The Red Ventures D&I Reading List

5 minute read

The work of inclusion is not easy work; it’s complex and personal. It requires each of us to engage with people who are different from us and to seek out new perspectives every single day. 

To lead the charge, we’ve put together a team of leaders dedicated to 1) building diverse teams at every level of our company and 2) fostering an environment where every employee feels a sense of belonging.

Here are 8 great places to start seeking new perspectives, as recommended by our own D&I leaders:

1. The Will to Change: Uncovering True Stories of Diversity and Inclusion

Hosted by Jennifer Brown (Podcast)

Who loves it: 

Carlo Moore | Community Engagement Associate

What it’s about:

In this podcast, Jennifer Brown speaks with CEOs, Authors, and Entrepreneurs to offer weekly inspiration about topics surrounding Diversity and Inclusion. 

Why you should listen:

When it comes to starting a movement, it only takes one person ignite the fire – but it takes multiple people to keep the fire going. We have to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Through that discomfort, you will be able to bring about change that will benefit not only you, but the people around you as well. 

2. Mighty Be Our Powers

By Leymah Gbowee (Book)

Who loves it:

Brian Kelly | GM, The Points Guy

What it’s about:

The book is about Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee’s journey from being a mom to activist to global peace movement leader.

Why you should read it:

It shows us that no matter what our odds, if we team up together we can accomplish anything – from ending civil wars to solving problems at Red Ventures. Resilience is in our DNA as a company, and this book embodies a story of one woman’s resilience to change the face of a nation despite huge odds against her. (Leymah also spoke at Culture Fest 2018, so she is a familiar face to RV!)

3. The (One) Time I Had a Black Manager

By Meka Seymour (Article)

Who loves it: 

Brittany Dunlap | Senior Associate

What it’s about: 

The article is about the importance of representation. Having a manager that looks like you, has had similar experiences, and comes from a background you can relate to ensures that you have an ally – a person that can continue to inspire you. It also shows that you can reach that next level in your career. You see that it is attainable.

Why you should read it: 

The article does a great job of explaining why we need to have representation in leadership roles. It is hard for people to aspire to be leaders when they don’t see people like them leading. 

4. The Thread

From OZY (Podcast)

Who loves it:

Maghan Cook | VP, Corporate Communications

What it’s about:

Each season of the Thread focuses on connecting the historical dots behind a certain movement or public figure. From #MeToo (Season 2),  to nonviolent protest (Season 3), the insanity plea (Season 4), and equality on and off the sports field (Season 5). 

Why you should listen:

It’s an empowering listen and a reminder that every great story has context, varied perspectives, and roots that reach far and wide. Driving change is easier if we take the time to learn from the past.

5. The 1619 Project + 1619

By The New York Times (New York Times Series + Podcast)

Who loves it: 

Kacey Grantham | VP, Social Impact
Khalan Boyer | Executive Director, Road to Hire

What the series is about:

The 1619 Project is a collection of writings in observance of the 400 year anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and the contributions of black Americans to our country. It tells us how the fingerprints of slavery can still be seen in our institutions and communities. It’s the history we didn’t learn in school.

Why you should read it: 

Every essay in this publication will challenge your assumptions. It has started to change the way I take in new information and test my own biases and assumptions in other parts of my life. Our nation’s history has largely been told from a narrow perspective. This series shares a new perspective – at points an uncomfortable one. But, RV values intellectual curiosity, transparency, and data-driven insights in our work selves. Seeking to understand and learn from different perspectives encourages that curiosity and inclusion for our whole selves. 

What the podcast is about:

In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, this podcast tells the story.

Why you should listen: 

Many historical facts that have shaped our country remain untold in the history books. It’s critical to educate ourselves on the real history of how the U.S. came to be and how it has shaped the current issues and challenges we are currently facing.

6. Balanced Black Girl Podcast

Hosted by Lestraundra Alfred (Podcast)

Who loves it: 

Brittany Dunlap | Senior Associate

What it’s about:

This is a podcast that provides a dose of real-life wellness for women of color. She discusses topics about balancing life, skin care, racism, etc.

Why you should listen: 

The podcast is important for RVers to listen to because there are so many employees like me that want to ensure that our voices and perspectives are heard and seen. The challenges that we face are not uncommon, and together we can work through them all. 

7. Who We Be: The Colorization of America

By Jeff Chang (Book)

Who loves it: 

James LaPlaine | CTO, Red Ventures

What it’s about:

Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America.

Why you should read it: 

Chang is a scholar and a great storyteller. His book provided me great perspective on the uncomfortable topic we fail to address in America: Our race issues. 

8. The Danger of a Single Story

By Chimamanda Ngozi (TED Talk)

Who loves it: 

Khalan Boyer | Executive Director, Road to Hire

What it’s about:

Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie takes the TED stage to tell the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice.

Why you should watch: 

It’s important to intentionally broaden the scope of stories we consume about other people and cultures. If we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Inspired? Check out perspectives from our D&I Sprint Team leaders, including Sarah Soule’s article on closing the gender opportunity gap, Brittany Dunlap’s blog dedicated to sharing stories from her viewpoint, and James LaPlaine’s op-ed on solving for sexual harassment.

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About the Author:

Kara Robertson | Creative Producer

Kara is a Clemson grad and creative producer who joined the RV Corporate Communications team in 2017. She manages INSPIRED, creates all kinds of content for the Red Ventures brand, and wears more orange than medically recommended. (Go Tigers!)

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