Sacha Thompson - Where's the Justice?

Sacha Thompson

Episode 23: September 12, 2022

Where's the Justice?

Today on the show, we welcome Sacha Thompson, founder of The Equity Equation, LLC, a diversity coaching and consulting firm based in the DC area. With nearly 20 years experience within education, nonprofits, and tech, Sacha has seen up close and personal the challenges executives face when they have good intentions, but don't fully know how to turn those intentions into good action in the diversity and inclusion space. She helps the executives and leaders have the important dialogue they need to have and coaches them towards the necessary long-term changes they need to make to develop a culture of inclusion and equality.

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Show Notes
Show Notes
  • What it means to help organizations curate a culture of inclusion
  • The challenges involved with being a DEI coach during a culturally turbulent season
  • How to start difficult conversations without reinforcing trauma
  • The important difference between being a white savior and connecting on a human level
  • Why it's imperative to be mindful of social context when doing DEI work
  • What is the role of social justice in the context of organizational DEI work
  • How should DEI practitioners include social awareness into their strategy
  • The best way to offer socially relevant programming that's not traumatic or exploitative
  • How to hold organizations accountable to not co-opt significant cultural and social moments
Transcript

Sacha Thompson

What are these communities saying within your organization? Are you listening to them and their experiences?

Phil Wagner

Hello from the halls of the Mason School of Business here at William & Mary. I'm Phil, and this is Diversity Goes to Work. Buckle up because we're getting ready to take a deep dive into the real human lived experiences that shape and guide our diversity work in the world of work. Should be fun. Welcome, listeners, to another episode of Diversity Goes to Work. Today, our featured guest is Sacha Thompson, who is the founder of the Equity Equation, LLC, a diversity coaching and consulting firm based in the DC area. With nearly 20 years of experience within education, and nonprofits, and tech, Sasha has seen up close and personal the challenges that executives face when they have good intentions but don't fully know how to turn those intentions into good action in the diversity and inclusion space. She helps executives and leaders have the important dialogue they need to have and coaches them towards the necessary long-term changes they need to make to develop a culture of inclusion and inequality. Her work has been featured on MSNBC, Fox Soul, Business Insider, the New York Times, and Bianchi is also the host of a dynamic series called DEI after Five that you have to check out.

Phil Wagner

Sacha, my friend, thank you for joining us today. It's always a pleasure to speak with you. I've been looking forward to this conversation for some time.

Sacha Thompson

Thank you, Phil, so much for having me. I'm super excited as well to be here.

Phil Wagner

All right, so before we get started, I've tried to give an appropriate bio, but you're one of the people I really struggle to, like, bring your bio in. You do so much. So anything you want to clarify? Can you tell our listeners maybe a little bit more about who you are, what you do, how you got there?

Sacha Thompson

Yeah. So right now, I have been calling myself the Inclusion Culture Curator. Right. And so what that is, is how do you help organizations curate a culture of inclusion? What does that look like? And so helping managers and leaders talk about psychological safety and make changes, small changes for themselves as people leaders, so that their employees feel that they're valued, seen, heard, and connected. Right. That's the work that I do. That's what I love doing.

Phil Wagner

I love that curated language, too, because it really shows the role that a consultant, I think, probably should play. Right. To come in and help move the pieces, but allow the pieces to shine, allow the culture to shine. If you're scared to work with a consultant, maybe don't. They're not going to come in and rewrite your whole organization. They're going to come in and help you arrange the pieces for maximum effectiveness. So I love what you do. Clearly a fan here. All right. So I know you. We've had some tough conversations in the past or conversations on tough things, and I'm hoping we can do that here today, too.

Sacha Thompson

Of course.

Phil Wagner

What I'm hoping we can talk about today is just the ongoing social context we find ourselves living in and doing DEI work in. So we're recording this right at the beginning of fall 22. The summer season has been a little bit nuts. It's been a social whirlwind, right? I mean, since the start of the year, gosh, we've got the war raging in Ukraine. There have been mass shootings carried out in the places we thought to be most safe, like the grocery store or Independence Day parades. The economy grew, then shrunk, then grew, then roared, then dove. Prices are through the roof. And then, like, sort of small little footnote. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and sort of changed the whole landscape of the nation as we've known it for decades. So kind of a lot going on, right?

Sacha Thompson

Yeah.

Phil Wagner

Perhaps it might be really helpful to park our conversations there. I don't think we ask each other enough, like, how you doing, but with all, that's going on, as a DEI coach, how do you grapple with the onslaught of just these dynamic events as they play out, these tragic events? What does that mean for you, your work, your self-care, and how you see your work as a DEI consultant?

Sacha Thompson

Yeah, I love that question. I think part of the challenge right now is something that we actually started seeing in 2020. For so long, corporations, organizations have left kind of the social stuff outside the door. Right. Once you come to work, you come into work. You make your widgets. You do whatever it is that you do that has all changed. And on top of that, what you didn't mention was, we're still in a pandemic.

Phil Wagner

Yeah. It's not over. We're getting there. We think it's over. But we've been there, too. Right? We know. Is there ever a post-COVID era? I know, I know.

Sacha Thompson

Right. So it's like this kind of new normal of there's a blurred line between what happens outside of those walls and what happens inside of those walls. And so what I've been doing a lot of work with, particularly with people managers, has been, how do we grapple with hybrid workplace? People have different expectations. There's all this conversation around the great resignation or quiet quitting.

Phil Wagner

Quiet quitting. Right.

Sacha Thompson

Quiet quitting has been going on for years, but that's a whole other conversation. And so, how do you prepare to have some of those conversations? Right? And so I had a conversation with a VP the other day, and he's like, okay, I have an employee who's moving to this part of the country, and I'm trying to think through everything. I'm trying to be proactive and set up all of these things. And I asked him, what have you asked her what does she need? And he was like. I hadn't thought about that. And so it's those little things that companies and organizations need to do with everything that's going on. With the shooting in Buffalo, there were so many folks that didn't even know how to have that conversation,

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

and so they didn't say anything. Right. And then the impact of that is, well, my company doesn't care, my manager doesn't care, my leader who says they care didn't even check on me. They don't care. And so it's one simple thing that you can do is say, I don't know what to say.

Phil Wagner

 Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

But all I can do is ask, how can I help you? How can I support you right now?

Phil Wagner

Yeah, I'm with you. Right. We have this idea, like, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. And so when those uncomfortable things play out, we're like, Haha. This is a negative space, a hard space, a potentially traumatic space. A space I don't understand because of my skin color, my lived background. Don't not say anything. Right. Say something. Open the conversation. Even if that sort of puts it into a vulnerable space to say, I don't really know how to support you right now. How can I support you right now? What do you need? I think that's such a simple question. If we just ask that, my gosh, how quickly could we change some organizational cultures that need shifting?

Sacha Thompson

Absolutely. One of the things that I often say is, just because we're in the same space at the same time doesn't mean that we got here at the same way.

Phil Wagner

Right.

Sacha Thompson

So just don't assume that people have the same journey. People are experiencing the same things. Because it may not impact you directly doesn't mean it's not impacting others, and vice versa. You might be very impacted as a manager about something that's going on, and your expectation is everyone should have the same angst that you do.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

And so it's how do you tie into the individuality of who we are?

Phil Wagner

Let's talk about that if you don't mind. So okay, let's go back to Buffalo. When Buffalo happened, I immediately reached out to sort of my circle of friends, people of color and had that sort of awkward conversation. And yet even I, as a DEI person, an inclusion-minded person, like, am I reinforcing trauma here? Right? Should I? And so I tried to do that, but I think there are some conflictions that also come from a good space. Right. I don't want to reinforce trauma. I don't want to tokenize you. And so not knowing your role, I think, can sometimes be confusing. Have you found best practices for when social events play out that impact historically underrepresented, minoritized, or exploited group? How do we reach out in ways that is supportive but doesn't reinforce trauma in that moment?

Sacha Thompson

Right. It's about opening the door, not forcing that door open.

Phil Wagner

That's good.

Sacha Thompson

Right. And so let me know how I can help because, in that way, I'm not forcing myself onto you. I'm just saying. I'm here if you need that support. I'm here. I may not know all the answers, but we can talk through that.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. And so, again, it's the framing of that question and your intent behind asking it.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. Because if your intention is just to say, yes, I asked.

Phil Wagner

I did it.

Sacha Thompson

I'm good.

Phil Wagner

Right.

Sacha Thompson

That comes across right. But if you genuinely care, you're not going to continue to push. You're not going to

Phil Wagner

I love that.

Sacha Thompson

continue to retraumatize people. Right. If you need support, if you need help, let me know. I'm here.

Phil Wagner

Yeah. It's an invitation. You don't have to RSVP if you don't want to. Totally.

Sacha Thompson

Exactly.

Phil Wagner

But I think it's that gentle, gracious place and doing it to people that you have a relationship with, so it doesn't seem exploitational or look at me. I'm the white savior. I feel good because I reached out. Right. No, we have a relationship. We're in covenant with each other. It's my duty. If something happened in your personal life, it's my duty as a friend, as a comrade, to come along and make sure you're okay. And I think that applies here, too.

Sacha Thompson

Phil, I think you just touched on something that is such a critical piece of this. And one of the things that I struggle, not that I struggle with, that a lot of my clients struggle with in trying to become more inclusive leaders, it's how do I connect with people at a human level.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. Which requires trust, which requires time, and patience, which requires all of these things. But we're working in a world that is constantly on caffeine, that's constantly going. And so how do you step back and take that time to get to know someone so that when these tragedies happen, you can have that conversation or even know, oh, this is something that may be important to this person. Let me reach out.

Phil Wagner

Yeah, I think that's so good. And those relationships, everything I do, I think comes back to relationship. I think that that's just a core foundation of effective communication and effective DEI work and certainly factors in here.

Sacha Thompson

Absolutely.

Phil Wagner

Sacha, you and I have talked quite at length about how DEI work is often regarded as something that sort of exists in a silo. You and I know that the best DEI work is socially informed DEI work. We've talked about this. We have to look at what's going on and infuse those current events or what's happening in the world around us into our work. Why do you think it is so important to be mindful of social context when we're doing DEI work, be it consulting or leading an ERG or just being about the business of inclusion-oriented leadership? Why do we have to have our eye on what's going on around us in society?

Sacha Thompson

Because that's what changes this work.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. It's ever-evolving. It's ever-changing. And so, as someone that's in this space, you have to be aware. You have to be tied into kind of the social implications of this. So you mentioned Roe v. Wade, right? For so many organizations, they immediately said, oh, we're going to create travel reimbursement for anyone that they went through, and which was great. But I'm like, what are some other layers to this? Right? How is your EAP set up? Are you prepared? Do you have a system in place that has providers that can help support people? Because that's a level of trauma as well, too, to have to make some of those decisions? Are you talking about childcare options as a part of your benefits package? They said the number of vasectomies request or interest in vasectomies skyrocketed during that time. Right. So what are you doing to support the men in your organization that may be thinking about those things? So it's that's the impact as a DEI practitioner. It's understanding how what's happening in the world impacts the corporate space and vice versa.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. And so being aware, being knowledgeable, it's not just about, let's talk about what does LGBTQ mean? Let's go beyond that. Right. What are the challenges that that community has that's impacted by your policies, your processes, all of those things?

Phil Wagner

Right because are you tired of doing the education that Google could do for you? Right.

Sacha Thompson

I don't do any.

Phil Wagner

Good, but often DEI practitioners are called in to do just the basic ABCs, sometimes quite literally. And that matters. We need an awareness. But you have a world of information at your fingertips. And so I think it's so important to go beyond that. It's something you said to really makes me think. I think a lot of people who are just getting their foot in the door and trying to increase the profile of their awareness around DEI work think this is stuff just like maybe for the West Coast, right? Like liberal woke hubs. Walmart has expanded their coverage for abortion access. I don't know of any more telling tale of how this impacts everybody everywhere. Every industry This isn't about woke-washing corporate America. These are realities. The social events are shaping organizational cultures, organizational structures. And so I think that's an important footnote as well. There's been a lot of buzz in our circles, in the DEI leadership circle. In some online spaces, people like us, you and me, are trying to draw a line between DEI and then that DEIJ, that justice works, saying the DEI work within organizations is just for organizations. There is no justice outcome. There is no sort of social mindedness here. Do you see it that way? How do you see justice or social justice in the context of organizational DEI work?

Sacha Thompson

For me, it falls under equity, which is an aspect of DEI that is very rarely talked about or discussed. What is equity? It's creating or providing opportunities for people by giving them what they need in order to succeed. Right. So how do you remove barriers or provide access? That's what justice is, right? How are you removing barriers? How are you creating access? How are you righting wrongs in your processes, policies, and procedures, right? So when I saw some of that conversation happening, I think what it did was it forced us to really look at why are we doing this work.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Are you doing this work just to say this is diversity and inclusion, or are you trying to move the needle and start to dismantle inequitable systems? Now, I think what's interesting is the language that's used is always up for different debate and conversation, right? If I go into an organization and say, I want to come in here and disrupt your systems of inequity, dismantle them and rebuild, they're going to look at me like I'm crazy, right? But if I say I want to help you create a culture of inclusion where everyone feels that they are valued, seen, heard, and connected. Everyone's like, oh yeah, I want that, right? Like, that's great. It's the same thing. And so it's funny. I call it sneaking in the vegetables.

Phil Wagner

I like that. Oh yeah, that resonates with me. I have kids. I get that.

Sacha Thompson

Right? So how do you do this work? What is the impact that you're trying to create? So justice is a part of that, but you can block off so many people just by that word. Even diversity, equity, and inclusion closes down so many doors, right? So it's like, okay, I'm not going to talk about that, but what is it that you want in the long run? Right? What are the results? And so the results of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, accessibility, belonging, all of those things, that's what we should be really focused on rather than what letters we're trying to support.

Phil Wagner

Terms change, understandings change. I love how you cut right down the middle there, and I think that's such a balanced approach in the larger conversations. Like you, I am nervous when we take justice completely out of the picture. And I love how you wrap it up in some of the other letters of the acronym that exist. Because if we take it out completely, this is just a compliance model, right?

Sacha Thompson

Yup.

Phil Wagner

That doesn't do anything for really anybody.

Sacha Thompson

It's checking a box.

Phil Wagner

It's checking a box, and that has its place. Or we need some boxes checked for our safety, for our wellbeing, but that is not enough. So I really appreciate your clarity here. Talk to me a little bit about how we make sort of a social awareness embedded into our DEI work, like, how might DEI practitioners build this sense of social awareness or pull on current events or what's going on outside in the world around us and slow bake it into a higher level DEI strategy?

Sacha Thompson

I think it helps you shape your policies, right? It helps you have conversations around accountability. It helps you think about, okay, what kind of culture do we want to create here? Right? So, for example, several years ago, there was the incident, the Starbucks incident, where the two guys were working, and I was working in an organization where they love to use that example of microaggressions. And then the director did a very similar thing to me where I was doing my job. She didn't like it, so she reported me to the head of HR. And so I'm like, okay, let's think about how this looks, right? Because you could regurgitate. This is what happened at Starbucks with the actual impact of how it shows up day to day. Those are the conversations that we need to have, right? Yes, this happened, but how do we mirror this in our organization? What does that look like? And if we are doing these things, how do we start to dismantle what that looks like?

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right? And so it's how do we start having conversations? How do we not escalate things to a higher authority without having conversation? Because then that creates a hostile work environment. How do you then hold people accountable for those types of actions as well too? And so, what's that policy look like for accountability? So it's really taking what happens in the world around us and bringing it into what does this look like in the corporate space? What does this look like within our organization? And how can we start to create rules, policies, procedures, accountability so that this is not what we're dealing with?

Phil Wagner

And you brought it all the way full circle there. You brought it all the way back to relationships yet again.

Sacha Thompson

Yeah.

Phil Wagner

So that when those accountability conversations, those tough moments, those let, you know, you drop the ball here happens that we are in community. It's on me to sort of guide you and on you to guide me. And I don't need to escalate because we've built our foundation on relationships. And that's a stronger foundation, I think too.

Sacha Thompson

Absolutely.

Phil Wagner

What about at a programmatic level? So how do we do programming in the D&I space? I'm thinking like L and D work without feeling exploitative. I'll give an example. I was teaching, oh my gosh, it was last summer, I think, on communicating with racial skeptics, like working with people who don't believe racism exists. Right. I teach in the communication and DEI space. And that played out at the exact same time that the shootings in Buffalo happened. And feelings were so raw. And we created time and space to talk about it, but also factored heavily into our content. And I was like, okay, I don't want to reinforce trauma on my black and brown students in this moment, but I can't ignore it. So what standards of maybe the word is like etiquette or propriety, like being proper about how to talk about current tough events while recognizing feelings are raw, emotions are high, these are painful, traumatic events. Do you have any insights on how we can offer programming that's socially relevant but not traumatic or exploitative?

Sacha Thompson

I think there is a process. I would call it not necessarily a process called caucusing. And what I have seen happen in those situations is you caucus. You separate people by their identity and have conversations because then now you're creating, let's say. We'll do this around race, right? So you'll have a group for your white students, a group for your students of color, or even more specifically, your black students, your Latino students, your Asian students, right, depending on your numbers. And you allow them to caucus within the safe space of that community around how can we bring this together? Right? What are the questions that you want to ask? What is it that you think the other groups need to know? Right? And so you allow them space to sometimes even just cry together. Sometimes it's just commune. Or I've been thinking this is somebody else thinking this, giving them that sense. But then it's like, okay, what questions do you have of your white classmates? Right? And then you facilitate that conversation.

Phil Wagner

So I have a question here because this comes up often when we see social events play out that reinforce some aspect of trauma in the D&I space. We often hold a variety of different things. There are sort of spaces where people of like-mindedness can come together. And we often make it a commitment to build spaces for any instance of Buffalo specifically. Since we've used that example of, like, if we're all on zoom, let's create a zoom room for particularly black students particularly. But black and brown folks to be in that space in and of their own accord without white people present. But then also, like you mentioned, bring people together. Can you speak to the importance of those sort of identity affinity safe spaces where you are with other folks of that identity and have the opportunity to safely discuss and group and organize and what that does for sort of then when we bring the whole group together? Because I think some skeptics might be like, aren't we sort of reinforcing segregation here? But those spaces really matter for safety, a psychological safety. Can you speak to that as a DEI practitioner?

Sacha Thompson

Absolutely. And I actually have a client where I'm a university that I'm doing this for now. One so many people from marginalized communities often feel that they're the only right? They may be the only on their team. And so, by creating these spaces, what starts to happen is they realize I'm not the only one experiencing this. I'm not in this by myself. And they start to share, build relationship, build community amongst themselves to realize, okay, this isn't just me. Right? And there's a sense of levity that comes with that, like a sense of freedom that comes with that, okay, this isn't in my mind. This isn't me thinking all of these thoughts. The other part is you start to see patterns. You start to understand, okay, this has happened to you. This has happened to you all from the same person or all from the same group. There's a problem here, right? So you can start to identify that. But then there's also the sense of empowerment that comes about from those groups too. Because now it's like when I go back, and I'm the only I know that this group has my back. I know that this is a safe space for me to share and to be able to brainstorm, and think. But it takes time for that group to build that trust and that psychological safety as well too. So there's definitely a need for it. But I also want to be cautious, and when organizations create these spaces, don't make that a check box and like, yes, we created this affinity group for this organization over here, so we're good.

Phil Wagner

Yeah, all good. Done.

Sacha Thompson

Right. But now think about it as not only have you created that space, but that's now on top of the job that they were hired to do.

Phil Wagner

Right.

Sacha Thompson

So this is an additional time that they have to deal with stuff and they are all pointing out the problem is with the other group who's going on with their merry way. Right? And so, how do you balance that out? Where you're getting learnings from this affinity group that can then help educate the other group so that we're not back in the space again.

Phil Wagner

Yeah, and that's where sponsorship can really come into right. Something like ERGs and create that conduit, create that bridge so that what happens in that space doesn't start and stop in that space, but it informs policies, procedures, actions, cultures. I think that's so important.

Sacha Thompson

Exactly.

Phil Wagner

Sort of bigger finalish question. I never want to stop talking to you, as you know, but I want to go back to our point on exploitation earlier because I think that's a real concern. And you and I have also talked about how corporations often swoop in on the heels of a significant cultural moment and co-op the messaging and use it to pat themselves on the back. So every time some act of police violence is committed against a black or brown individual, a tweet goes up. Right. We know that Instagram goes full-out rainbow for Pride Month. And when Roe v. Wade was overturned, organizations were tripping over themselves to show how woke they were in, quote-unquote, supporting women in a way that really just sort of looked good and patted themselves on the back. You and I have talked about this. Not all of that movement, while it looked good, was actually good in the end. So as DEI practitioners, like how do you call people on it? How do you hold organizations accountable to not coopt significant social moments but to actually work towards meaningful change?

Sacha Thompson

I think it's what's been happening, right? It's we see these commercialization of

Phil Wagner

Yeah, that's a good word.

Sacha Thompson

pain that's been happening so often, and it takes social media to call it out. I continue to call it out, but I also think it takes having the right people at the table making those decisions. And so one of the things that I realized, or one of the things that I recognized recently, I think it was around Juneteenth, there was the whole debacle with the Juneteenth ice cream. Right. There was a great opportunity for Walmart to do the right thing by highlighting black companies that were selling the same ice cream. How do you highlight and support those companies rather than try to capitalize on it? And so I think that that's this next level of understanding for a lot of these companies is continue to be called out on social media until you get it right.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

And getting it right is ensuring that the work that is being done is going to positively support and impact the communities that you are trying you supposedly are supporting.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. So how are you bringing in for Pride Month? What are you doing other than going to a Pride parade? How are you supporting some of the organizations that are really helping those communities?

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. Beyond Pride Month and not just in that month? Like, how are you doing it 365 days of the year, right? How are you supporting Asian Americans outside of Asian American Pacific Islander month?

Phil Wagner

Or when something happens? Right. I think, like, after the Spa shooting, we saw so much organizing in ways that I don't think organizations had seen the collective power of AAPI folks that now realize, oh, wait a minute, we have dropped the ball. Right. Like, these are valuable people, part of a very valuable invest community. And so those social moments, while painful, can also open up for a moment of realization and self-reflection. And I mean, look at the organizing that has come out of that too.

Sacha Thompson

Well, but I think it also speaks to these are communities that I have been yelling and screaming for years.

Phil Wagner

Right.

Sacha Thompson

Right. And it's like, now you're listening.

Phil Wagner

Now you're listening. Why? Because you have to.

Sacha Thompson

Right. But in you listening, listen to understand rather than listening to respond. And that's what we tell individuals. That's one on one communication. But from an organizational level, it's, what are these communities saying within your organization?

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Are you listening to them and their experiences? And that is on their way out the door. If they're saying that they're dealing with discrimination or harassment or microaggressions, don't just say, okay, yes, they're gone because others within that community that are still there are impacted by that too.

Phil Wagner

Yeah.

Sacha Thompson

Right. And so, how are you dealing with those types of things? And so, yes, I think there's this opportunity to take these social things that are happening outside, but really do some hard work with DEI across other departments because that's the other piece. It shouldn't just sit in DEI.

Phil Wagner

Yeah. Right.

Sacha Thompson

Across other departments, so that it impacts everyone.

Phil Wagner

So the recipe or model I'm hearing here is when that stuff happens. See it as an opportunity to step back, reflect, listen, hear what your employees need and want. Move forward towards action that is sustainable, beyond that passing social moment, and bake it into policies and procedures so that it's not just a response for a one-off but create systemic change. Is this our working model here today?

Sacha Thompson

Yes and.

Phil Wagner

Yes and, all right. Give me the and.

Sacha Thompson

Yes, and be proactive.

Phil Wagner

Yeah. So that you're not just waiting for those moments to happen.

Sacha Thompson

So that you're not just reacting in those moments. Right.

Phil Wagner

Yeah, that is so good. Proactive, not reactive.

Sacha Thompson

Take the information that you've been given for however long your company has been around, right? And start to think about what can we do now, proactively, so that when something happens.

Phil Wagner

Right.

Sacha Thompson

We're already prepared, and our employees know that we're coming from a good place.

Phil Wagner

Yeah. You've got the infrastructure in place because these events just copy and paste of each other, right? Unfortunately, but, like, systemic violence against black and brown folks, that's not a one-off. That will happen again. So do you have the infrastructure in place so that your response is meaningful and helpful and effective, and truly supportive? I really appreciate that, Sasha. I think that's a really good takeaway to build that ahead of those moments.

Sacha Thompson

Yeah.

Phil Wagner

All right, final final question, I promise. This one is so easy. Like, if our listeners can't tell already, you are a wealth of knowledge and just an incredible person doing incredible things.

Sacha Thompson

Thank you.

Phil Wagner

Tell our listeners how they can support you, find you, maybe share a little bit more about DEI After Five and all the exciting things you have ahead. How can we support you?

Sacha Thompson

Yeah. So you can always follow me on LinkedIn. Sacha Thompson. Pretty easy to find there. You can look up the equity equation; www.equityequationllc.com is my website. You can find me on Instagram as well. I'm all over the socials. I'm all over those things. DEI After Five is my podcast where we have conversations like this. Where we talk about the intersection of business and DEI. We talk about different aspects of the industry, the DEI industry. I like to talk about the things in the corner, and I'm like in the corner. Let's talk about those things. And where I bring on different practitioners. I also talk a lot about self-care and wellness. And so I have therapists on that talked about burnout and stress and all of those types of things, because that's a part of this work that we often forget about and we don't talk about enough. I do Feel your Cup Fridays, where it's everything is we talk about what do you do to take care of yourself. And I'm announcing it here first.

Phil Wagner

Oh, okay. I'm excited about this.

Sacha Thompson

I am coming out very soon with a 60-day journal of self-care for DEI practitioners.

Phil Wagner

So needed. We talk about those themes on nearly every single episode. So self, guided 60-day journal.

Sacha Thompson

60-Day Journal. So I have coaching questions in there. It helps you tap into emotional intelligence as well, too, but it really is focused on DEI practitioners and how you show up. It takes less than 10 minutes a day.

Phil Wagner

That's awesome.

Sacha Thompson

To do that, because I want people to be very intentional with how they take care of themselves. So every day is a different thing that you can do, and then from that, you just kind of start your day and do some reflection.

Phil Wagner

When does it drop? Where do we get it?

Sacha Thompson

So you will be able to get it off of my website. It will be dropping hopefully the end of October.

Phil Wagner

Awesome.

Sacha Thompson

So I'll be pushing out all the things on social again for that. But yeah, I'm really excited about that. And it will come out just in time for the holidays so if people are doing holiday shopping.

Phil Wagner

There you go.

Sacha Thompson

Perfect gift for your favorite DEI practitioner or your teams.

Phil Wagner

There you go.

Sacha Thompson

So, yeah, I'm really excited about it.

Phil Wagner

Listeners, please definitely go support Sacha. If you're in the DMV area, certainly look her up too. She speaks to our students up there. She's a wonderful person, doing great things. So definitely check out DEI After Five. Sacha, my friend. Oh, my gosh. Always a pleasure to speak with you, but thank you for joining me today to talk about some of the tougher things, the things in the corner, as you say. I really appreciate your time and all that you do for the DEI industry and who you are as a person.

Sacha Thompson

Thank you so much for having me. This was wonderful. Looking forward to continuing to work with you.

Phil Wagner

Many more conversations ahead.

Phil Wagner

Thanks for taking a second to listen to Diversity Goes to Work. If you like what you heard, share the show with a friend, leave us a review on Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts, and reach out because we're always looking for new friends. And if you'd like to learn more about any of our programs or initiatives is here in the business school at William & Mary, be sure to visit us at mason.wm.edu. Until next time.

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