Coder (Computer)



          The Federal government finds that coder positions will grow at least through the end of the decade. In 2013, the US News and World Report identified the top 10 percent of computer coders earned $123,490 while lower 10 percent made $43,640. The median annual wage for coders was $76,140.

            The Business Dictionary defines ‘computer coding’ as

The process of developing and implementing various sets of instructions to enable a computer to do a certain task. These instructions are considered computer programs and help the computer to operate The language used to program computers is not understood by an untrained eye. Computer programming continues to be a necessary process as the Internet continues to expand. 2. Higher education degree program, which usually requires a certain number of courses to be completed in order to receive certification or a degree.

Continue reading “Coder (Computer)”

Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager (SMM)

Food maven Paula Deen, still in recovery from her admitted use of a racial slur in 2013, has reopened the old wound and highlighted her son’s racial prejudice with the July 2015 Twitter posting of a 2011 Halloween costume photo of the classic television show, “I Love Lucy.” The image features Paula Deen as Lucy and her son, Bobby Deen, as Lucy’s husband, Ricky Ricardo, in brown face.

Paula and, son, Bobby Deen as Ricky and Lucy Ricardo from 'I Love Lucy'
Paula and, son, Bobby Deen as Ricky and Lucy Ricardo from ‘I Love Lucy’

The television character Ricky Ricardo was played by Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball’s real life husband. Arnaz a bi-lingual writer, director, musician and actor was born in Cuba. The Twitter post created a flood of comments about the depiction and Deen’s mimicry of Arnaz’s accent. The post was quickly removed and summarily led to the firing of the social media manager.

This post isn’t about Deen. It is about a hidden profession.  Sharing information on social media sites is common practice for many. People want to create idealized lives on Facebook and construct selfies to present best images and opinions on numerous sites—Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and so on. There are innumerable ways to use social media to capture the attention of a global audience or smaller community.

A Social Media Manager (SMM) is an ideal position for those who love trolling and posting on social media, fascinated with marketing and promotion and staying abreast of trends and current events. Small and large businesses need the services of a social media manager. An organized SMM oversees a team of professionals strategizing, managing campaigns and agendas to promote a company’s, organization’s, institution’s plan.

Social Media Manager requirements

Experience with social media and related positive outcomes would make a SMM appealing; coupled, with training and an undergraduate degree in a related field. One could certainly go far in this profession.  Continue reading “Social Media Manager”

Makeup Artist


The fashion sistersthe stylish three

There is a lovely young lady employed at a grocery store whose artful ability to apply makeup gives her the appearance of a fashion model. One day I complimented her on her beauty and skill at ‘painting her face.’ I asked if she was able to makeup others? She seemed to appreciate the praise but noted that her sister was a true make-up artist. She expressed her love of glamour, the application of make-up and trends but didn’t believe she was as skillful as her sister. Why would a woman stand poised behind a grocery counter rather than do something she loved and something for which she had ability? Finally why would she discount her abilities by praising her sister as the gifted makeup artist?


Nykhor Paul, a 25 year-old, South Sudanese model and Jourdan Dunn a British model complain about the lack of diversity in fashion and that runway makeup-artists lack motivation to beautify the faces of darker skinned models.

In 2014, Dunn pointed out that makeup artists “…just don’t understand, often they’ll offer darker shades but they don’t understand the different tones in dark skin—they will be too ashy, or too orange. Backstage at the shows I often just have to slap on whatever they’ve got, but it isn’t quite right” (Vogue UK).

Nykhor Paul
Nykhor Paul

On the television program “Project Runway,” before a model walks the runway each is taken to a make-up artist by the designer who describes the ‘look’ s/he  wants to achieve. Generally designer and makeup person collaborate and arrive at an agreement. Nykhor Paul, who’s walked in shows for Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, reveals a discriminatory side in her Instagram post, Monday, July 6, 2015. She must provide her own beauty products—while lighter-skinned models “don’t have to do anything but show up.”

Her professional frustration indicates the widespread indignities she suffered:

“…there’s so much options out there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepared and do their research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! …Make an effort at least! That goes for NYC, London, Milan, Paris and Cape Town plus everywhere else that have issues with black skin tones. Just because you only book a few of us doesn’t mean you have the right to make us look ratchet.”

Continue reading “Makeup Artist”

Game Theory



A Tradition of Tokenism


This essay discusses the negative and dated impact of tokenism and being perceived as a token


As a child my mother always told me to be the best at whatever I do. “If you are a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger. I don’t care what you do; always strive to be the best!” My father, on the other hand, implanted a bold appreciation for dry humor, insult and a strong sense of ethics—“stand for something.” I was encouraged to be an independent thinker and the parental philosophies instilled were laudable for a Black girl. Self-appreciation was their goal and they allowed me to embrace my spirit—the one my grandmother warned them not to break. Paradoxically, they tried to prepare me for a culture that would hold me in low-esteem. Later, the work world introduced me to tokensim.

A token is a marginal member of the team, one denied full participation. The token’s visual difference is meant to disguise the existence of racism, sexism or classism in a business, organization or industry. Often the comforting assumption is that the ‘token Mexican’ or ‘token woman,’ is incompetent, unqualified and merely there to fill a “quota.”


Early in my work career it was apparent that I was perceived as ‘simple-minded’ or ‘slow-witted.’ At a menial job I was informed, slowly and carefully, the salient parts of a telephone and how to answer it. To make certain I understood, I was observed, closely.

No matter the status many, women, individuals of color, older citizens, and so on, who held positions others perceived as beyond their abilities were exposed to  rude and dismissive behavior.



A token is a marginal member of the team; one denied full participation—a person of color, an affirmation action hire, a woman or twofer


When I joined the police department many officers and even student police officers articulated their concern with the inability of women to meet the high masculine pugilistic standards. It gave me the impression that an officer spent the entire shift ‘kickin’ ass’ like television action cops. 

Once assigned to my first precinct, my fraternal brothers articulated their perception of my professional standing and why they didn’t like me—“an affirmative action hire,” “a woman,” “a Black,” and the ever popular “a twofer”—implying my inability to be effective on the ‘mean streets.’ In the public, many women and men, accused me of taking a job away from a man.

Although they considered me a token, initially, I was curious about what was actually going to happen and fascinated and entertained by their feeble attempts to intimidate. Notably, their token treatment didn’t last long. 

Merriam Webster defines ‘tokenism’ as “the practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.”

“Tokenism glorifies the exception in order to obscure the rules of the game of success in capitalist society” (Cloud 122). Tokenism is a pejorative term that implies one does not fit or is an exception.

Judith Long Laws (1975) who wrote about sociological corporate tokenism defines and clarifies it as follows:

Tokenism is likely to be found wherever a dominant group is under pressure to share privilege, power, or other desirable commodities with a group which is excluded. Tokenism is the means by which the dominant group advertises a promise of mobility between the dominant


and excluded classes. By definition, however, tokenism involves mobility which is severely restricted in quantity, and the quality of mobility is severely restricted as well….The Token is a member of an underrepresented group… who is operating on a turf of the dominant group, under license from it. The institution of tokenism has advantages both for the dominant group and for the individual who is chosen to serve as Token. These advantages obtain, however, only when the defining constraints are respected: the flow of outsiders into the dominant group must be restricted numerically, and they must not change the system they enter (51-52).  Continue reading “Tokenism”


Micro-Aggressions and the Need for

A Diversity Consultant


This essay is meant to provide a simplified concept of micro-aggressions and to demonstrate the need for a diversity consultant.

An anthology professor at an HWU1 lectured to the class that prior to World War II it was uncommon for American women to work outside of the home. He acknowledged the raised hand of a Black woman who stated that since being enslaved in this country her female ancestors, like the matrilineal line of most of her friends, are acknowledged for the arduous labors they performed to help their families survive. “In many of our families women toiled for wages long before World War II.” The classroom was momentarily silent.  The professor looked at her seemingly ignoring her remarks and continued his lecture.

What message does that disregard send to other students about what or who is important in America? When one invokes the description ‘American’ does it simultaneously always include people of color? Was the student viewed as angry for introducing the experiences of ethnic women to the conversation?  Finally, did the professor lack the scholarship to respond to her statement?

A diversity consultant can help delineate and make clear what is generally referred to as “micro aggressions.” Columbia University professor Derald Wing Sue defines micro-aggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.”2

The commonality of micro aggressions experienced by people of color indicate that across the country workplace environments, schools, and organizations can be hotspots where individuals are subject to abuses. An occurrence of micro aggression is generally thought to happen below the level of awareness of well-intentioned members of the dominant culture. The aggressors often intend no offense and are unaware they are causing harm.3

Micro-aggression is a more subtle form of racism, sexism and classism. Perpetrators defend their actions as a joke, misunderstanding, or petty act blown out of proportion. Unprejudiced is the way most perpetrators see themselves. hire a diversity consultant

In the opening teacher-student exchange, the student sought acknowledgement for the suffering, labor and unpleasant realities for Black women’s lives prior to WWII. Many students are silent for fear of being ostracized for speaking. Other students, who experience being ignored or overlooked, can be left with feelings of disgrace or shame.

In May 2005, Duke professor, Jerry Hough, in response to a New York Times editorial articulated that Asians are willing to integrate because “Every Asian student has a very simple old American name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”4 When Hough refers to an old American name, I suspect, it has nothing to do with any group of Native Americans. Hough, it appears, has judged students by virtue of their names, before they speak.

Like the perpetrators of micro-aggressions previously mentioned Hough does not see himself as biased. He has since responded to the backlash, saying that Martin Luther King Jr. was his hero and that he’s a proponent of affirmative action.

People of color encounter micro aggressions daily, usually the result of individuals who’ve only experienced Asians, Indians, Latinas or Blacks, for example, in the news, television sitcoms, movies or story. In other words, many individuals are only familiar with people of color based on stereotypes reinforced in media or based on a single story shared throughout a family.5

Sisters Action Network diversity consultants, during workshops, organize group interaction to educate employees and employers aware of the existence of blatant and micro-aggressions in a workplace and larger society. The effect of such actions on its’ victims is also incorporated through group interaction and discussion. Diversity consultants directly address the uncomfortable issues of race, gender and class in a proactive pubic forum, defining terms and using approachable language to inform all individuals and raise awareness of particular behaviors and to provide avenues to open dialogue where more voices can be recognized.

Diversity consultants can demonstrate how the inclusion of diverse voices, experiences and insights can enable a business, organization and even educational institutions to advance in an ever-changing world.

© R. V. Jones

1 Historically White University

Paludi, Michele A. Managing Diversity in Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Employees and Employers. New York:Praeger, 2012.

Sue, Derald Wing. Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact. New York: Wiley, 2010.

Eromosele, Diana Ozemebhoya, “Duke Professor: Asians Didn’t Feel Sorry for Themselves, Blacks Shouldn’t Be Told to Either,” May 14, 2015.

See: Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi . TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” http://www.ted/com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story