Creating Inclusion for Oneself: Knowing, Accepting, and Expressing One's Whole Self at Work

Bernardo M. Ferdman and Laura Morgan Roberts

In an eloquent New York Times op-ed, K'naan (2012)—a singer and poet born in Somalia, raised in Canada, and now based in New York, whose song Wavin' Flag became one of the anthems for the 2010 FIFA World Cup—describes the pressures he felt from the American music industry to, as he put it, “change the walk of my songs” (p. SR7). Before he completed his third album, executives of his music label explained to K'naan how songs that are less anguished, more fun, and less focused on difficult subjects than his first two albums tend to get more radio air play, sell more, and be more successful in the ...

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