Category: Ideas

Inclusion is a bit more than dancing at a party.

by Carjamin Scott on October 17, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. CST

Have you heard the quote, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance?” While it seems forward thinking, it still does not reflect what is needed to be truly inclusive.

Let me be transparent for a moment with you. I am a wife, a mom, and I do a ton of community service work. And I do not even want to discuss the demands of my job. My time is limited; so, I do not allow myself to waste it in spaces and places where I cannot thrive.

Before I address the diversity dance quote, here is the criteria that I consider before deciding to attend any party.

1. Who else is going?

Listen, I need to have some people at the party that I can vibe with. I am not going to a party to schmooze the entire time. That’s not a party, that’s a networking event. Plus, I need to know who else is there so I can truly let my hair down to dance, laugh, and have a good time.

2. Where is the party?

Sorry, but I am not going to a party over 15 minutes away from my house. If it is that far away and I have to Uber home, I will not be happy. And, if I am going to a party without a designated driver, it’s likely that I’ll have to Uber. So again, sorry but that’s just too far for me.

3. What is the attire?

I might consider buying something new if the party has a particular theme but I really do not want to have to go through the trouble of that. Don’t waste my or your time inviting me to your color coded parties.

4. What time is the party?

If it starts at 8, I’ll be there about 9:30. That’s just the truth. I have to be on time all day. I have to be on time to pick up my kids, to get to work, to have dinner ready, etc. I do not want to have to be on time for a party.

5. Who is hosting the party?

This should have been the first question on the list. I am not going to your party if it’s going to be stuffy, with one bad genre of music, and corny games. I like parties with all kinds of music, where people do not have to drink to tolerate each other, with good food, and great people.

Thanks for letting me vent to you about that. Any-who, here is the story I really wanted to share:

I thrive in spaces where I feel included, valued, and I where I can offer all of my talents. I love to meet new people and create relationships.

A recruiter reached out to me the other day and asked, “What is something that isn’t on your resume that you think we should know about you?” I replied, “Do I have your permission to be clear and transparent while answering your question?” He said, “Yes, of course, based on the qualifications of this role, you clearly exceed what we are looking for so we really want to know if you are going to fit in with the culture here.”

I said, “Ok, well I was raised on the Southside of Chicago. My mother is a black woman, my father was an immigrant who migrated from Manila, Philippines. I am proud of who I am. In my personal time, I go back to the community that I am from and educate them in an effort to lift as I climb. I do not think that my story is that unique. I think that we are all proud of who we are and where we come from. I also think that we all want to lift as we climb somehow.

I am not sharing this with you for pity and I won’t need anything extra from your company to be successful. I have nearly two decades of experience and a terminal degree. I just want to make sure that I can bring my whole-self to your organization without having to forget where I came from to advance and feel included. I will get the job done. I will likely exceed your expectations.

My track record speaks for itself, my awards have proven my abilities, and my recommendations are credible. However, if your culture will require me to dim who I am or no longer allow me to lift as I climb then I am not the right fit there. I am passionate, culturally competent, resilient, strategic, and creative. I would love to add my skillset to the culture of your organization.

Let me be clear, if you invite me to your party, I will dance; but, I will eventually want to be involved with the party host committee.”

He says he is going to send my information to the hiring manager. 

Back to the quote, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” When you ask me to dance, I will not dance for you. I’m expecting you to dance with me and that’s only if we like the song that’s playing.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie, instagram @carjiescott.

Six Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

by Carjamin Scott on June 19, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. CST

Today is Juneteenth, African American Independence Day.  On this day, we celebrate one of the most revolutionary events in our history designed to dismantle the enslavement of Blacks.  In 1865, General Order No. 3 was issued by Unionist Major General Gordon Granger to inform Texans that slaves are no longer the property of their masters. 

Although, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1893, Texas was exempt from the rule which made June 19, 1865 the official African American Independence Day.  As we celebrate this day, let us recognize where we, as Americans, have come from, how we can keep our history alive, and what we should do moving forward.  Here are six ways to celebrate Juneteenth.

1.Document Juneteenth with an elder or child.

Consider this perspective, Juneteenth happened 156 years ago.  According to the United Nations, our lifespan is 72 years.  This means, that we are only about 3 generations removed from the establishment of Black slavery.  Find a great grandmother or grandfather and ask them what they know about Juneteenth. Talk with your children about the history of Juneteenth.  Document these stories to keep the memories alive.

2.Host a party and register your friends to vote.

Our vote is our voice.  If we want to continue progressing towards freedom for all in America, we will need to be sure our voices are heard.  Host a house or block party, invite your local elected officials, and register your friends to vote. 

3.Attend Juneteenth celebration events.

Here in Nashville, there are many organizations hosting Juneteenth celebration events.  At Fort Negley Park, Mayor David Briley, The Equity Alliance, Kwame Lillard, Gideons Army and others are gathering tonight from 5-8 pm for a Juneteenth celebration hosted by Juneteenth615 and the African American Cultural Alliance.

4.Go to a local school and complete a Juneteenth lesson.

I remember the Emancipation Proclamation history lesson; however, I did not learn about Juneteenth in school. Did you? Contact a principal at your neighborhood school and ask if you can deliver a Juneteenth history lesson. 

5.Volunteer and give money to Black led non-profits.

Nashville has over 100 non-profit organizations working to create opportunities and restore hope for marginalized communities. Which causes are important to you: healthcare, education, fair wages?  Non-profit organizations need money and volunteers like you to further their vision and help to create freedom and equality for all.

6.Patronize Black owned businesses.

Replace your everyday items with Black owned goods. Try and buy new products. Shop at Black owned restaurants and bookstores. If you do not have any businesses in mind, it’ll only take a quick google search to find Black owned businesses in your area.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie, instagram @carjiescott, and facebook at Dr. Carjie Scott.

4 Keys to Living your Best Wild and Precious Life

by Carjamin Scott on May 14, 2019 at 10:05 p.m. CST

Last week, Cindy Kent, Healthcare Executive and Philanthropist, posed the question, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” to an audience of professional business school graduates.

Kent began her commencement remarks with, “The world needs leaders interested in living lives of significance. The need for moral, ethical, and purpose driven leaders is at an all time high.” Then, she provided four keys to living your best wild and precious life.

Key # 1: Authenticity – “Your authenticity is your unique value proposition.”

Key # 2: Vulnerability – “There is power in vulnerability and admitting what you don’t know.

Key # 3: Learn from Failure – “Never let a good failure, heartbreak, or mistake, go to waste.”

Key # 4: Legacy – “Leave people places, and things better than you found them. Leave a legacy.”

She ended with, “The truth of the matter is all of us have something within us that is whispering and wanting more – to be more, to do more,” she said. “Some call it purpose. Others, vocation. I do not care what you call it […] just allow it; amplify it with intentionality, and in so doing, I would imagine that you will live a life that is bigger (and) better than anything you could have ever imagined.”

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie, instagram @carjiescott, and facebook at Dr. Carjie Scott.

Photo: L to R Cindy Kent and Lee Pierce

Photo Credit: Vanderbilt Owen Marcomm