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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 1 Reflection - Implicit Attitudes

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

The purpose of this week’s group reflection is to share both where you currently find yourself and your organization, and where you hope to be in 6 months. Share how you are thinking about the values you wish to support and center when designing. Are you approaching this with an inclusion lens, or maybe with an anti-racism lens? Maybe your frame is social justice, or to design an equitable workplace. Share that with the group. And as you think about creating that kind of workplace, what experiments and iterating do you think you will do between now and six months to move towards what you really want? And, what support can those in this group offer you?


As I consider the JEDI values I try to bring into a project or workplace, I am sensitive to not appearing performative, insincere or a White Savior. While JEDI values are certainly needed in the workplace, I'm often challenged by the HOW and the WHEN to apply those values. Is it my job to speak to a colleague on the project who is not part of the majority and make sure they are okay? If I notice a micro-aggression, or when someone's contributions are not valued or given the same credit as others, is it appropriate for me, or is it my job, to say something? In my experience, most nonprofits are predominantly white institutions filled with well meaning people whose intentions might be good, but who are very often ignorant, or who want to be anti-racist, but end up making a situation worse.

What I've tried to do recently is focus more on observation, not jumping to conclusions, and asking questions when appropriate, which very often means in private or after work hours. In addition to a JEDI lens, I also consider a Trust lens. Does this person trust me, trust us, and do I/we trust them? If I pick up on a sense of tension, I've found it often can be traced to an issue of trust and lack of communication.

Since I'm not generally in a position of leadership in projects, but rather, an active collaborator or contributor, I try to listen and gather as much information as possible and then ask the other person, regardless of their role in the project, what their preference is for what or how I can support them. This form of active listening helps to build trust and also builds room for forgiveness in the event either of us messes up that sense of trust. I've also tried to remove the idea of "right and wrong" or "picking sides" on projects as it fuels whatever unconscious tribal associations might be present in the space. In the next six months, I want to be more active and intentional in modeling and sharing that kind of collegial attitude and behavior with my colleagues. I'm a big believer in leading by example and it's my hope that as I work on more projects, those values and greater trust will be built among the teams I'm a part of.

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