Happy Sweet Sixteenth Frontline Solutions: Notes On How to Create an Org that Honors Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

In the US and in some parts of Canada the 16th birthday of a young girl is referred to as their Sweet Sixteen birthday. It’s a significant point in someone’s life. It’s a milestone. It’s when you are officially of age. The journey of Frontline to get here, doesn’t mirror that of the wealthy, privileged teen who is getting a beamer, a hummvee and Bruno Mars singing to her on her 16th. …

Veertzy via Unsplash


Who is The Only: I have to be clear about what I mean when I say “The Only.” I don’t mean that you just happen to be the only one in spaces with a specific identity. I mean that you consistently find yourself in spaces where you are automatically put in the position of less than. You enter the room perceived to be at a deficit. There is automatically a status of exerting power over you. You are not expected to be there. The room, the space, the dynamics, history — none of it contemplates having your presence, your…

Organizations are hustling to figure out what to do for Black History Month (BHM) this year. Two words: Accountability & Action.

I recommend that organizations use this as a time to recommit to any BLM or anti-racism statements they issued, and also speak to actions taken or that will be taken.

At this moment, employees and your culture (and frankly society) require more than films and learning that don’t result in action or accountability. They require more than the 3 Fs: Food, Fun, and Festivities.

  1. As quickly and urgently as those BLM statements and ads were issued, CEOs, Executive Directors…

An Open Letter to Corporate America, Philanthropy, Academia, etc.: What Now?

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We black folx exhaled, just a little bit, when we saw the letters to employees and to the public from Target, Wells Fargo, University of Minnesota, and even Melinda Gates. Maybe they see us now? Maybe our murders will not just go quietly into the night after a hashtag is stamped in front of those we’ve lost on the frontlines of racism, again? Will anything change for me at work, or do I need to get ready to gird up for the standard onslaught of debilitating aggressions?

On April 26, 2019, a cross-sector of 130 representatives convened at the #SeattleEquitySymposium2019. There was a waitlist of over 200 individuals seeking to attend. Attendance was curated with the specific goal of having innovators, those on the frontlines of equity building in community, funders, and policy makers collaborate and explore actions for equity. Among the hoped for outcomes:

  • Create greater understanding of racial and economic issues in Settle and beyond
  • Explore new ideas for closing the gaps between people and opportunity in education, housing, and the workplace
  • Inspire inclusive decision-making across sectors for a collective path forward
  • Commit to taking…

#WakandaForevah Photo:Uproxx.com

Since my two black boys and Mr. Dad saw Black Panther (like the last four times), we’ve started to greet each other with #WakandaForevah, with the crossed arms and all. And, yeah, we’ve also been greeting our close friends and our regular black folx on the street the same way. And guess what, they were returning the greeting! (Note: We are in Seattle, so this is a BIG DEAL. It’s not like Atlanta or the south where it’s the norm to throw a greeting or a head nod to the brothers and sisters you pass.)

When we get off the…

Aiko Bethea

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