H@H: Ep 10 – Marco Lindsey, our Berkeley Haas Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, joins us today to talk about the importance of fighting anti-blackness not only in ourselves but in our future generation.
For those of you who may not understand Anti-Blackness, it was best explained in an article written by Kihana Miraya Ross, Northwestern University professor of African-American studies, as “the inability to recognize black humanity.” She describes it as a “theoretical framework that illuminates society’s inability to recognize our humanity – the disdain, disregard and disgust for our existence.”
We hear about Marco’s upbringing in East Oakland and how he wakes up every day to instill the right values in not only his children but also the youths in his community. He does so by walking his talk, serving as an active board member of the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, and giving back to the community through his gratuitous actions.
Marco’s Three Defining Leadership Principles
Live your life as if you were 80 years old.
If you help as many other people become successful, then you can’t help but be successful yourself.
I am someone’s ancestor. One day, there’s going to be someone on this earth with my blood in their veins that I never met. What am I doing now to benefit them in the future?
Paulina: Welcome to here@haas, the podcast connecting you to students across all MBA programs and the faculty that change our lives. Today on the show, I’m co-hosting with our podcast founder, Sean Li, and we’re very excited to welcome our special guest, Marco, Lindsey. Welcome to the show, Marco,
Marco: Thank you for having me Paulina. Glad to be here.
Sean: Marco, can you start us off and give our listeners some context on your background. You know, where you’re from, where you grew up?
Marco: Got it. I’m actually born and raised in Oakland, California. To better help you understand me, my grandmother moved here when my mother was a child; my grandmother had 13 kids. The reason my grandmother moved here was because of my grandfather, he died.
My grandmother had insurance on him. She moved to the biggest house in the neighborhood. The Klu Klux Klan didn’t like the fact that a black woman moved into their neighborhood and they burned the house down within a week. And so she packed up her 13 kids. Her brother and his wife packed up their 19 kids and all moved to the Bay area. And so we’ve all been here ever since. And, you know, I have a huge family in the area. I do a lot of work in the community.
Sean: Wow, your grandmother’s story is so harrowing. Can you share with us a little bit more about what it was like growing up in Oakland? You know your life here in the bay?
Marco: Yes. And so, it’s funny. Most people don’t realize it, but I was a juvenile delinquent. What happened was when I was 14, my father passed, and was the only working man in my community. When he passed, I kind of lost my way. Right. I’m a young man without any male guidance, father figure; he was literally the only one in my community.
And so when I lost that. I lost my way. And not only that, you know, part of it is if there’s no one else in your community like that, you don’t necessarily know what you can aspire to. Right. And so, I had never seen a black engineer. I had never seen a black lawyer. I had never seen a black person getting up, you know, putting on a suit and going to work everyday.
My father was blue collar and he worked two jobs, sometimes three to provide for our family, but he was blue collar. So, you know, white collar occupations never really came to my mind as an option. And so I remember being a juvenile and figuring out and doing all the crazy stuff the kids do.
And my brother in law, my sister’s husband pulled me to the side and he said to me, he says, you know, Marco, you’re going to be who you’re going to be. But what you should do is get an education. And the reason you should get an education is because his exact words were, if you want to be a knucklehead, you have the option to be a knucklehead, but with an education, you can have an option to not be that and be so many other things.
For me, that was pivotal because I’ve always been adamant on teaching, telling other people and knowing about my own options, right. To have options, you know, within your community, to get out of your community and support, to make sure that you create options so that way you’re not pigeonholed and you’re not backed into any corners. And so, to take it back. I am a black man. I’m a black professional. I mentor and I worked with an organization called the A 100 Black Men of America with the Bay Area chapter. I’m actually on the board of directors and I still live in the same community that I grew up in.
And one of the reasons that I do that is because, you know, unfortunately what has happened, and this is East Oakland. What has happened is that a lot of times when people make it or become successful, they move out to the burbs, they move, they leave this area. Right. I found that to be a problem because, you know, when I grew up, I wish I had somebody like me to look up to.
That’s not to say that I’m, you know, anything grandiose or anything like that. But because so many people left, I didn’t have that. And so it’s important for me to stay here. So that way the little black boys and little black girls can see me and say, Hey, I know all this other stuff is going on, but at least, I thought that guy, you know, he gets up and he, you know, he goes to work and he volunteers in any, all these other things and provides resources to my community.
So that way, at least they’ll have something they can aspire to in the organization that I’m in the 100 Black Men of America. Well, we call ourselves The 100 black men in the Bay area. One of our models, we have two; one is, real man giving real time, but the second, the second I feel it’s important.
It’s what they see is what they’ll be. You know, it’s important to make sure that our youth can have a visual and to, this is something that I can aspire to. This is someone who came from the same background as me. This is someone that has some of the same issues that I’ve had and they’ve made it.
And so I don’t have to dim my own life. I can aspire to that too. And so that’s, those are some, some pivotal things that occurred to make me who I am.
Sean: Can you share with us a little bit about your role as the associate director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion at Haas?
Marco: Yes. Well I’ll, let me take a step back. When I first started, when I was a chief of staff role, I noticed a lot of inequities for students of color. A lot of times, our black students would come here. They would move here from across the country or, you know, out of the country and it gets a Cal and you can come to Cal and not see that many black people, right.
So I took it upon myself, even though in my chief of staff role I had no dealings with students. My role was purely administrative, but I took it upon myself to make resources available to all of the students that I could. And so what I would do is, you know, I would connect them to events, personal and professional.
I would connect them to communities. I would help them get connected to recruiters in tech who were looking for black talent, things like that. I would buy them tickets to things like Afro tech and other conferences, because I knew the numbers were so low that I had to do something.
And I, you know, I had the budget and I had the power to do so, you know, to make their experience a little bit better. Right. You moved here from across the country. You might’ve expected it to be one way you get here and it’s not, that’s not fair to you. Let me use my personal networks and see what I can do to make things better.
And so when a new Dean came aboard, I realized that I had seen enough deans.
I wanted to switch roles and, you know, it was a natural fit given that I had been doing that so long for so many students to switch over into this new area. And so in this new role, my primary areas of focus are the staff, making sure that our staff body’s diverse, making sure they feel included, making sure that it’s an inclusive environment, and making sure that we have diverse and inclusive hiring practices. Then also our alumni. Right? And so I’m the one responsible for working with our diverse alumni. You know, because Haas has had bad press and, you know, has been known for not being good to our students of color.
Many of our alumni who went through the program just felt disconnected, right? They didn’t want to come back. They didn’t want to volunteer. And so I’m working on that because I’ve been here 13 years. I know 13 years worth of alumni, you know, making sure that we can create programs for the alumni and making sure that they feel connected, connected to the current student body. And then also making sure that we have resources available to them.
So that way, you know, the alumni experience can be better than a student experience that they had.
Paulina: Yeah,and I think you hit this great point of the importance of mentors and the importance of seeing successful people who look like us, who look like you, who grew up in the same conditions, who speak your language and really understand what it takes to get out or you know, change your life and your life trajectory. And I think one thing, you know, I’m curious to learn more about you. As we know, you have some defining principles of your own. So we have our defining leadership principles at Haas, but we know that you have, three that you’ve signaled out as your own defining principles.
And I would love for you to share each of those principles and how you crafted them.
Marco: Yes, I do have three defining leadership principles from my life and being that I was here when we formed the definable district principals, it just made sense for me to have some for all life. And so, the first one in there, you know, they’re in order of how they came about. The first one was to live your life as if you were 80 years old.
And you got to come back to today and do it all over again. Because there’s going to be a time when I’m going to look back on today. Right. And wonder, did I do the best I could with the resources I had available to me? Did I use this time the most effectively.I Let that be your guide in life. So the second one, if you help as many other people become successful, then you can’t help but be successful yourself. People come to me all the time, like, Hey, my son wants 15, 30 minutes of your time. Can you talk to hit? People come to me. Hey, I know you have a lot of connections in tech through, you know, the hiring fairs I’ll host. Can you connect me to a job? I’m always gonna say yes. I’m always going to say yes, because it’s extremely important to help as many people around you. And not only that, but if you help other people become successful, you’re creating a network of successful people. And finally, I am someone’s ancestor. One day, there’s going to be someone on this earth with my blood in their veins that I never met. What am I doing now to benefit them in the future? And so with that one, I think many times we live in the moment and it’s real easy to get caught up in our own lives. And you know, what am I going to do this Saturday? Right? What am I going to do this weekend? But you know, the question that really needs to be asked, at least for me is, what am I doing that’s going to help my great, great, great grandkids. No grandfather left me anything. Right. And so for me, you know, realizing that, I wished that I had been born into a better position. What can I do to make sure that my kids, great grandkids and so on and so forth are born into better positions. And, also helps guide me as well. Those are my three principles. They helped me a lot with my decision making. And you know, they helped me do the right thing and what I believe to be right.
Sean: Speaking of leaving a legacy. I just recently became a father in January. Thank you. Thank you so much. And I can’t help but think every day, how I want to help shape the world for our sons and daughters. Right. How have recent events changed your outlook as a father yourself?
Marco: So to be totally honest, recent events have never changed my outlook because unfortunately the recent events that are happening, have always been prevalent in my community and amongst my people. Right now, you know, there’s a lot of talk about, you know, brother Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor tragedies, travesties, right? A lot of good people, who lost their life. But the unfortunate thing is that I’ve experienced that in my entire life. I’ve known since a child that a police officer can kill you and will. I’ve known this. And that’s just been my reality. And I’ve known that, you know, police in my community, you know, and the crazy thing about this is, many times there’s a talk where a parent tells a child, you know, what to do if they come in contact with the police where it’s like, make sure they can always see your hands. If you’re gonna grab something, announce that you’re going to grab it, don’t talk back. Don’t be smart. You know, roll down the window, do whatever they say. Don’t be a threat.
[00:12:00] And my family never had to have that talk with me because just living and, you know, listening to my parents, talked to my uncles and their friends. I heard the talk through that. You would hear about Billy down the street, who was literally a straight A student in college who came back here and was assaulted by the police, just for driving down the street or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Right. And so, you know, to answer your question, current events don’t necessarily affect me. It’s the life that affects me. And I’m a father as well to boys and a girl. A lot of times I have conversations with my kids about empowerment because what happens early on and especially in the black community, is that if you live in what you know, and if people feel like I’m overstating this, but if you live in a police state where you have police around that can do whatever they want to your black body at any point in time and get away with it, you can feel diminished. You can feel less and many people in my community feel that. Many people in my community feel like second class citizens, because you can’t be a first class citizen if your life can be taken without consequence. And so, a lot of my conversations with my kids in addition to, be careful, take care of yourself, don’t do X, Y Z. I’m very big on my last name. And so, you know, when I talk to my kids, I’ll tell them as Lindsey’s we do this, right. As Lindsey’s we take honor and pride in doing this. And as Lindsey’s, we’re good at math, right? And these, you know, we, we exercise it as long as we walk with our head up. And, and so that’s how I talk to my kids in a way. They don’t think that I’m telling him to do something that’s not already in them. I want them to feel like, Hey, this is just a part of my bloodline. You know, this outspokenness, this freedom that I have, the strength that I have, it’s already in me. And all I need to do is tap into it. And I want, you know, I wish and hope that more people from, you know, backgrounds that aren’t overrepresented could do that. And I’ll just pause for a second there and, you know, give you this. I don’t use the word underrepresented. I don’t use that term because under comes from a place of deficiency. Right. And there’s nothing under about me. I’m above and everything. And so if we’re going to talk about this demographic, I’ll say populations that aren’t overrepresented. Because the problem is it’s not that, you know, there’s a group of people that’s underrepresented. The problem is there’s a group of people that are overrepresented and they’re taking up space from the other people in the world. I haven’t, you know, too much of one thing and your refrigerator, right? If you have 47 gallons of milk in the refrigerator, you know, get some grapes or some meat and say, we need to, you know, it’s underrepresented grapes, no. Give him some, for milk and make room, because that’s the way it should be.
Paulina: That’s a great analogy. I’m also wondering how large this fridge is with 47 gallons of milk, but, no, I think that’s a great way of flipping the conversation and flipping the perspective. I wanted to share a quick story. So I went down to the March in the mission district in San Francisco on Wednesday.
And I think for me, there were a couple of reasons that I wanted to go one. I wanted to show solidarity. I wanted to feel, you know, a part of this moment and in history and current events. And I think two, another reason that kind of came to my mind and kind of relates back to some of your defining principles was, you know, I do feel like this is a big moment in my lifetime as a young adult and when my kids ask me in 10 to 20 years, what I did, living in the Fillmore, which is a historically black community, being a mile from city center, you know, when my kids asked me what I did during this time, I didn’t want the answer to be, I stayed home or I shared something on Instagram and that was it.
[00:16:00] And so I went down and it was very powerful. It was overwhelming and humbling to see a mass of a city united together peacefully during a pandemic with masks on and being united on the front. And then I think at the same time, honestly, I felt somewhat at a loss around wrapping my mind of what do we do next? How do we fix a system that’s so broken and what is my role to help? I’m here. I’m marching. I’m protesting here with this whole city, but what happens next? So I just wanted to get your thoughts and perspective on the various marches and protests that have gone on in the Bay and around the world.
Marco: Thank you. Thank you for being a part of that. That’s necessary. It’s needed in this. Appreciated. Ironically enough, this morning, I was at a rally and open city center, uh, with the 100 black men. And so that literally came from that to do this. And so I think it’s important. And I’ll tell you this, that I went to, you know, last Saturday I went out to, you know, protest and I took my 14 year old daughter.
Right. And you know, some people like, why would you take your daughter to a protest? Well, what I want to instill in her is, we stand up to injustice. This is what we do. And you know, this is what you’re going to do. And when I’m dead and gone and she’s talking to her grandkids, she’s going to have this memory of, there was something that happened that was wrong in America and me and my dad went down there and did something about it. I want her to pass that on to her kids. And so when you’re talking about what we can do is, we have to start talking to our family and friends and the most important, our kids, about anti-blackness. We raise our children in a world and we teach them things and we love them and we nurture them.
And we make sure that we don’t turn them into racist, right? We don’t teach them racist things. We tell them, you know, treat people fair and equally. Well what’s happening is, unfortunately, the media in America, you know, the images we see, the way things are said, is America’s inherently racist, which is why there’s so much unconscious bias.
English is inherently racist. And I’ll just say this; so many things have a negative connotation when you would use it in conjunction with the word black. Right? And so, the idea is that you hear a black man and you think positive or you’re neutral, but a black cat is bad luck; black balls are bad. Black listed is bad. You know, a blackout is bad, everything, or, you know, pulling someone from darkness to the light. Right? All of these things are bad. And the expectation you want me to believe that now when you come to me, you’re going to think necessarily good.
[00:19:00] No, that’s you, you have this unconscious bias in you, you know, people need to acknowledge that. But the point I want to make is we have to teach our kids about anti-blackness because they will come up. And just all those things that I just mentioned, right, your kid will listen to all these things about black being bad.
And then they’re going to meet black people and they’re going to bring that with them. Right. And you didn’t have this conversation cause you didn’t think of it. But not only that there are to be things said in the park, they’re going to be things said at school, they’re going to be things, you know, in the media, on the news. So you have to be, you know, very cognizant of it. You have to, you know, have those difficult conversations and I get it. You know, I wrote this in a letter recently, but I know we want to keep our kids naive for as long as possible, want to keep them innocent for as long as possible and not have these talks about how unfair the world is. But unfortunately, that unfairness is already entering into them. It’s already in their peripheral. Right. And so if you don’t address it, they’re gonna, they’re already learning things that you didn’t want them to learn. They’re already learning, they’re already seeing images, just living in life that promote anti-blackness. And so we have to speak up because right now I’m truly under the impression that, unfortunately America is run by a bunch of racist, old white men. We have politicians who’ve been in office for decades, right? And unfortunately we just have to wait for some of them to die off. They’re going to be in power. They’re going to be judges for life. So we have to wait until their life ends. And so my point is, this next generation that we’re bringing up who are going to eventually take those positions after these old white men die off, let’s make sure we’re pouring into them. Let’s make sure that we’re indoctrinating them into the right things. So that way they have some values and some beliefs that truly reflect what this country should look like. Right.
And so that’s a big one. I think, you know, it’s important for everyone to find their niche, whatever area you want to get involved in. I do hope it’s more than just sharing social media posts, but that’s a start, you know, at least do that, at least do that, but talk to, you know, your Congressman talk to your local law enforcement, right. Go talk to the police union. There are so many things that can be done, and talk to your black friends or black colleagues and speak up for them when they’re there or when they’re not there. There are going to be so many times when you know, a conversation is going to be had when a black person isn’t in the room and people are going to let their guard down and, you know, our allies are the ones that are going to have to be like, Hey, why are we having this meeting and there’s no black people here to give their voice. Why are we on this hiring panel? Why are, there’s no one black this talking about this product that we’re designing, why are we not getting a black perspective? Because you know, black people buy products too, and let’s make sure it fits their needs as well. And it’s up to our allies that are going to be in those rooms. There are many of us that I’ll never have access to, I’ll never have access to those rooms many times for whatever reason, but maybe it’s just because of my skin color. Right. But I still need you to advocate for me because we all would want that if the shoe was on the other foot and I know it’s difficult, I know it’s uncomfortable. But it has to be done or else to probably continue to go on forever. And that’s, this is exactly why here it is 2020, and we’re still facing the same issues that we face in the 1960s, the 1920s, the 1800s, the 1700s, we’re still facing the same issues.
And you know, it’s crazy to me. It’s crazy to me. Cause I have a phone that has more power in it than the most strongest mainframe made in 1950s and 1960s. Right. And the same racism from the 1950s and sixties is still here. It’s still more powerful than anything else. And that’s clear by the fact that black bodies are in black lives are being taken on camera. I’m not even going to talk about the thousands that we don’t see, because if you see a life being taken on camera, you can only imagine how many words have been taken, where there wasn’t a camera around.That’s what the protests really about. You know, it’s not just about people. A lot of people like I have, you know, police officers who are on my Facebook list and they’re like, you know, four cops at one guy. That’s what all this is about. No, it’s not, no, it’s not. We’re talking about years and years of oppression.We’re talking about all the people that we know who have been assaulted, who have their life taken, where a camera wasn’t there. And so people don’t know their name and there’s a kid that’s left without a father without a mother. There’s a family that’s destroyed. In this instance, the officer is at home with pay.
Sean: So I want to touch upon something that you just brought up as well, which is the idea that people need to act in whichever niches of influence that, you know, they have, that they can work on where, you know, people just need to do something, anything, not just today, not just tomorrow, but every single day going forward. Right. And that’s the only way we will extinguish the systemic inequalities and injustices. Not just in this country, as you mentioned prior, but in the world, right? Some of this anti-blackness rhetoric that is deeply rooted in, you know, just from the history, the vile history of the slave trade.
And I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. In how we can make change happen. Because, like you mentioned earlier, you know, I’m old enough to remember the Rodney King case. And this was 1991, right? For any of our listeners who may be too young to know or remember, the Rodney King case was the reason for the last major LA protests or riot as they want to call it. And it was over the police brutality that was also caught on camera of them just beating this one man right on the highway. And I started thinking that this issue of systemic racism has many roots. Like a weed. Right. A weed has many roots that fan out. And to pull out this weed, you have to pull all the roots. And what that made me realize is that, I feel like sometimes people get so caught up on one area of this route that they’re so passionate about fixing, that we sometimes end up fighting each other about what is the priority? What is, you know, what we should focus on versus collaborating and acknowledging that we need to pull this root out together. I just want to hear your thoughts on what you think about that statement, whether it’s, you know, accurate or off base. And about the community really needing to come together and fighting collaboratively on different fronts.
Marco: I think you bring up a great point. I’ll say two things. One, you have to understand that if you live in America, if you grew up in America and probably any country, I could actually, maybe outside of Africa, you have some anti-blackness in you. And when I say that, I say that without malice, because black people have anti-blackness in us because it’s an American trait; it’s an American trait, you’re taught that. So the first step I believe is to start there and acknowledge that and work actively against that. Right. So you know that’s point number one, you have anti-blackness in you. We have anti-blackness in us, you know, what are we doing to counteract that narrative that’s already in our sub, our psyche. Secondly, you bring up a great point and I talk about this all the time because you know, I look at this issue, it’s like a war, right? It’s a world war, if you will. And the thing about a war is, you know, not everyone is on the front line. You know, medics, you have people who do logistics, you have people to do strategy, you have people to do a plethora of different jobs all for the same war. The soldier on the frontline is not more important than the pilot, right. And that’s dropping them off into the zone. We all have our roles. And we need to get on the same page and understand that this thing is so big that you can’t unravel any one part of it to fix it. Yeah. Police reform is extremely important and you know, I’ve worked with a 100 Black Men on some awesome things for that, but just to be honest, we’re doing something in Oakland. Right. There’s so much more to it. And for me, understanding that I can’t do it all by myself. And I think if we start looking at it more as a war where we’re all doing our parts, where we’re all on the same side, as opposed to, you’re doing this, but my job is more important so you should pay more attention to me, or you should stop doing what you’re doing and to come support me or else I won’t support you. I think that that’s BS, you know. I think that we have to get out of ourselves and realize that the institutions that we’re fighting, they’re dug in and they’ve been there for hundreds of years, so they’re solidified. And so if we’re going to come in and try to attack this problem, you have to understand they have a fortress. If we don’t come together, then all we’ll continue to do is what we’ve been doing is we’re chipping away at a brick. We have one brick and you chip away at one brick and then you spend your whole lifetime and then next thing you know, by the time, you know, the next person comes along, they’ve already replastered the brick wall.
But if we can come at it together and realize that, let me know where you need support, let me know when I need to show up and let me know what I need to donate. But ultimately it’s literally going to take us off if there’s no way that, and this is why allies are so important, because the black community can’t do it and don’t get me wrong, I am a strong black man. I’m very black. And a lot of things that I do, I support black. I buy black, you know, everything black, black, black, black, black, right. But I know the issue is not something that the black community can tackle. We need all hands on deck. We need, you know, we need our white allies, you know, our Asian allies. We do our Latin X allies. I don’t give a damn we’ve alien allies. We need, you know, the animal community. If we can get lions, tigers and bears, we need all that because it’s going to be necessary because there are really systems that are put in place. And if something is gonna change, it’s gonna take a revolution, right. If that’s what you want to call it, a revolution. Boston tea party, people got mad at tea tax, started messing up tea, you know, throwing tea overboard and a revolution began and it changed the trajectory of our nation. We wouldn’t be where we are today had that not happened. And that about tea, literally, I just have some of this stuff. It’s five bucks tea. Now we’re talking about black men and women being killed, if there was anything else, but a life at stake, that’s the time to start a revolution. And that’s the time to put your differences aside and come together. So, let’s get this figured out. Let’s nip this in the bud.
Sean: Yeah. And speaking of nipping things in the bud, you know, when you brought up your own principles for your life earlier about how you want to raise your kids and how you’re thinking about creating a future in passing things on to your grandkids, you know, it made me realize that so many of us not in the black community, don’t have to think about, or even worry about being able to pass on generational wealth. Right. You know, that in of itself has such a huge impact on the educational or career opportunities our kids and grandkids can or cannot have. I think people need to realize that that’s a privilege. And that the ability to pass on generational wealth, which a foundational piece is home ownership is being denied to a group of people. And I’ve seen studies where you can have a black person, an Asian person and a white person walk into a bank asking for the same home loan with the same financial background and for no apparent reason, the black person’s just being denied that loan. And you’re absolutely right. You know that we need to not only educate ourselves to fight against anti-blackness, but we need to also educate our future generations so that we can really make change happen. And I appreciate you sharing that message today.
Paulina: So I was just thinking a lot of our listeners, I would say, are based in the Bay area, right? And I think, you know, to Sean’s point, there’s so many things that add to what you’ve shared today. There’s so many things that we can do every day and showing up as an ally, but would also love for you to give some real recommendations on how the local community can give back whether it’s organizations or events that are coming up or local businesses to support.
Marco: So you know, I want to plug the A 100 Black Men of the Bay area. It’s an organization. I’m on the board. It is not a selfless plug, you know. I’ve joined this organization because they do real work. Right. We actually get people jobs in tech, you know, three times a year. We hold a hiring fair where it’s free for everyone to come. Right. We invite the entire community and we collect resumes, we sort the resumes, we edit the resumes and then send them out to employers. Right? To hiring managers and recruiters that we know and people have gotten jobs from that. When you talk about generational wealth you know, one of the problems that we’re facing here, another thing that’s happening against black people’s gentrification. You know, a lot of people who are from here have been pushed out because they just can’t afford to live here. And my team, and one of the things that we want to combat is people are flying in from all over the world to come work in the Bay area when you have black people that are here right now who could fill those jobs, they don’t have the opportunity. They don’t know the right people. And so we’re trying to fix that. When you have someone who’s working at a brick and mortar business, who’s doing that thing that you need done because what most people don’t realize is most jobs in tech don’t involve coding. I would say if you can go online and follow up the Black Bay Area, they have an Instagram, they have a Facebook, they have Twitter and, you know, you can get on their mailing list. But what they do is, they publicize black businesses, black events, black rallies, and other ways that you can connect with the black community and give back to the black community. Right. And I think it’s important because don’t be an ally from the outside, right. Don’t be an ally, just in name only. Get to know some black people if you don’t. Right. And just that’s the best way to figure out how to be a better ally is to be a friend. Because a friend is automatically an ally. I mean, an ally is here, but a friend is here, right.
Developing friendships with the people in the community. So that way, when you hear about these things that are happening, it hits home. Cause often, if you hear about something to someone that you know, that isn’t necessarily truly connected to you, it doesn’t have the same effects. And so start being a part of the community that you’re in.
If you’re going to be here in the Bay area, if you invest in the black community in that way, you don’t realize how much you’re building the community up because you’re making ways and you’ll create inroads that you might not see directly, but it will benefit the community as a whole, so much more.
Sean: So because the video is not being recorded for our podcast interview. I just want to share with our listeners a message that you gave and the body language that you just used, which I found really powerful. And what you said was that, the best way to figure out how to be a better ally is to be a friend. Because a friend is automatically an ally. And you said an ally is here, but our friend is here. And when you said an ally here, you’re pointing to, you know, right next to you or behind you, right. But when said a friend is here. You’re pointing to your heart. I think that’s really powerful because I think everybody can understand that; it’s universal. That a friend is in your heart, that you’re not just thinking about this friend, but you’re feeling for your friend.
And I think we need to keep that in mind as we consciously fight anti-blackness not just outside in the community but also in our own minds every day. So, thanks again for sharing that.
Paulina: Well, thank you, Marco, for joining Sean and I today and sharing your story and your perspective.
Marco: Thank you for having me. This was unexpected, but I had a good time.
Paulina: For our listeners, we’ll link to many of Marco’s recommendations that he just shared in our show notes. So be sure to check them out and thanks for tuning into here at Haas with Sean Li and Paulina Lee. Instead of our regular close this week, we’d ask you to take action; to push yourself to think about how you are being an ally. How are you showing up every day for your community? And in this defining moment, how are you making a difference and how are you leaving a legacy. Until next time.