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Tapping Into the Present 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 nicely to make sure that younger individual’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 as she sits down and will get to the underside of tendencies, 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 Making significant modifications 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 dwell. We need to make these higher. For me, I need to present assist, assets, and create alternatives for everybody, and that features under-representative communities and people. In the present day’s podcast is in regards to the tasks of employers in terms of 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. In the present day, I’m joined by Dr. Marvin Carr. He’s the Director of the 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 Girls and Ladies. Tiesa began her profession as a information reporter earlier than transferring to the general public relations and public affairs area. Previous to becoming a member of RBIJ, she labored in group outreach and training, researching and figuring out potential group partnerships, representing her employers at group occasions, working with space faculty 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 leap proper in. The Accountable Enterprise Initiative for Justice has simply introduced a groundbreaking program made potential by Walmart via the Heart for Racial Fairness known 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 companies for younger people who find themselves on the highest threat of incarceration. Certainly one 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 likelihood and chance 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 signifies that they’re neither in employment or in training, and so they’re way more more likely to undergo destructive penalties, penalties like imprisonment or poverty. And so this program is supposed to work with corporations and repair suppliers locally 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 manner, however one I don’t suppose 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 discuss us via that?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:04:41.70] Certain. So superb candidates for Unlock Potential are these on the best threat of future incarceration. They are going to be younger individuals aged 16 to 24 who’ve skilled a number of of the next extra threat elements for justice system involvement. That’s a juvenile justice system, somebody who’s needed to expertise that, or a mother or father that’s been incarcerated whereas they had 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’ve 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 assets and mentors and simply data to assist them have the ability to, to develop.

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

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:36.54] I needed to ask, too, in regards to 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, perhaps we haven’t considered. Are you able to discuss us via the variations after which ought to we even be desirous about probabilities on this case?

Dr. Marvin Carr: [00:05:57.19] You recognize, 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 focus 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 direction of notably for alternative youth. There’s an asset-based strategy to, to the language that we speak about these younger individuals. And so the rationale for using the phrase “unlock potential” is that we wish of us to say that, no, we’re not giving them a primary likelihood. We are literally tapping into current potential which are in these younger individuals that companies and communities can profit from. And so it’s actually a shift in each tone, but additionally 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 giant companies, however this work goes past merely getting corporations 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, comparable to rethinking {qualifications} for particular roles. And we, you realize, let me provide you with an instance. Do you actually need a highschool diploma to unload baggage from an airplane? Pondering via methods for taking advantage of current and inside apprentice coaching packages. As an illustration, Sam’s Membership presents faculty tuition cost 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 really like that. I really like that employers can get entangled as a result of, sure, you don’t want a school 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 capable of 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 nicely to make sure that younger individual’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 really like that it’s community-focused as a result of if you’re a company 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’ll be able to assist affect 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 So in the present day I’m speaking with Dr. Marvin Carr, Director of the 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, 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

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 are in HR are like, Oh, that is attention-grabbing. How are we creating these people? What, what does that entail?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:11:13.72] We need to be certain that we’re deliberate with our strategy 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 optimistic life selections out there to those ignored and underserved younger individuals by serving to employers open their expertise swimming pools to this gifted 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 must be an important deal with constructing, coaching and profession growth into these alternatives, and we’re working with individuals to do exactly that. The coaching and apprenticeship alternatives are clearly outlined as in-service care suppliers capable of assist them in guaranteeing they continue to be on monitor 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 searching for extra service suppliers to collaborate with, after all, and understanding that we are going to additionally combine worker help packages as nicely. So we’re not ranging from scratch. There’s ways in which we will 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 really like listening to in regards to 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 manner. 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’ve to grasp what employers, like I stated, have already got in place and construct upon that and combine completely different elements to make sure that younger individual success. You nailed it, Jessica.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:52.50] I actually, I actually am enthusiastic about this. And we’ve lined on the Workology Podcast quite a lot of apprenticeship and coaching packages centered on all various kinds of people. A number of our content material has been centered on individuals with disabilities and offering them internship packages. I really like how, the route that that is going. That is one other group of people who want assist, who want mentorship, who want coaching, and so they actually need the organizations to step up and say, Hey, we’ve received you. We need to assist you and aid you develop. Walmart Help of Unlock Potential is a part of’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 superb. Dr. Carr, are you able to communicate 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 usually 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’ve the precise infrastructure throughout the nation to facilitate that prevention? And so what we’ve been funding is admittedly 4 stools. I might 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 are creating 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 creating 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 presently have dad and mom in jail, away from jail, to, to, to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of incarceration. And the main focus 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 belongings, 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 corporations over expertise is simply getting an increasing number of tough. And in order that’s the very first thing. However I feel the second factor that it does is that it supplies a direct connection to the native organizations who know probably the most about these younger individuals. And so one of many thrilling elements 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 focusing on supporting these 4 teams of younger individuals. They usually’re going to be constructing out a nationwide framework or framework that corporations and communities can use to construct workforce and assist packages for these younger individuals. And they also’re getting entry, companies are having 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 part one in all this program? As a result of that is actually simply kicked off. However what have the outcomes seemed like so far?

Tiesa Leggett: [00:18:55.25] Certain. I might say one glorious and inspiring end result has been how enthusiastic and receptive plenty of our employers have been to us at Unlock Potential. So many corporations 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 number of occasions we go away these conversations out of the sustainability realm and so they completely ought to be included. We’re presently taking corporations and it’s been fascinating to see how they’ve given us suggestions and so they’re prepared to collaborate with us to resolve perhaps some inside points, inside challenges that they hadn’t considered. You recognize, our highschool graduates or GEDs vital to have with the intention to fulfill, to meet sure roles, and naturally, not. So we’re asking corporations to reevaluate these necessities. We’ve discovered that many corporations which have these apprenticeship and mentorship packages that even within the communities they serve don’t actually find out about it. So we’re capable of type of be an advocate for the corporate, and that’s been optimistic as a result of they’ll see a twin partnership. It’s type of two for one. We discovered that there are jobs that enable so that you can go after faculty training on their dime whilst you’re working, and your {dollars} don’t should go to pay within the again or anything. They’re really paying for you, to your alternative to, to have entry to extra training or coaching and what you’d love to do to your function. So, you realize, I see up as a approach to actually assist the nice work corporations 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 find it irresistible and I feel it’s one thing that’s going to affect or we’re going to have the ability to see that affect instantly or, and/or not directly for the long run. So organizations that get entangled, they don’t seem to be solely serving to the area people proper now and people, however like I’ve stated earlier than, households and households, like altering lives for generations, which I feel is admittedly thrilling, however generally additionally a problem for employers as a result of they’re pushed by numbers. So we’ve to suppose larger. And these sustainability packages like this, they, they don’t simply serve the numbers when it comes to recruiting or retention or brief 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 someone listening to this podcast and so they’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

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:57.63] Superior. Nicely, 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 perhaps 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 are concerned. We’re going to place some assets within the transcript of this podcast. You may join with Dr. Marvin Carr, Tiesa Leggett, or additionally Unlock Potential and join with them instantly. 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 in the present day.

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 corporations that assist packages like Unlock Potential. We’ve all of the assets to attach with our company and be taught extra about Unlock Potential over at I so respect Dr. Carr and Tiesa Leggett for taking the time to share their experiences with us in the present day. 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 in regards to the issues that you just need to hear about on this podcast. I need to know extra about what you need to know. Company, questions, feedback, matters 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 identify is Jessica Miller-Merrell. Till subsequent time, you’ll be able to go to to take heed 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


– Unlock Potential  

– RBIJ Launches Program to Deflect At-Threat Youth From Prison Justice Involvement By New 1st Probability Hiring Community – With Help 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 International Public Coverage at AT&T

– Episode 314: DEI and Making 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 Probability Hiring and DEI with Cheri Garcia

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