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Hi there Jon-

In my work, I speak a lot about allyship and how we can use our own advantages to lift others up. I like to think in my 10+ years of inclusion work that I''ve inspired thousands people to be not just allies, but advocates for others. I truly believe that advocacy begets equity, although sometimes it''s hard to know what being an advocate looks like in action. I read a few surprising sports stories this week that illustrated this beautifully. 

The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team (ranked #3 in the world and representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy here in the U.S.) wasn''t on the list of 8 teams for the 2022 World Games. Organizers said the team wasn''t eligible because they''re not from a sovereign country. This particularly hurts because the Haudenosaunee were the originators of lacrosse. In an awesome display of allyship, the Ireland team gave up their spot to the Iroquois Nationals, acknowledging that lacrosse wouldn''t exist without them.

Also this week, the San Diego Loyal Major League Soccer team forfeited the game they were winning after an opposing team member used an anti-gay slur towards an openly gay San Diego player, and there were no consequencesBy not returning to the game after halftime, the team sent a signal to the league, the refs, and other teams that words matter and even in the heat of the moment, hate speech is just not acceptable

We all have it in us to be advocates for others. These stories are big, but your version of advocacy doesn''t have to be. You don''t need to make headlines to be an advocate. Look around and identify some ways you can use your words, your advantages, and your platform to elevate others. 

Here are some things that inspired me this week:

  • Twitter announced that they''re paying leaders of their Business Resource Groups (affinity groups for Black employees, LGBTQ, women, veterans, etc). While this is ideal, it''s also unusual. But it matters because these leaders all have other roles within the organization and BRG leadership is emotional labor. These employees should be paid.

  • Sephora Beauty''s Accelerate Incubation program that has focused on supporting women-owned beauty businesses will shift in 2021 to supporting BIPOC-owned beauty businesses. Founders who are accepted into the 6 month program will have access to funding, training, mentorship, and a pitch to Sephora. This matters because it''s the equitable thing to do and will give opportunity and exposure to businesses typically under-resourced.
  • Starbucks announced that each of its 200k employees will receive a $75 Lyft credit for use to vote or volunteer for polls anytime before November 3. This matters because it incentivizes voting and ultimately promotes civic engagement and civil rights.

A reminder that tomorrow (October 11) is National Coming Out Day. I'll share my story over on LinkedIn. 

Wishing you a peaceful week.

Thanks for all you do to build a more inclusive world-

All the best,

Bernadette Smith

CEO, Equality Institute

If you found this message helpful, would you be willing to share it with someone who needs the inspiration? Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Join 5 Things Today

Web Version: 5 Things / advocacy
Last week''s 5 Things: ask better questions

What''s 5 Things?  

I discovered that the were a lot of really inspirational actions being taken to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world, but typical news stories focus more on negativity. I decided to begin sharing what I consider to be "good news" each week in an effort to provide a little bit of hope -- to others, and to myself! 5 Things caught on quickly and now thousands of leaders around the world receive 5 Things and share it with their companies, families and friends.

Equality Institute

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