Authentic Transformation – ep.108

 Advocating for Veterans – ep.107
September 20, 2023
 Building Intentional Ecosystems – ep.109
October 4, 2023

Certified executive leadership coach, author and founder of Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC Brenda Harrington gives advice for organizations seeking authenticity, discusses her book, Access Denied: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination, and offers tools for minorities to reclaim their voice while navigating eliminating barriers to workplace inclusion.

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to The Jali Podcast, I’m your host Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.

Brenda Harrington, PCC is a certified executive coach, leadership development facilitator, and the author of Access Denied: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination. The founder of Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC. She works with senior leaders and executives worldwide to help them enhance their leadership competencies and build capacity. Her clients include leaders in a variety of business sectors, nonprofit, government, and intergovernmental organizations. Brenda’s partnership with clients is centered on the cultivation of a personal leadership style and the development of professional habits that will enable them to have the greatest possible impact.

All right, so I am again, so excited. Every week, I open up and say I’m excited, but I get excited when I get to talk to fabulous people and meet people that I may have never met, would maybe never meet. And I have this amazing opportunity with The Jali Podcast to engage with such fabulous people. This week is no exception. So I have Brenda Harrington here with me, and I’m so excited to just get to know you and talk about all of the things that you’re doing. So first of all, thank you for being here.

Brenda Harrington:  Thank you for having me. I’m so happy to be here, Melyssa.

Melyssa Barrett:  And I just going to dive in because I know you’re a certified executive coach. You’re the founder of Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC. Can you talk a little bit about how you became the woman you are today?

Brenda Harrington:  Long story short, I started my career out of undergraduate school in corporate America. And back in those days, it was a pretty linear path for most of us. You walk across the stage by graduation, you walk into an organization or a company and whatnot. I determined early on that that was probably not the place that I wanted to spend my life, my career. Tried it twice. My first role was with Mobil Oil. My second was with AT&T, which is actually how I ended up here in the Virginia area where I reside. And I just felt like there was more for me to do. For whatever reason, I’ve always been curious. I have a high-risk tolerance, and so I’m not the kind of person who will say, “Well, I wonder if what.” And I’m the person who says, “Well, let’s see. And if it doesn’t work, well, then we’ll move on to something else.”

So that’s kind of the long and the short of it. Fast-forward many, many years, I’ll say I broke my own rules, and I went in-house after 9/11 for what I thought would be a short project, and I ended up leaving this particular organization nine years later as a senior executive. And so it was a great opportunity for me. It was an affirming opportunity for me because what I confirmed during that period was that when you get the people part right, amazing things can happen. And that was always my approach to everything that I’ve ever done, much to the chagrin of people who were focused on the top and bottom line and other things that were important but not as important to me.

And so during that period, and I’m talking 2007, 2008-ish, I decided that that’s really the way I wanted to spend the remaining years of my professional life. And I started putting together what is now Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC. We are in our 12th year. And what that means is that I went back to the classroom, I got my certification in executive coaching from Georgetown University. I studied at Thunderbird School of Global Management because I intended to work with an international base, which I had been doing and just put together some other things. And I’m grateful for the fact that it’s worked out.

Melyssa Barrett: Yes. Well, it’s working out well, and I’d love to celebrate people who are doing the work. So I just want to tell you how grateful I am that there are people out there like you who are actually lifting, using your hands and doing the work. So I appreciate it. So I do want to ask you, and it’s funny because your experience mirrors mine in a lot of ways because after my husband passed away, it was one of those things where I was like, I’ve been working in this particular industry for 30 something years. What do I want to do? And here I found myself as a podcaster, who knew? But I know you spent more than 30 years in private industry, and when we watched the murder of George Floyd just a few years ago, it seemed to create a momentum in the attention and the activities for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re seeing today? And I know a lot of companies are interested in progressing DEI, but it’s almost like we’ve seen momentum shift and go gung-ho, and now maybe not so much.

Brenda Harrington:  It is absolutely waned. And it was the spring of 2020, not just George Floyd, but Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and all of those things that were…

Melyssa Barrett:  And the list goes on and on.

Brenda Harrington:  And the list goes on and on. It was like a call to action for me. Not that I was so surprised, unfortunately, by what had taken place. A couple of the things were over the top, of course, but more about the conversations that emerge, particularly among people who don’t look like us. I had no idea. And then we started to explore this idea of privilege. I never thought of myself as privileged, and we weren’t rich and we weren’t that, and just the lack of understanding. But it also triggered so many of us to thinking about the things that maybe nobody was physically kneeling on our neck. But the metaphor of that and the things that we just experienced… And if you spent 30 years in corporate America, I mean, there’s probably not much you haven’t seen, right? Or experienced yourself?

And I thought about conversations that I have with some clients. I thought about my own experiences and I said, “I need to get into this conversation.” I never thought about writing a book. I never thought about doing anything of this kind, but I wanted to tell some stories. In coaching, we use story and metaphor quite a bit to make it more accessible. And so I wanted to bring forth some stories that people could perhaps identify with, relate to, but also see as a foundation for how they could make better choices. And so when you talk about the initial response to the spring of 2020, as I refer to it, all of that is really dialing back. And I think that now more than ever, we’ve got to be very intentional about not missing an opportunity to call things out and to course correct.

Melyssa Barrett:  So then do you have advice that you would give to people in maybe individual contributor roles or middle management who want to see the change but maybe don’t have or don’t feel like they have enough influence?

Brenda Harrington:  Yes. So every chapter in the book includes coaching and reflection tips because a lot of the times we do feel like we’re powerless and we’re helpless. And the first thing I want to acknowledge is that it’s not easy. And I know that it’s a little scary and it involves different degrees of risk. But I think the first thing is for us to go in with our eyes open and to really pay attention to the culture, the dynamics, what type of behavior is tolerated, what type of behavior is rewarded, who the power players are, and really to approach things strategically.

We don’t turn on these senses a lot of times. We go in with these grand expectations and assumptions, and we’ve got to set that aside and really pay attention. And I’m speaking to… A lot of times people will ask me, “Who’s [inaudible 00:09:31] are you looking for?” I said, “Two audiences.” Primary audience is people who are dealing with these kinds of circumstances, and I want them to know, one, you’re not crazy. Something is happening very likely. Two, you’re not alone. The secondary audience of people who are holding the keys, people who have the power or are empowered to really impact change and do something different, but they don’t see it. It’s a huge blind spot for a lot of people.

So the things that you and I might interpret as a microaggression, for example, just goes over their heads. They don’t understand. And so this is about awareness, really. Pay attention to these things and then you can think about how to move forward.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it. Well, and so while we’re talking about the book ’cause… I love the title called Access Denied because I mean, even as I think back to my own parents and my careers, there have been many a day where we have had our access denied and our ancestors for hundreds of years, certainly. I am so grateful that you are telling your stories and telling stories of people so that they can understand and create some awareness. I’m really thankful for… There have been a lot of people that have been very supportive of the dialogue because they’re really curious and now that the blinders are off, they really want to understand. So how did you come to write this book? And can you maybe give us a couple of stories that you think are impactful?

Brenda Harrington:  Sure. Well, it was a spring of 2020, honestly, that I said, “Okay, what can I do? How can I do it? Silly, you don’t have time to write a book. You don’t have time to do the things that you have to get done, so how can you?” I thought about ghost writers, but then it wouldn’t be in my own voice. And so that’s where the idea of pulling together stories came from. And a couple of the stories of my own. And then I had some very gracious, very generous contributors who shared their stories, most of which are in the first person. We had to protect a couple of identities, but most of them are in the first person. And each of them represents a different scenario, basically. One of the stories of my own that I tell is, I refer to as the lonely only, when you are the only minority, the only Black person in a group, and it doesn’t matter at what level of the organization, you’re still susceptible even when you think you’re safe.

So here I am, executive vice president of an organization reporting directly up to the C-suite, and I’m at a retreat that is addressing things that are totally inappropriate for business context. We’re looking at Antebellum architecture, we’re reliving the Patrick Henry Congress, give me liberty, give me death. And so I think that that’s all passed, and I bowed out a lot of that. I said, “Respectfully, I’m not going participate in those activities.” I will reconnect with the group at a lovely dinner until an actor came out in character. It was George Washington talking about why the colony, at that time, had to go to war against the British because otherwise we would’ve been relegated to slavery just like those Blacks. So just think about, yeah, exactly.

I couldn’t articulate that at the time. For two weeks, I was so emotional that I felt like I had been just set up. And so a lot of things happened after that. But that’s an example. And for them, this is just historical reference. That’s not what this is for me. First of all, we don’t need to be talking about it here. No, thanks. We have enough to say grace over about the business that we don’t need to be getting into all of this historical context. And so that’s one example. Another example or two actually. And one involves my sister, and one involves a classmate in undergrad school, both of whom were relying on professional counselors at that time to help guide their careers. My sister never wanted to be anything but a nurse. All of her life growing up, she wanted to be a nurse.

And her guidance counselor in high school said, “Well, you can forget about that, but if you like the white uniform, you can be a caterer or hairdresser.” And mind you, we were not in the south. We were in Mount Vernon, New York. And so five or six years after that, my sister and I are 10 years apart, I happened to be in the same school at the time that my sister graduated from nursing school, from college. And in those days, nurses wore white caps and black bands. And I took that picture, graduation picture of my sister and I walked into that guidance counselor’s office and said, “You told my sister that she couldn’t be a nurse. I want you to know you were wrong.”

So this goes back a long way with me, as you can see. And then a similar story with my classmate who is now Dr. Marjorie Hill, a noble psychologist who was told that she shouldn’t apply for the PhD program to become a psychologist. So those are the kinds of things and the point… Well, the first story is just absolutely over the top, but even when we are entrusting our careers, our futures to others, we have to be very careful. We have to be very discerning. That’s not everyone’s approach. They come in with expectations. Well, this is my counselor. This is my advisor. This person has my best interest at heart. You’ve got to be the steward of your own circumstances.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. I love that. Be the steward of your own circumstances. So you talked a little bit about how… ‘Cause honestly, some of the experiences that you just mentioned, and certainly some that others and myself have had. I think you end up being so surprised that you can’t find the voice you talked about or the language to even communicate what you’re feeling. So are tips maybe you can give that help people find their voice?

Brenda Harrington:  You’ve touched on something that is so meaningful to me. If you go to any of my current or past clients and ask them, “What are Brenda’s two favorite words?” They will tell you expectations and accountability. And here I want to talk about expectations because we shouldn’t be surprised. And I’m not trying to turn everyone into a cynic, but we’ve got to set reasonable expectations, plan for the worst and hope for the best. So if you expect that because of your credentials and your CV and your experience that the playing field is level, then with all due respect, you’re likely setting yourself up for some degree of disappointment or failure. And I talk in the book about our relationship with the F word, fair. It’s not about being fair, and this is why it’s so important to pay attention to what’s happening.

And we are so focused on the me, we’re not paying attention to the we. And this is so, so critical because every opportunity, every time something happens, every time somebody else gets to present to the client or gets that exposure or gets that acting role or gets that special assignment at the expense of you’re not getting it and you don’t say anything, you’re sending a message that it’s okay. I had a client just starting with her at this particular meeting, and she was saying the most outrageous things to me about her experience with her then manager and her colleagues. And at the end of every sentence, she’d say, “And that’s fine.”

I heard her say that about three times. I said, “Stop it.” I said, “None of this is fine.” Little Ghostbusters thing, circle with X right through it. No, it’s not fine. And we cannot accept it as being fine or accept it as just the way things are. And so this is where the strategic piece comes in. I talk a lot about having mentors, having an advisory board. We need more than one voice. We need more than one person to bounce these things off of. But there’s always an opportunity to have a conversation and to address something. You don’t have to be mean. You don’t have to turn the place out, but at least acknowledging, letting them know and that you’re paying attention.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. No, those are great point. When we talk about inclusion, and I know you spent a lot of time also talking about identity and authenticity. What are some of the biggest barriers that you think are out there when it comes to inclusion? I think a lot of companies are interested in the diversity part, but then it’s like you bring people in and you’re like, “Hey, we’re diverse.” And then the people that are there are like, “This is not what I expected.” Right?

Brenda Harrington:  The numbers make sense. So when they do their EEOC reporting, they can pass those tests. They meet those criteria. They can check the box for compliance, but nobody’s being asked to engage, right? Nobody’s being asked to engage and those that falls into it. I mean, you got to call those things out. If I’m not being included this time, what do I have to do to prepare and how are we going to work on that? And when is the next opportunity, we don’t have those kinds of conversations. We just accept and say, “Okay, well, I’ll wait until the next time.” No. When are we going to do this?

And listen, let’s face it, there are some circumstances for which it’s not possible. You might not be in a place that you can actually move things forward. And you’ve got to be realistic about that too. It might’ve always been your dream to work for XYZ organization, but if they are not holding a space for you to thrive, then maybe that’s not the place for you. We have to be willing to pay attention to acknowledge and accept those circumstances and just move on. But what normally happens… I shouldn’t say normally, but what often happens is that that turns into 50 pounds, high blood pressure, diabetes, divorce, whatever. We fertilize it and we try to deal with it, and then we try to work ourselves into the ground.

One of my stories in the book, this woman came into the organization as an admin, there are two master’s degrees while she was there and other formal credentials, and she just was never going to be enough. That had nothing to do with how hard she worked, how many vacations she gave up, how many weekends had nothing to do with that.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Yeah, and those are the talents that seemingly are always overlooked. When you see people and it’s like, they have the talent, but they’re not included. Yeah.

Brenda Harrington:  Can do it in their sleep. Absolutely.

Melyssa Barrett:  So we talked a little bit about independent contributors and middle managers who maybe don’t have the influence that they want. You, now, as a CEO in your own company, what advice would you give to CEOs, who do have the influence and maybe aren’t doing what their employees would like for them to do? Because we all know that CEOs, I mean, they make the decision, and everything flows down. So are there things that you think CEOs should be doing, especially having come from large companies like you have?

Brenda Harrington:  So now I get to talk about my second favorite word, which is accountability.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. Did I set you up right for that?

Brenda Harrington:  You set it up, you set it up beautifully. Thank you so much. And I’m finishing up, I’m wrapping up a course, actually. I developed a course related to the book that addresses this very issue, and it begins with a very deep reflective exercise around identity and belonging to help people get into the right frame of mind. So when you are the person who holds the keys, it’s important for you to pay attention to these things. If I’m on your team and I’m the only, and you don’t ever see me presenting, you don’t ever see me engaged at the same level as the others. You need to check that out. What’s going on with Brenda? Why isn’t she, when is she going to? I have this conversation with people a lot, you can’t change hearts and minds. Hearts and minds can change, but that’s a very individual effort and activity. You can hold people accountable though. And so if you have someone in that senior leadership role or middle management role, and they’ve got a team, where things don’t seem to be equitable and balanced, then you need to have a conversation about that.

And the expectations around engagement and inclusiveness need to be explicit. And you need to walk the walk, basically. You hear all this, “Well, communication is not well.” “Have you had a conversation with her?” “Well, no, ’cause I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t want her to think.” We don’t get feedback that we need because they’re afraid to talk to us. They think all of this, and the CEO needs to break through all of those barriers.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and I think it’s so important sometimes to actually hear a CEO say, they don’t know. Just understand. I’m curious. I want to learn. Just speak it.

Brenda Harrington:  Well, the learning is one part, and I talked about this in the course. I said, “So what is it that you want to get out of?” Learning is one part. The most important thing is what are going to do with it, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Right, exactly.

Brenda Harrington:  What are you going to do with it? And identify, “Okay, we’re going to go through this learning module.” Now, you go out and you look at your organization through this lens now, and you tell me what you see that you might not have seen before. I’ve had so many people come back to me to say, “I had no idea. I reflected on something that happened when I was here, or I was there. Now it makes sense. Now I understand what was happening.” But they don’t think of it that way because it doesn’t affect them.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. No, that’s really an interesting thought process ’cause I think, especially when we talk about companies, especially large corporations who have this global presence. And one of the things I wanted to chat with you about is I know you have a certification in relocation, and you do coaching on mobility and relocation assistance or power. So can you talk a little bit about how maybe coaching can help? I mean, you also have certifications in global mindset, government coaching, global business, the list goes on and on. So can you talk a little bit about… I think sometimes we’re so focused on what’s happening in the United States, but the global mindset does have an impact, especially when you’re working in a company that has a global presence.

Brenda Harrington:  Right. They’re very closely aligned because there are such fractions when you start to talk about interacting across cultural boundaries, especially in the leadership space, when you are there to exercise influence and you disregard the local norms and customs on things like that, it really can shut things down very quickly. And so it’s important to pay attention to all of those things. The low hanging fruit, when someone is about to relocate and become an expat, is to learn the language and things like that. What you really need to understand are the nuances, things that are less explicit. Because in most cases, we’re not a very collective society here in the West, in the United States. It’s about me, me, me, me, me. And many other places, I would argue most really look at the collective first.

So you’ve got to spend some time developing rapport and building relationship before you could ever have a conversation about business. You need to know what the protocol is around time. Is it important to be punctual? Or is it offensive to be punctual and more important to be late? Or things like that. And people don’t ever think about those things. So it’s the same kind of thing. And I would say there are a couple of highly, highly international diverse institutions that I work with that have a large presence here in the United States, and it happens there. You have people on the diverse teams. You have people from different cultures on a team. Some are more high context, some are more low context communicators, and you just have to be intentional about paying attention to those things and trying to hold the space for everyone.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, I love that word intention. That was one of my favorites as I learned. And it’s funny because I know I had experiences that I had to learn when I was doing a lot of work in Brazil. They tend to not be on time. Everybody else is on the phone waiting. And so it was interesting to try to learn how to incorporate and make sure they were included without having other people go off on a tangent.

Brenda Harrington:  Right, yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  I mean, I have to say one of my favorite, favorite places to go, and the people are phenomenal. So I think it’s funny how we think about culture when we start broadening our horizons around the globe to really understand people as opposed to our little Americanized version of what’s happening here.

Brenda Harrington:  Yeah. No, absolutely. And simple things like how you present a business card. You think about events here in the US and networking or business event, and everybody used to pull out their cards. It’s almost like shuffling a deck. You’re going to play poker or something like that, so, so offensive. And in most other places, many, it’s a presentation. This is an extension of who you are, so you present it and don’t ever, ever, ever write on the card. You take it, you honor, you pay attention. So it’s important for us to learn these things because we can export a degree of arrogance that just will interfere with everything that we’re intending to accomplish.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, I love it. Well, and I think that’s what’s so wonderful about being so much more conscious. One of my favorite books when I started was The Illusion of Inclusion. And Dr. Helen Turnbull talks a lot about just the unconscious bias, but then really kind of going through that flow of consciousness and will we ever have that unconscious consciousness? And so it’s interesting to me when we start thinking about just the use of our head, heart, and hands, and how we can actually lift ourselves to really be conscious of other people and their thoughts and their perspectives, asking questions and being curious as opposed to just driving our own perspectives through somebody else’s heart.

Brenda Harrington:  And assuming that they have the same lens that we have. Absolutely. Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. I love that. So would you please… ‘Cause hopefully we’ll also have this video, so I do want people to see your book. I know you have it sitting in front of you. Access Denied. You have to get this book ’cause it is just awesome. I love when people are incorporating stories along with the lesson ’cause I really believe that’s how we engage our right and left brain to really understand the perspectives. And you just are doing such a wonderful job at really helping people not only understand, but then formulate an action plan, hence the term adaptive leadership strategy.

So I love the fact that you’re doing this work. Are there other things that you find when you think about identity and authenticity in terms of how people should prepare to transform their organization when it comes to identity and authenticity? ‘Cause I think a lot of times we say, “Hey, we want everybody to show up authentically,” but then we have this organization that maybe doesn’t quite allow me to be authentic. So do you think that falls on the CEO? Are there things that people can do in the meantime?

Brenda Harrington:  I think it starts with the CEO. First of all, don’t invite Black people. Well, you shouldn’t be talking about civil war history and slavery at a business meeting anyway. But when you’re planning events and things like that, think holistically and try to avoid things that might be triggers, that might be offensive. And I’m not just talking about Black people. I mean, you could be offending someone who’s from a different country or from a different culture or things like that. So ask questions, invite other people in as part of the planning process or look across the team and just do some homework. There’s no shortage of explanation about things like that. It’s like inviting a group of vegans to dinner and serving prime rib. I mean, you don’t want to do that. So it’s just not that hard. But if you just make an effort to think about it.

I had this conversation with someone just a few days ago, bring your whole self to work. What does that mean? Certainly, we have got to regulate, self-regulate, self-manage. We all need to bring our professional selves to work, but it is important. It is important that people do not have to camouflage or expect to have to code switch in the workplace. It takes a lot of energy, and it draws energy from what they’re there to do. I’ll never forget a gentleman telling me that he has spent 30 years of his career making sure that he didn’t use his Caribbean accent at work. How you do that? I mean, it’s like getting a character every day to go to work. He’s from Barbados, and that’s his natural tongue. Well, it’s not that you couldn’t understand him. I mean, he had an accent, beautiful accent, but in order not to draw attention to himself or be otherwise marginalized, he made sure he tried to clean up that accent every day at work. And that just almost brought tears to my eyes.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, that’s terrible.

Brenda Harrington:  That’s horrible.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah.

Brenda Harrington:  And so things like that, and just allowing people to be who they are. And especially when you see a situation like that, and then you’re expected to celebrate others. “Oh, we’re so happy to have so-and-so from Sweden. I just love your accent.” And I’m sitting here trying to sound like I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio or wherever. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. So there’s a lot that can be done if we just try. And I think that people will find out very quickly that we’re more likely, we are different.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. Well, and I think it’s interesting because at least in the United States, we have such polarization in politics that certainly is fed through the people that we interact with in lots of ways. And I get the question all the time, should we even be talking about politics at work and all of that? But there used to be this kind of unwritten rule that you don’t talk about politics, don’t talk about religion at the office. And I think a lot of times now people bring their values with them to work, and they want to work for companies that have similar values as them.

Brenda Harrington:  Values, purpose driven. A lot of this really came to the surface during COVID, why am I here? What am I doing? The great resignation or whatever it was called because people were really paying attention to those things. And they were meeting employers again for the first time about what was really important and what mattered most, what the priorities were, and what they meant as individuals to the organization. So you’re right. I think a lot of that continues to bubble up.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, yes. And I think it’s great that we even are being more intentional about what we consume and who we consume it by. So just the ability to be more socially conscious is really focused on all the social governance, environmental components, I think is hopefully will expand the conversation through not just race and gender, but all sorts of other diverse perspectives.

Brenda Harrington:  I hope so too. And it’s interesting because people are quick to say to me some, “Well, this also applies to this group and that group and this group.” Yes, it does. But let’s be honest, no one else came here like we did, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely.

Brenda Harrington:  Nobody else was chained up and thrown in a boat and brought over here. So our reality and the things, the pervasiveness of systemic policies and practices, the barriers that have been erected and created to really keep us at a particular place, no one else has experienced that degree of marginalization, discrimination. And so, yes, it does have broader application, but what I’m here to talk about really is what’s continues to happen with our community.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, and what’s interesting to me about, I just came from the NAACP National Convention and their theme this year was thriving together. And it’s really a commitment that they have to creating a thriving community for everyone. But we all know that if we focus on African Americans and we focus on addressing those systemic issues that have occurred, everybody is lifted. I mean, there’s certainly other groups that get the benefit of the work that specifically is focused on African Americans. So I think you’re absolutely right when you talk about that.

Brenda Harrington:  Unfortunately, not everyone shares that belief because there are people who truly believe that I am of inferior intellect. I really need to get this right, because I refer to it periodically and I don’t know the specifics. But when you think about the reveal within the NFLA couple of years ago when it comes to cognitive ratings for people who have suffered head injuries, there was a different baseline for African American players who dominate the league. African American players, and then there was the white-

Melyssa Barrett:  By the way.

Brenda Harrington:  Yeah, by the way, than for white players so that in and of itself. I mean, well, I’m not as smart, so I’m not entitled to receive as much. And it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  It is. So, well, that’s why it’s so important to see you doing the work that you’re doing, and again, I just so appreciate all of the things that you’re doing. I mean, all of the credentials you bring, the books that you write, hopefully this is only the first one. I know you got another one out there.

Brenda Harrington:  We’ll see.

Melyssa Barrett:  But in the meantime, everybody pick up Access Denied. It is an awesome book that is not only for people that want to see the work done, but for the CEOs that want to make the work meaningful. And so I just, again, appreciate all you’re doing in the space, and thank you so much for joining me on The Jali Podcast.

Brenda Harrington:  So happy to be here. Thank you very much.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on The Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.