18 projects, books and podcasts by diverse creators you should check out, according to Grady alumni
By Anna Gilstrap
On Nov. 10, UGA PRSSA welcomed back three Grady alumni to speak to current students on the issues of diversity and inclusion in the professional world: Mia Anderson, Ph.D., an associate professor and graduate program director at Azusa Pacific University; Christopher Daniel, a digital journalism instructor at Clark Atlanta University and freelance journalist; and Davia Rose Lassiter, MA, the director of marketing and communications at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
The panel shared personal experiences as Black professionals working in the PR and media industries, as well as advice on how to be advocates for equality as both students in our time at UGA and professionals in our future careers.
One important tip emphasized by all three panelists was the importance of staying informed and educated on current problems relating to diversity and inclusion. The best way to do so, according to the trio, is to pay attention to, read, listen to and watch works produced by diverse artists; and they provided some suggestions to get us started.
In case you missed the meeting, or forgot to jot down some of the titles, UGA PRSSA has compiled a list of the projects, books and podcasts mentioned by Anderson, Daniel and Lassiter.
Hold the PRess is an organization dedicated to supporting Black people who work in the public relations and communications industry. It calls for “action, accountability and transparency” within the field and publishes statistics to reveal the omnipresent discrimination Black talent faces in their occupations.
Like Hold the PRess, 600 & Rising works to dismantle racism for Black people who work in the advertising industry through policy and advocacy. In fact, the two organizations recently merged to combine resources and produce more positive change. The name 600 & Rising came from 600 Black advertising professionals signing a letter confronting the racism within their field, and the number of people joining the fight continues to rise.
BIPOC stands for “Black, Indigenous and People of Color,” and the BIPOC Project aims to create solidarity among individuals who identify within those groups and confront the harsh reality of their relationship to whiteness and experience with white supremacy. The project offers full and half-day workshops to educate organizations, movements and groups who want to learn more about anti-racism and intersectionality as well as mobilize around causes pertaining to those issues.
With over 7 million members, Color of Change is the largest online racial justice organization in the United States. It works to create “a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America” through campaigns such as #JusticeforBre, which called for the arrest of the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor and #StopTheArrests, which asked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to utilize less police force in the enforcement of social distancing and offer more medical assistance to those who need it.
Fair Fight combats voter suppression, encourages voter participation, educates voters about their rights and advocates for election reform at the local, state and federal levels. Founded and chaired by Georgia’s very own Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight originated after Georgia’s 2018 elections clearly demonstrated the struggles voters—specifically people of color—faced in performing their civic duty: long lines, improper operations and malfunctions.
1619 marked the beginning of American slavery when more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived by ship at a port on the coast of Virginia. The New York Times Magazine began the 1619 Project in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of this sickening moment in history. Its goal is to chronicle present-day America through the lens of slavery’s consequences and the achievements of Black Americans.
The Boston University Center for Anti-Racist Research unites researchers across various disciplines around the common objective of creating data pertaining to racial inequality and injustice, and using said data to explain and solve the persisting issues.
Anderson mentioned during our meeting that presenting numbers is more effective than describing personal experiences with racism in the workplace to those in power in hopes of creating positive change for equality; while experience is undeniably important, data concretely illustrates how real and how extensive racial inequality and injustice is.
An initiative by the Discovery channel that seeks to advance access to quality education and promote social mobility, RISE stands for “Reducing Inequality and Supporting Empowerment.” Discovery believes that positive change in the lives of people will lead to a positive impact on our planet.
“The Memo” by Minda Harts
In “The Memo,” Harts offers career advice specifically geared toward women of color to help them achieve success in a system that does not provide them with equal support.
“Let Them See You” by Porter Braswell
Braswell is the CEO and cofounder of Jopwell, a platform dedicated to the career advancement of Black, Latinx and Native American students and professionals. In this book, he outlines how to get hired, promoted and overall thrive in a professional environment as a person of color.
“Diversity, Inc.” by Pamela Newkirk
“Diversity, Inc.” confronts the hypocrisy of diversity initiatives in the workplace. Award-winning journalist Newkirk investigates the attempts of corporate America to promote diversity and shares her findings that problems of inequality persist despite these efforts.
“Inclusify” by Stefanie K. Johnson
In “Inclusify,” Johnson illustrates how to create a diverse and inclusive professional team. An expert on management, she provides guidance to employers on how to create an environment of productive collaboration where everyone can comfortably and proudly be themselves.
“The Power of Disability” by Al Etmanski
At a population of 1.2 billion, people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world. In an anecdotal format, Etmanski offers 10 lessons everyone can learn from people with disabilities in his book “The Power of Disability.”
“Yellow” by Frank H. Wu
Through the lens of the Asian American experience, Wu addresses issues such as affirmative action, globalization and immigration by way of both stories and journalistic investigation.
“The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias” by Pamela Fuller, Mark Murphy and Anne Chow
“The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias” is meant to help those in positions of leadership become aware of the unconscious biases that occur every day in the workplace and then overcome said biases. Fuller, Murphy and Chow provide concrete tools for leaders to see beyond stereotypes in their employees.
“Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
Banaji and Greenwald challenge the common notion of people that assume they have no bias and would not ever judge someone based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion or any other sociological category. The goal of challenging this notion in the book is not to demonize a person for having preconceived ideas about other people, but rather to make them aware of their bias and therefore able to overcome it.
Hosted by NPR Music’s Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, “Louder Than A Riot” examines the connection between hip-hop and mass incarceration in the United States. Each episode follows the personal experience of a specific artist, and subsequently explores a specific issue within the American criminal justice system that disproportionately affects Black people.
“Bottom of the Map” delves into all things Southern hip-hop. Hosts music journalist Christina Lee and hip-hop scholar Dr. Regina N. Bradley tell the genre’s history and also explain its impact on many different facets of our culture. Simply put by the tagline, it is “Southern Hip-Hop: Explored. Explained. Exalted.”