"I admit to being naive. I admit to being too optimistic. But I won't buy into the idea that ill-treatment in these organizations should have been expected and somehow this is all my fault." As I write things down in chronological order, searching for the legal implications in each moment, encounter or reaction, I watch … Continue reading Not the Model Victim
"Since my presence made you so uncomfortable, my features made you assume I was not qualified or worthy of being here, that I'm just the diversity pick. Alas, your insecurities and your prejudices are not my doing. There are a range of frailties in this brave new world, and you just have to learn to … Continue reading A Few Tips on Surviving a Racially Charged Workplace
I'll never forget my interviews for international organizations. I feel like I spent half of the sessions batting away stereotypes. Looking back now, I can figure out the trick questions, maybe trying to find out just how "thick my skin" was. Often, there was no black person in the room...and on the few occasions there … Continue reading Yup…International Development Has a Race Problem
"I've shared my experiences and my feelings because I know I'm not the only one...Let us speak up, let us speak out, and let us make change happen. But really...on an individual level, what would justice even look like?" Warning - deep deeply pessimistic mood. I've lost the luxury of knowing that I matter. I … Continue reading We Need Justice? Global Change? Internal Reform?
"I hate what I've become. The label of victim has always been so abhorrent to being such a strong woman. But now...it sticks. Some things happened to me at work. Intellectually I know it's not my fault, I know it could have been worst and I know I should stand up for myself. But..." Recovery … Continue reading What am I now?
"When I was hired to join the World Bank Group, I was in my happy Caribbean bubble. I greeted everyone - even in elevators - made friendly conversation, respected the variety of peoples around me and treated everyone with respect and trust. I was starstruck...at first." As any other newbie happy to achieve success by … Continue reading [Toxic and] Hostile Workplace Environment
"I traveled across the globe to a different world, desperate for respect and to be given a chance. So much of my identity is tied to my work, my career, my profession. Now I have anxiety attacks thinking about sitting in an office." It's been 2 years now since I first noticed the symptoms. I … Continue reading Toxic [and Hostile] Workplace Environment
"There's a seedy way in which racism affects your mental health. Racism in the workplace doesn't look like it did decades ago. It's not separate bathrooms and water coolers or openly used racial slurs. It's subtle, quiet and deceptively polite. Racism is even more dangerous when the experiences of people of color are denied, ignored … Continue reading “If you don’t mind, can you sit in the back? He can stay.”
"As I sat in my office, unable to identify the people around me, I couldn’t tell what was going on or recognize the emotions etched on their faces." Was that concern? Horror? Sadness? Was it pity maybe? One of the ladies asked me a question, was that worry clouding her expression? My name, address or … Continue reading The Darkest Hours… Literally
"This wasn't the first time she touched me and it wasn't the only place. She repeatedly touched me, inappropriately. I complained, nothing happened. So she thought she had a license to my person. And she exercised that right - in a meeting, led by my Manager, with everyone in my office. And they. Did. Nothing." … Continue reading To Feel the Kink In My Hair
"Heavy are the feet of those who plod in uncharted territory but are guided by a falsified dream. " I prayed for this job, I surrendered my home for this job. I left my family behind to pursue a Masters Degree for this job. I told my child that it was for a noble cause. … Continue reading I paid $100,000 for an Interview, now I have PTSD