By Kathryn Britton –
Tomorrow a new book will be launched: The Business of Race: How to Create and Sustain an Antiracist Workplace and Why It’s Actually Good for Business by Gina Greenlee and Margaret Greenberg. At first blush, the title says it all: why it matters and what we can aspire to achieve. But as a curious person and a long-time friend of Margaret since we had our first MAPP class together in 2005, I wanted to know more.
How Did This Book Come to Be?
Here’s the story from the book introduction:
The Business of Race would never have been written were it not for George Floyd—a man we would never know personally but whose public loss of life spawned a global movement. His murder by a White police officer, and captured on cell phone video, not only sparked protests around the world, but also a phone call.
Margaret called her friend Gina and said, “I’ve been thinking about you and wanted to hear your voice. What is going on in the world?!” And that’s where Margaret left the space for Gina to share her feelings.
In our 20-plus-year friendship, we rarely talked about race, until now. Gina grew up in a White neighborhood and had mostly White friends during her childhood. Today she lives in a predominantly White town and works around mostly White people.
“You’re one of only two White people of the many in my circle who reached out to me,” said Gina.
She shared how isolated she felt. She shared her anger, frustration, and sadness. That fateful call between two friends prompted a series of LinkedIn articles. Not alone. Together. We felt compelled to act. We would use our friendship and love of writing to bring voice to what nobody wanted to talk about—race and racism.
What Are People Saying about The Business of Race?
“The issue of race is now a business imperative we can no longer neglect in this century. This book goes beyond making a case on why businesses must understand the economics of race. It equips us with ways organizations can go beyond the diversity, equity, and inclusion programs
we are used to. This is a book every business leader needs to read, read it slowly and take time to reflect on every chapter. Margaret and Gina, thank you for creating a piece that is so relevant to our times.”
~ Jane Egerton-Idehen, Head of Sales Middle East and Africa at Facebook, and author of Fearless: Give Yourself Permission to Be You
“I am in awe when I think about the approach to global change the authors are proposing and how it must be executed in a sustainable and consistent way. Identifying a place to adopt an approach that is process-driven with a measured methodology and that understands what and how to use it to make impactful progress is the key. Picking the workplace is like “duh”, what a natural place to add an inflection point is the race journey.”
~ Robert L. Andris, VP / GM Value Chain SaaS Solutions
“This is not just a book about race in the workplace, this is the essential, indispensable guide to improving the workplace through diversity, equity, and inclusion. It makes a compelling case that diversity is in a business’s own best self-interest, and not just about selfless auism. It treats the issue holistically, from historical, legal, business, and personal perspectives. And it lays out actions, for us as individuals and us as workplace actors, that are necessary to create an antiracist workplace. It’s not an easy journey: four hundred years of history cannot be brushed aside overnight. But it’s a journey we all must undertake. Greenberg and Greenlee show us how.”
~ Paul C. Clements, PhD / Vice President of Customer Success at BigLever Software
Get a Taste of the Book
The authors invite PPND readers to download a free chapter.
Kathryn Britton, MAPP ’06, former software engineer, is a coach working with professionals to increase well-being, energy, and meaning in their work lives (Theano Coaching LLC). She is also a writing coach, facilitator of writing workshops, and teacher of positive workplace concepts at the University of Maryland. Her own books include Smarts and Stamina on using positive psychology principles to build strong health habits and Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life. Full bio. Kathryn’s articles are here.