Racism and The Wellness Industry

2015 brought us #OscarsSoWhite shedding light on the absence of BIPOC voices and representation in the Academy Awards; “an award given for artistic and technical merit in the film industry”. 2018 brought us another hashtag: #WellnessSoWhite.  #WellnessSoWhite began making its way into the discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in health and wellness via popular social media platforms and has resulted in small, albeit marked changes in the United States’ multi-trillion dollar industry. “Wellness is about making healthy lifestyle choices and maintaining one’s wellbeing both physically and mentally. In recent years, more people around the world have begun to recognize …

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Race Norming and Bioethics

“Race-norming”— also called “race correction,” “ethnic adjustment,” and “race adjustment” — refers to the adjustment of medical test results or medical risk assessment algorithms based on a patient’s race, the practice however, can and often does, include additional factors such as age, assigned sex at birth, and pain tolerance. Race-norming is believed to have been integrated into clinical risk assessment tools in 1981. Similar to the “soft-bigotry of low expectations” the practice is predicated on othering BIPOC communities, and most adversely affects Black people. “Race norming” was first used by the Carter Administration and then further implemented and extended by …

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Equal Pay & Caregiving: How Covid19 Further Exacerbates Existing Inequities

International Women’s day is a day in which many celebrate the progress we’re making towards equal pay and fair wages between men and women. Over more than a century, this day has been observed in February on the Julian calendar and March on the Gregorian calendar. What is encoded in the language-as is often the case-is that International Women’s Day is actually only a marker of the progress being made to bridge the wage gap between white men and white women.  Black women currently observe equal pay day in August—August 3rd, this year, and it has yet to become cause …

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Black Excellence and the Low Expectations of White Supremacy

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, corporate America pledged to do better, saying it would diversify its leadership, encourage equity and take concrete actions to root out systemic racism. They revealed that while Black and Hispanic employees are often overrepresented as compared to U.S. census data on the nation’s workforce among the technicians, administrative assistants and laborers who form the backbone of many organizations, they are less likely to be found at the company’s senior levels, or in other professional positions. Why is this when Black women currently hold more post-secondary degrees percentage-wise than White women, Latinas, Asian/Pacific Islanders …

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The spirit of Juneteenth is acknowledgement

Recognizing Juneteenth as a National Holiday is not a solution to ending racism. It’s a bandaid, a temporary fix to a wound at which we have given only a cursory triage. Gatekeeping humanity by only granting the privilege of it being recognized, is wrong. There lies the audacity of racism: to believe freedom can be taken and given at one’s will and without recourse.  Establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday is an acknowledgement of slavery, which as an institution, has morphed appearances and changed tactics often in order to remain viable in today’s society. Juneteenth recognizes the subjugation of people …

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5 things Holding Organizations back from Transformative Change

At incluu, LLC, we create brave spaces for life. To some, this concept may sound dreamy, ambitious, and a little “millennial“, but our work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space at the intersection of human, tech, and civil rights has continued to expose the pitfalls organizations face when they do not fully embrace and commit to their DEI initiatives.  The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and the global Black Lives Matter protests that followed forced organizations to explore the concept of breaking down barriers in their peoples, practices, and products. In doing so, many sought and are …

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60 Minutes and (En)Coded Bias

Gut Reaction Droplets of water building until the cup overflows You spend time.  Spend effort. And when you see a final product,  without your name-  without your history-  you wonder if you’re the  one who’s crazy. Recently, CBS’s 60-minutes aired a segment on racial bias in facial recognition technology, referring to a December 2019 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study as a “landmark study” while failing to mention the groundbreaking research on which the NIST study was based, and conducted by AI-research pioneers and Black women, Joy Buolamwini, Dr. Timnit Gebru and Inioluwa Deborah Raji.  Ms. Buolamwini, who …

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From Invisibility to Radical Empathy

I am passionate about my work as a Product Inclusion Specialist, a profession where I build products that work for everybody, regardless of ability, gender, resources, culture, race, or class. I focus on building ethical products and processes that resist exploiting customers as merely transactional profit providers, because greed is the enemy of equal socioeconomic progress, and there is a middle: building equitably for both people and profits. As technology has exploded around us and demonstrated capabilities beyond our imagination, we’ve come to believe that building machines will relieve us of our own biases and shortcomings. Machines, we believe, won’t be flawed the way we are. …

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We Stand in Unity with Our Asian Allies

It has taken us some time to find the words to express our deep empathy, sympathy, and worry for Asian communities across the US. Acts of violence engendered by hate affects us all, so we did not want to comment until we ourselves were in a space where we could do so in a way that lifts the voices, struggles, and causes of our Asian allies. Incluu operates by educating and training folks to lead with curiosity and an open mind and heart; therefore, we strongly believe that education and learning on the perspectives of others is the best way …

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