Podcast

46 - How equality and equity are different, and why it matters. ft. Antionette Carroll

November 13, 2020

Today on the podcast, Antionette Carroll, Founder, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab. It is a non-profit educating and deploying youth to challenge racial and health inequalities impacting Black and Latinx populations. Creative Reaction Lab operates on the foundational belief that all systems within our society, systems of oppression, inequality, and inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned.

The conversation revolves around the clarification of the common misconception that equality and equity are interchangeable. Antionnette clarifies why equity and  equality are different, and why it matters, before we dig into the context, history, and power surrounding race and ethnicity in the design and business worlds, in the United States , and in the world at large. Creative Reaction Lab is a new model for community engagement, problem solving, and creating inclusive and equitable outcomes.

Pinar Guvenc  
Hello everyone and welcome to what's wrong with the podcast. Today we're delighted to be speaking with on twintig Carol, and twin it is founder and CEO of creative reaction lab and nonprofit educating and deploying youth to challenge racial and health inequities impacting black and Latin x populations. Within this role, and twin has pioneered an award winning form of creative problem solving called equity centered community design to this capacity and twin has received several recognitions and awards including being named a TED fellow and a South by Southwest community service honoree, within her almost 10 years of volunteer leadership and when it was named the founding Chair of the diversity and inclusion task force of AIG, the professional association of design, she's a former AIG national board director and chair emerita of the task force. During her tenure, she founded and launched several initiatives including the design census program with Google racial justice by design initiative, diversity and inclusion, residency and National Design for inclusivity summit with Microsoft. Additionally, she's a co founder of the design plus diversity conference and fellowship and an active member of Adobe's design circle. Antoinette is also an international speaker and facilitator and previously spoke at Google, Ted, Harvard, Stanford, Microsoft, NASA, and many more.

On Senate, Welcome!

Antionette Carroll
Hi, how are you? Thank you for having me.

Pinar Guvenc  
Thank you so much for being here. We're very happy to have this conversation today. Please tell us about yourself and how creative reaction lab came about.

Antionette Carroll

Yes, so my name is Antoinette curl. And my preferred pronouns are she her hers, I am a native of St. Louis. And that's important for me to bring up because my work recreated reaction lab first started around the uprising in Ferguson, and really the tension that I was having around being a black woman, that was a St. Louis native, but then also not really being invited in into spaces that allow me to center that living expertise, so was more focused on my professional background. And so created reaction lab was founded, really looking at how do we create a space for community members that have living expertise and living knowledge to develop their own interventions around racial division. And namely, at that time, it was looking at racial division in St. Louis. Since then, we've expanded our work to focus on educating, training and challenging black and Latin x youth to become leaders in the health equity and racial equity movement. We've pioneered a new form of creative problem solving called equity centered community design. And we very much are looking at how do we build a movement of a new type of leader that we call re designers for justice, and folks that acknowledge that all of our systems have been by design, including our systems of oppression, and therefore they can be redesigned, and how do we actually redesign these systems through the lens of equity and through the lens of liberation? I love it. Love it.

Pinar Guvenc  
So let's talk about equity, especially in the context of how equality and equity differs.

Antionette Carroll

Yeah, I mean, it's, I think there's this mis understanding, it's the same, we even talk about diversity and inclusion, there tends to be this tendency to want to use them interchangeably as opposed to actually educating ourselves on the stark differences. And when it comes to equality and equity, there tends to be this, I would say, historical and also contemporary tendency to focus on EQ. Equality, because it's easier, right? Like, we want equality, where, ultimately, I can give every give everyone the same thing. And then pat myself on the back and said, but but I strove for equality, I gave everyone $1. Right. But not actually taking into account that equity is about fairness. It's about when outcomes are not predictable based on someone's identity. equity is about systems and history and ignorant and honestly being very conscious that it is complex and messy, and then we've never had an equitable society. And so it's easier for folks to want to go to the space of equality, because it's all about giving people equal access. Well, I gave everyone a bike, right? Or I gave everyone a house. But when you take into account history, when you take into account context, when it comes to equity, it's not as simple as giving everyone a bike is really looking at how do we have equal outcomes? And that means grappling with a systems that have put others above other individuals throughout our time, and how do we acknowledge that whether we're looking at the right A wealth gap, or we're looking at also educational access and how historically black folks actually were not even allowed. It was illegal to be educated. And it was like we are not having this conversation of our history because it requires us to acknowledge a long, a long history of harm, and how that continues to seep into who we are now, and our culture. And many of us don't want to grapple with that, because that means that admits that mean admitting how we may have played a role of upholding a systems that have been about trauma harm, genocide, colonization, exclusion, white supremacy, etc.

Pinar Guvenc  
There are so many things about the what you said that I love. First of all, I think understanding the difference between equality and equal outcomes, it is so true what you said. And I don't know if it because when you treat people equally, that wins you votes, or when you treat people equally, you're like, perceived as fair, whatever that is, it's definitely coming from top down, right? Like we like, yep, you can give everybody a bite. But not everybody needs a bike, maybe they have probably like priorities before that, you know, maybe urgent needs, maybe they have 10 bikes already. So it's really like, without considering without zooming in into the human needs, which is also very, you know, common in any other industry or field, like we're very good at standardizing and standardizing techniques and methods and applications, from healthcare to law, because that is more easily applied in the bigger scale. But whereas when you're talking about individual needs, and equity that needs more attention for each individual, which is the fair way, but it's not necessarily the easy way. So what you said in terms of equal outcomes and equality, I think that's something that we really, really need to understand. And also what you said in terms of acknowledging events in history, we always discuss about this, like, we personally think like, we're not educated on history, like we're, we're given information about historic facts, but we're not necessarily educated, we're not interpreting history, we're not looking into history, from different perspectives. We're all being fed one way information of like, dates, events that occurred without doing like a deeper analysis of what had happened. And I think that is causing a huge problem in many aspects of, in many social issues, and which is causing all these social issues to also be repetitive. Like, in every discussion, we're repeating ourselves in history, even with the pandemic, we've, you know, this is not the first pandemic in history. But you know, we failed and, you know, creating good policies and actually responding in time, because we don't know the history, we don't understand the history of racial injustice, that's we're just hearing things. We're hearing facts. We're hearing dates, but we don't necessarily know history, so. And also, it probably is, because it's about admitting so many of the mistakes that happened, especially by the government, and then other institutions. And when they're still wanting to appear equal, and fair, maybe it's like, it's a harder conversation to have, which we don't see that. And, you know, I think a good example, in Germany, I think they study all aspects of World War Two, and they actually do acknowledge what they've done. And young generation actually studies this right. Like, that's, at least to my knowledge. Mm hmm.

Antionette Carroll

Yeah. I mean, there's so much that you brought up like, even the example you provided in Canada right now, they really are focusing on reconciliation, particularly with indigenous communities. And, you know, how do they build trust and reconciliation acknowledge the genocide that occurred within their own country, and in the United States, we're not even, we won't even admit what just happened. Like we just had indigenous peoples day on October 12. And, you know, there's still a good amount of the country that wants to recognize Christopher Columbus, and not acknowledge the European quote unquote, expansion was actually like genocide and destroying communities. And you know, you had mentioned, you know, standardising, you had mentioned historical facts. And in both of those situations, I always ask the question, according to home, like when we're standardizing and when we say normal, many times, we are centering In certain communities, namely white people to be the definer, of what it actually means to be standard, like, as a black woman and as a quote unquote, African American, there be and I just saw someone post about this the other day that we view American as automatically a reality of white. We just add on to that, right like Latin American, African American, Asian American, Korean American. And there are some folks that, that maybe could say, I don't know, German American. But even but you don't really hear that, right? Like, American. Exactly.

Pinar Guvenc  
You know, Irish, you hear that with English? You don't?

Antionette Carroll

We don't hear it. No, no, not really. And because it's, again, like this standardization of essential, because I don't like to say average, I don't like to say majority, because I don't think that's true. We just have historically centralized white people. And we haven't really talked about the fact that particularly communities of color have been historically underinvested, and has been asked to conform to this idea of normal, quote, unquote, that is whiteness. But then also, when we talk about history, think about the history that we have not learned, not just we haven't analyzed, like the narrative that we are receiving. And in our lives, and the socialization of that as it came from our family, friends and culture, the education system, media, environment, and the built space. These, a lot of these narratives have centered, white people like if you look at the sciences, usually the scientist that we are amplifying are white, particularly white men. Throughout history, there hasn't been a conversation of how a lot of inventions were actually stolen from people of color, or how privileges and access economically caste wise race has led to some folks being again centered in their narratives and their quote, unquote, reality versus everyone else's. And in our work, equity we actually have in my life, my job is to, like, unpack that, like, let's build our racial consciousness. Let's think about cultural healing and collective mobilization let's, let's use access to quote unquote, traditional power to actually leverage it on behalf of folks that are what I again view as living experts, what I view as people that are proximate to the issue, and many times have the capability and to do the work in our community, they just use these haven't received the capacity, the funding, the mechanisms to really bring it to life as well as they could.

Pinar Guvenc  
Yeah. Again, going back to equity, right. And I think, you know, it would be naive of us to assume anytime soon, especially from the higher level all these issues about admitting facts in history, or really educating ourselves on events in history, it's not gonna happen anytime soon. So and but it doesn't really have to happen through them like we this can be something bottom up instead of top down. And this is what you guys are actually working on at creative reaction lab. So I want to talk about what you do in terms of your process and equity centered community design, can you break it down? and break it down for us and maybe give some examples of the work?

Antionette Carroll
Yeah, so equity center community design is a framework looking at how do we center community members and living experts to decision makers? How do we understand the role of humility and power shifting, as well as just in the role of history and healing and every step of creative, creative process. And so when you look at our framework, and there it is actually presented in a circular fashion, the history and healing component and acknowledging, dismantling, shifting sharing power constructs are overlapping every step of the process, because whether you are building your team, or you are brainstorming around an idea, or you're developing evaluation or exit strategies, or you're bringing your idea to life as a prototype, history and healing, and power always shows up and should show up if it's not particularly the healing piece, because I think we don't talk about the role of power dynamics and how we access space. We also don't talk about the fact that our history generationally, as well as our history based on our own lives are showing up in the space. And we don't really think about the fact that especially when we're addressing inequities, there's a lot of trauma and harm there for a lot of communities and there needs to be elements of healing, embedded in that, we focus a lot. And when I say we are talking society, we focus a lot on, let's just do a task, let's build a product. Let's, let's do this, let's do this, let's do this. But again, is usually the normalization of a certain community of let's build a product that they claim it for everyone, but it's really for certain community and being pushed on to everyone. But then also looking at the reality that my trauma doesn't go away, just because I'm prototyping, you know, that is something that's going to be there with me every step of the way. And that impacts how I'm also showing up in a space. And so when we use equities in the community design, for us, it's not a process is a mindset shift is really thinking about when we are building out a product or a project, who's at the table as decision makers around us, we push for black Latinx, and indigenous youth to be at the table as a part of the design team, who actually wanted getting paid for their time. Because how many times have we seen projects where the quote unquote, experts are at the table, but they expect community to show up and give them insight, but don't ever pay them, or them the space to again, be autonomous and the decision makers that dictate how things are moving. And so, excuse me, this is showing up in our community design apprenticeship program, where in 2018, they were looking at the topic of public transportation access, and how it impacts quality of life, for a historical under best a black community, to the program that we just ended, that was looking at limited healthy food access, and how it was impacting a particular neighborhood in the St. Louis Promise Zone. And honestly, our cohort has already made a decision, or the youth leaders have already made a decision on what the 2021 topic will be, which is looking at community trauma, as it relates to gun violence. And some when you look at these topics, some folks will look at and say, oh, healthy food access. Yeah, everyone should eat healthy. But if we also need to look at like, how do we define health? How do we define healthy food? Also, what has that meant culturally, for certain communities? And we even had an our research stage individual say, Actually, I have at transportation access, but there's a sense of shame, going to Whole Foods using food stamps. So yeah. And so there's a lot of unpacking that happens in the process of people looking at where am I as a relates to power? Where am I want to relate to my racial consciousness? How, what biases am I bringing to the room? What are some of my unseen areas? What power do I have? But then moving along that really looking at how do we send our community through every step of the process from the beginning to the end? And when we're at the end? How do we develop an exit strategy or continuation strategy that doesn't create more trauma within the community? And it is a process and it is ongoing. But I what we've seen is that the impact on the youth that have been a part of the teams themselves, and the impact on the community has been multiple fold.

Pinar Guvenc  
Yeah, I mean, there are so many beautiful parts of the process. Like it's not, it's not just design, it's communication is psychology, right? Like, right, many layers of things that are ingrained in human beings, it's natural to us anyway. And it's so true that, you know, everybody reacts to their own trauma or struggles differently, like some people may still have a very positive attitude. And they can be very collaborative and maybe easy to work with. And some people might be very aggressive about it, because of all the unfairness and it comes out of anger, because they're all fair human emotions. And so if we really want to have an inclusive table, right, like, if we really want to be able to work with people with diverse backgrounds or races, then we have to acknowledge that those emotions can come to the table, and how do we deal with that and get over that. And also, like, to the point where, like you said, not creating a second trauma, but having the space as a construct of space for them, right? It's very, very human centered, and it's beautiful. And honestly, like, it's, it can like, we don't have to see this as a process. And we often talk about this in like inclusive design. It doesn't have to be seen as like, oh, like this process is needed for these people, right? Like it's actually Just the simply better process for everyone. So But clearly, because it's equity centered, is the is the way to elevate people who are oppressed for So, so long. And I think that's what we really need to understand. It's, it's the better way, it's the more sustainable way to like, there's so many things and what you said in terms of like creating real impact in communities. And, you know, they're by good intentions, like, there are so many organizations or projects that do these like one offs, right, almost feels like a top down, like this area. And these this, we're gonna bring them that almost like the white savior syndrome thing happening. Like, we see that a lot where like, communities not engaged, it doesn't help that is one off, they may be come even more skeptical that, you know, nobody really cares about us, you know, this is just thrown our way, we're not necessarily in the conversation. But when you have people at the table making decisions for their community, that's so empowering. And that is what anybody needs, like you want to be heard, right, like you want to be respected for your time, hands get paid, you really want to be heard, like, that's the need of any human beings.

Antionette Carroll

So it's, you know, it's not just be viewed as like a research subject, right? Like, yeah, which happens, a lot like you had mentioned, you know, like intentions, you know, how do we hold ourselves accountable, not to intentions, but actual impact. And, and because I will be very honest, I've seen so many folks that but I had the best intentions, your attention still doesn't mitigate and take away from the fact that you've harmed me. And then I have to Now navigate that harm on my own. And you're just able to keep going and say, Well, I had good intentions and just take away the responsibility, like, even think about the unfairness of that. And then also, like, when we talk about like white savior complexity, that is something that has been embedded in our culture, whether you're white or not, right, like, what When most people think of white supremacy, they think that only white folks can be like, Oh, those standards, but like, literally, this is the culture that we have been seeped in. And so we have to unlearn a lot of things to actually challenge the white supremacy culture. And part of that underneath that is the white savior complexity, you see this in the nonprofit space, you see this and international development, you see this amongst men in many different ways. And it's like I again, folks have good intentions, who I want to help. But you know, what, actually will help more individuals actually took the time to really reflect on what have what's happened in my history, what are things that I need to address in my own backyard, and a change there? Like there was a tweet by? Oh, I can't remember his name right now. But we actually include the tweet in our how white how design thinking protects white supremacy webinars that we host. But in the tweet it this instructor talked about how white like white folks need to start viewing racism as an issue that they need to address through in white folks opposed to an issue around empathizing with black folks. Yeah, that's what that's what's happening. Right? Let me go and empathize with black people.

Pinar Guvenc  
And, you know, like, you clearly know your problems, right. And like the last person to talk to when it comes to like, yeah, I mean, if you really want to understand what you've been going through, maybe, but if you want to talk about racism, like that's not your problem, it's a white problem like that. That is fascinating to me how like, I also, we were doing a panel once and Kimberly drew was on the panel. And she was saying, like, I'm so annoyed when, like people are talking about issues up like people face and they're looking at me when they're talking about it, I already know.

Antionette Carroll
To look at everybody else, right? And you know, if there is a tension and like, for instance, the equity diversity inclusion space, where you will have black indigenous, Latin x folks, like people of different ancient descent that will say, you know, why are you looking to me of addressing this issue? I didn't invent this system of oppression. Why are you asking me to do it? And if you know, for me, I'm one of those where I'm a yes am person because I'm like, Yes, you need to do your own internal work and your community actually saw someone other day saying Karen's need to talk to Karen's, but you know, like, do your own internal work in your community. And my fear is that they if they also only do to do it through the lens of whiteness, then do we continue to have that Same, like systems showing up because there's no inclusion of black voices or Latin, or Asian voices or indigenous voices. Because, again, it's like, yes, they need to do internal work. And we also need to do some internal work, because by being recipients of a lot of this generational trauma and harm, we've had to put on many different masks to navigate that throughout our own generations in line survival. And now you're starting to see tokenism, respectability, politics, institutional, I mean, internal racism. And so to me is a yes, it's like both, we need both to happen. And it shouldn't just be on the people of color, just like it shouldn't just be on white folks. But we need to do work internally. And then we need to do work also cross. But again, sharing power, and shifting power, and not just having it where both are like, let me go help this community because it makes me feel great. I've no idea what this community actually needs, because I'm not even a part of it. But hey, I can put it on my resume and say that I did it.

Pinar Guvenc  
I mean, it's like so much of his starts with, like, upbringing, right? Like, I think it's very, it's not common, you see, like, people actually be really interested in a subject unless it hits home, or it's really close to them, right, which is sad, I think we can raise human beings that are not only empathetic, but also curious and understanding and just patient to put time for something. And you know, I think, to your point, like in what we see in many nonprofits, too, we donate money, because we want to feel good about oh, we really don't look into the outcomes or the work or how people were helped, like, we don't make the time. And I think what we really need is putting time for each other to really understand what's going on, because frankly, we didn't do it while we were being educated, like going back to our education on history. I mean, we put time on memorizing facts about our history, but we really didn't put time and understanding human perspective, different human perspectives in history. You know, it's part of our education system, part of our upbringing, like these things shouldn't be sugar coated, right. And like family conversation, we're already really big about that, like, I think so much of what's happening in the society is also very sugar coated to children, so they actually don't know how to talk about it. So when you're an adult, it's an uncomfortable subject. So you're kind of like, Well, no, I'm not a racist, but you're also not speaking up, right? Because it's an uncomfortable subject for you. So when you're not speaking up, that's actually hurting others, right. And we're also setting an example for others. So I think, and I'm hoping what, what's has happened over the past few months, like more people will be conscious about speaking up, or at least having a discussion with someone that they never did before. But what we really need is that, that sort of marrying into our systems marrying into our processes more and more, which, you know, organizations like you are amazing examples of not just like, yes, we're providing this help for this community, but it's actually about we're bringing them into action. We're writing the tools, and to empower themselves and also to take their space and claim their communities like they actually are the people who should be making decisions anyway. You're just giving them the tools. So I think that we have to sort of recognize that we need to speak up and take action, instead of what you said, in terms of just, you know, I helped which were, who knows in what form that comes?

Antionette Carroll
I make sure it's also not performative. Like we Yeah, we've seen these moments over time, where it's like, oh, my goodness, what has happened, like the civil rights movement was so quote, unquote, successful because they were able to leverage media, particularly TV to say, look, what's been happening. We've been saying this for the longest, and we're seeing this restart as well with social media, not just with the hashtags, but with the videos as I look at what's been happening, but they think about the continual trauma even though that like say, if I am a person that's being affected by police brutality, I am on the video and it's like, you need a video for you to feel that this is actually real, but you're not also thinking about the trauma that I have from actually like being recorded and having this act committed upon me in many cases and multiple, multiple times, because it's spreading through social media. And it's like it's a double edged sword in a sense, and so But you know, there's there's a show on Netflix called Dear White People. And they recently just did a video on our social media called Dear White People the curriculum. And they were walking through one of the episodes where the one of the characters actually was, like being affected by police brutality, that gun was pulled on him, people pulled out the camera cameras and like, look at what happened. And the actor director actually asked the actor, like did that also traumatize you as a black man, not just a character, but you. And he talked about how he felt it was necessary to do it. But he still suffered from PTSD from even acting. That role, especially when everyone pulled out the camera because they had to show what was happening for, let's be honest, when we're showing the video of what's happening, it's not for black people. In most of the cases, we're showing the video. So the white folks can see no, we're telling the truth, look at what's happening to us. And so it's like, we have to show it to as proof. And we are still seeing that that proof is not even enough. And so it's like to continue with trauma, trauma ization of our communities. And we're just constantly like trying to find a way to navigate that and say, Look, see us we've been here, this has been happening for centuries. And you know, you have some folks that are tired, or you have some folks that are tired while still doing the work. But we still sacrifice essentially our own spirits and well being, again, to try to create some type of dent when it comes to equity. But then I also want to touch on two very quick pieces you brought up around being racist or not being racist, there needs to be this push of not just not being racist, but actually being anti racist. Like, again, when you think of not being racist, that's very individualized. But if you're anti racist, you are actually actively, like not just being an ally, which in our work, we talk about being desired allies being active in changing what needs to happen, not just being an ally, but what are you actively doing to actually challenge the racism that you're seeing whether it's at an interpersonal level, an institutional level of systemic level, right. But then, also, when we think about the importance of consciousness raising, this is at every level. And I think a good organization that folks should look into, especially if they have young children is we stories, and we stories is an organization that's based in St. Louis, by my understanding due to the pandemic, they now are nationally reaching, where they are directly working with families that have white children, and having them actually consume books about black people, not just black people in trauma, but black people enjoy. Because they found that the earlier you're able to actually expose white children to different races and identities and not just blackness, but also other identities as well. They're, they're actually more likely to be empathetic, to build their own humility to be able to walk work through the system of racial inequities. And I think what they're doing is fabulous. And I definitely recommend them for folks that are that have, again, have children that want to dive deeper into this work, and then also look at how do I raise my own racial consciousness as a, as a person, a resident in this world, not just in the United States, but across the globe? Because white supremacy cross borders, it is literally global, it is not just the United States construct.

Pinar Guvenc  
Yeah. And it's, we just need to acknowledge that it's impossible for you to emphasize with everything, like you just can't, so you need to like even you know, you don't have to think this in terms of like race. Let's talk about like being parents, right, like, and someone who's not a mom, maybe can understand what a mom my going through, but can't really understand what she's going through. You know what I mean? Like, it's really impossible, because you're not that person and you don't share the same experience. So we just need to acknowledge even if you think you're not racist, I mean, maybe you're questioning if you're anti racist, right? Just, you know, expose yourself more I have conversations with people like I have, for example, many friends with disabilities, and I was like this natural to me, they're around me like it was dirt. I have a two year old daughter in her books. Like there's always someone who has a disability in there too, because I want that. That's another reality of just humanity. bury it like it's really like ability to disability doesn't matter. But at the same time, still, I can easily discover something like once a month that I maybe wouldn't think that it might be inappropriate to say, or maybe they, if I put it in a different way they would have understand it better, I would have communicated better, you know, like it's a continuous education, because we were never given the tools growing up to have conversations exactly about different perspectives. So we just need to acknowledge that we can mess up, maybe, you know, we, you know, those people who were saying, like, I have the best intentions, Well, sure, you might have the best intentions, but explore that outcome. Why did you hurt that other person, like, deep dive, like do a deep dive into that, and maybe you'll be ashamed of it. I mean, it's not a proud moment. But you can grow out of that, I think we just need to acknowledge that we all need to grow. And continuous education is a thing, it should be a thing. And so that we don't shy away from these topics, because we feel insecure about it, or like we don't know what to say, or it makes us uncomfortable. So I and I love what you said in terms of, you know, starting the conversation with children and the work of we stories we have interviewed before also brownness city. And it's all we also had a fast, fascinating conversation with Dr. Berry. So it really starts with the use. And I can't even like when you were talking about the trauma that people had like seeing that. It makes me think, you know, when you have movies like coming out, it would have like parents will guidance recommendations, right, like age or whatever. But like, black people don't have that luxury when they're like sharing shootings that is happening, because they're trying to communicate the extent of the problem that there's ever and then how is that going to impact an entire generation and how they feel, you know, growing up like, it's, it's crazy, and we need to think about those more, instead of just being like, Oh, my God, I can't believe people are being, you know, shut up. Like, it's, um, I think we really need to put things into context and really try to do a deeper dive into every subject, and just accept the fact that we need to grow.

Antionette Carroll
Right, and also like, and it's a journey, you know, like, I am very conscious that I will be on learning for the rest of my life. And that's okay, right.

Pinar Guvenc  
So sure. Yeah, let's just say that it's not a continuous education, it will be an ongoing learning process.

Antionette Carroll
their entire life, you know, and I think it's one of those where we seem to think, Oh, I read a book. Well, I got it, there's like, no, like, we we all unpacking every single day, like I have continually been unpacking, like, how am I even part of the equation of creating harm? And what can I do to change that, and, at the end, create a reaction that we actively have a culture where we talk about these things like, oh, man, we created we unintentionally created harm here. But then again, intention doesn't mean anything. So how do we hold ourselves accountable to the impact now and also make shifts for the future? And so yeah, there's a lot of stuff that that requires us to build this equitable liberatory society. But just because it's hard, and just because we may not see the outcome, like I'm coming, I'm convinced, I probably will not see the equitable world that I am working towards. But I view I'm just to be honest, but I view my work as drops in the bucket, I view my work as Cathedral building. The people that were building cathedrals knew that they would not see the final piece, yet they knew what they were doing was so important to the foundation of it, and that they actively had a role to play in getting that final institution. And that's how I feel. When I think about my work as a black woman. That's a serial social entrepreneur, that's a mom of black men, that's a wife to a black man, like my work is Cathedral building. And I'm hopeful that it was not for my sons, their children will hopefully see the world that I've been collectively because I will say a lot of us have been actively working towards

Pinar Guvenc  
So so well said so I feel like this entire conversation was full of amazing advice. You know, allocate a special piece for that, for anyone who's doing progressive work or trying to do progressive work, because we also know it's not easy, right? It's a everyday battle. What would be your advice to them?

Antionette Carroll
You know, I would first and assess, do we have this activity that we call all this power analysis but analyze where you are like actually sit and reflect and Do some some journal, like some a journey mapping of where am I? And what have I done? And what do I need to first like, reconcile myself? And where are areas that I need to continually build my knowledge? Also, I recommend folks actually like, listen to people of color. And that means not just, oh, something has happened, it was just a news, I'm looking at this moment No, like, really think about what am i consuming every day, and have I centered of certain voices, particularly people of color in what I consuming, because when you start to make that part of your reality, you start to see Oh, the world is a lot bigger than the experiences that I've had is only a small piece of what actually happened in that in this world. And then I also recommend, don't automatically jump to let me create, but because many times when and I know this is gonna sound weird, because I clearly I created many, many things. but hear me out. When I say this. What I'm saying is, it's not that you shouldn't create, but first, see what already exists. And see how you can want to build, like, build trust with the net community come in and listen, say how can I help you win once you've actually started to build that trust, and then see what you're creating from them. Because there are many organizations that's doing great work, holy cake design, designers protest hip hop architecture, 228 accelerator, the equity lab, like there's so many groups that are doing the work on the ground. And we have to think about one, do I have a lot of privileges that if I introduce space, am I erasing what they're doing? Because I'm having greater access? Or how do I ever actually leverage my power and access for the folks that have already been doing the work and help them actually get into these rooms that maybe I have access to. And so that's, that's why I want people to it's not that I'm like, don't create anything. Clearly, my company name is creative.

We're all about creation, they create in a smart way and a smart way, in a collaborative way, in a co creative way, in a way that doesn't erase the assets that are already in a community. And even when we start programs, the first third of the program is actually them analyzing themselves is looking what's already in the community. It's not like we jump in and say, all right, limiting access, let's go know what's already there. And how can we maybe amplify or support opposed to actually contributing to more ratio, which has continually happened throughout it?

Pinar Guvenc
Yeah. And that's such an important point, I think what you're making because like, there are so many nonprofit organizations out there that might have similar missions, and yet, like working all separately, not collaborating with one another. So funds are being dispersed all different ways. Some are managed poorly, some are managed well. But then like, maybe if they were all under an umbrella, or a coalition or something, maybe so much bigger things could have been created by sharing resources or simply collaboration, right. So I think that's a very, very important point, then, we really need to understand this is something that is hard to resolve on your own anyway, it's maybe impossible to collaborate anyway. So you might as well you know, learn from existing things and maybe collaborate with them too. So that was wonderful. He said, Thank you so much.

Antionette Carroll
No, no problem. Thank you. Thank you for having me. This has been a great conversation.

Pinar Guvenc  
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