Why it matters who is the storyteller

As the dialogue on race relations and diversity continues the story matters

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I selectively read the news; what I have noticed is that the storyteller does matter. The New York Times published, Economics, Dominated by White Men, Is Roiled by Black Lives Matter. I found the journalistic reporting accurate but, for this reader, viewing an image of a woman of color alone in the darkness, in sparse lighting from the street was a metaphor not authentic or empathetic to the hundreds of black women economists in the past, present or future — although I am sure the intent was otherwise.

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Comparatively, when I read the recent Washington Post article, “As big corporations say ‘black lives matter,’ their track record raise skepticism The writing is exact, diverse, empathetic, inclusive, and from many perspectives. The authors disclose that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and yet they continue to cite issues with Amazon. The imagery used in the lead photo has many diverse people with distinguishable body language, facial overtones, and action. The photo itself tells a story of diversity and inclusion.

I then went back to review the authors of the two stories. The authors of the New York Times story were two white men. The authors of the Washington Post story were 4 women from diverse backgrounds. The lens and prisms which we see the world are colored by our experiences. We need more black and brown storytellers to share authentically across the global ponds. This is not a problem faced only by major corporations; there are many more mid and small businesses in the US and around the world. that have few senior executives and board members of color in their ranks.

As the dialogue on race relations and diversity continues, it does matter who is at the table. The Washington Post article does an eloquent job of describing all the talk; what will be important in The Future of Work and Entrepreneurship” is the walk.

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