Discussion: Color Blind or Color Brave?

Post 1: Initial Post

Instructions

This posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph and a maximum of two paragraphs. Word totals for this post should be in the 100–200-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate.

Preparation

This discussion is based on a TED Talk by Mellody Hobson, president of money management firm Ariel Investments. In it, Hobson discusses the difference between being “color blind” and “color brave” when it comes to the subject of race. She contends that diversity in hiring makes for better businesses, products, and research.

Watch Hobson’s TED Talk, below:

 

You can view the transcript for “Color Blind or Color Brave?” (opens in new window).

For Discussion

  1. Hobson says, “Now, race is one of those topics in America that makes people extraordinarily uncomfortable. You bring it up at a dinner party or in a workplace environment, it is literally the conversational equivalent of touching the third rail. There is shock, followed by a long silence.” Why do you think it’s so difficult to talk about race and diversity in our workplaces and institutions?
  2. Hobson says, “We cannot afford to be color blind. We have to be color brave. We have to be willing, as teachers and parents and entrepreneurs and scientists, we have to be willing to have proactive conversations about race with honesty and understanding and courage, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do, because our businesses and our products and our science, our research, all of that will be better with greater diversity.” Identify opportunities you have to be “color brave.” Why do you think Hobson says diversity will make our businesses and products better?
  3. Your reading discussed influences on organizational culture and methods for maintaining or changing culture. How do you think these influences and methods could work to foster open discussion about race and diversity in an organization?

Posts 2 and 3: Respond to Classmates’ Posts

Instructions

After you have created your initial post, look over the discussion posts of your classmates and give at least two thoughtful responses to two different classmates (one per classmate).

A response posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph. Word totals for these posts should be in the 75–100-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate. The goal of your response posts is to extend discussions already taking place or pose new possibilities or opinions not previously voiced. Your goal should be to motivate the group discussion and present a creative approach to the topic.