“Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?”

[For YAB] Today I remembered a conversation with YAB while I was doing diversity research for NYU and stumbled across a journal article titled “Are Emily and Greg more Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” During the YAB retreat the members went off on many, many tangents, but there was one in particular that I let run for a little longer than I usually permit because it was one of those interludes that was funny and incisive and tragic all at the same time.

During the “What Do You Bring to the Table?” exercise everyone had been saying and spelling out each other’s names, which eventually led to someone making a joke that if you were named “Quadasha Brown” you would never be able to get a job. At the time everyone was giggling like crazy, but the moment registers in my memory as bittersweet. For what does it say about our society when our young people already know in their bones what two researchers need to do fieldwork on to verify?

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