versus impact. And make that literally just drove it home for me. Because it he may have just been trying to help but it

Unknown Speaker 13:23
the impact of what he did whatever it was

Alyson Lex 13:25
was negative on me. Okay, thank you. Now, I want to back you up a little bit, because you mentioned two really big words, cancel culture. So I know that in our businesses, and I'm thinking more about the solopreneur online entrepreneur, because we hear a lot about dei for large corporations. Right. But here's somebody working in my home office is canceled culture, something that I should be thinking about worried about stressed about? Talk to me about canceled culture a little bit?

Natajia Miller 14:04
Yes, Allison, let's chat about canceled culture. So as a solopreneur, myself, I know that you know, one of every solopreneur wants to scale, right? You don't want to just have four or five customers for the end for the rest of the year for the rest of your life you want to scale. And the reason that canceled culture, a lot of people talk about it and corporations is because it's big. It's just like if I have a new boyfriend, nobody cares. But if Beyonce and Jay Z breakup, it's in the news, you know what I mean? So in the same way, we hear a lot about canceled culture at the corporate level, because they have 1000s of people watching 1000s of people following and as solopreneurs. I hope that one day we all have 1000s of people following and watching us too. But even though you're not like on that big scale, like celebrity status, corporate status, that doesn't mean that you can't be affected within your community. So just to give a brief definition, my definition of canceled culture if it is a new word for you watching, listening Then counter culture is basically when like you do something, you do something negative towards a certain group, whether that is LGBTQIA plus, or people of color, or what has been happening a lot is trans black people that there's been a lot of canceled culture surrounding that. So if you say or do something that is seen as offensive or seen as you know, basically this tasteful, if somebody calls you out on it, and it becomes like a snowball effect, you can be canceled, that means that I don't care. If you are, you know, I don't care if you are Google, people will stop searching using your search engine, people will stop buying your products, people will stop using Gmail. So that's what kancil culture is. And now bringing it down to, you know, to you and me when it relates to that. We want our market share to be big. And we know that there are so many different types of people out there. So in order to keep yourself away from canceled culture, it's important to respect all of them. respect the fact that you know, people that are watching, listening, whatever it is that you buy or sell, you want them to come in and you want them to feel included, you know that inclusion word that we talked about earlier, I'll give you I'll give you an example. An example of Jenny. So Jenny, Jenny has a lot Jenny does great graphics guys. It does great everything, but like her graphics are super, super awesome. And what I love about her graphics, and what caught my eye is that Guess what? There are people that look like me and her graphics, right? So because there are people that look like me and her graphics, I feel more comfortable like, well, these people are like stock images. But even though they're like they still make me feel like oh, Jenny, Jenny. Jenny's recognizes me. You know what I mean? Jenny sees me. Jenny sees that, you know, I couldn't be a potential client. Because if I only see white woman, white woman, a white woman, guess who's not going to be like buying Jenny stuff. Think about it like Exactly. Yes, exactly. So when you think about it from a huge level, if I see a suave commercial, suave commercials hardly ever have black people in them, well, I ever buy a suave shampoo. No, because I realized that you know what, they don't even have me in their commercials. So they probably don't know how to deal with this kinky coily hair. So now bringing that back down to you. You might be on Facebook, you might be you know, you might have a website, you have all of these ways where you can show people that, hey, I see you. Now here's where canceled culture can come in. There's another word that I would like to introduce you to and it's called. So goodness. Um, yes. tokenism is basically when you like, like, put one black person or one person that has an LGBTQ a flag or one person in a wheelchair and say, hey, I've done my duty for 2021, I have put one person so like, we're scrolling down your social media page, and you'll see that one speck of an image, you might be called out for canceled culture. Or if you have like multiple pictures, but then like, there's nothing else they're like, all you have this picture. So you're doing everything at the front end. But then that's about as far as it goes. You can be canceled. Oh, yeah, you posted all these pictures. But what else are you doing behind the closed doors. And like I said, Don't just think about PLCs we're talking about D, I thought it could be like, as it relates to all of these other people that we just talked about. And there are more you know what I mean? So just making sure that you avoid canceled culture by being as inclusive as possible, not only on the outside, which is, you know, your Facebook, your your graphics, your everything else, but also make sure you do it on the inside.

Jennie Wright 18:39
You're literally answering all of our questions before we get to them. It's kind of fun, but also,

Alyson Lex 18:45
oh my gosh, I'm going to run out of questions we are

Jennie Wright 18:47
but I have a feeling we're not going to run out a topic. So you introduced tokenism, which I think is amazing. And I love that you talked about that, because that wasn't even something we were going to bring up. So thank you for adding that into the like, you know, the discussion. Something that happened early, early, early for me, which was a huge learning curve is that I was starting to do a bunch of video on Facebook, like Facebook Lives. And I was getting messages from this woman who said, I'm hearing impaired. Could you please do closed captioning for me? Could you please provide these with closed captioning? And I'm like, I don't even know how to do that. But I'm gonna learn. This is before Facebook had the functionality built in this was you had to you know, load a file, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, Well, I'm Darnell gonna do it. But it took me a beat to figure out I'm like, but why like this is this is gonna be there's gonna be some work, but it took its intention, right. It's the intention of actually wanting to do something that's a little bit better. And I get that and you know, that makes a lot of sense. It's not it's it's also just like, what would seem like a little thing or And, or to some people like maybe not an important thing is an important thing.

Natajia Miller 20:04
Yeah, definitely. And you know what, that one herring and peppers and because everybody's not gonna do that right Jenny like there's different people that do, I guess what you do in the space that you do it. But if you do that that one thing by adding that close caption that one thing by including more people of color that one thing by, you know, recognizing Pride Month, you will get that person is going to say, Hey, I don't know if you're looking for a coach, but call Jenny because this is what she did. And that is like the beauty of it. You know, when you make those little small things that are seemingly unimportant, it could be the difference between you having an entire market share

Alyson Lex 20:40
of clients. Exactly. Exactly that. Yeah. Okay, so I know that we're in business to make money. And so you just mentioned this whole market share of clients thing. And I struggle with some of what we're talking about, not because of a lack of desire to be inclusive, but because of a major desire to be hyper authentic. And so when I choose graphics, although Jenny doesn't let me touch her page, my pages anymore, but when I choose graphics, I try to either choose pictures of me, or pictures of no people. Right, so that it's just no people. And because I'm I try to avoid that tokenism. I guess I feel like how do I do this in a way that's authentic and not going overboard? And is there an overboard

Jennie Wright 21:37
and I go the other way, Allison, just before Natasha answers, I go the other way. And I make sure that if I have a sales page, or a webinar, that there are pictures with people, and it includes a good representation of everybody, because I want my opt in page on my sales page. I want people to see themselves. Right. So that's what i and i and i go that different route, but I understand exactly what you're talking about, from somebody who wants to make sure that they are being tokenized. Right, but also our eating.

Alyson Lex 22:09
Yeah, like, I want to be respectful and that it's all born of a desire to be respectful, not a desire to exclude, which I may actually be accidentally excluding because I'm being respectful. I don't even know how to handle this. So since you're here, I'm gonna ask you that question.

Natajia Miller 22:27
Oh, yeah, you know, what's crazy? I know that there's gonna be a lot of people listening that have that same question because I get a lot of like, I don't want to be a performative Li I want to be authentic, but I don't know how to be authentic because it feels inauthentic when I'm trying to authentic stuff that you're telling me to do in a day job. So it's like okay, so basically first of all it's like it's kind of a mindset thing it's kind of a mindset thing where it's like I don't because you're because you're like I don't like you Alyson for example you like I am no I'm not even gonna post anybody and their name is not Alyson Lex they are not on my page. And that is from a fear of being inauthentic even though you the the absolute desire to do this for not for you not for your business to make money with market share is your is the first priority and that's the one sole reason to get more clients, you're probably going to be performative Let's just be real if that is your goal, and that is like the your why is to get more clients the likelihood that you're gonna be doing stuff performatively is because you will be because guess what you're like, oh, let me post a picture of a black girl with an afro because the tape because I want you to see it, then then that that comes from it will come from within right. But you Allison, whom I know and love, are not a performative ally is just like, imagine it. Imagine a relationship right? Imagine if you're like, I want to love this person, but I don't want them to think that I'm like, pretending to love them, right? You know that you love them, you know that you you're not buying them gifts, because you you want to pretend to love them. You're not like spending time with them because you want to pretend to love them. You're not doing things because you want you're like, Oh my God, let me make him love me because he has money. Let me make him think that he loves me you authentically care about them. So the authenticity doesn't come from what picture you post how you post repost it is a reflection of the authenticity that's already inside. You see what I'm saying? So like, don't allow the fear of being performative stop you from doing like what you authentically want to do. If you are authentically want to post post if you authentically want to share share you authentically like something like it.

Alyson Lex 24:36
I think that yeah, I mean, that's, you're right. I don't want to be performative because I see so many people that I'm like, Oh, girl, yes, that's not real. And I'm, I guess there is that fear that someone else is going to think that about me. And, you know, if you've heard the podcast for more than five minutes, you know Jenny and I are all about authenticity. Yes.

Jennie Wright 25:03
Nobody's gonna think of you like that, Allison, because of the rest of your life. You don't act like That's true.

Alyson Lex 25:07
That's really true.

Jennie Wright 25:09
I think I think I think you have to embrace it. and not worry. Because true Allison real Allison that people know, would never be like that. And I think that's what people will see. And I don't think you need to worry, because you're that you're that authentic, and you're not real. And people already know what,

Natajia Miller 25:29
and I say that times 10. And not only that, okay, so there's so many things I want to say about this, because it's such a huge thing, right? And it holds me back. It holds people back from showing up in the way that they want to show up and being the ally that they want to be because they're so stuck in the headspace of I don't want to be performative because there are so many performative people out there. So, first thing we like, people have a performative radar, right, like LGBTQIA plus people, they can tell when you're like, Oh, yeah, this cool flag, but then, you know, really and authentically, like you're like, is Pride Month in March or September? I don't even know. But like, outside, you're like, yeah, pride, everything. Let me post this trans person. Yeah. People can tell. It's just like, if, you know, like, if you have that, that thing, where it's like, oh, yeah, this guy, this guy is just trying to sleep with me. This is an open honest conversation, guys remember that? So it's like this guy, cuz he's like, Oh, yeah, I want to be with you. Oh, my gosh, the days you're like everything that I've dreamed up in a wife. And I'm like, you're trying to sleep with me guy. So in the same way, in the same way that you have that type of that type of radar, that type of feeling. That's the same man is on the other side. So if he authentically wanted to build a life with me, he doesn't have to worry about me, because the other guys, the other guys just wanted to sleep with me. But he actually wants to build a life, he doesn't have to worry about what the other guys did, or how I feel about the other guys, because guess what? He's authentic. So when he shows up, he shows up with his flowers he shows up with like spending time together, he shows up as his authentic self. So he never even has to be like, I wonder if the data's gonna think I'm one of these player guys. Because he knows within himself that he's not that said, second part of that. Maybe somebody will mistake you as that and that sucks. But in the same way, remember that you know yourself. To thine own self be true. Like, you know, people, people tell me stuff all the time, like people's like, Oh my god, nutation You're so fake. And I'm like, I'm doing cool. Say what? You know, like, because I know that that's not me on a taser. You're just doing this for whatever, like, even in your own life, like, let's come out of the dei space, you are going to be accused of something. Oh, Alex, you don't really this Oh, Jennie, you're not really that like, because that's the world we live in. Sadly, we don't live in a world where it's like cherries and hugs and give compliments. We live in a world where it's like judge, Judge, Judge, Judge judge? So people are gonna say, Oh, you don't really you're not really this person that you say you are? And what are you going to do with that? Like, like I said, Let's come out of the dei space. What do you do when somebody says, Oh, you don't really care about your clients? Oh, you don't really care about this? What do you say to them? What do you do to them? You say, Ah, you know, I know myself and my back into the dei space. I am not telling you to like if somebody says, By the way, Alex, I don't think you really say, Hell no, don't do that. That's gonna cause some canceled culture issues. But in a respectful way, you can respond, because like you said, Alice, Allison. It's all about respect, right? So if you if somebody comes and says, Allison, I think you're performative. stop posting people of color on your page. Dear Bob, dear Bob, I appreciate your comments. But please understand that I am on this ally ship journey. And I have been on his ally ship journey for X amount of time. I am definitely an authentic ally. And I know that not because not because Oh, and I donated to the NAACP today. And I did this yesterday. No, not because of that. Because I don't don't don't bring up stuff like I did this, this this because that will put you deeper in the hole. I see it happen all the time. But just say like, I appreciate your feedback, and I'm going to try to see how I can be better, but I will not. I will not take on that identity as a performative ally. Because I know that I'm not that person. Period.

Jennie Wright 29:10
I love that. Alright, I want to I want to ask you a question. Ah, okay, I'm gonna ask you a question. And I know that it's a safe space. And we've got that and that's great.

Alyson Lex 29:20
And I'm sorry about my worries about being performative. Go for it tonight.

Jennie Wright 29:24
No. So this is this is something that I've seen online and it's a question that I've actually been asked myself, like, it's been another person asking me, how do we win we're building up relationships with our customers and our audience and our peers and we see peers who you know, in whatever way are different than ourselves. And they're talking about their experience, be it PRC or you know, diversity, inclusion, whatever it is person, a person with the disability etc. Trends. How do we authentically participate in those posts is that, you know, is it performative to like the post? Or is it authentic to like and comment? What's the right way to approach this? I think? I think I'm asking a question that there's other people thinking the same. Yeah.

Natajia Miller 30:12
Yeah, I definitely think so too. So let me give you let me give you an example. It's definitely related to the previous one, where it's like, for example, if a trans person, if a trans person wears a dress that I like, and I like the dress, I'm going to say that dress is gorgeous. There are people, I'll give you an example. There are people that would like my photos and say, Oh, my gosh, I absolutely love your hair. And it's like, really, like super, super, like, over the top ask. So sometimes I look at those photos with the side eye, because I know that it was a bad hair day, but then maybe they don't know that too. So there's this one, there was this one side of it, where it's like, how much are you putting into that? If I like your hair, Jenny? I'm gonna say, Jenny, your hair's cute. Rather than Oh, Angie, Jenny, I think your hair is super amazing. Where did you do it?

Jennie Wright 31:04
So like, up over the top that sort of like that relationship build that seems inauthentic or fake? So that's definitely Yeah. So I think I think everybody's radar can kind of pick up on that. So my example would be that one of my previous clients, a woman of color was talking about wash day. And I remember I mentioned this to you in a previous conversation you and I had, so she was talking about wash day, and she went into what the experience of wash day is for women of color. And I didn't understand as a very straight haired woman. I didn't understand what that meant. And so when she posted that my reaction was a big like, wow, I had no idea. But it sounds like such a self care like a loving thing. And I can see I can see so much in this and that was my reaction. And I, I probably hemmed and hawed about hitting send on that for a little bit of a nanosecond, because I didn't want to be seen as invading on something that wasn't my experience. So I didn't want to invade on it and go white woman here. Yeah, talking about wash day. But I wanted to recognize the the what I felt from it, which was that love that self care, that attention to self and all those kinds of things. Talk to me about if that was handled right? Or what people like how people could react in that kind of instance.

Natajia Miller 32:34
Great, great love. Thank you for clarifying that, Jenny. So cute. few things. First of all, this lady is your previous client, and she is not a stranger that you see on Facebook. Right? That is a totally different thing. Because, again, let's think about it as like a normal life. You know what I mean? If someone if a stranger comments on your post, and you're not like a super celebrity type of person, like this is a personal post, right? This is not like something where it's like, Yeah, what a lot of likes and comments, and a stranger comments on it. Like it's like, like, regardless of where they're from, or who they are. Second thing is the fact that people have different personalities. Let me first say that so the tasia is super inclusive, super empathetic, super. Hello, everybody. I love everybody. I want everybody to get a law. I'm going to introduce you to another word audience. It's called a monolith, right? a monolith is basically when like, you see Natasha and the tasia is a black woman. So and it just speaks for every black woman, which does not exist, because you know, I can't even speak for some of my cousins, because we're different people. You Jenny can speak for Allison Allison can speak for her sister, her sister can speak for her sister in law, because everybody is different. So the tasia might think flowers are great, but that doesn't necessarily mean Jenny might hate flowers, even though we're both women. So in the same way, the reaction between for example, there's like there's these different influences, right, that are also in this dei work in social justice. One person might say, Listen, you should never invade that space. You have never had watched it. You don't know what it's like to spend five hours getting your hair done. don't post on that text, because you should stay in your little swap circle. And then there's Natasha, who was like, This person is your previous client. If you feel that you had you you have this connection with her and you like to like, wow, this is a self love experience. She you know her you know that she's not going to look at it and say, How dare Jenny because you're not a random stranger. And you're an amazing person to your you're an authentic person, and your client knows that everybody on her list might not know you, and some people under her list might say, Who is this gentleman who cares about that right now? Right? You didn't post that for them to see, see, cuz that's where like you had, you know, this performative stuff, if you were posting that for other black people to see so that they can say, Oh, look at her, she cares, then you know, then I give Jenny a special On the rest, but that's not jelly. But there are people that do that. And that's another issue, right? where it's like, there are people that do that. So it's difficult for somebody that doesn't know you at all to separate you from, from Marissa who like always posts under every she literally looked for a black woman's photos to post underneath, and like and comment and share. So it isn't interesting, but those are just a few tips that you can think about, like during the post relationship is important, and everybody's gonna be different. She's gonna not she's not gonna say anything, because she knows you personally. And from the outer space of other people of color, everybody is not the same. So I might say, Do whatever you want, and somebody else will say, No, stop it performative person, it's the end.

Alyson Lex 35:45
I really appreciate how you I know, you know, very at the very beginning of this, we talked about it being a no judgement area, like episode, a no judgment episode, we are really having a frank conversation. But I just want to tell you that I really appreciate the liberty that you're bringing, to help us actually get through what can be difficult conversations, we're opening up, we're talking about our own mind blocks, and getting some real information about how to talk to people who are different than we are in whatever way. Because we all go through the world with our own bias with our own privilege, with our own experiences that are unique to us, and only us. And we can't pretend that we can fully understand what other people are going through. But I do have to say that if we just communicate a little bit better, and thank you for helping us to understand how to do that in a more respectful way. With our businesses as well. We can begin to bring everyone together a little bit more. And just understand each other's day. Life, just your day.

Unknown Speaker 37:04
Yes.

Alyson Lex 37:06
So I just really wanted to say thank you so much for for being so open with us and teaching us things in a way that you know, make it not suck to learn.

Jennie Wright 37:22
It reduces it reduces and removes a barrier. Yeah. And not only for us, you know, some of these questions we asked aren't necessarily just for Elsa and I, these are questions that we know, other women and other entrepreneurs and other people in general, you know, have these questions and would love an opportunity to ask, or will, you know, would love to be able to have a conversation where you can express these thoughts. So I just want to you know, that he or you know, I adore you? But you know, and I mean, I remember the first night I met you and I was like, first off, I'm like, you need to tell me how to say your name properly because I want to I never want to say it wrong. And I was like determined and you're and you're like yeah, good enough. I'm like, No, it's not good enough. I want to say it perfectly. And I think that's part of inclusion. I want my name said properly. Allison, what's her name said properly. Right? And I think that's that's part of it, too. But anyways, um, having said that, how do we how do people find you? How can we connect with you? Tell us all the good stuff about that, please. Okay, awesome.

Natajia Miller 38:23
Before I get there, I just want to say I am grateful to you guys, you know, opening up this platform, by the way for those watching. If you have a podcast or a video series or a blog or any place that you can, you know, you're because right now we're talking about how to be inclusive, right? If you can open that space up for more people, invite more people on your platforms, invite more people into your space. That is a great way to do the inclusion bit. I'm just gonna throw that out there. Firstly, and secondly, say, you know, Jennie and Alison you guys are like you guys are like awesome people and just awesome people in general. But also you're an awesome an awesome showcasing of what a what a true ally on authentic ally is like, you know, like, you're not just like getting you're not only posting black people are not only posting you know, people of the LGBTQIA are only posting the people that say, Oh, yeah, look at me, look at me, my name is Jenny and I'm inclusive. You're doing it in a way that's like, Oh, this is a cute picture. So she's black. Let me put it in. I like it. I like the way that she looks in this picture. And that's what it's all about. And you know, Allison yours, you're being so vulnerable right now, for your audience, you know, the questions that you ask your question that people would look at me and say, I'm not asking that question, you know, so like, I'm grateful for your vulnerability, and I'm just grateful to for you guys opening up this platform. Now back to me. So, basically, you can find me everywhere. Um, my name is Natasha and at AJ. And My website is myrtaceae.com. So it's pretty simple. And then I'm also on social media. So Facebook And Instagram, I am at mind pro travel. No, it's not mindful. It's mine fro travel as in hair. And on LinkedIn, I'm just mutation Miller. So please find me anywhere. And if you have questions that are follow up, they're like, Oh, my gosh, I wonder for you Let me ask her, the answer is yes. Get in my DMS. I just asked me the question, and I'm happy to assist.

Jennie Wright 40:21
She will absolutely. And I can attest to this firsthand. And we've had some really frank discussions to tasia. And I, and even with Allison as well. So, you know, if you have questions that you're like, Oh, I'm not sure this is, you know, the teacher is the person to come and ask because she will absolutely answer and she won't, she won't judge you for you there. She just wants, we just all want to do better. And on that note, I just want to thank you so much for being on. This has been transformative. This has been enlightening. It's also been a giggle. Allison, I wrote tons of notes. We can't wait to put some of the resources and things that we talked about on our notes page on System to thrive.com with the teachers episode, and we're really, really happy that you took the time to be with us. So thank you. And on that. If you're listening, and you haven't already subscribed to the podcast, please think about subscribing. We're trying to bring incredible content to you with really dialed in information, lots of nitty gritty. We have three episodes a week, we have a tip on Mondays, we have our Wednesday, or sorry, Tuesday episodes, and we have our Thursday episodes as well. So we're really doing all of that. And if you can, and it feels authentic to you. Please do leave us a review. Be honest, let us know what you think we'd love to get your feedback. So again, thank you so much for being on and we'll be back again answering another big question.


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