tv Our World With Black Enterprise FOX April 21, 2013 5:00am-5:30am PDT
captions made possible by the u.s. department of education and central city productions, inc. welcome to "our world with black enterprise." i'm mark la mopt hill. this week we're on location. my one-on-one interview with anita hill. then diversity in the workplace p what is in store? finally, we take a look at ♪ i'm ready to go ♪ oh, oh ♪ oh, oh ♪ i'm ready to go ♪
♪ welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." i'm marc lamont hill. in 1991 anita hill was swept into the national spotlight for her role in the supreme court confirmation hearing of clarence thomas. we recently caught up with her to talk about that controversy as well as some of her new passions. >> we have the pleasure of having with us today attorney,
brandeis university professor, and author of a new book, "reimagining equality: stories of race, gender, and finding home," anita hill. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> now, in your book you talk about these kind of intersections between race and gender. how does this crisis of home particularly affect women of color? >> during the years when subprime loans were really raging through communities of color, many of the women who were taking out those loans were african-american women and latinas. they were taking out these loans on their own without a spouse or without a partner. and we know that there was racism involved, that there was sexism involved. people were given loans that they didn't really understand and maybe were misrepresented to them. so the reason they didn't understand them, it was being hidden from them.
people were taking out subprime loans or high cost loans when they qualified for conventional loans. >> exactly. qul and all >> and all of this has been well documented. so the proportion of individuals who have lost their home is high. and it seems to have happened at just the worst time, when we were finally getting a foothold. >> let me ask you a question. what do you say to the people on the right who say that this was a product of simple irresponsibility, that poor people got more house than they could afford, their eyes were bigger than their financial stomachs and the reason why they're homeless and foreclosed upon now is not because of corporate malfeasance but because they just didn't act responsibly? >> well, the facts are that we have documented evidence that there was rampant fraud. the justice department that did an investigation and found rampant racial discrimination, so it's not a question of just simple irresponsibility on the part of individuals.
but what i would say is there was a great deal of greed and irresponsibility on the part of bankers. and they have to be recognized, and there has to be some reconciliation for that behavior. >> a little more than 20 years ago you became a lightning rod for public criticism during the clarence thomas confirmation hearings. you came out with issues of sexual harassment in the workplace. suddenly the tables turned on clarence thomas and there was a public spectacle. did you expect that to happen? >> absolutely, i expected some reaction. and i knew that there would be a lot of negative reaction. but let me just go back and correct one thing. remember, there was controversy even early on in the confirmation process. the american bar association had looked at his record and gave him one of the lowest ratings that it had ever given. there were a number of individuals from civil rights organizations who had come forward to testify that this was
not a good nomination, that this was a nomination that was going to set us all back as a country. so that was there. but then, as you say, nothing really like what happened once my testimony took place. and i stand by that testimony. it was the right thing to do. and i'll tell you why. people say, well, it was a sexual harassment claim against him. but really it was testimony about the integrity of the individual who was going to be appointed for a lifetime position. >> what was interesting to me at the time was the way in which the black community largely closed ranks around clarence thomas as opposed to you. they said, you know, why not allow this man to go to the highest, you know, bench in the land? why is this woman stopping this black man from succeeding? how did that feel? >> it to me was just a testament to how powerful racism has been in this country. and i've experienced it too.
i think we all have. it has been so powerful, and really in some people's minds all-encompassing. and the most critical issue for us to deal with. but where 50% of the african-american population is concerned, you can't deal with racism without dealing with sexism. >> almost 20 years beyond the clarence thomas confirmation hearings we see herman cain enter the scene, and he's trailed by sexual harassment allegations. there's some irony to that, obviously. but how did you feel about the public response to that? >> well, you know, it was a political situation. and that way the public could weigh in. because they had a vote. in the situation involving clarence thomas, remember, we were talking about a lifetime appointment. we're not talking about somebody who could be in or out of office. and so it was a very different circumstance. but i think in terms of a social context it was interesting. and i think that it is evidence
that the public has learned. 70% of the people after i had testified, after i had testified under oath, rejected my testimony. i don't think that those numbers were the same with the situation involving this. >> you were pilloried by the press, you were demonized by your own community. >> what's wrong with me? i think one of the reasons i'm optimistic, i often go back, i think you have to understand history, you really have to understand history to understand what the present is and certainly to move forward into the future. and i was raised by parents who were born in 1911 and 1912.
and i was raised by parents who raised ten children in jim crow education. i'm the granddaughter of a man who was born a slave. and i talk about that in "reimagining equality." seeing that in two generations that my family moved from being property to owning property is one of those things that's inspiring. and it says, look, if you can't be optimistic you really have already lost because you've seen so much positive change. not just in my lifetime but also in the lives of people that you love. >> i'm always moved by your strength, your courage, your brilliance, and your insight. i'm grateful you spent time with us today. >> oh, this was a pleasure. thank you so much. >> stay right there. we'll be back with more "our world with black [ male announcer can gravity be used
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welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." today we're talking about diversity in the workplace. joining us for this discussion are pamela culpepper, senior vice president of global diversity and inclusion at pepsico. gayle king, executive vice president and chief administrator at nationwide. and jackie winn, vice president of the global residency division of emc. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. >> so diversity's always been a hot topic, but on the whole is diversity better than it was 20, 30 years ago? are we more diverse than we were before? >> we are diverse in terms of visible difference. i think there's still opportunity for more of the invisible diversity as it
relates to thought, as it relates to experience and background. we have an opportunity to play more in that space. >> i would say that i would have to disagree. i think that it just depends on the industry and depends on the business. but i think that our country understands that it is a business imperative and that everyone's committed to changing it and working on it. >> i would probably agree. i think in the technology field we need to do more around science and mathematics for people of color. i think that especially women coming into technology fields. i think also from a global perspective we really need to think about what that diversity really means in terms of levels of education, access to technology fields. >> pam, that goes back to your point about the invisible diversity, right? that there's the physical stuff that we need to diversify,
obviously gender, rarks ethnicity-w but there may be other ways of thinking about what a diverse workforce looks like. what are some of those things? >> for us inclusion includes being culturally confident. so how do you get to know and understand better your consumers and what their preferences are? and one quick way of doing that or accelerated way of doing that is employing people who are of those cultures and understanding what they bring to the environment so that they can speak more to the consumers' needs. >> we each have to own the fact that we can't speak for everyone. because again, what i find in any organization is that people understand the race and the gender generational differences, but the styles create problems. you work with a leader and they like a certain style and they're comfortable with that. so what we're trying to do is lp people understand the value of having different styles in a business, to drive business results. >> i want to add on to that because if you think about the book they wrote about michelle obama, being characterized as this angry black woman, right?
she took exception to that because that's not really her style but she's a very educated woman, trying to be in the limelight of this first black president, trying to have a balanced life with two kids to keep grounded. so how do we interpret that style? which goes to your point. so it's always, you know, on the consciousness if we think about our styles even as women in the market. >> i think the real issue is that diversity is everything and it's everywhere and that no one of us can speak for all of us. and so we have to appreciate all of those differences and be responsive to responding to those differences and what works at any point in time. i also believe that we have two choices, we either speak on our own behalf or we let others speak for us. so if i'm concerned about the message that gets out around what i need as a consumer, then it's up to me to be able to craft that message and not necessarily wait for others to do it for me. >> now, before i let you all go, you all are at the top of your
fields. you all are leaders. you all are powerful examples of what is possible. offer some advice to the next generation of leaders, the next generation of women that are coming into these corporate fields. what would you say to them as a way of helping them navigate? >> you know, i think the one point i would make is that women coming in are trying to juggle two wonderful opportunities in some cases. they want to be wonderful mothers and wives and they want to be wonderful contributors to their work environment. and it's incredibly important that you understand that there's balance but balance is something different for everybody. and so if you are thriving in the workplace, then know that some of what you're gaining from the workplace is spilling ore into home in a positive way and vice versa. so don't separate the two so much that you're trying to do both perfectly. understand what the balance in the middle is for you.
>> and so what i would recommend is that, one, they take risk. you know, we all know that performance is a given, but i would encourage them to take ri risk, try new assignments, and really understand the value of relationships, ensure that as they're working in different environments they develop very strong relationships. and things have a way of happening if you get in the way of opportunities. >> i guess i would offer the following. one is make sure your contributions are visible and measurable. and not always look to where you're working at work to get the experience. i think there's lots of opportunities in non-profit organizations where if you want to take a leadership role that you can do similar things in the community as well. so don't always look to being in a company to say i've got to get this type of leadership. use other avenues to develop yourself as well. so be open to other avenues to develop yourself and get those skills. the other thing i think that's important when you see the number of black women that are here is leadership is earned.
right? and so trust and acceptance comes from those people that are supporting you and creating an environment such that they cale. it's also as important as being self-aware. >> well, thank you all so much for your time. you provided powerful advice, and i'm sure we'll talk to you all again. pamela culpepper, gayle king, jackie winn, thanks so much. stay right there. we'll be right back. >> if we inspire people to take on more responsibility for others and for this society, then we will have done a lot of what we had intended to do. yeah, i'm married. does it matter? you'd do that for me? really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm?
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♪ welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." in 1947 she stood by her man as he broke the color barriers of major league baseball. now rachel robinson continues to keep the legacy alive. she's our "slice of life." founder of the jackie robinson foundation, assistant professor of nursing at yale university, and recipient of 12 honorary doctorates, education has always been at the forefront of rachel robinson's mind. >> i was destined to go to college. there was no doubt about it. my mother and father were going to see to it. and i joined them in that
desire. >> it was her freshman year at the university of california where rachel met the senior, jackie robinson. >> he was big man on campus anyway because he played four major sports, and i thought, okay, this is going to be -- this is not going to be so easy. well, i was totally shocked and totally wrong because everything about him was ideal and wonderful. and i was surprised. >> robinson proposed almost immediately. but after being drafted into the army, the couple waited five years to get married. but they knew they wanted to start a family. >> being a planner, i knew that i needed to spend those first five years with the family at home and then i would get a job. >> in 1945, after playing professionally for the negro league, jackie robinson was the first african-american to be drafted to play for a major league baseball team. the brooklyn dodgers. but racism was inevitable. >> i went to every home game at ebbett field. so i was there when things took place, and we could discuss them on our way home because i'd seen
the same things he'd seen. >> with the desire to not only be mrs. jackie robinson, rachel set out to achieve her own career goals. >> i've been involved in clinical work. i've been involved in teaching. been gratified by it. gratified by being able to help other people. and grow myself. >> which she had to do after life threw her several curveballs. >> my husband passed away in 1972. it was an untimely, unexpected death. and devastating to our whole family. also, my son, jackie jr., was killed in an automobile accident a year before. so it was the worst time in my life, and i needed a way to go forwa forward, how to not only grieve but to remember them in some way special. >> so in 1973 robinson established the jackie robinson
foundation, which has assisted over 1,400 college scholars with $30 million in direct financial support. >> rachel in her infinite wisdom realized that it wasn't enough to just give financial support to college students, young deserving minority college students, but that they needed to also receive the accompanying strategies for success through college. >> sometimes when i see rachel i kind of get tears because i feel so fortunate. >> now the foundation plans to reach further into the community and open the jackie robinson museum. >> we don't have places for people to study social issues, study the history, begin to plan for their own involvement in the society. >> dedicated to service and leadership tools, this living legend continues to invest her time in programs that will last. >> if we inspire people to take
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