Skip to main content

tv   Foreign Policy Workforce Diversity  CSPAN  August 8, 2018 10:04am-11:14am EDT

10:04 am
book tv. on the rolescussion of civil society in u.s. foreign-policy. more specifically speakers provided recommendations aimed at improving workforce diversity, inclusion and equity in the foreign policy sector. alex johnson moderates the event. >> good afternoon. let's get this level appropriate. welcome to building the bridge for inclusive foreign policy in a civil society, leading by example. follow on social media using the hashtag,
10:05 am
#inclusiveforeignpolicy. we are live for the next hour on c-span, so we are on the record and streaming. this is brought to you by the open society policy center, the open society foundation in partnership with vested strategies and truman center for national security and national security project. my name is alex johnson, and i'm the senior policy advisor for europe and eurasia in the open society policy. we partnered with vested strategies to develop this insightful report we are launching because inclusive foreign policy is a matter of strategic capability. unfortunately, that capability has remained underutilized in our country and policies to change that should deserve partisan support.
10:06 am
leadership from the house and senate have recognized this as a priority in government, including measures lake s-924 the senate security diversity and workforce act of 2007 and other measures included over years in state department and national defense authorization acts. leaders like bob menendez and ben cardin have called on administrations to make diplomacy look like america. in october of 2016, the obama administration issued the presidential memorandum promoting diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce. this expanded professional development, advancement and retention in national security agencies. but, we are here today because we are exploring how do we build the bridge to fill those and ensure expertise that regularly shapes u.s. foreign policy reflects the diversity of america in this civil society have an essential role. in april, practitioners signed an open letter on the need to
10:07 am
innovate for inclusion. it grew into and equity and inclusion for national security coalition which the open society policy center facilitates. regular meetings of this coalition create space for civil society to increase the synergy for inclusion among the various initiatives and projects. such capacity helps civil society lead by example. from the perspective of open society foundation, investments like this are how we walk our truth. this is not always convenient. open society has long sought to empower the disempowered as we invest in underrepresented communities it is important to ensure that those voices reach policy makers. this will help us reach policy makers and we will see how to draw from shared experiences to bring cultural competency to diplomacy. these experiences are our experiences and they are inseparable from the identity of america. we are very excited that you are
10:08 am
here to join us today. we will reserve as much time as possible to make it as open of a conversation and explore some of the great findings from this new report advancing diversity and inclusion in the foreign policy sector prepared by vestige advantages. .- vestige strategies we are joined by stephanie brown james, a ceo and founding partner of vestige strategies a native of bedford heights, ohio, she was the national african-american vote director for the 2012 obama for america campaign and has extensive experience with the naacp and other community empowerment initiatives nationally and internationally. we are joined by anthony robinson, who is the director of training and public engagement for the truman center for national policy and truman national security project. he's responsible for designing and organizing and conducting a wide range of trainings for members of truman scholarships programs.
10:09 am
he was a white house appointee during the obama administration at the department of defense , working in the office of the secretary of defense for personnel readiness as well as working both in the department of veterans affairs and the department of transportation. he is a marine corps veteran, and we are excited for him to join us today. first, we will start with an overview of the report we are launching. i will leave it to stephanie to give us highlights and explore key elements of the research that she conducted the past few months engaging with or partners -- our partners at think tanks, ngo's and civil societies in washington. >> thank you for being here. it really is a great opportunity when you are able to dig into a sector of vestige strategies and we have had the fortune to do a similar study of democratic party institutions with an organization called inclusive and many organizations in the environmental justice space from
10:10 am
green for all to the sierra club and many more. to turn our lens to the foreign policy sector was exciting because in many ways there were some results that we knew we would find in the space and some that quite frankly we didn't expect. so, over the past few months, we have had conversations both one-on-one, phone calls and a survey sent to about 20 organizations within the washington, d.c. foreign policy space. about half of those organizations were able to complete the survey. those mentioned in the report which i hope those in the room have been able to grab. from that, we were able to, from our 18-question questionnaire, get a snapshot of the diversity and inclusion work that was
10:11 am
currently happening within these organizations as well as ideas of what we can do moving forward to ensure diversity and inclusion was really being embraced, not just within specific organizations but the sector wide. i just want to highlight a few key points and this underscores the april report that was put out which was so -- the open letter which was put out which was helpful as we got into the report and findings. it is important to mention as we look at diversity and inclusion it is about specifically those who work within organizations but also about the impact of these organizations and they how they spread the cultural of inclusion internationally. out of other organizations we surveyed, eight of 10 had a specific person on staff whose
10:12 am
job it was to focus on diversity inclusion. that was actually surprising. to have a paid employee whose job is to have a benchmark to see what they are undertaking was a positive thing to see. we found it was very important among these organizations to have staffers actively engaged in ongoing training through forums that currently happen whether they produced it or collaborated with other organizations. i will say that some of the challenges we saw was that most importantly diversity and inclusion is very narrowly tracked. for many of us, when we hear diversity, first, we go to
10:13 am
gender, race, and that is kind of almost where we start. in today's society, we also look a little bit at physical ability, backgrounds but when we came to the organizations there was a heightened awareness of the type of catalyst present and what their gender and race was but when asked about sexual orientation or physical ability there was virtually no tracking and how they were included in the greater programming at an organization. if diversity inclusion work was happening within the groups, was it funded at the level it could be to be most successful. a number of organizations pinpointed one of their greatest challenges was the pipeline from entry-level staffers through senior staffers and roles they played being able to not only shape diversity and inclusion activities but being able to have a well funded operation in place to have consistent work go on. the pipeline challenge with interns was problematic and six of 10 organizations mentioned
10:14 am
an lack of funding for internship program specifically targeting young people of color was a real problem and that was the first step that was needed to be addressed to strengthen the overall pipeline. there are many more things we will talk about within this discussion, but to me, those are the things that stood out the greatest and last thing i would say is it was great to see that there actually is excitement around collaboration and not competition and organizations within the foreign policy sector do want to cooperate and organize together and publicly be able to talk about the work they do inclusively together but there needs to be a mechanism to make there an ongoing consistent -- make that an ongoing consistent thing as well as something that can be funded to make sure there is a benchmark around how this collaboration takes place and what it is that
10:15 am
the sector hopes to achieve not just within each organization but sector-wide. >> great. thank you for that update and overview of the report. as we get to our questions and our discussion, we will speak about more of the details and findings of that great research that you conducted. at this stage, we may shift our conversation and open to a panel and framing questions about your vision and why there is imperative for this type of work. we will turn it over to anthony for that. how do you think the findings of this report can empower inclusion outside of government and inside government? >> thank you very much for allowing me to be here. because we are on the record, i was at the department of labor
10:16 am
and veterans employment, not at v.a. so, i want to state that for the record. it is about awareness. when we talk about making strides with diversity and inclusion, we are talking about changing the culture. what we finds going on now in -- what we find going on now in many facets in our country and around the world people are changing the narrative. it used to be only a select group could decide foreign policy or national security strategy. we have men and women from all backgrounds saying that's not the case. as you are aware, at the truman national security project, oversee and implemented and put together a training call ed "bridging the gap," tackling bias, discrimination and stereotyping in national security. one of the things we look at is -- anyone can say i want to improve diversity and inclusion but we take a close look at the psychological and neurological part starting with the brain. the information we have taken in
10:17 am
subconsciously over time. where we were brought up, where we've worked, images that are on television. one slide shows screen grabs from several news networks and in the lower half of the screen , there was some type of national security foreign policy topic going on and in all the pictures, there were white men. what does that say over time? does anyone other than a white male know anything or can speak intelligently on these topics? so, we are talking about awareness across the boarded a changing the culture and we have to begin to have more complex and nuanced discussions for any organization, whether we are talking about defense, at state
10:18 am
and organizations you work in. it is not just black and white no opinion intended. we have to have more complex and nuanced discussions and it starts from the top but if we have the leaders that believes in it but the person in charge of the department for internships doesn't buy in or h.r. doesn't buy in are the efforts moot? so, we are talking about collective awareness and that is where we can go from there. >> maybe an extension of that, i know that you were at a side event the munich security conference. i was wondering if you could tell us how that leads to more durable security outcomes. >> absolutely. i was very fortunate to present bridging the gap. it actually was one of the first outside of truman, one of first places we presented at the security conference and we had
10:19 am
members trance the transatlantic space that were completely adamant in diversifying the senate security space and interestingly enough they included policing in their conversation which i found interesting. but the effort to include lgbtq, religious aspects, other cultural aspects. there are so many things we don't include in diversity and inclusion with regional aspects, or where people are from and not just male, female or black and white. i was very encouraged by being there and i continued the discussion in that space. in that space they were very aware of the impact that a diverse leadership leads to strength in policy and they are reaping the benefits of that. i think we could take a page from that as well. >> indeed. all right, and maybe to turn a little bit to some of stephanie's personal experiences in her career, just reflecting on my own work, i grew up never thinking i had would leave the united states and now, of course, i spent time
10:20 am
as a diplomat living in austria, and entered into many intersections where i was never expected to be the person on the other side so maybe reflecting on your career and other aspects of government and civil society supporting diversity in government, what have you seen in terms of the need for such changes? >> yeah, my background is primarily civil rights. i'm from the midwest, grew up in the naacp, had various hats from being a volunteer to staff member. as i mentioned with strategies and being able to look at cultures of various organizations across the country you start to see things that are similar. i think it is funny, this kind of a byline, there is really more that unites us than divides us if we work to heighten the commonalities as opposed to focusing on the differences.
10:21 am
one thing we are starting to see is not just the fact that we have to have awareness in activities, but we have to be trained to make sure that we are focused on how we can have activities that are not biased in nature. and so one of the things that we saw through the survey is there is a need in the sector for there to be antibias and unconscious bias training. i have seen through my own work in going through trainings myself that it really does make a difference to break done -- down biases that we don't even know we have and we bring often to the table in work and personal interactions. as we think of solutions that is one of the biggest is how do we funds these antibias and unconscious bias trainings so our organizations from top to
10:22 am
bottom have the opportunity to look in the mirror, reflect and figure out how we can do things differently to bring things together. >> great. maybe to shift the conversation a little bit, and this is also a question to the audience that i see many esteemed guests with us here, what policies and bilateral or multilateral foreign policy engagements could be improved through a more inclusive approach? we spoke of course about your experience at the munich security conference, if we look at the nato summit in brussels, there were a number of things that talked about solidarity crimean community in ukraine, a majority muslim where such negotiations for that type of declaration could have benefited from a more
10:23 am
inclusive approach. what are some issues and places where an inclusion approach could improve outcomes? i would pose that to either of you to jump in and maybe when we get to questions an answers i would like to hear from you all as well. >> i would just add that getting away from the group think is very important. when you have people from only one background, one train of thought, one mindset and that leads to very narrow outcomes. there's a lot we can benefit from in the global space from doing that. i would say at a more local level at truman, at our last conference, which we called tru-con, we had all heads by discussions led by women.
10:24 am
we made a conscious effort to do that and there were some instances where it was a challenge it find more women of color it speak on security but -- to find more women of color to speak on security but we had to have tough discussions and the outcome was truly eye opening not just for myself but for others, other women to see that trains can run on time and their impact to see the space they are in, that honestly is one of the best recruitment tools you could probably have. a lot of times when i was growing up and thinking of in the military there were not a lot of people i could look to that looked like me in this space. that is a positive outcome as well. not having the mantles, you know, not just having women serve as just the moderator. i think i saw that in the report again that speaks to that anyone anywhere can do it. so, a need to continue to put
10:25 am
those images out there for people. >> that essentially takes a deliberate action and really a political commitment of high level leadership investment in seeing that through. >> absolutely. again, the policies are good and i don't want to take away from that, but we have to have action to follow up. that is the bias training and funding. there is not a one off solution to improve diversity and inclusion. >> i want to highlight that one thing we didn't touch on was age. age, really -- and not age in just the intern. we talked about the intern pool but in thinking of policies we also deal with a little bit of domestic and international political work and we have done work in nigeria with last governor's race that happened there. we talked about the role of young people and policies that could be put in place to make sure there is consistent engagement of young citizens with the new government and we have seen a number of state legislatures and city councils who have adopted different protocols of how young
10:26 am
people would be engaged. that is one area where i think we should pursue and picking out -- thinking outside of the box in ways we can work with younger people. and also people with physical disabilities. it honestly, to me, a shameful -- is shameful the at across-the-board -- is it shameful that across-the-board there remains a severe lack of engagement of people with limited physical abilities and how they are included within the broader work that we do. so, to me, in thinking of what are two specific ways we can not just do policy but through practice engage two bodies of people who are able to give a lot offen put to the work -- a lot of input to the work that we do and it would be the youth, and it would definitely be people with different abilities, physical abilities. >> i think at this stage, unless
10:27 am
there are any other remarks, i really want to open up the conversation and hear from all of you. i know we have a number of a esteemed colleagues who are leaders of projects and initiatives doing this work every day adds this -- day and this could be not only to ask questions about this report but to have a conversation and platform for sharing some of the best practices that each of you are working on in your organizations and what you hope to see in terms of transforming the foreign policy sector. >> can i just say something to that? i know that it is sometimes it takes you a little off guard when somebody calls you or sends you a survey. i need information right now so i know a number of people who actively participated in the survey and i want to say thank you for doing that.
10:28 am
the number of phone calls and conversations were so beneficial and eye opening so thank you to those who participated in the anonymous survey and it was anonymous and i think that also led to there being -- no one held back so i wanted to give my appreciation. >> this report from the perspective coming from philanthropy, it is important to be able to have survey data and other information to see where investments can be made it to support the field and empower various organizations. with that, i want to open up the floor. there are a number of individuals i'm sure who have questions or comments or thoughts about some of their initiatives and projects. we will open up the floor. do i have any takers? up front, please. actually, we will start with the back where the microphone already is. thank you.
10:29 am
>> hi, everyone. i'm the chief of staff at young professionals and foreign policy, and we build the next generation of foreign policy leaders. thank you for this conversation and the great work you all have done. we did a survey in december and asked members what are some things they wanted us to do and the number one thing besides networking were professional development opportunities to build real skill sets. i'm curious if in your work and research, if you came across any important skill sets that mattered to this space? the second part of my question is how can we ensure we are not putting people in the pipeline who are not prepared to be effective leaders? >> i could offer a quick response. i think one of the most tremendous skill sets, or once
10:30 am
e skill that is very important -- languages. this is the obvious entry point into some of the strategic capability that the diversity of america can bring to u.s. foreign policy. we have such a rich culture of many new americans, immigrant communities that have been part of our tapestry for many generations, and that gives us capacity to be engaged in the global stage in a meaningful way. so, i'm not sure if there are other observations that you have throughout your research process, stephanie. stephanie: yeah, i am just thinking even -- and back to the groupthink. we inherently have group think when we stay within our own sector and not just younger people but being able to participate in training outside your sector whether civil rights or public policy, whether it is environmental justice, because they have been able to raise money like nobody's business to support environmental work in this country. so, i think that being able to
10:31 am
step outside of our own sector boxes to figure out how others do things. one thing we talked about there -- in the report is there was a study by mckenzie and company in 2015 that when we talk about diversity and conclusion, although it is the right thing to do, it is also profitable. when you have a gender specific policy in place to make sure that women, and young people, or people of color are etquitably represented in organizations and companies, it is both the right thing to do and it is profitable.
10:32 am
so, being able to see how does the financial sector look at diversity inclusion or nonprofit look at funding students from low income communities to be interns is something that i think would bode well in the foreign policy space. >> i would be remiss if i didn't mention the true diversity initiativeiversity at truman. for the past two years we have gone to howard university and put faces in front of people. and from a wide swath of national security foreign policy fields to make them aware of the opportunities that are out there as well. to that end, any organization if you are looking to improve or implement more diverse population in your organization, don't just look at the ivy league schools. any time i'm on a leadership panel, i announce i went to an hbcu in greensboro, north carolina. that is to say that leaders can come from anywhere. so, it is not just isolated to
10:33 am
any one group. rakea heard me mention that at a training she sat in and came and talked to me and now she works with organization. opening your eyes and not just limiting where talent can come from. >> we will go to other questions. >> i am spencer. my question is a little bit more on the problem of tracking within the foreign policy space, whether it is african-americans or people of other backgrounds being pushed into directions based on their ethnicity, or women being tracked into certain areas. as somebody who spent a lot of time in the transatlantic space, i was a deputy assistant secretary is late for european -- secretary of state for european immigration affairs, the national intelligence office for europe. i cannot tell you how many times i have been asked in my career, how did you get into that? why are you interested in this
10:34 am
area? some of the kinds of questions that you do not really get as a white male who is interested in this, south asian and so forth, you are given the freedom to have whatever interest you are want here is as a minority you are often asked why you are interested in this. as a professor at georgetown, lots of minority students will ask me and after a lot of hemming and hauling and getting to the crux of their question, how do you justify to people why you are doing european affairs because i want to do it to that i am latino and i'm told i need to be focused on things that affect my community. in your research, what insights have you gotten in terms of some of the biases that track individuals within a certain space, and how do you handle that? how does that affect mentoring? i find whatever kind of organization i have worked that,
10:35 am
in, oftentimes the problem is not necessary getting people in. it is how do you promote them, how do you advance them when they feel as though there will not be a space for them later on? it is often a vicious circle where folks do not in tour -- mentor because they think folks will not stay there because i have other interest areas, or they don't stay or do not advance because they are not tored properly. >> i will touch on some of that and i'm sure the fellas have something to add the first thing that popped in my mind was intentionally and that we often think that we are but in practice are not intentional with making sure that -- to your last point about the pipeline issue, it came up a number of times in the survey results that there was a real challenge in
10:36 am
having people of color in senior positions being able to be tracked to think tanks. when they are transitioning into think tanks, they are transitioning into equal or higher senior-level positions. if you do not have people in those positions from diverse communities, there is no way down the pipeline that midway or -- mid-level or entry levels staff will see themselves in similar positions. being intentional with making not people are mentored just by someone who looks like them, they want to be in a certain type of job or work in a certain type of sector. that is enough to make someone a pair with a mentor. we often look at the obvious
10:37 am
things of what can access, race, gender, or a certain part of the country we come to. we have to be intentional about breaking the status quo and how we approach our work. also being able to make sure that, one of the things we highlighted is it is important for folks to go recruit and have conversations and event at historically black colleges, tribal colleges, at community colleges. i went to howard university. many times i can tell you the programming that came to our campus was focused on the african-american community, poverty, low income, your stereotypical issues. there was never a conversation that i know of, even though we have a wonderful bunch on campus, that talks about the role of what you can do as an officer working on europe or eurasia issues. he just gave me his resume and i was like, i cannot wait to talk to you after. we have to break the status quo of what we have always done to do things differently, without the boundaries of the things we normally consider the first
10:38 am
things we go to, the conversations we normally have. >> to add to exactly what she said, the conversations about poverty, around certain policy, these are common to the human experience and they are happening in each of the countries we work in around the world. part of my justification for engagement in european affairs, i've spent a number of years helping support and mobilize the afro descendents in europe and supporting organizations that have been helping empower their community. they are facing some of the same criminal justice issues, profiling, things that are happening in the united states as well. i think there needs to be more of this synthesis of foreign policy and domestic policy. that is part of the endeavor here in this conversation, to do that. seeing leaders like you takes the visibility and profile of
10:39 am
seeing people do it to even imagine you can do it. it is so important. sometimes an additional duty of those who have pioneered different spaces to get out and be visible about the work they have done to generate that perception, change the narrative about who can be a part of this conversation. >> one of the things that we strongly recommend is the creation of a speakers bureau specifically for this point, to highlight individuals who many of us do not know about perhaps, to be front and center and say, yes, i'm available and willing to speak to various audiences. we hear oftentimes that i did not know where to find someone, where if we have a centered place where that collaboration can come in, organizations can
10:40 am
recommend their own expert to be a part of the speakers bureau, we can eliminate the excuse of, i did not know this type of person existed to, how can i make sure this person is being placed in public more often? >> maybe we will get two more -- get to more questions and you want to come in on another point. i saw a question in the back from a representative, a leader from an organization doing just that, trying to identify who can be a part of speakers bureaus as well. so, please. >> my name is bonnie jenkins, founder and president of women of color -- also a nonresident fellow at the brookings institution. thank you for doing this, because we need to have more of these kind of studies on this issue. as i work in the field and try to look at ways to tweak and -- ways to impact and bring in more people of color, it is good
10:41 am
to have studies. a lot of us know what that having it written is good. i agree. one thing we are doing in my organization is highlighting women of color in different fields, having a woman of the month or youth person of the month, we have podcast and do -- a podcast and do everything possible so people can know there are women of color out there doing things. we are also developing a list of serv so we can combine names of women from organizations who want to have people. thank you for everything you are doing. i wanted to ask a question about sustainability. when i was at the ford foundation from 2005 2009, i -- from 2005-2009, i funded a lot of organizations that were trying to diversify. young people, businesses, and i funded icap.
10:42 am
we started some conversation that led to the gap program. it is a little disheartening finding issues with the pipeline. we started gap to address the pipeline issue. we started by looking at think say there is no diversification in the boards and we led naturally to the conversation, you will not have people on the boards if you do not have people in the pipeline. when we had people -- president obama, there was a feeling that things are changing and we realized we still have a ways to go. things have not changed as much as we hoped. how do you sustain your view? it is not an easy question, but the sustainability of programs, the effectiveness of programs, the interest that you see now from a lot of organizations
10:43 am
about diversity, how do you sustain that? how do you keep that going? if we have somebody in 2020 who may be more caring about this ese issues, how do we keep it going? we cannot assume everything changes because it seems like a it changes. >> thank you so much. i think it is important to essentially have investments that incubate these types of initiatives and then work on the transformation that i believe stephanie talked about. what is important in terms of transitioning some of the diversity and inclusion efforts from a component of an institution or organization's work to a mainstream value priority of the leadership? the types of trainings and solutions that transform that narrative essentially are very important in terms of really moving forward. >> i agree, and i would just add
10:44 am
that there are people -- i know i am committed to the fight. one of the founders of my fraternity said at a national conference, we have to fight until hell freezes over and then be prepared to fight on the ice. i take that to heart. this is not just a one-dimensional initiative. we have to be committed to this and even though we signed a letter, that is not the end of it. if you have a diversity policy initiated, that is not the end of it. keep it front and center in the conversation. that is why that narrative is so important. going from making diversity and inclusion a box to check, making it a practical, relevant, and reasonable part of the environment, we are talking again about changing the culture and that does not happen overnight. i am committed so the
10:45 am
fight. sustainability rests a lot in me and the allies that reform. the department of defense, i sat in a lot of meetings where i was the only brown thing in the room other than the table and the coffee. at first, it is amazing, it is a good feeling. i am here and i have made it, but after a while, there need to be more voices in here because i do not represent all african-american male experiences. you have to have complete and intentional diversity inclusion because you have a broad swath of experiences across sexual orientation, age, gender, and race. i think it will go a long way so we have to continue to fight. >> so, more questions? in the middle and then we will go here and towards the front. >> good afternoon. my name is leo with national security action. thank you for having this panel
10:46 am
and doing the study. to the point talked about affinity groups in the study, and to the point of the connection of civil rights, civil society, human rights that we do internationally, trying to bring that home and connect it domestically with the tri-caucus, those that are members of congress where people of color connect with groups like the naacp, those types of groups. i go to those groups domestically and they are the ones that say we are the leaders in our communities of color. when i talk to them about foreign-policy issues, they are like, we do not have capacity. we are fighting too many fights
10:47 am
at home, we are not concerned about international. i would like to hear your thoughts on how do we bridge that gap? anthony talked about the flight deck and how everyone on tv is a white man. if we do not have the leaders in our community standing up for us in our areas of expertise, we will never change this. i feel most of us in here are concerned about foreign-policy issues, but this is a connection that we need to support domestically. i would like to hear how you have bridged that gap. >> i will give an example from practice. i think we cannot underestimate the value of international solidarity, the two way street and exchange we can create that makes foreign policy relevant for domestic policy. i worked with bringing a number of human rights activist and other leaders from other countries to america to discuss issues that are domestic problems for themselves in their home countries.
10:48 am
by coming to america and finding solidarity in that common human experience, i have been with groups whose government have taken note. they went to the united states and discussed what? the embassy would then invite those human organizations in to talk about their issues in a domestic context. when they went back home, they would be able to advance policies and work with those governments much more closely. similarly, our civil rights organizations are doing similar efforts going abroad in providing solidarity for various organizations. right now, with the united nations international decade for people of african descent, there are organizations like the leadership conference who are traveling abroad and working on the shared experiences of the african-american community with the african diaspora, to explore how joint policies can make that decade more impactful.
10:49 am
i think we need to have this two-way street and not underestimate the value of international solidarity. >> absolutely. this is a gray area where foundations can come into play, funded fort work be that conversation to take place. coming from the civil rights community, there were a number of times that organizations just within the civil rights community only got together around certain issues when a funder made it happen. , do is both good and bad not get me wrong. it definitely is a unique role they can play. to figure out how that can be institutionalized within the organization, so whether that is saying for the next five years we will fund a position with another organization that specifically has a person focused on foreign-policy, or we
10:50 am
will make sure to fund this coalition where you can meet. a uniquely specific role that foundations can play, that would be extremely well received not just by the international organizations but getting down to the state and local level where those organizations often times have had no opportunity to delve into this work, even though they very much would like to. >> we have a number of questions. i want to make sure we have enough time to get around to the field. we had one up front and a couple in the back. we will do over here. >> thank you. i am with re-think media. we work with a bunch of different nonprofit think tanks to help with their media capacity.
10:51 am
we have touched on the question of pipeline but i would like to ask your perspectives on the questions of retention and backlash. even if you are able to bring in diverse candidates, between your one in three, the drop-off is very high and often times they leave the sector entirely. the second thing, we all know that women, people of color receive a huge portion of foreign-policy work and work as an expert. the kind of backlash you get publicly is often more cruel, vitriolic, and tougher to deal with. it has definitely affected a lot of experts, especially female experts, in the way they present in their comfort in presenting and stating their opinions publicly, assertively, in a way that a lot of their white male counterparts do not feel. i am wondering if there is an
10:52 am
experience or insight that you have into that issue and if there is anything, whether it is foundations or organization can do to address that? >> i will just say that that goes back to an earlier point that we talked about with mentor ship and having people of all areas throughout organizations. one of the things we talked about in munich, going from mentorship which is good but sometimes turns into you having coffee once a month, to actual sponsorship, because we are talking about access, access to the pipeline to lead to more ses 's, more marginalized communities being elevated, promoted to general officer. we are talking about people that can grant access. in our bridging the gap training a clear fall off
10:53 am
between the civilian sector, gs8, which isd usually where you are beyond pushing papers, to possibly leading a team, there is a fall off. in between 12 and 13 where you were considered to go into the ses ranks, there is a fall off. it should not be surprising because there are not intentional programs. people just checking the box. i will also speak to another end with women, we do need more women in the spaces but if we do not have policies to protect them from sexual harassment and abuse, we will continue to see that drop-off. we're not doing things to fight when people blow the whistle on people being outwardly discriminatory and rescinding
10:54 am
into the slaughter, to put it bluntly. we have to have a 360 approach. >> one of the provisions of the bill i mentioned, the national security diversity and inclusion workforce act, is requiring that agencies, national security agencies conduct state interviews so part of that retention, you often hear about exit interviews, when you are leaving, how you explain why. there needs to be more of a deliberate effort from leadership and management to have an ongoing conversation about, why do you want to remain engaged? what do you need to succeed? that should apply not only for government but for outside of government and civil society and think tanks that feed into those positions. >> one of the things you said is we all know. we all don't know that. that is part of the problem, especially when you are in the work, you assume that everybody knows that this is a huge problem that women and people of
10:55 am
color are being attacked in different ways. we all do not know that. to me, that is also where the power of the affinity group comes into play. there is a huge willingness, one -- many affinity groups are already established. alex leads one and there is a desire for organizations to come together. this is where those groups could come together in being almost a defense mechanism to say, these are some ways we can come to their rescue and these are some ways we can highlight and they, say this is a problem. it is a problem that people of color and women are being attacked. here is what we need. we definitely have to start looking at things through the lens of, do people really know what is going on, and being that microphone to shed light on what is happening. >> we have several more questions. i want to make sure i do not
10:56 am
miss this side of the room. we have one up front and two in the back. we will start up front. >> thank you. good afternoon. my name is todd wiggins. if i may start out with a , all three ofent you look fabulous. for the gentleman, nice pocket squares. you just mentioned something that i thought was interesting and i want to take to the next step. i met a black conservative named tim scott. he, in your mind, might represent that word that you used, you said "token." it is important that there be more black conservatives and more black republicans, regardless of how they really feel, because there has got to be more than one way of entry into the mainstream and into the economy. we need to diversify our diversity.
10:57 am
is there an oxymoron in there somewhere when you say black conservative, black republican, or should that be part of the strategy for developing more of an equal society? >> i will start to say it that i -- to say that i initially started to emphasize that this should be a nonpartisan issue. that is what the report talks about. you rightly complemented senator scott in that there have been a number of articles about his own leadership within his own staffing in his office, and how he is trying to transform and lead how congressional staffing should look like america. this should not be partisan. we should be working to expand this outside of maybe a partisan frame, if you will. >> and, to take his example, senator scott is one of the most bipartisan members of congress
10:58 am
that reaches across the aisle often. people often assume he is a certain way because he is a black man. he is a conservative. he is from south carolina. your flags go up of all of the things you can assume of him, but when you look at his policies and the way he works with his staffing, you get a different story. we have to get ourselves out of stereotyping, anti-bias, and out of assuming that we are all operating under groupthink. >> i will just add, i think this comes not just in this instance but all across marginalized communities, if i cannot speak up for the latino community or lgbt community, then my work really is -- i am being a mouthpiece and there is no walk. it is only talk. i can definitely support people in improving diversity and inclusion across many spectrums
10:59 am
that. -- many spectrums and i will always speak up for that. >> we have two more questions on this side and one more on this side. >> i am allison peters. what was talked about in terms of bridging the gap between domestic and international is i am coming from the women peace and security space, where we work to get women involved in peace and security processes. one thing that has struck me is how separate the conversations are in the international landscape and here domestically. in fact, when we were working with congress on international strategy with women peace and security, congress said we need to make sure we are clarifying this has nothing to do with our domestic institutions, not dod, just talking about internationally
11:00 am
i think we have a lot of work to do in terms of bridging the international and domestic gap in these conversations. i wanted to ask one question that was raised about unconscious bias training, there has been some research talking about how unconscious bias training had the opposite effect in reinforcing biases. i am curious of your thoughts, if you have taken part in those trainings and if you think they are effective, or if there are other means we should be promoting beyond unconscious bias training if it has not been proven to be effective? >> before we take that question, park that one. we are going to collect questions so we will do one more in the back and then respond. >> thank you again for the panel, it is fantastic. i am with osf in our human rights initiative. i am curious about platforms of power and leverage that can
11:01 am
cause societies to lead by example. what is working well in other sectors, especially the private sector that can assist civil society leadership on inclusion issues. for example, in singapore, legal rights for lgbt are not well recognized. you have a leading movement within businesses that are carving out protections for their same-sex employees. that is leading to conversation for the singaporean government on these issues. with this kind of work -- and it was mentioned earlier about looking at the collective awareness beyond leadership, sort of internally within organizations, but outside of organizations what can we look to within our enabling environment on these issues for solutions similar to singapore? >> we have unconscious bias training, does it work, and other sector lessons. >> i will take a space that i am in at truman, bridging the gap.
11:02 am
i have read reports about that. i was putting together the studies for this training. i saw it both ways, and a lot of the lack of success has a lot to do with the platform. a lot of people take diversity and inclusion training via a 10 question computer test, printed out, and give it to their training section. that is ineffective. that is almost set up to fail. next, you have people that use at the idea i have , this big project, i have to go into a conference room for two or three hours, the whole mind frame is negative from the very beginning. that leads to a lot of it. i think the caliber of the trainer has a lot to do with it as well. we are seeing diversity and inclusion training kind of as du jour, where people
11:03 am
are profiting and they are not equipped to deal with it. you have to watch the room. it is not just about spewing off information. people are dealing are very intense and heart-felt issues. a lot of times, this leads to my other point, there's no followup. you basically give all this information, and some people just come in, all right, white guys, you're wrong, ladies are right, i'll see you later, and people go back to their desks. and there's a lot of animosity built up in that. so one of the things that we try to do is, a, we have certified trainers that do it. we get a survey of the group that we're going to be in front of, find out, are there some issues that we should or should not address in that case, which i would suggest probably nine times out of 10 to not, because again, that makes it really, really personal if there are unresolved issues that are not going to be resolved in one day. and then there's followup on the back end. it is an investment.
11:04 am
a lot of people don't want to make that investment to have a followup in three to six months, to make sure that they are -- that policies are put in place so people really have an understanding. you're not going to get woke in three hours. it's just not going to happen. so there has to be followup. a lot of the instances that i've seen that were not successful had a lot of those tenets, and ones that were successful followed the guideline i just laid out. that, weile we mention do believe that antivirus and unconscious bias training should be instituted within organizations. we're not necessarily saying that everyone within that organization at that one time should take that training, and that sometimes it may be better for individuals to go to a separate training with folks that they don't even know, but they can oftentimes let their hair down a little bit more with those trainings, as opposed to sitting next to my co-worker, who i can't stand him for other reasons, nothing to do with the fact he's a black man, he's just
11:05 am
a you know what. [laughter] but i just want to say, finally, one of the trainings that to me was also really beneficial was conflict resolution trainings. what i will make sure i get to a -- to alex is a list of some trainings that i know are happening across the country that are extremely beneficial in resolving conflicts that are rooted in not just race and gender and things like that, but more so in kind of personal experiences and kind of who we are, kind of breaking down some of the things that don't often get addressed. >> all right, well, we're bringing our conversation to a close. we just have a few more minutes. i know we have a great question on other sector opportunities. i would just refer, again, to the report in which you referenced the private sector and kind of the business case. there are also a number of other institutions here represented, like csis, who's done a report and taking a look at other
11:06 am
sectors and how you can leverage diversity in terms of your institutional management and foreign policy in particular. so we will have to part -- park that one unfortunately, and i want to get a chance for our last question. i saw a hand on this side, before we conclude our conversation here today. so, please. >> thanks for the fantastic panel. you mentioned both persuading people why diversity and inclusion matters. you mentioned the mckinsey report. is there research -- i believe there's one that talks about the value and importance of women being at the negotiating table, but i was curious what, if any, research exists on public policy that having more diversity leads to better policy outcomes? >> i don't know offhand. good question. is that the last question? good question. [laughter] i'll have to get back to you on
11:07 am
that. >> i think that question actually serves as a mandate for kind of what is next in terms of the research. i think as you rightly mentioned in some of the work and research that's been done, particularly in the women peace and security sector, there are a lot of metrics around how including women in certain conflict resolution processes lead more durable outcomes, and i think that's really one of the greatest resources in that regard in terms of public policy outcomes. in other sectors, i'm not familiar offhand with additional research, but also, as i said, i think there is a mandate for what needs to happen, and i hope that a number of the organizations gathered here both in the private and public sector consider how they can prioritize that work. so maybe with that, a final quick word, a parting remark for
11:08 am
our friends here today. >> i would just say, as i always tell groups that are looking to advance or move up the professional scale, i also offer this to organizations that want to be serious about improving diversity and inclusion. if you stay ready, you don't have to get ready. and, you know, you do the strides all along the way, and it's not going to just pop up where there's an incident or there's some type of backlash. then you get serious about it, start making the efforts and moves now. >> i would say that in order for inclusion to have a sustained impact in the sector, it has to be intentional, and it has to be fully integrated. so for us to focus on ways that we can do those two things, making sure inclusion is integrated and that it is intentional in the work that we do, i believe that we can get to a point of sustained impact, not
11:09 am
just on behalf of the foreign policy space, but really, for the benefit of the entire world. >> all right, well, this concludes our on the record portion of this conversation, building the bench for inclusive foreign policy, civil society leading by example. thank you so much for joining us today at open society foundation, and we look forward to working with you on this issue in the future. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> here is a look at our live coverage today. at noon eastern, a discussion on recent double unrest and protests in nicaragua. debate theurnalists freedom of speech and whether it protects offensive speech.
11:10 am
the association for education and journalism and mass communication is hosting the event. both bodies of congress are on break this week. the senate returns a week from today to debate judicial nominations and spending. the house remains in a district work period throughout the month and will return to legislative business on september 4. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, former president barack obama delivers the annual mandela speech in south africa. >> it does not mean we have to abandon our unique, ethnic identities. we never have to stop being proud. tribal heritage, he did not stop being proud of being a black man and being a south african.
11:11 am
believe,lieved, as i that you can be proud of your heritage without denigrating those of a different heritage. >> on thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, youth activist address the u.s. conference of mayors. >> i cannot explain the feelings you have during the school shootings. one thing i can relate it to come of the feeling of anxiety, of uselessness, of not being able to do absolutely anything. there is only one other place i have felt that. the united states congress. it might sound like a funny remark but it is no joke. i have spoken with legislators from across the board, senators, representatives, mayors. not one single person is confident that one thing can be done about the 17 people who died in my school and the many others who have died since. c-span.org,c-span,
11:12 am
and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> we don't live in the same parts of the country, do not have the same location, do not have the same particularly outlook. where we are all the same, then of color and women of color is the way we try to instill a sense of fear -- you can call it respect -- but a sense of fear as a sobering consequence of what could happen. >> sunday night on afterwords, d.l. hughley shares his thoughts on race in america with his book "how not to get shot and other advice from white people." >> having a police department that is respective of the public , a police department that is held to a higher standard than the children they are supposed to respect. there is a certain point when children just don't listen. should they die for that?
11:13 am
should we accept that as a society? is that really the best we can do, to tell our children to be more responsible than the adult drained to serve their community? -- adults trained to serve their community. c-span'safter words on book tv. discusses kalina and the challenges his agency faces in immigration and border security, and the shift of migrant populations. this took place at the policy center in washington. >> good morning, everyone.

11 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on