A Call For Courage In The Workplace
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Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.
— Frantz Fanon

I often recall a childhood memory that embodies both my grandmother’s aspirations for me and the cultural barriers I would face to achieve them. On a typical tropical afternoon in the Dominican Republic preparing for lunch, I vividly remember my grandfather in his caring yet gruff manner complain to my grandmother that she was “ruining me because I didn’t know what to do with myself in the kitchen”. My grandmother’s quick retort was “she doesn’t need to know how to cook and clean, she’s going to be a professional”. I would later come to understand that profound statement as both an affirmation of my worth and a subversive act against the standards of her time.