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B105: How to champion diversity in the workplace – with Erica Courdae (REPLAY)

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I’ve sat down to voice this one for the last few days and coming up short. Without words. Horrified by what I’m seeing on my screens, saddened by the injustice and separation in the world. 

Black lives matter.

Bottomline, FACT.

And maybe my lack of the right words (right now) is exactly the right message.

I’m not the expert, but as Erica Courdae says in this conversation I had with her back in August 2019, instead… I aim to “be an imperfect ally.”

Start somewhere. Do one thing.

Register to vote.

And I hear from my white friends, so many of us are not sure where to begin. They are afraid to speak out for fear of saying the wrong thing or that it comes off trite and vapid. But that silence is deafening. 

So, here’s a place to start… Have a listen to this conversation I had with Erica and take notes.

Take a little time out of today and watch the “13th” documentary by Ava DuVernay on Netflix.

Scroll below for a long list of books to read (or listen to them on Audible) like White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

Listen, learn. Be open and take it in.

Imagine if George Floyd was your baby son. Your neighbor. Your friend.

And vow to start somewhere. 

I’m doing more listening than talking this month. I stand with you, without judgement… learning how I can use my influence and privilege for positive change, for all of us.

Have you registered to vote yet?

And as Erica says in this conversation… remember, these shifts happen “one change at a time. It takes a million raindrops to fill an ocean.”

And we’ll do it together.

Now, on with the show…


Diversity… not an easy topic to simplify, but a necessary conversation to have. It boggles my mind⁠—in this day and age⁠—that there are still conferences where the majority of the keynote speakers and panelists are white men. Or worse… when you see a panel of men talking about women’s issues!!?!

Surely we could do better, right?

Instead, we could champion diversity. In our own offices, the conferences we attend, the associations we join, and the social media we create and consume. It all starts with us, becoming more aware, more educated, and then doing something positive about it. This is where growth happens. My guest today is here to help that along…

My special guest today is Erica Courdae and she’s simplifying how to champion diversity in the workplace.

We tackle all aspects of it, including:

  • Why it’s important for small business owners to talk about diversity, and do it with courage, empathy, inquiry and love
  • Simple, little shifts you could make in the workplace that’ll ripple out and make a big impact for women of color (WOC)
  • Erica’s simple process for change:
    • Realize you want to make changes
    • Set goals of how you want to change
    • Find someone to support you through those changes
    • Discuss how you’re feeling to make sure you’re staying aligned with your goals
    • Uncover where you needed more clarity
    • Feel yourself expand into the best version of yourself today
    • And then, start the process all over again… because this is a journey not a destination
  • Plus, Erica shares her ideas on how women of color can be more present and “stay in the room”

As a bonus for wellness practitioners, Erica shares her ideas on how to increase diversity in yoga studios and self-care retreats.

Q: Are you trying to figure out what to say or how to support your black brothers and sisters who are hurting right now? Start here.

It’s time to #DoTheThing!


My challenge for you this week:

Take stock of the spaces you’re in and the conversations you hear this week. How will you champion diversity today? Share it with me, privately or publicly. Snap a photo of you doing the thing, and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

Book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo

Book: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race – Beverley Daniel Tatum

Book: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Renni Eddo-Lodge

Book: The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Books for Young People:

Book: The Hate U Give (a powerful story of police shooting of unarmed black teen – age 13+) – Angie Thomas

Book: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (moving, interwoven stories of black middle schoolers – ages 10+) – Jason Reynolds

Book: New Kid (funny, heartfelt middle school tale explores race, class – ages 8+) – Jerry Craft

Book: Sulwe (girl learns to embrace her dark skin in a magical tale – ages 4+) – Lupita Nyong

Resource: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice – Corinne Shutack

Resource: A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising – Michael Harriot

Resource: How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change – Barack Obama

Resource: Silence is NOT an option – Ben & Jerry’s

Resource: First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources for White People – Forbes

Definition: BIPOC – ‘Black and Indigenous People/Person(s) of Color’

TV: Drag Race Thailand – Facebook

Podcast: Pause On The Play – Erica Courdae + India Jackson

Freebie: Gain instant access to the ‘Vote With Your Dollars’ directory – A list of businesses and service providers designed to shift how you use your money – Erica Courdae

Find what you need on the Super Connector Network

We’ve got a free resource we’d love to share with you! 

Whether you’re looking to… 

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Introducing… The Super Connector Network!

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About Erica:

Erica Courdae – She is an entrepreneur, coach, and consultant. She’s dedicated to expanding how we all interact with the world, in life and in business. This includes multicultural professionals, managers, lawyers, coaches, and creative small business owners.

Erica believes that talking about important and necessary topics⁠—in a safe space⁠—creates change. It helps people feel comfortable, open, honest, and forward focused.

Through powerful conversations, Erica challenges people to perceive their reality through a different lens. She tackles topics like diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion to help people create mind shifts for impact.

Where Erica hangs out online:

Website: ericacourdae.com

Instagram: @ericacourdae

LinkedIn: @ericacourdae

Facebook: @ericacourdae

Erica’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

India Jackson – Founder of Flaunt Your Fire – a collective of artists united in revealing the soul of your purpose to the world.

Erica Courdae - champion diversity

Watch the video version of the episode

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