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Tapping Into the Current Potential of Younger Folks for Social Justice With Dr Marvin Carr and Tiesa Leggett

With a various vary of views and backgrounds essential to thrive, we’re creating collaborative partnerships and relationships with community-based organizations as properly to make sure that younger particular person’s success. And that’s what the distinction is with Unlock Potential.


Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive office chief. Be part of host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founding father of Workology.com as she sits down and will get to the underside of developments, instruments, and case research for the enterprise chief, HR, and recruiting skilled who’s uninterested in the established order. Now, right here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:43.20] Welcome to the Workology Podcast sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. Share your HR insights by participating in our survey. Go to www.HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. Making significant adjustments within the office is one thing that I would like greater than nothing else. That’s why I do what I do. And it’s not sufficient for us to easily deal with what we’re doing at our firm. It’s vital for us to consider the communities that we’re serving, the communities the place your staff and also you and your leaders reside. We need to make these higher. For me, I need to present help, sources, and create alternatives for everybody, and that features under-representative communities and people. At the moment’s podcast is concerning the duties of employers with regards to the subject of social justice. I’d like to get your insights on this and listen to your questions and feedback. You are able to do that by sending me a textual content to “PODCAST”. The quantity is 512-548-3005. Textual content “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. At the moment, I’m joined by Dr. Marvin Carr. He’s the Director of the Walmart.org Heart for Racial Fairness and Tiesa Leggett, Director of Partnership and Particular Initiatives at Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice or RBIJ. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Carr was Senior Advisor within the White Home Workplace of Science and Know-how Coverage and led the STEM and innovation efforts of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and the White Home Council on Ladies and Ladies. Tiesa began her profession as a information reporter earlier than transferring to the general public relations and public affairs enviornment. Previous to becoming a member of RBIJ, she labored in neighborhood outreach and schooling, researching and figuring out potential neighborhood partnerships, representing her employers at neighborhood occasions, working with space college districts, neighborhoods, and employers and elected officers. Marvin and Tiesa, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:02:51.39] Thanks a lot for having us, Jessica.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:54.39] Let’s soar proper in. The Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice has simply introduced a groundbreaking program made doable by Walmart via the Walmart.org Heart for Racial Fairness referred to as Unlock Potential. Are you able to inform us extra about this program?

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:03:11.22] Completely. So final 12 months in 2021, Walmart and the Walmart Basis awarded the Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice. I’m a grant to assist companies higher perceive the wants and the wraparound providers for younger people who find themselves on the highest danger of incarceration. One in every of our beliefs is that if we offer alternatives and on-ramps to workforce and mentorship for this group of younger individuals, that it’s going to lower the chance and likelihood that they too will proceed within the cycle of incarceration. And so there are greater than 4.4 million younger individuals in America who’re disconnected. That implies that they’re neither in employment or in schooling, they usually’re much more more likely to undergo damaging penalties, penalties like imprisonment or poverty. And so this program is supposed to work with firms and repair suppliers in the neighborhood to supply workforce and coaching alternatives for these younger individuals, to deflect them from legal justice involvement and from having to endure jail themselves.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:04:23.46] What a beautiful program. And also you’re serving to so many individuals and I feel a much-needed means, however one I don’t assume is talked about very a lot. One of many questions I additionally needed to ask was, what are the important thing teams that this system is working to assist speak us via that?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:04:41.70] Positive. So wonderful candidates for Unlock Potential are these on the best danger of future incarceration. They are going to be younger individuals aged 16 to 24 who’ve skilled a number of of the next further danger elements for justice system involvement. That’s a juvenile justice system, somebody who’s needed to expertise that, or a father or mother that’s been incarcerated whereas they have been the age of 18 or youthful, intercourse or human trafficking, or in the event that they’ve aged out of the foster care system. So it’s very particular. However we need to be certain that we have now a centered laser beam on these teams.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:20.10] I feel that’s extremely vital and giving them alternatives and entry to sources and mentors and simply data to assist them be capable to, to develop.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:05:35.73] Completely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:36.54] I needed to ask, too, concerning the distinction between first-chance hiring and second-chance hiring. I feel, for me, that is one thing comparatively new that, and as an HR chief, possibly we haven’t considered. Are you able to speak us via the variations after which ought to we even be desirous about possibilities on this case?

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:05:57.19] You already know, one of many issues I’d say to is, and grateful to Tiesa and her management right here, is oftentimes within the legal justice reform area, the main target is on combatting recidivism, proper? And so, people who’ve been within the jail system and are leaving and return to, return to communities. We deal with, you realize, within the first 30 days that they’ve been out, how would possibly we get them a job? Proper? To allow them to have a second likelihood at life, a second likelihood to make higher selections, a second likelihood to enter the workforce and supply for them, themselves and their households. And what has emerged since then, although, is like this concept that so many younger individuals find yourself in jail within the first place as a result of they by no means had an opportunity within the first place to grow to be concerned. There’s a little bit of consternation with that concept across the first likelihood, proper? And that’s we’re making an attempt to shift in the direction of notably for alternative youth. There’s an asset-based method to, to the language that we speak about these younger individuals. And so the rationale for using the phrase “unlock potential” is that we would like people to say that, no, we’re not giving them a primary likelihood. We are literally tapping into current potential which might be in these younger individuals that companies and communities can profit from. And so it’s actually a shift in each tone, but in addition in language when speaking about younger individuals who slot in these classes.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:28.51] The Unlock Program was launched at SXSW this 12 months, and I’m going to hyperlink to that program within the present notes. I needed to ask you, Tiesa, what was the preliminary focus or what has the preliminary focus of this system been?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:07:42.92] An enormous a part of our preliminary focus, Jessica, has been recruiting massive companies, however this work goes past merely getting firms to signal on to Unlock Potential. We’re additionally collaborating with them to look at and reevaluate their office practices, to open up their temples to those younger individuals, reminiscent of rethinking {qualifications} for particular roles. And we, you realize, let me offer you an instance. Do you actually need a highschool diploma to unload baggage from an airplane? Pondering via methods for profiting from current and inside apprentice coaching packages. As an illustration, Sam’s Membership affords school tuition fee worker help packages. We need to make younger individuals conscious of that and see if they could be a a part of altering their future and their trajectory.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:08:31.79] I like that. I like that employers can get entangled as a result of, sure, you do not want a university diploma or perhaps a highschool diploma essentially to, to do sure jobs. You simply should have the willingness to be taught and perceive and develop. And, and, I feel there’s so many nice alternatives that folks can entry that, that they won’t have been in a position to as a result of they didn’t have this piece of paper that stated, I completed this program or this class.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:09:02.24] Completely, Jessica. And so by offering them with significant, long-term profession alternatives, these companies are additionally constructing their company leaders of the long run, proper? And so with a various vary of views and backgrounds essential to thrive, we’re creating collaborative partnerships and relationships with community-based organizations as properly to make sure that younger particular person’s success. And that’s what the distinction is with Unlock Potential.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:31.58] Yeah, you really are unlocking the potential. And I like that it’s community-focused as a result of in case you are a corporation that has one location or a number of places, you might be an vital a part of that local people. And that’s actually the place you may assist impression change.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:09:48.65] Completely. Agreed.

Break: [00:09:50.15] Let’s take a reset. That is Jessica Miller-Merrell and you might be listening to the Workology Podcast sponsored by the HR Benchmark Survey. Share your insights at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com. So immediately I’m speaking with Dr. Marvin Carr, Director of the Walmart.org Heart for Racial Fairness, and Tiesa Leggett, Director of Partnership and Particular Initiatives at Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice. I need to hear what you concentrate on all this. I need to hear your questions and feedback. Ship me a textual content. Textual content the phrase “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. That’s “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005.

Break: [00:10:33.53] Benchmarking and information is essential to HR leaders. Workology’s HR Benchmark Survey is an always-on survey and simply by taking the survey at HRBenchmarkSurvey.com, you’re signing as much as get complete quarterly outcomes, white papers, and different analysis from the survey proper to your inbox. It takes 10 minutes or much less to finish. Go to HRBenchmarkSurvey.com.

Significant Profession Pathways for Younger Folks


Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:59.84] Are you able to inform us extra about this system’s emphasis on profession growth? As a result of I feel that our listeners which might be in HR are like, Oh, that is fascinating. How are we growing these people? What, what does that entail?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:11:13.72] We need to be certain that we’re deliberate with our method and collaborate with an intentional deal with significant profession pathways for these younger individuals. These placements are designed to be careers, not simply jobs. And that long-term nature of those alternatives are essential to deterring justice system involvement. This isn’t about like short-term handouts. It’s about increasing the constructive life selections obtainable to those ignored and underserved younger individuals by serving to employers open their expertise swimming pools to this proficient workforce section, as Dr. Carr talked about earlier. This system is designed to advance racial fairness. And we don’t simply need to see these younger people who find themselves disproportionately bipoc employed. We need to see them within the boardroom. For this to occur, there needs to be an important deal with constructing, coaching and profession growth into these alternatives, and we’re working with contributors to do exactly that. The coaching and apprenticeship alternatives are clearly outlined as in-service care suppliers in a position to help them in making certain they continue to be on observe with their profession pathway and plan. And it simply can’t be understated, Jessica. The significance of getting wraparound look after these younger individuals and we’re in search of extra service suppliers to collaborate with, after all, and understanding that we are going to additionally combine worker help packages as properly. So we’re not ranging from scratch. There’s ways in which we are able to construct into current packages. So mentorships are key, whether or not internally or externally as a result of a significant profession can really unlock alternatives.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:12:54.30] I like listening to concerning the apprenticeships and on, hands-on studying and a curriculum that occurs as a result of it’s not simply, simply an internship or one thing the place you simply type of throw individuals in and say, Hey, right here you go and attend this kickoff assembly after which you might be in your means. However it’s constant and systematic and arranged and designed to set this group up for fulfillment after they end with this system and keep at this employer or different employers like them for an extended time period.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:13:33.99] You nailed it. You nailed it. And that’s precisely proper. And so to ensure that us to construct a profitable program, we have now to know what employers, like I stated, have already got in place and construct upon that and combine totally different elements to make sure that younger particular person success. You nailed it, Jessica.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:52.50] I actually, I actually am enthusiastic about this. And we have now coated on the Workology Podcast various apprenticeship and coaching packages centered on all several types of people. A variety of our content material has been centered on individuals with disabilities and offering them internship packages. I like how, the course that that is going. That is one other group of people who want help, who want mentorship, who want coaching, they usually really want the organizations to step up and say, Hey, we’ve obtained you. We need to help you and assist you develop. Walmart Assist of Unlock Potential is a part of Walmart.org’s Heart for Racial Fairness’s creation of Nationwide Networks that kick begins legal justice prevention initiatives in communities throughout the nation, which I feel is completely wonderful. Dr. Carr, are you able to converse to why that is so vital for at-risk youth?

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:14:53.06] Completely, Jessica. One of many issues that I usually speak about in these areas is, you realize, most individuals see legal justice exercise within the legal area as this linear spectrum, from prevention to love combating recidivism and second likelihood hiring, proper? And I feel that’s an inadequate lens. I imply, I’m from these communities and I’ve, you realize, lived expertise in these communities. And what I do know is that it’s not linear, that it’s truly an inter-communal, intergenerational cycle that always captures younger individuals. And we hope to disrupt that cycle with our investments, with our philanthropic, philanthropic investments. For us, what’s going to be vital in that area is do we have now the precise infrastructure throughout the nation to facilitate that prevention? And so what we’ve been funding is actually 4 stools. I’d say a, 4 pillars of, of, of funding that’s important to that. We’re funding civic organizations and civic management from the Workplace of Violence Prevention and Mayor’s workplaces to those nice individuals’s commissions which might be growing native packages and tasks that use native policymakers and leaders to assist the affected younger individuals. We’re funding analysis via the College of Southern California’s Race and Fairness Heart’s work by growing a nationwide analysis agenda for legal justice prevention. Along with this work that we’re doing with RBIJ, we’re additionally funding a community of organizations who’re specializing in deflecting younger individuals who at present have dad and mom in jail, away from jail, to, to, to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of incarceration. And the main target is, once more, constructing the infrastructure wanted throughout this nation to supply alternatives that deflect younger individuals from jail within the first place.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:00.95] So let’s speak about how employers can get entangled. So I first need to need to have Dr. Carr so that you can share some advantages for employers via packages like Unlock Potential. What do these appear like for them?

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:17:16.79] Most vital, I feel, is that it provides employers entry to 2 vital issues. First, it’s employers entry to younger individuals who have a lot potential, so many property, and notably on this time on this nation the place it’s so tough to fill our expertise gaps, the place the, the combat between firms over expertise is simply getting increasingly more tough. And in order that’s the very first thing. However I feel the second factor that it does is that it offers a direct connection to the native organizations who know essentially the most about these younger individuals. And so one of many thrilling components about this grant with RBIJ is that they’re truly, it’s truly two grants. One is a grant to RBIJ. The second is a grant to Persevere, and Persevere runs the Unlock Potential Institute. And they’re bringing collectively native and nationwide organizations specializing in supporting these 4 teams of younger individuals. And so they’re going to be constructing out a nationwide framework or framework that firms and communities can use to construct workforce and help packages for these younger individuals. And they also’re getting entry, companies are gaining access to this huge area of information that these organizations have and entry to those organizations as they develop their very own hiring packages.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:18:43.22] So my subsequent query is for Tiesa. What are some outcomes that you just’ve gathered from section certainly one of this program? As a result of that is actually simply kicked off. However what have the outcomes appeared like up to now?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:18:55.25] Positive. I’d say one glorious and inspiring consequence has been how enthusiastic and receptive plenty of our employers have been to us at Unlock Potential. So many firms have instantly understood how such a groundbreaking but clearly intentional hiring program is aligned with their ESG targets from each the enterprise and societal perspective. A variety of instances we depart these conversations out of the sustainability realm they usually completely needs to be included. We’re at present taking firms and it’s been fascinating to see how they’ve given us suggestions they usually’re prepared to collaborate with us to resolve possibly some inside points, inside challenges that they hadn’t considered. You already know, our highschool graduates or GEDs vital to have with a purpose to fulfill, to meet sure roles, and naturally, not. So we’re asking firms to reevaluate these necessities. We’ve realized that many firms which have these apprenticeship and mentorship packages that even within the communities they serve don’t actually find out about it. So we’re in a position to type of be an advocate for the corporate, and that’s been constructive as a result of they’ll see a twin partnership. It’s type of two for one. We realized that there are jobs that permit so that you can go after school schooling on their dime when you’re working, and your {dollars} don’t should go to pay within the again or anything. They’re really paying for you, on your alternative to, to have entry to extra schooling or coaching and what you’d love to do on your objective. So, you realize, I see up as a solution to actually help the great work firms are doing. And it’s only a fantastic alternative for it to be a joint partnership that satisfies all areas of sustainability.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:20:39.30] I like it and I feel it’s one thing that’s going to impression or we’re going to have the ability to see that impression straight or, and/or not directly for the long run. So organizations that get entangled, they don’t seem to be solely serving to the local people proper now and people, however like I’ve stated earlier than, households and households, like altering lives for generations, which I feel is actually thrilling, however generally additionally a problem for employers as a result of they’re pushed by numbers. So we have now to assume larger. And these sustainability packages like this, they, they don’t simply serve the numbers when it comes to recruiting or retention or quick time period employment numbers, however this can be a long run sustainable, hopefully, change that that basically can develop.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:21:34.53] Completely.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:35.70] So my query for you all is any person listening to this podcast they usually’re like, this sounds nice. How do I get entangled? The place do they go to be taught extra or to attach with you, to have a dialog about being part of this system?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:21:49.62] Completely. They’ll get in contact with us at www.Unlock-Potential.org.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:57.63] Superior. Properly, I’m so grateful for you approaching and speaking about Unlock Potential. I, it’s simply kicked off at SXSW in, in March of 2022. So I’d prefer to have you ever all again right here in possibly six months or a 12 months to get an replace to listen to extra about how you might be impacting communities after which additionally extra organizations which might be concerned. We’re going to place some sources within the transcript of this podcast. You’ll be able to join with Dr. Marvin Carr, Tiesa Leggett, or additionally Unlock Potential and join with them straight. I need to say thanks to each of you for taking the time to, to speak with us. That is actually vital to only the success of our nation and the residents inside it.

Tiesa Leggett: [00:22:50.88] Thanks, Jessica, for having us. It’s a pleasure to be right here immediately.

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:22:54.18] Thanks a lot, Jessica.

Closing: [00:22:55.80] Setting a path for, to careers could be life-changing for underserved communities and at-risk youth, in addition to a boon for firms that help packages like Unlock Potential. We’ve all of the sources to attach with our visitors and be taught extra about Unlock Potential over at Workology.com. I so recognize Dr. Carr and Tiesa Leggett for taking the time to share their experiences with us immediately. I hope that you just join with them. To be taught extra about Unlock Potential and be a part of their efforts.

Closing: [00:23:28.92] I need to hear extra concerning the issues that you just need to hear about on this podcast. I need to know extra about what you need to know. Friends, questions, feedback, subjects about this episode. Ship me your feedback and questions by sending me a textual content to “PODCAST”. The quantity you’re going to punch in is 512-548-3005. That’s “PODCAST” to 512-548-3005. Thanks for becoming a member of the Workology Podcast. It’s sponsored by HR Benchmark Survey. This podcast is for the disruptive office chief who’s uninterested in the established order. My title is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Till subsequent time, you may go to Workology.com to hearken to all our earlier Workology Podcast episodes.

Join with Marvin Carr  and Tiesa Leggett.



– Dr. Marvin Carr on LinkedIn

– Dr. Marvin Carr on Twitter

– Tiesa Leggett on LinkedIn

– Tiesa Leggett on Twitter

– Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice

– Walmart.org 

– Unlock Potential  

– RBIJ Launches Program to Deflect At-Threat Youth From Prison Justice Involvement By New 1st Likelihood Hiring Community – With Assist From Walmart

– Episode 369: Making the Office Accessible Each for Staff and Contractors With Meryl Evans

– Episode 321: Dedication to Full Inclusion with Susan Mazrui, Director of World Public Coverage at AT&T

– Episode 314: DEI and Getting ready College students for the Workforce with Ariana González Stokas

– Episode 307: DEI and Social Justice within the Office With Melissa Horne

– Episode 295: Second Likelihood Hiring and DEI with Cheri Garcia

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