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Sep 4, 201408:34 AMMinority Biz Report

with Sam Owens

This blog ain’t for you … or is it?

(page 1 of 2)

Let’s be realistic: We all have individual characteristics and experiences that inform and, to a certain extent, bias our perspectives. This universal human tendency — to interpret information in a manner that is biased toward personal identity and experiences — has the potential to polarize, or to unite. However, before Greater Madison can realistically convert this potential energy into positive business outcomes, we must confront the individual biases (and privileges) that obstruct our ability to relate to people we perceive as “others” or “different.”

If you are the type of reader who is unwilling to test or expand your bandwidth for understanding minority (in the quantitative sense, not in the racial sense) perspectives on business and socioeconomics, then this blog ain’t for you. (Yes, I did just use non-standard English, but we will explore that, later.)

Let’s be honest: In order to continually mitigate my personal biases, I try to honestly share aspects of my identity that might limit my ability to understand or relate to diverse perspectives. For example, I am a young black male who hails from the great (and terrible) city of Chicago. Likewise, there are particular times when I am communicating with fellow Madisonians and feel as though my expressive style either is, or is interpreted as, particularly “youthful,” “male,” “black,” and/or “Chicagoan.”

Although there are myriad characteristics (including, but not limited to, “entrepreneurial” and “lawyerly”) that comprise my (real or perceived) identity, I believe that my style and my perspective are primarily governed by the attributes that I have elected to share with you today. If you are the type of reader who shies away from critical self-reflection concerning your relative position within the status quo of Greater Madison’s business sector, then this blog ain’t for you.

(Continued)

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