Tyler Perry is using his influence to shed light on race in the American workplace.
The accomplished director, actor, screenwriter, producer and philanthropist is teaming up with LinkedIn as the first guest editor of Conversations for Change, a new content and community discussion series the social-networking site is launching to create more engagement.
Beginning on Monday (February 8), Perry will serve as guest editor for the entire week. He’ll be working with LinkedIn’s editorial team to curate content across different channels around equity, representation and inclusion in the workplace.
“I wanted to be a part of LinkedIn’s Conversations for Change because there’s so much that is going on in the country that we need to talk about,” Perry told Variety. “The word ‘conversation’ means a dialogue between people, and in dialogue is where you find all of the truth, all of the pain, all of the nuance, and where you get to the heart of what’s really affecting so many of us.”
Perry is also slated to answer questions directly from LinkedIn users who have lost employment during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I really want to be a light for anybody out there who is looking to make their own way in the world, and to let others know that you can do it, too,” Perry said.
Other notable Black professionals who will be featured by LinkedIn this week for the inaugural Conversations for Change series are Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center in Atlanta; Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley; and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research.
According to data provided by LinkedIn, 46 percent of Black professionals ages 18-34 have faced blatant discrimination and/or microaggressions at work and 34 percent feel they’ve been overlooked or intentionally passed by for career advancement opportunities because of their race.
Additionally, 81 percent of Black professionals say it’s important to see other Black professionals in positions of leadership and 25 percent feel they may face retaliation for speaking up about racial justice issues or topics around diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.