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Is D&I about Us?

How Inclusion Practices Undermine Black Advancement and How to Design for Real Inclusion

VALERIE PURDIE-GREENAWAY and MARTIN N. DAVIDSON

That inclusion [the company] knows that that has nothing to do with African Americans.

—Alicia Harris, African American manager (personal communication, February 27, 2018)

One way to interpret Harris’s statement is that she is a stagnant black manager willing to gripe about her company. A deeper look suggests that she may be tapping into a powerful insight: many black professionals have little evidence that diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives actually help them advance in their organizations and careers. D&I initiatives are ubiquitous (Dobbin & Kalev, 2017; Nishii, Khattab, ...

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