Examining Diversity in the Workplace and Politics

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Lauren Leader, activist and author of “Crossing the Thinnest Line,” to discuss diversity in the workplace and politics, her organization All In Together and the importance of equipping women with action-oriented civic education.

1/16/19 #2188






"We're pleased to welcome Lauren Leader, who is an Activist and the Author of a book called Crossing the Thinnest Line. Good to see you Lauren. Thanks for having me. What's the premise of this book? The premise of the book is that we need a better, more meaningful conversation about diversity in America. It is the most important national treasure that we have as a nation. It confers incredible economic and social benefits, and we have been locked for generations in an intractable battle over whether or not we are going to really fully embrace the diversity of our nation, and benefit in all of the ways that we could, and what... or whether we're going to fight it. And I really set out to try to bring a more meaningful conversation, to lay out both the economic and the social case for why our... the nation's diversity is such a treasure, and why it enriches us so much in so many ways. Excuse me. Is it harder to do that today than ever? And if so why? You know, what I've been saying about the current climate is that it's like a funhouse mirror. It warps and exaggerates some of the worst of us, and in some ways, minimizes the best of us. There's no question that we are in an incredibly divisive and difficult time, that some of the deepest hatred and anger in American society has been amplified. You know, we've seen a huge spike in hate crimes, a 57 percent increase in hate crimes just in the last few years. More anti-Semitism? More anti-Semitism. Than ever before? Absolutely. There's no question that these things have been amplified in very disturbing and upsetting ways. And of course, you know, police brutality. And you know, racial discrimination. And just you know, the mass incarceration crisis. All of these things are real. And in many ways... and I think the data supports it, America is more inclusive than it's ever been. 65 percent of Americans, 6 in 10 Americans say that the diversity of America enriches our society, that it makes it stronger and better. But? But? A majority of Americans support immigration reform. I mean we are more welcoming, inclusive, and tolerant than we have ever been. And yet we also have this very ugly other side. You know... They're both real. It would be easy, and a lot of folks in the media simply go to this quickly, but it would be easy to say this is, quote unquote, "President Trump contributing heavily to this" and it's largely his fault. I don't buy it, and I don't know if you do, because this polarization, this division... actually we..."