New in 2018: "Sisters and Comadres"

The term “woke” has gained widespread cultural currency because of the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement. To be “woke” involves opening one’s eyes to social systems of oppression in such a way that a person cannot in good conscience fall back “asleep” and ignore injustice; however, because oppressive structures are largely enculturated all around us, it requires active effort to engage and see the society with a critical cultural lens.

At CU Boulder, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) and BeVisible see last semester’s BeWoke events as opportunities where folks actively engaged with and learned from the job market—an imperfect arena where individuals and companies must take conscious effort to ensure workplaces are inclusive.

Sisters and Comadres logoSisters and Comadres aim to connect women-identified students of color to mentors and thought leaders inside and outside campus to discuss issues that affect female identified community members including code-switching, leading with your own cultural identity, dealing with fear and rejection in your career, how to find mentors from your own cultural group and when to reach across cultural group, how to plan to advance in your career in the next six months, and how to embrace being LGTBQ when you come from a "traditional" community.

BeWoke Upcoming Events:

Be Woke Diversity Summit Session

Spring 2018 Diversity Summit Be Woke Session & Speakers:

Inclusive Leadership Session: What it means in Tech, Corporate America and Academia

  • Celestete Montoya: Associate Professor, Women & Gender Studies

  • Tolonda Tolbert: Senior Director, Inclusive Leadership Initiative and Consultant, Global Member Services CATALYST

  •  Alexandria Spiva: Recruiting, ChanZuckerberg Initiative

More up coming dates:

  • March 16: Presentation at McNeill - Andrea Guendelman, keynote speaker
  • March 19: Minority Entrepreneurship Event with Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

BeWoke Ongoing Discussion Topic:

How could interviews and other recruitment tools be redesigned to counteract implicit bias?  

  • Research on how anonymizing resumes and removing “cues” that signal that an applicant is a member of a diverse group tend to increase chances of getting an interview or an offer;
  • How to ensure that skills tests in hiring – which have a long history of being used to discriminate – might be reinvented to promote diversity;
  • How to redesign the traditional job fair to promote diversity and real student and employer engagement.
  • How to promote civic dialogue in a polarized age.
  • How to attract more diverse students, faculty, and staff to CU and break out of the “chicken or egg” loop

Be Woke: Speed Mentoring Session

Andrea Gundelman
The first event for Sisters and Comadres was a part of the CU Women’s Resource Center’s – Women’s Leadership Symposium on Wednesday, January 31st. Have you ever wished for advice or conversation with some of the best staff CU has to offer? Now is your chance! Over the course of an hour, you will meet with multiple leaders on campus while networking with a group of participants. Ask your burning questions about leadership, navigating CU and enhancing your effectiveness in your current or future careers. Get advice. Make connections. See you there!

Be Woke: Conversations with Airbnb (David King)

David King, AirBnBDavid J. King III is the Director of Diversity and Belonging at AirBnb, where he leads the strategic vision of diversity programming throughout the global organization to include recruitment, retention, engagement, anti-discrimination and community outreach. Mr. King has worked on diversity issues for more than 10 years, first as the Chief for Diversity Management and Outreach at the U.S. State Department and most recently as Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity for the Peace Corps. Mr. King will discuss the diversity and inclusion efforts he has been part of and will talk about next steps for Airbnb, as well trends in inclusion in the tech industry.

The CU Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement paired with the startup BeVisible to host a series of Be Woke campus events, culminating on Oct. 13. During the Oct. 13 event, hosted by the head of inclusion and diversity at Lyft, students, industry leaders and community members met to hack the hiring process. “The hack-a-thon aims to connect diverse students with corporations and partners in the innovation economy, while also dispelling stubborn misconceptions that an interest in diversity and inclusiveness is limited to colleges and universities,” said Andrea Guendelman, co-founder and CEO of BeVisible.

We welcomed influential leaders of major corporations and students in an interactive discussion addressing the many barriers to inclusion in the workplace. Topics addressed included bigotry, gender & sexuality, and racism. Leaders of Diversity and Inclusion from Companies who attended:

  • 5280 Magazine: Jeff Waraniak, Assistant Editor

  • LGBTQ tech: Tamara Hale, Co-Organizer of Flatirons Tech

  • Comcast: Maria Arias, Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion

  • Lyft: Mercedes Jenkins, Inclusion and Diversity Specialist

  • Molson Coors: Brian Clark, Chief People and Diversity Officer

  • Molson Coors: Kaitlynn Fidler, Senior Talent Resource Consultant

  • FWD.US: Kaytia King, Organizing Manager

  • Made Movement: Scott Prindle, Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Kevin Foster, regional recruiter from Intel Corporation, will be on campus meeting with diverse students with engineering and computer science backgrounds to discuss topics such as nailing the interview, success in the workplace, getting the first job, a day in the life, employment strategies and more. The public event will be held in the Idea Forge, Engineering Building on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Katelin Halloway, Reddit’s vice president of people and culture, was on campus for a public discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and kicked off a campus series called Be Woke. The free, public talk was held 5 to 7 p.m. in the Wolf Law Wittemyer Courtroom. In her discussion “Defining Culture at Reddit: Building Communities with an Open Heart,” Halloway talked about how Reddit builds culture and community in the workplace. She shared her vision for Reddit’s culture and talk about how she built the teams and tools to bring the same diversity that exists across Reddit’s thousands of online communities to work every day.