As we connect with diversity thought leaders and listen to the perspectives of employees at all levels, we’re reminded that the decades-long diversity and inclusion journey has reached a critical point. Important progress has been made, but major gaps remain across communities and workplaces.
Culture cannot flourish if individuals do not sustain it. Whether it’s a beautiful or horrific culture, it does not exist without one individual after another choosing to support it. In other words, if one person after another shifts away from a set of practices and beliefs that are the core of any culture, that culture eventually ceases to exist. This doesn’t mean there is no society or company, but that surely the culture has vanished.
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was a retired Turkish naval officer and I grew up on naval bases. My family sacrificed to educate me and my brother who is a medical doctor. Without an education, you can’t do anything. In Turkey, they kill each other to get a college degree. I attended elementary school early and learned to read early, a rarity in Turkey. These were French schools, and I spoke French before I spoke English.
My family’s background is a mixture of American and Swiss. My father’s family is Swiss and German and includes: Bankers, Importers, Entrepreneurs and Ministers. My mother’s family are Dutch Mennonite farmers who immigrated to California and became peach and Almond farmers in the central valley. My parents moved to Tennessee just before I was born. My fathers was a physicist and taught for 34 years. My mom was a home economics graduate, raised four girls and worked as a church secretary and later at a credit union.
I am Lakweshia Ewing, a co-owner of Biz Boom Apps, LLC. I was born in Memphis into a life of poverty and all of the negative symptoms that it can bring along with it. It was always a dream to become a game-changing businesswoman and philanthropist so this early curiosity and an already successful family member willing to educate me on how to change the world through technology I dove in head first into the realm of technology known as the “Mobile Market” as a co-owner of Biz Boom Apps, LLC. It was the desire of Biz Boom Apps to provide the small business world with a mobile solution that is a one-stop-shop for all of its marketing and communication needs.
Since March is National Women’s History Month, I decided to depart from tradition and offer the reader some other, perhaps different, food for thought, but with this warning: What follows isn’t for the feint-of-heart. It could be hazardous to your health since it may uncork a range of reactions – shock, anger and denial (plus a few choice four-letter words). But by the time you finish this, I will have been whisked off, under heavy guard, to one of my safe houses under a writer’s protection program. So don’t come gunning for my noggin, okay?
With that opener, I pry open an “undiscussable,”privilege, unearned privilege that is.
This is a story of results achieved over three decades with the invaluable help of the author’s science students at Southern Adventist University, the University of Denver, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Three of these students were African American, three were of Asian descent, and several were of European origin. The results achieved were also due to the intermittent but crucial collaborations of American, Belgian, Chinese, Colombian, Croatian, French, Indian, and especially Russian colleagues. Science—yes, even chemistry, mathematics, and physics—involves your intuitive, social, side.
The gong struck, and the New Year ushered us into what? The answer to this question will appear as we move further into a year that promises to be a challenge for us all. It is my personal belief that this year will test our methods of communication by bringing us face to face with the double talk that we speak, which ignites chaotic confusion and hinders our ability to communicate with each other.