Pride Month is Over…Guest Host CK Explains 3 Ways You Can Be an Ally Year Round!

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Season 2 of “Just Stories with BT” features all Female Executive guests in the mattress/furniture space or other underrepresented industries!

These episodes focus on getting to know the amazing woman behind these roles and giving a platform to talk about getting our male dominated industries more balanced out!

Episode 17 is a very important topic that I feel compelled to share.  Pride month ended a few days ago and so did a lot of the rainbow colored logos and flags hanging around many companies.  As someone who is trying to be the best ally I can be, I wanted to acknowledge two things: First, I understand that I have learned a lot from my relationships with the LGBTQIA+ Community and I’m proud I have leaned in. Second, and most importantly, I also understand that I need to learn a lot more information. I wanted to hear ways in which companies can continue to be inclusive and supportive year round. CK Ong wrote an amazing article that was published on The FAM site in June and I had her on the podcast this week to talk through how companies can continue with a 365 approach to allyship! In this episode, CK gets into the explanation of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, talks about the importance of pronouns, and of course there are also epic stories and one personal one that both CK and I share together!

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Full Transcription:

Brett Thornton: What is up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of just stories with BT the podcast. This is season two, we have been focusing on female executives, especially in underrepresented like leadership industries, mainly mattress furniture, we’ve had travel, and we’ve had all kinds of stuff. And one thing that happened during season two, as we’ve been releasing these episodes is that it was June. And June was Pride Month. And we saw companies changing their logo image and we saw press releases going out. And I think a lot of companies did do a lot of amazing things. But I also think a lot of it might have been a little bit smoke, you know, a little bit of just say we’re saying this, because it’s June and now it’s on to the next thing. And on during June, my great friend ck, who you’ll know from guest hosting our end of the season podcast, which she’ll do in a few weeks ck and I, we were talking about, hey, it’s great that there’s Pride Month, it’s great that companies are trying to be more inclusive. But what happens now? Right, what happens when June is over? It’s now July, the flag is not fine, you know, at the Capitol anymore, like companies and businesses have moved on. But I wanted to actually put out a podcast and ck and talk about how do you be inclusive all year round? How do you know, maintain that identity where people feel safe, inclusive, where they feel, hey, I want to work here, hey, I want to shop here, right? And so I figured because ck wrote an article about this on found on news, go check it out. It’s an amazing article. And it really spurred me to say, hey, you know what, like, I’d like to continue this conversation. And so I’d love to have you on the pockets. So that was really how we started. So welcome, Ck, thank you. Thanks for having me. Again.

CK Ong: I’m excited to be here to talk about this. But also looking forward to season two’s ending good about so many gems from I picked up so far. Anyway, but back to this topic, because yeah, that’s exactly it, we’re making this happen, because June is over. And the whole point of writing that article is so that we can continue the conversation all year round. So I’m excited to tackle this. But for anyone who has not read the article, or is confused or doesn’t really know for sure what the acronym actually stands for, I kind of want to go back to that and go over it. And if you’re watching the video, you know, I try to make it as visual as I can. But LGBTQIA plus that’s the whole thing right now. I mean, there’s the plus more because we’re gonna keep building and understanding more about each other and our identities. But for now, we’re just using that acronym. So L stands for lesbian, g for gay, B for bisexual, the T this is where we could have a whole different podcast topics but the T. I’d like to say Google, you can google check me but T is for transgender or transsexual there is a difference between the two. And again, we can have a whole different conversation about that. But you could do your research there. And then the Q is for queer. The I is for intersexual and then the A is for asexual. Some people like to say that the A also stands for ally. But to be fair, I think we’ll just keep it asexual for now. And again, if you want to fact check me on Google, I hope I got that right and representing our community properly. But of course the plus for four.

Brett Thornton: Yeah. And just for people listening right. So what have I say like, what makes you an expert?

Yeah, right. I was gonna say, if you’re just listening, and you’re not watching the video, you don’t know what I look like spoiler alert. Yeah, Brett, how did you even know that I was clear in the first place like [inaudible] me?

Brett Thornton: This is actually such a good story. Well, no I knew just from whatever conversations I also see together for a long time. But I do have to say this story. And I did ask ahead of time to make sure he was okay with this. So ck proposed to her girlfriend, which at the time I didn’t know is her girlfriend. This person also works with me. So I know both these people had no idea that they were dating. And then not only did I not know they were dating, I of course didn’t know that they were getting engaged to be married. Yeah. And they’re both female. Right? So that’s it goes back to like, why, you know, see case you’re talking about this. But the story that is so phenomenal is how they told me about their engagement. So imagine this, so I’m sitting there, and I’m actually in my office and they sent me a meeting request zoom meeting, yeah, on like a Wednesday, and it’s a Tuesday. And I remember I got it and it was from the two of them. And it was very cryptic. Like we want to have this meeting but there’s no like what it’s about. I’m like, Okay, so then ck is walking by my office on like Tuesday afternoon, and I go Hey, I’m actually available now you’re here I just talking to [inaudible] so like, we want to just knock out that meeting for tomorrow. No, no, no, no, no, we can’t have the meeting. It’s got to be tomorrow. Like we’re there’s this whole thing I’m like, so then I got nervous. Because I’m like, Oh my gosh, one of them is quitting or they’re both quitting or something you’re either like, no, my, like the two people that like I have to have it that work like the most important people, you can’t be quitting, you know, so I was really nervous, like literally all night get thinking about what is this meeting? Like, why is it so? So I was terrified it was me. So then I get on and there’s a full PowerPoint presentation like a slide deck. And so Desi is in the East Coast at the time now she lives out here. And ck is here. And they did they begin this presentation. And ck is like so you know, I’ve had this big vacation planned out forever. You know, it’s just really important. We got all this important stuff going on this week. It was like Chinese New Year, right? Yeah, yeah. So we’re Chinese New Year’s, we’re taking time off, migrate. And at the same time, Desi had requested vacation. And I remember when it happened, thinking like, great, they’re, they’re both taking vacation at the same time. Like, this isn’t good for me, like, like the two like top people. Right? So but whatever, you know, like, we got a great team, we can handle it. So then they go through this presentation, and they start talking about vacations and then. And then there’s a slide that goes like, so ck is on vacation, you know, and then Desi shows where she’s going to California, she’s like, I’ll be in Southern California the same time. I’m like, oh, that’s interesting. And I’m thinking like, oh, maybe they’ll hang out, like maybe they’ll see each other. I’m gonna stop by the office, you know? And then they go well, yeah, so I’m going to be in So Cal on this week, Desi is going to be there at the same time. And then they hit the slide, and it goes Desi. And then like, I was like an image like a sliding image. It says, um, does Young, which is your last name. Yeah. And I’m sitting there, and I’m just like, staring at it. And they’re, like, staring at me. And I could not have gotten more over my head. It’s just like, like, just disappeared, like, No clue what’s happening. I’m like, dizzy, Like, trying to figure it out, like, you know, and it’s just like, the wheels are turning, the wheels are turning. And then like, I think because of the loads you guys had like, like, wait a minute, like, does he Oh, and they just hit me like this ton of bricks. And I couldn’t have been, you know, in the moment, like more happy. It just I was so shocked. Yeah, because it had been like this kind of out of nowhere, you know? And, and I think you’re right, I it was just me. And like, only one or two of the people knew it was like very under wraps. And so anyway, so when we talk about ck being an expert, that all happened in the last, whatever, six months or so.

CK Ong: I love that story. Hearing it from your perspective is so great, because for us, we were like, how do we do this in like, true us fashion. You’re not just like me and her but like, you know, you will be doing we have these meetings and we have these awesome PowerPoints and stuff like that. So we’re like, we guide you in this way. We wanted so bad to record that reaction, but we didn’t, for PD reason. So we did go through the right, you know, avenues. And we talked to our HR people development team first to make sure that, you know, this was all right, but we kept it under wraps for a good while keeping our personal and professional lives separate. But it really just goes to say something, we’ve been now telling more people about it, we were keeping it under wraps for a long time. And Brent was the only person who knew for a long time, but we started to share it more and more. And that just goes to say something about how comfortable we’ve gotten, and the kind of culture that we’re in, in this company and the team that we have and our leaders, our representatives and stuff like that, to allow us the space to really just be ourselves. And then whenever we’re sharing the story like, Hey, we got married, you know, we’re like, Hey, we’re engaged. I mean, people are thrilled for us. And I’m so I think for both of us when I say that, you know, I’m so thoroughly grateful for that kind of reaction whenever we did share it like you and I had a phone conversation later on that day after he found out. And it was really just calling to say congratulations. And you call it to say congratulations. And we shared some stories about you know, what you knew about community, whether there was a friend that you knew, and how you talk about it with your kids and giving you that kind of reassurance that we’re in good hands, and then a good team? Like, it’s gonna be all right. Yeah. So I’m like, that all goes hand in hand with how to become an ally in your work environment. How do you stay and become an ally with your coworkers? So thank you for telling your story, though, from that perspective, because then I still think about how, like, I’m so proud of that PowerPoint that we kept it, we still have it. 

Brett Thornton: Oh, it’s great. We have, like, your five or your 10 but something, boy, we’re gonna use it for something totally for the reception of the party that we didn’t have as COVID Yes. So, so tell us ck, you know, when we talk about being an ally, from a company perspective, yeah, um, you know, I heard a lot of things during pride month that I really liked that I saw from companies where there was a lot of internal stuff, you know, like, this is how we’re treating our employees. This is the opportunities that we’re doing. This is how we’re hiring. This is how we’re recruiting. But what I didn’t hear a lot about was, this is the environment we’re trying to create for our guests to come here. Right? Like, it’s not, it’s just honestly, and I don’t think I heard anything or probably most about it. This is how I’m making maybe my, you know, you pick a pick an acronym right? Like someone comes in, in my comfortable shopping here. I feel like I’m being singled out or treated the same do I feel like someone who may look like me feel like me identify like me is represented on the other side as a staff member or leader or a manager? Oh, um, I don’t think I heard anything about that. You know, and I’d love to hear from your perspective, you know, what is are some good examples of like, shopping experiences you’ve had or placed visits and you work within? Like, what are some bad if you happen to you know, you don’t have to blast them.

CK Ong: But yeah, of course, um, so I’m gonna show the good ones first, that’s pretty easy actually have a few in mind that are very recent. So number one, we actually partner with a nonprofit called heal the bay and heal the bay recently had a virtual event called peers on the pier to celebrate pride month. And what they did to highlight the folks who work at heal the bay and are part of their staff is they empowered them to create this whole production. And it was like drag performances that were recorded, as well as a queer scientist who came on and added some interview questions. I thought that was really cool and, and learning about animals in the sea that have queer or Yeah, like, intersex features, it’s really cool it was they called it serving fish off the third segment. But they were queer. And I say queer to envelop anyone who falls into this community for so that I’ll say the acronym all the way, if you don’t know, but they were, they were folks from the LGBTQIA plus community who came out to share this new they work for Hilo Bay, but maybe they identify as she her lesbian, you know, and they came out and they said that they shared those programs. So I thought that was really cool that a company would have an event based off of that, but it still is in line with their business vision and showing our professionals are also part of the community here are the leaders that represent them. Super cool. Another good experience I had was actually our Hoboken location got this awesome review during Pride Month, right? We had a couple who bought a mattress online on their own, didn’t like the way it felt. So they went into the experience center to try something new. And we’re helped out by one of our books are seen, you know, and so he identifies a certain way, but as a part of this community, but everybody who was working there provided such amazing service that this guest and her husband who identify as black, by the way, at the end, I didn’t know until the very end when she said, you know, as, as a black couple, as black professionals, we go into a lot of stores that have all white employees, but every single one who worked there was either brown black personal color or non-binary, you know, and when she wrote that, she was like, it’s really nice to see a company that represents me, and you know, my husband and stuff like that. And when I read that review, it was really warm, by the way, but it was so worth the read. And you could probably find it if you Google it, but it was just, it hit me a different way. Because I just wrote that read that wrote that article. You know, this is the company I work for. Yeah, so that’s another really good example. Plus, I recently moved, you know, like, my wife and I were shopping for furniture went to props, living spaces, and I didn’t feel any different. I’m usually kind of weird about PDA, just growing up, you know, nice kid and stuff like that. I’m not really sure how to behave in public. But we felt really welcome. We bought the couch, like it was just, it was just a great experience through and through, you know, and we didn’t feel like we’re being looked at, we’re treated differently we walked in, and it’s just something as simple as that, you know, you don’t have to be weird about you don’t have to ask me your questions, just like, treated like anybody else. And it’s a great experience, you know, so. So those are my favorite ones. 

Brett Thornton: That that that’s, that’s great. And I love, you know, even just what you said right at the end, which is like, you know, it’s not rocket science, you don’t like you know, you’re not going above and beyond to do X, Y, Z. It’s really like, I’m making everybody feel really comfortable at my store. Absolutely. But there is something to be said about representation there. Just because you can make everyone feel comfortable, it doesn’t mean people are ultimately going to feel comfortable if there’s like zero representation in your door. And that’s reality. And that comes down to recruiting, hiring, you know, making sure that you’re not using the same job source for everything you do, not using the same outlet. Like some of those things you have to put into practice. You’ve got to do things ahead of time to make sure that you’re doing that. And then what I’ve noticed, especially like internally here, but even other companies is like, once you have a more representative team, you just tend to start attracting more and more people that are like minded like you do so. So it becomes easier, you know what I mean? So let me ask you the opposite, right? You don’t have to use the company names. But have you had any experiences where you have felt uncomfortable? Or felt unincluded? Or you know what I mean?

CK Ong: Yeah, absolutely. And I think what you just said right now about attracting the right people or likeminded people, it’s very true. So I worked for a company, I’m not going to throw any names out there. But the demographic is, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s very stereotypical, and mostly male, white male, the mostly male, right? It’s that kind of industry. And I’ve been called all kinds of names, you know, when people don’t get what they want, or customers come in, and they don’t get what they want. Or there was also a coworker who was throwing out slurs and whatnot, who eventually got in trouble for it, because people, you know, stepped up and did something. But I find that a lot of people are uncomfortable with staying uncomfortable like that. And they are okay with saying something, whereas others, like they will, they’re comfortable with that, and that’s fine. Like, they see something that happened that shouldn’t have and they don’t say anything, you know, no one stands up for them. And I see that that actually happens probably more often than we think. We hear a joke or we hear slurs, something like that. And we just think, you know, it’s it is just the joke, but we don’t know how it’s actually affecting the person is coming towards maybe they just don’t feel validated enough to speak up and say that hurt my feelings or that was offensive. And they’re just, you know, just swallow them that right. And that affects the confidence of someone who maybe they have a lot to offer. But if these things are coming at them from a personal level, then maybe they’re not being seen for their value and their potential and professional because they’re scared to speak up now. You know, so it’s that kind of culture. I mean, again, I’ve experienced it from whether it be an upset guest or like a coworker who doesn’t know their potential unprofessional because they’re scared to speak up now. You know, it’s so it’s that kind of culture. I mean, again, I’ve experienced it from whether it be an upset guest or like a coworker who doesn’t know they’re being offensive, but, you know, being mindful and like, you know, later on I can I guess I can share some other methods that we can we can take action right now.

Brett Thornton: Yeah. I’m gonna ask you about that a minute. Yes. Um, but I, it’s funny, because I think back to, you know, one of my first jobs like in sales, you know, was with a team of on there probably 50 sales people, I’d say 47. Guys, three girls, I’m pretty much all of like me, right? And at the time,

From what, from what I understood, like, nobody who identified this list out outward, you know, like, actually like saying, Hey, I’m gay, or I’m this or I’m not. But if you just think of like, the numbers, like, for sure there was people in that group identify as one of these things. But I can just tell you that was such a,

You know, based on things people would say, slowly, you know, just slang that was used. And this is we’re talking early 2000s. 

CK Ong: Yeah, you know, like, for sure, some will be uncomfortable coming out. And that environment, you know, and so I do think it’s good that like, I can’t speak for all companies, but at least companies I’ve been involved in the last 20 years, like, have all moved in a direction where I feel like people feel hopefully feel more safe to be who they are, to be able to be, you know, free in in there, in their feelings, and what they want to identify as how that they all that stuff. However,

what I see as a costumer, when I go into different places, is that I feel I can kind of identify, usually pretty quickly, like, Hey, does this company seem like they’re coming across as a company? That’s super inclusive? Right? I just feel like I can identify that relatively quickly. Like, you go into someplace like I don’t know about

This, you go to none. Plus, you’re like, wow, yeah, I feel like they’ve done a good job of being diverse. And like, you know, like they’ve put work into making sure that their team feels inclusive, and also looks inclusive, because it is. And so how do companies do that? Like, let’s say, you’re in this other bucket? And you’re like, looking around going, like, Alright, everyone looks like me. This isn’t great, what do I do? That’s weird, right? Because like, it’s so weird, I can sense the vibe, even say, there’s only one person working there. And let’s just say it’s incorrect. And you walk into, I’ll just use avocado as example. Cuz that’s where we are right now. But like you wanted to, if I was a consumer walked into avocado, and you were the only one working, I would still feel that vibe of inclusion with the company based off of the people that are helping create that kind of environment in the first place just when they’re not working that day. Right. But that that review I mentioned earlier, is a great example of that representation when they say you’ve got to see it. So three things I think that we can do and from like a business or especially a retail standpoint, that you can literally just take action right now, is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to know that it’s okay. To ask questions. Yes, you have to know that it’s okay to correct someone if they’re being let’s not call it PC or politically correct. But literally wrong pronouns. Yeah, you know, like, that’s a very common one. So it’s just making sure that you are okay to speak up on behalf of someone or for yourself, if this is if someone’s wrong, in whatever way shape or form whether it’s slurs or stereotypes or like it’s okay to call it out. That’s how you become an ally. You have to be okay of uncomfortability because that means change. And that means growth. Yeah, bro for not feeling uncomfortable. Yeah. Growing. No, that’s good. 

Brett Thornton: I love that. It’s a great business principle, no matter what, you know, to be honest, like a leadership principle. But I think in this case, I think a lot of a lot more good could be done. When it comes to inclusivity. And people feeling great working for someone or shopping somewhere. If people were actually honest, that hey, I just don’t understand. Yeah. Right. Like just that alone. Like, I don’t even know what all this means. I feel bad asking because someone that feels like, well, then I’m going to look like I’m, I’m anti or I’m not an ally, and I am I just don’t get it. Right. But if you don’t provide an environment where someone feels okay to ask, then that’s no good. And even if you have like, Oh, well, you know, I’ve got a lot of people on my team identify this or this or this. Yeah, but if your environments not one more, where people are open to ask questions, then that’s not good either. Absolutely. So I really like that first one. So what’s the second one?

CK Ong: and the second one ties into that we can keep it easy make that environment easy as possible. And something I’ve noticed that a lot of people are starting to do is adding their pronouns in their email signature, or adding their pronouns in their resume name or display name right. And maybe it’s easy for me and I know you’ve read so I know you identify as he him, I get that, but just even putting that there is power.

Anyone who normally should be asked because they want to know you, but they don’t know how else to tell you gives them a way to kind of express that. So it’ll save you the question. Right? Like, maybe it’s uncomfortable for you to ask, but you really want to know, and you’re just not there yet. Having that there now, you know, without having to even ask. 

Brett Thornton: So let’s take a pause, because this is a great opportunity. Yeah. So for people listening in, and actually, I’m one of those culprits like, I don’t have that on my, like my LinkedIn Bob, for example, but I should, and I’m actually gonna change it’s about time you see this, I will be on there. Explain the why. What do they mean? What does the what’s the different pronouns mean? So that people can understand why that’s important so that it helps for representation?

CK Ong: Sure. Um, so it’s a gender thing more than anything, right? Now is this more gender so in English, we look, the language in itself is we have feminine, we have masculine, but it’s not like in Spanish, where you say, something ends in o s, it’s inclusive of all genders, right? So we say like them, includes all the genders, or talk about plural, but someone who looks like me and I look more masculine, but I personally still identify as actually any gender, I’m gender fluid. But I can’t tell you that and have a conversation about that unless I put, hey, I go by she, he then it doesn’t really matter to me, because I personally switch back and forth all the time. So whenever you’d like to use, but you can’t just make the assumption that just because I identify as lesbian, for example, or queer or gay, even that I want to be she all the time. Yeah. And people will know that about me either. Like, I only talk about this when people ask, right, so this pronoun thing, what does he mean when she means this gender? You know, I believe and I think most would agree with me, gender is a human construct. Sex is different, right? You’re born cis C I S. And what I’m referring to is cis male, cis female and how you came out of the womb, and that’s your sex, right? So on your birth certificate, it says sex, but gender is a different thing. Gender is when we equate a particular colors with gender, like, is this more masculine or feminine? Like, I believe in duality, and personally, I think everything is very fluid. I think sexuality is fluid. And I think gender is fluid. Some people are with a gender and they stay that way. So for fluid, so that’s why pronouns are important, because just because it looks a particular way doesn’t mean the identify with one or the other gender or any at all. Really? Yeah. 

Brett Thornton: Yeah. No, that’s awesome. I love it. Um, and then three? Did you have third?

CK Ong: I do have a third. So the first thing was to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, like it was, um, pronouns, that’s a really easy one, right? Yes. And then the last one takes a little bit more commitment. And that is to upgrade your peer group, if you don’t think that you have the resources. And I just mean, making some friends who might be part of the community that you want to know more about, and not to put anything on their shoulders and say, you’ve got to teach me anything, but just don’t understand that we’re all people at the end of the day. And so you’re researching nonprofits that you might be working with, or any other company you’re working with, and checking to see if there’s anyone you can connect with, to partner together to learn together or just do your own research, really. So when it comes down to, you know, going to LinkedIn, like, what are some LGBTQIA plus, run company? Know, where do we have query executives? And what do they stand for? How do they build their business? You know, is it the same? Do they have the same perspective? Do they have the same approach? Or is it completely different? Because we are we’re all learning from each other? Everyone’s different anyway. But I think doing the research on your own, like how to become an ally, you can look deeper into this, but that takes commitment on your on your own part, right. Yeah. So that in itself is something you can do immediately. You can just I don’t know just find someone or something to just learn one thing about every day. 

Brett Thornton: Yeah. So basically break that all down to every single person listening to this. And [inaudible] ck Yeah, [inaudible] Yes. Step one go to LinkedIn find ck connects. I love all three of those. I love the third one. Because Listen, nobody is going to improve themselves, improve their knowledge, improve their understanding, without actually doing something Yeah, that doesn’t just like there’s not osmosis just oh, I now understand everything. I’m understanding today. I learned a ton every day like we all do. But I think that what’s important is also understand that you know, we are at a time of information funneling so, our whole world now is this thing right? I’m holding my phone up for everyone listening. Our world is this but this is not accurate to true representation of what’s happening. It only accurate to an algorithms view of what I find important. So I like this thing once I like it again, I like it three times. Okay, this he likes this stuff. So I’m shooting this right. And so if you I did this when social, the social dilemma social [inaudible]. Yeah when that came out, I watched it made my kids watch it and my son made my parents watch it. After my parents watched it, my mom’s deleted all our apps and also but we sat down and we looked at our newsfeed. So the apple newsfeed clicked it right. And then we just looked up and scroll, we had zero of the same stories, zero, that’s crazy. I mean, she’s in her 70s we live stuff like that’s not like a knot. It’s just that it just goes to show you how crazy like whoa, like we’re really being funny. Yeah. And the point, long point, right wraparound comeback, is that if you’re feeding your group, your peers and your close friend and your pod is just this certain little way.

And nobody is represented here. How do you expect to understand? Exactly, you know what I mean? Like? And really, how do you, you know, like you can read for sure, you can look up things, it doesn’t mean you can’t be an ally, if you know, if you don’t happen to have friends that that identifies committee or whatever. But it’s just that if you want to understand your right, you got to expand that group, make some connections, we have the ability now, it’s so simple, go on your social feeds and say like, hey, let me go on Google look up, like what are like people that are in this community who are very, you know, active in social media or whatever, that put a lot of information out? Or whatever, follow up? Totally just, you know, I mean, what are they up to? What are they talking about? What books are they reading? What are they typing up? Well, the same thing as LinkedIn, whatever that is, that’s not that difficult. But it’s just increasing your sphere a little bit, you know what I mean, and then I think that helps to make sure the understanding is stronger.

CK Ong: Totally and then you get to really see it from that perspective to like, but like you said, the algorithm, that’s, that’s really what it is, you just have to expand that group, really, you know, and this goes for an ally of anything, whether it be I’m doing this, you know, or when Black Lives Matter, and that movement, really too cold last year, and the protests were going on and stuff, it’s like, I personally like to see both sides, you know, the argument Not, not that I don’t know where I stand, but I just want to hear what’s going on the other end. And the only way I can do that is if I look into those different articles with a different narrative, you know, we’re arguing for all different points. And that’s just kind of person that I am. But I’m finding that with that you get a lot more information, you know, and I learned a lot more about what it becomes and what it means to become an ally of the black community, you know, and stuff like that. So I definitely encourage, you know, yes, please connect with me on LinkedIn, I’ll be more than happy to. But yeah, on top of that social media is, you know, there are so many different ways that we can use it. And yeah, I highly recommend actually just hit me up, I’ll give you a few people to follow, you know, that are entertaining, not just like informative, but entertaining as well, and then might inspire you to do something.

Brett Thornton: No, I love it. Well, thank you ck. Um, I know, this was a little bit different of a podcast. But at the end of day, I do think it’s a really, really, really important topic. And I think that now is the time where you kind of got it, everyone’s got to kind of hit the gas is that okay? If I truly am an ally, I can’t let things just die. You know, I mean, like, this is what I got to keep going, I got to keep talking to my, my company, I got to keep talking to my diversity inclusion committee, like, what are we doing? What’s next? How are we doing this, it’s not just for this community, it’s for it’s for all the different things that we’re trying to represent. And trying to make sure that our companies are providing this experience, not just for our employees. And that’s the thing I want to keep coming back to you want your guests to rave about your experience, like the review that ck talked about, that happens because you’ve done a job, maybe it goes back a year or 235 years, but you’re recruiting in the right way, your job sourcing in the right way, you’re providing an opportunity for people to get promoted and leadership because you’re basing it based on somebody’s work, not based on how they look or based on how they act or based on how they view or any of these things, but it’s actually like, oh, they’re, they’re the best person. Great. They should get the job. We don’t mean like, it’s not that difficult when it comes to it. But I think it’s surprising just how many companies probably still deal with those things, you know, and that’s a lot of that can come right back to just people not understanding, not asking questions, not feeling okay to ask questions. Yeah. Right. And so those are the environments that we got to do it. So if you work at a company, you run a company, you’re a manager, just think back to what ck said, right? Like, you’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And that starts with you, as a leader saying, I don’t quite understand this. And that’s okay. Not sure no one just understands, all of a sudden BIOS was like, we have to learn. Yeah, and the best way is to making new connections making people look like Oh, hey, like, bring someone in. Right? Like ck mentioned, there’s so many different speakers, people can come into your town hall. So your quarterly meetings like just an hour in front of somebody who can help them talk about things that are difficult conversations and can be awkward or feel weird like that helps take the weight off your shoulders as a leader, and then then it’s easier to then have a conversation. 

CK Ong: Absolutely. And by the way, when we did have kind of like a town hall, we featured Patagonia in this company, the person who had the initial thought of doing that does not identify as LGBTQIA. Plus, they are an ally, this person actually identifies as heterosexual, right, cis female, and she’s just like, we need to do something, you know, to celebrate this. And this was not during tribal. So she got with our HR department, like, can we do this? This is someone from marketing, Laura Scott, shout out to you, thank you for this idea. But yeah, like I think back to like the, this was a leader who knew that she could have an influence wasn’t even a part of the community. But this is her being an ally. And so you don’t have to be a part of the community, you’re just learning about in your understanding, like, to your point, we have to ask these questions. But just because you’re not a part of the community doesn’t mean we can’t use your help, you know, for bigger conversation and for that representation. So thank you, Brett, for having me. Thank you, fam, the fam for having me on that article. I appreciate that opportunity to share the story. So yeah, this is the beginning of a yearlong conversation. And then so yes.

Brett Thornton: All right. And I will see you but obviously all the time, but I’ll see a few weeks for the recap of season two after Episode 10. So thank you all. Thank you

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