When I wrote the blog post Liftoff! Opening Credits: Contributors, Guests, and Reviewers, my goal was to highlight the many folks who shared their stories or reviewed our work throughout the course of writing the book.
This book was intentionally different from some leadership and management books in that we didn’t want to overly rely on anonymous case studies that were more parable than playbook. That means that almost all of the stories here are written by the contributors themselves.
One result is that we were able to find and amplify voices who may be less familiar to many of our readers. We could also share the stories of more women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color than if we only asked for people to opt-in to nominate themselves to share their perspective.
That decision led to a few others I want to share.
We made the choice to research and write the diversity and inclusion chapter ourselves rather than ask someone who has lived the experience of being a BIPOC in a corporate environment to write it for us. We didn’t want to outsource the hardest chapter to write in the book, only to have Russ and I go back to writing the rest of the text. That didn’t feel right then, and I don’t regret it today. Instead, we asked people—both design peers and diversity and inclusion professionals–to review our point of view in the text and help us shape the chapter in a way that can help other teams where their leaders can learn from our mistakes, the research we’ve cited, and our approaches to improving toward a more just and equitable workplace.
But at the end of the day, while those new voices get published, the royalties still come to me. Not to the folks who volunteered their time to be a part of this book, either in the role of contributor or one-time-editor.
As such, I want to pay forward the financial success of the book that our volunteers made possible. This post is a pledge to donate 50% of the after-tax profits of my proceeds to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, with a minimum donation of $1,000 by the end of 2020.
If you’re unfamiliar with the organization, “the Know Your Rights Camp’s mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders”. I believe Kap was colluded against by a sports league that has benefited from systemic white supremacy since its founding, and has spent his prime athletic years organizing against and challenging those anti-Black institutions. I want to use my own privilege and good fortune to invest in his mission, because Black lives matter.
We titled our leadership book Liftoff! because we want design leaders to help elevate their teams to success, and with your support we can also help elevate the young people in Kap’s camps–including Chicago, New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Oakland, and others–to new heights too.
Please note that this is a personal decision and mine alone, and my decisions should not be expected to also apply to others who may choose to protest, assemble, donate, or be a champion for change differently than my approach here.