The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole

In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis. 

His book, The Skin We’re In further expands a month-by-month, comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We’re In is a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements and highlights how prevelant racism is outside of the USA.  

A few notable quotes:

  • “it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy—white settlers deny Black communities the necessities of life, then blame us for the social dysfunction that follows.” ― Desmond Cole
  • “White supremacy encourages the people it benefits to create their own parallel universe, their own set of facts and explanations about the existence of and prevalence of racism. Even as white people insist that “no one really knows what happened”, they can immediately share an explanation that eases their anxiety and shame.” ― Desmond Cole

The act of being an Ally to BIPOC requires an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating to work to end oppressions in solidarity with BIPOC who are systemically disempowered. Never stop learning. 

Killing Me Softly

Librarian Fobazi M. Ettarh just released a game Killing Me Softly: A game demonstrating how it feels to suffer microaggressions and acculturative stress day after day

Killing Me Softly is a web-based text game that uses the Choose Your Own Adventure format to allow players to navigate through the lives of a character as they experience microaggressions, which are “commonly defined as brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults.”

Players can choose one of two characters: Alex, a white, able-bodied, gay man with a large social circle; or Leslie, a Black, straight, disabled, woman who has a partner. As you move through Alex’s or Leslie’s days — including interactions with friends, coworkers, and strangers — you make choices that affect subsequent experiences and choices, choices that narrow as the microaggressions mount.

Like many serious games, Killing Me Softly does not have a happy ending — a happy ending isn’t the goal. This game does a fantastic job of showing how microaggressions are experienced and accumulate over the course of days, weeks, and months for many including people of color, LGBT+ folks, and disabled folks.

This makes a great teaching game — a single playthrough takes about 15 minutes, and playing through both characters multiple times effectively demonstrates that, while making choices about each character’s response leads to different outcomes initially, microaggressions are persistent. I highly recommend this game, why not head over to Killing Me Softly and give it a try?

Waking Dream weaves together the stories of six undocumented young people as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship

Waking Dream weaves together the stories of six undocumented young people as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship.  Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out.

Please click the link for FREE ACCESS until Thursday, April 16th!  https://buff.ly/3eogflJ

In 2012, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) gave 800,000 undocumented young people, who had been in the U.S. since they were small children, a chance to work legally, go to college, start businesses, and pursue the “American Dream.”  When the program was rescinded by the Trump administration in 2017, DACA recipients suddenly risked losing it all.  Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six of these young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out. They know the wide-eyed hopes of their younger citizen siblings and children, as well as the pain and sacrifice of their undocumented parents.  They know their fate must go one direction and they are fighting for their future in America. 

Fun and useful tools to improve company culture during COVID-19

Fun and useful tools to improve company culture during COVID-19

Here are a few tools that make remote work fun and contribute to company culture.

fun chatting between coworkers

Polly

For when you really need to know whether your team prefers regular or curly fries… or you know, more important things like manager feedback or project retrospectives, look for a survey solution like Polly.

Water Cooler Trivia

It’s your time to shine. Whether you’re a history buff, sports aficionado, or aspiring chef, office trivia quizzes can be a great way to bring the team together for some light-hearted fun. You might even learn a thing or two about your coworkers!

Donut

Donut brings coworkers together in a number of different ways – we love using it to set up virtual coffee sessions. Through its platform Donut builds trust and forms friendships for even the most distributed teams by encouraging meeting, learning, and onboarding opportunities.

Nonprofit Resources during COVID-19

Nonprofit Resources during COVID-19

In the throes of the global COVID-19 pandemic, organizations everywhere are feeling the effects of the economic devastation wrought by isolation measures, business shutdowns, travel bans, and markets crashing.  To assist their leaders, we have worked on pulling COVID-19 resources for nonprofits.

CDC

There is a lot of fake news out there. This being the information age, there is also a lot of misinformation around. But for legitimate and up to date facts on COVID-19; how to prevent it, how it spreads and everything else you need to stay informed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on cdc.gov is about as reliable a source as you are likely to get. 

WHO

Another reliable and educated source of information for all things COVID-19-related, is the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO curates information from a global network of healthcare professionals via their web portal on who.int

THE NONPROFIT RISK MANAGEMENT CENTER

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center offers a variety of services to nonprofits, including workplace safety services, fiscal oversight and fraud protection, and governance assistance. Visit their website on nonprofitrisk.org.

BRIDGESPAN

Bridgespan has set up a page for nonprofits as an easy reference guide to helpful resources such as various regional non-profit councils, educational resources, funder responses, and social distancing guidelines, to help ease the burden. 

CENTER FOR DISASTER PHILANTHROPY

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization that was established specifically to help donors maximize the effectiveness of their funds in the event of a disaster – which COVID-19 certainly is.  And while this may not necessarily be relevant to other nonprofits, their website is a valuable resource for reading material and case studies that could provide helpful insight on navigating the current crisis. 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

The HBR is a great source for articles like this one and more that are helpful for employers seeking to manage the coronavirus pandemic in the workplace. In the wake of the pandemic, HBR has set up an Coronavirus Insight Center, which collects informative articles and thought leadership about the situation. 

THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), an arm of the United States Department of Labor, offers regularly updated information for employers and staff about the ever-changing state of COVID-19. The site also includes resources that guide on preventative measures that can be implemented in the workplace. Visit their site on osha.org

THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NONPROFITS

The Council of Nonprofits remains an invaluable hub for information on updated policies, trends and highly relevant material relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit their site for advocacy resources and useful material like this, to stay informed about the ever-changing nonprofit landscape.