Kori Carew | How and Why To Have Courageous Conversations About Race and Differences

Kori Carew

Kori Carew is the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Seyfarth, an international Am Law 100 firm with more than 900 attorneys. In this role, she leads efforts to expand the firm’s culture of inclusion and advance diversity within their partnership. 

Using advocacy and organizational strategy to address structural barriers to diversity in the workplace, Kori brings an incisive voice, unapologetic questioning of the status quo, and a lifelong fascination with human potential to her work. She’s a nationally sought-after speaker on topics of diversity, inclusion, belonging, inclusive leadership, talent engagement and development, authenticity, and leveraging power. On top of that, Kori is a self-described disrupter, womanist, and social justice advocate. 

Kori has a powerful TEDx Talk, “Just Belonging: Finding the Courage to Interrupt Bias.” According to Kori, the path to racial healing, justice, diversity, and inclusion requires courage. And choosing courage to create belonging is not an easy task — it’s a practice and process. 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What’s the difference between a feminist and a womanist?
  • Kori Carew discusses the trends she’s seeing in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) space
  • How the definition of racism has changed under the guise of politics
  • Kori talks about the misconceptions around discrimination, racism, and “wokeness”
  • What could inclusive leadership and inclusive teams look like?
  • How leaders can craft courageous conversations
  • Why it’s important to embrace uncomfortableness and be willing to make mistakes
  • Kori explains why it’s okay to pause and take a step back when faced with a difficult conversation
  • Kori’s thoughts on going back to the basics and recognizing that we don’t know everything

In this episode…

A firm’s team is likely comprised of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, genders, and classes. But we often fail to recognize that the differences between people don’t necessarily indicate different needs — it just means that the way we create a sense of inclusion might be different. So, as a leader, how do you create an inclusive environment? 

Kori Carew says that inclusive leadership requires courageous conversations. It calls upon leaders to be in a constant state of curiosity and learning, understanding that we won’t always know everything and we’ll often make mistakes. Inclusive leadership is also about being vulnerable, listening to your people, and seeking to understand their perspectives. By choosing courage over comfort, leaders can address obstacles and create high-performing, well-cared-for teams.

In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman is joined by Kori Carew, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Seyfarth, to talk about having courageous conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kori discusses the trends and challenges she sees in the space, the important traits of inclusive leadership, and why it’s crucial to have conversations about race, differences, and inclusion. 

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