Dyvergent Change Makers

Episode 10: Interview with Matthew Yazzie, Organizational and Behavioral Scientist

May 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 10
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 10: Interview with Matthew Yazzie, Organizational and Behavioral Scientist
Chapters
Dyvergent Change Makers
Episode 10: Interview with Matthew Yazzie, Organizational and Behavioral Scientist
May 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 10

In this episode I interview Matthew Yazzie who is an Organizational and Behavioral Scientist.  Lean in to understand the challenges that organizations face in implementing DEI initiatives, what we can do to learn more, get involved, and what resources are available.

About the Guest
Matthew Yazzie, Organizational & Behavioral Scientist

Matthew is an organizational and behavioral scientist with seventeen years of diversity, equity and inclusion experience. As a Strategic Director at Collective, Matthew is focused on bringing comprehensive, measurable solutions to the diversity space. He is the Founder & CEO of the Others Project; the first real-time, consolidated, and open-source initiative dedicated to Diversity + Inclusion data.

Matthew’s background includes work as COO at both Jurispect, in regulatory FinTech compliance, and also at FWD.us, working towards intelligent immigration reform. He was on the Global Ethics and Compliance founding team at Google, where he had responsibility for risk assessments, compliance training, and technology procurement. He later worked with the co-founders of Twitter as they created the precursor to Medium and assisted The Kapor Center for Social Impact on several diversity projects.

Matthew has been a featured keynote speaker for NASA, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) annual conference, Culture Amp’s 2019 Culture First Summit, and SaaStr 2019 — the largest B2B conference in the world. Matthew has spoken on diversity and corporate culture issues and has been interviewed by Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Buzzfeed News, CNBC, and The Telegraph.

Matthew currently serves as an Advisor to the Board for Project Include, a non-profit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry. Matthew also serves as an Advisor to Spot, a company creating AI reporting tools that makes it safer for employees to speak up on issues of harassment and discrimination. He also serves as an Advisor for Diversity & Inclusion Programs for Women 2.0, a company encouraging direct action around gender equity and equality.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com

Kerry is a Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant for Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. An elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience. A proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  A Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

Former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. Led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, teaching computer science fundamentals. Led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley, a non profit dedicated to helping women excel in technology.

Join the Podcast Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Subscribe to Youtube Channel at
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Podcast Guests
Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I interview Matthew Yazzie who is an Organizational and Behavioral Scientist.  Lean in to understand the challenges that organizations face in implementing DEI initiatives, what we can do to learn more, get involved, and what resources are available.

About the Guest
Matthew Yazzie, Organizational & Behavioral Scientist

Matthew is an organizational and behavioral scientist with seventeen years of diversity, equity and inclusion experience. As a Strategic Director at Collective, Matthew is focused on bringing comprehensive, measurable solutions to the diversity space. He is the Founder & CEO of the Others Project; the first real-time, consolidated, and open-source initiative dedicated to Diversity + Inclusion data.

Matthew’s background includes work as COO at both Jurispect, in regulatory FinTech compliance, and also at FWD.us, working towards intelligent immigration reform. He was on the Global Ethics and Compliance founding team at Google, where he had responsibility for risk assessments, compliance training, and technology procurement. He later worked with the co-founders of Twitter as they created the precursor to Medium and assisted The Kapor Center for Social Impact on several diversity projects.

Matthew has been a featured keynote speaker for NASA, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) annual conference, Culture Amp’s 2019 Culture First Summit, and SaaStr 2019 — the largest B2B conference in the world. Matthew has spoken on diversity and corporate culture issues and has been interviewed by Harvard Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Buzzfeed News, CNBC, and The Telegraph.

Matthew currently serves as an Advisor to the Board for Project Include, a non-profit that uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry. Matthew also serves as an Advisor to Spot, a company creating AI reporting tools that makes it safer for employees to speak up on issues of harassment and discrimination. He also serves as an Advisor for Diversity & Inclusion Programs for Women 2.0, a company encouraging direct action around gender equity and equality.

About the Host
Kerry Rosado, Founder & Principal DEI Consultant
Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC - www.dyvergentcg.com

Kerry is a Founder and Principal Diversity Consultant for Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. An elected official serving as a school board trustee with 7 years of diversity and inclusion experience. A proud mother of two boys with autism and a neurodiversity advocate.  A Latina in Tech that has worked at top tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon to advocate for diversity and inclusion to empower women and minorities.​

Former board member for People Acting in Community Together (PACT), where she empowered the community to solve social issues related to housing, immigration, education, and social justice. Led community rallies to advocate for equitable education for all. Mentored youth through Google's CS First Program and Microsoft TEALS Program, teaching computer science fundamentals. Led and won hackathons at Women Who Code Silicon Valley, a non profit dedicated to helping women excel in technology.

Join the Podcast Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastdyvergentchangemakers

Subscribe to Youtube Channel at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmzVICfMuyp41W1_y8bi6A/featured

Join the DEIB Support Groups
https://www.facebook.com/groups/deibsupportgroup
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13929683/

Podcast Guests
Schedule a pre-interview at calendly.com/dyvergentcg

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Dyvergent Change Makers podcast. This is Kerry D Rosado the host. With two action items, one encourage you to check out our you our new YouTube channel called the divergent changemakers, where you will find the recording of our latest diversity and inclusion summit that we had recently. Some of the topics that speakers covered have to do with neurodiversity, which is autism, also leadership and LGBTQ and implicit bias microaggressions so please be sure to check it out. I also encourage you to sign up to our newsletter, you can do so by going to www.dyvergentcg.com which is our website and enjoy the intro music and this week's podcast. Thank you. Bye. Welcome everyone. My name is Kerry D Rosado, and I'm the host of the divergent changemakers podcast. I'm also the Founder and DEI consultant of Dyvergent Consulting Group, LLC. On today's podcast, my guest is Matthew Yazzie. He's an Organizational and Behavioral Scientist. Welcome Matthew, can you share with us a little bit more about your background and how you got involved into your line of work?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Sure. First of all, thanks for having me and letting me sort of enter this conversation. I'm very excited to chat with you about some of the issues that I think are currently prevalent, particularly in the diversity and inclusion space. My background is, I had initially worked for Google as a legal assistant thinking I was going to be a lawyer, and the lawyers I'll talk me out of going to law school, and ended up working, in particular, as a project manager for the technology projects that needed to be implemented. So I ended up becoming the global technology manager, and caught the attention of some individuals to found the the global ethics and compliance function at Google. So we're a very small team, we work primarily on Code of Conduct issues and issues that primarily related to basically how do employees feel engaged with the work with the work that they're doing at the company? And also, how do how did Google's cultural values in the code of conduct present itself in different forms as a global organization. So but even before that, when I first joined Google, I was the founder of the indigenous Employee Resource Group at Google. And I was there for about seven and a half years, leading those efforts. I continued my work in the operations space, so served as Chief Operating Officer for a couple of startups, as well as an immigration reform nonprofit called forward.us. And, and then more recently have entered into doing, quote, unquote, diversity work, I think, in a more full time capacity. So the policy experience that I had in the past with my work at Google, as well as the operations experience, and also looking at cultural values, all really well lined me fairly well in being able to have this dialogue around which things can actually from a values based perspective, allow people to create change and impact within their organizations.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

So in your experience, what do you feel employers or even employees themselves can be doing to be more engaged within the organization itself? What's being left out?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Sure. I think I think one of the tough things that we are seeing, especially in tech, and I think just across the board in general, is a disconnect, I think in understanding that. Leaders oftentimes come from positions of privilege, and that underrepresented individuals within the organizations are the ones that are left behind in conversations are kind of thought of as an afterthought. And when it comes to engagement. We look at the history of like the black, the black and the Black Engineers at NASA, for example, right? Those stories have only recently been out elevated. When we look at the IBM, the evolution of employee research groups at IBM, in the 1960s 70s, we see that these groups kind of formed and bonded together because of a lack of resources that the company was willing to provide these employees to support their growth within these organizations, because they were not members of the majority group. And I don't think we've evolved quite yet to even address those kinds of issues. I think a lot of individuals are having a difficult like, I can't get the executives to oftentimes even say, you know, my black employees, there's an uncomfortableness about entering into that dialogue, even that I think just makes it very difficult where they feel there's a hesitancy I think, just because I think a lot of times people think they're going to get things wrong. But at the same time, I think there are a lot of individuals within an organization that are wanting to enter into meaningful engagement. And, and trying to figure out sort of how to bridge that disconnect is something that I think is really problematic right now. We have companies that are will have values that are stated in one capacity employees that are feeling that they're maybe misaligned or maybe not aligned as well and another and trying to sort of bridge that gap has been one of the more difficult things I've seen happen sort of in this space, but also continue to sort of be prevalent as we have been trying to navigate this dialogue even more recently.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

So as a behavioral scientists, what are your thoughts in regards to immigration reform? I know that's often something that maybe in the DNI space sometimes gets overlooked. I know, as a DNI consultant, I rarely get asked to present on that topic and other topics, like maybe disabilities also sometimes gets, you know, kind of put on the backburner. What are your thoughts on on immigration reform?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Sure, I've, you know, we went when I was working out for us, it was, it was difficult, because I think oftentimes people thought, because it had its roots in tech, that we were trying to advocate for things change, where it was specifically benefiting tech. And I think just the misplaced sort of anger that I saw individuals have against an organization advocating for, or inclusive immigration policy reform, I think was just difficult, I think for me to see just how prevalent that bias was against that. I think the other thing that that I tried to take steps back when we entered these conversations, particularly when we're looking at systemic racism, or issues around like immigration reform, and I and I, you know, I have to press people to understand like, the we'd like to tell ourselves, we're a nation of immigrants, right? We've heard this myth, we've heard this story. That's not true. Like you. It's, we are a nation of people who immigrated here, but also like, the, like, people want to think of it as this giant collective melting pot, where people's experiences kind of brought them here in these natural sort of journeys that were sort of holistic, and everyone's kind of, we're all a hodgepodge. So we're this community of individuals that are that where that's the case, which completely ignores the indigenous experience on Native Americans. So I, you know, that ignores kind of like, what what actually happened in terms of, of colonialism? And it also sort of ignores the the, I think the slavery, I'll just be blunt about it, right. Like, like, I'd be hard pressed to define immigrate in, you know, slavery as being an immigration sort of policy. And, and, and I think, for the most part, when we talk about immigration policies in the history of the United States immigration policy, specifically referred to until even as until even like the 1960s, and 70s, it refers specifically to Western European immigration. And and it didn't refer to places like Asia or just any other countries. And even so far back as like the 1920s, right, we had the we had Asian exclusion acts happening where, you know, we weren't that thing. But because I think of them that this narrative of how America kind of came to be, we have to double down on these, they're these romanticized, idealized notions of what these things are. And as a result, because of that lack of education and understanding the bias and the systemic racism in the roots of that kind of policy and that narrative, I think, you know, we end up coming up in a backlash and have a very biased America, America very clearly seeing that there are others, some people, for example, with a previous president, you know, seeing a, you know, a European come in and advocating for, you know, the spouse of, of, of the president to come in sort of in one capacity, but then also looking at, but not having the same kind of response for refugees or immigrants that are coming in from other places. And so I think, I think For better or worse, we leave, we're still not having that conversation, I think, I think because we still live in this land of idealized nation of immigrants, and part of the problem is then helping to educate people to just get them up to speed. But even beyond that, that education means that people have to let go of a lot of the bias and the internalized whether conscious or unconscious bias that they have against, I think certain individuals around the world coming to this country. So when they do show up and work, then it becomes, oh, they're taking away our jobs, or it's the people are villainized in a very specific way, people who come to work with it accents are sort of deemed to be less intelligent in some capacity. And so you know, we're just barely touching the cusp of that research. We're barely kind of addressing that level of systemic sort of oppression in work workplace environments. And I hope that more companies are more willing and able to enter into that conversation, realistically, because it does cause harm to a lot of individuals.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for sharing all of that, in your expertise. In your line of work, what would you say has been more the biggest challenges that you've seen? And how have you overcome them?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

I think the biggest challenges I've seen right now are essentially the lack of education or the ignorance like willful ignorance to particular issues. And, and just the polarization of I think conversations as we're kind of entering into what what does systemic change look like? And, and understanding where do these systems of privilege? Where do they kind of start? Where do they have their roots? And how has that kind of a been exacerbated through generations of kind of, like wealth and, and and the educational systems that we actually have, for example, when we look at universities, people talk about the essay T's you know, you use that as a standardized test to get into university, a lot of people don't realize that the person who created the LSAT created it as a way to try to prove that black people were not as intelligent as white people. Like that's literally like the the the the purpose of the exam was to do that, eventually, he ended up recanting a lot of that in his later years, but the damage had already been done. And so when we look at the basis of even just like access to educational opportunity, and what we would define as success, like we're finding that there is a big gap and and even just educating people that a lot of the things that we find a successful are being rooted as being successful are rooted in systems of oppression. And so what I think is difficult is then you know, you, it's difficult to tell someone that they're ignorant, and it's also you don't win anyone over by also calling them racist or sexist. So how do you kind of educate at the same time as you're trying to push the needle forward in a positive way for actual change. And I think that that's where seeing the polarization really come into effect. We have employees who are frustrated, because they're probably coming to the conversation a bit more educated, particularly in those matters. We have people who are in positions of leadership and power, who, again, are for better or worse, willful or otherwise are ignorant to a lot of these issues, and a lot of frustration again, and trying to communicate what it is you're trying to accomplish, how you're trying to navigate the company to a better space to where you're not causing harm to one group. And I think it's very difficult when you've not experienced that harm, when you don't know what that looks like. to empathize with that and to dedicate time and resources to shifting and changing that conversation, when you can't even identify or empathize in any capacity, what that looks like for yourself. So that's the toughest challenge, I think it's been able to kind of bridge these gaps, but it comes down to education. It's like the United States education system has failed a lot of people, we've leaned into a lot of myths and and romanticization of the history of this country and what these things mean to be an American and it's it these things have been perpetuated and have have have been placed. It's a lot of these things are propaganda, it's propaganda and trying to make the country seem more cohesive than it actually sort of is or was or even recognizing the harm that is or was done at any given time. And you know, I think I think that that's the toughest thing is like the we know the brutality of kind of the history of this country. Getting anyone to even talk about it is is like pulling out teeth, people do not want to talk about it. And and oftentimes people ban these conversations from workplaces. So yeah, it's very difficult.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I can highly agree with this. And I really especially appreciate you highlighting how the educational system in the country has really failed. Are people as the school board trustee, I get to see that firsthand, I see the challenges that schools face with constant budget cuts, but also challenges just to be able to, you know, be able to teach certain topics such as ethnic studies to be able to learn more about other cultures or talk about other different religious beliefs are not, they're not trying to teach the religion but making raising awareness that these other religions do exist. And people have different beliefs. And it's a challenge or even bringing up the topic of LGBTQ within a school system is a challenge as well. So thank you for highlighting how the school system really needs to improve in the country. And yes, it does come down to educating people for sure.

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Yeah, I've been in some conversations where it's interesting, you bring up LGBTQ plus rights, because a lot of organizations have actually willfully excluded the queue, because there's also some members of the community believe that, you know, the term means questioning or queer. And because of the ambiguity, also of just the terminology that's being used, particularly in certain industries, or certain parts of the country, I've seen some Employee Resource Groups steer clear from even saying the cue aspect to it. So they're very, so it's, this country is just a large country. And I think when we look at, you know, recent politics and the breakdown of even just people who you know, who look at like, the way that they're perceiving kind of how vaccinations are being rolled out, and the information that's being done there, there's just very different paths, I think people have taken in, in educating themselves in different ways. And whether that education falls one way or another, I'm not here to make that value judgment. Again, on my own time, I'll tell you what my opinions are on it. But I think, I think it just shows that the chasm is larger than we think. And I always tell people entering into these conversations, this country, you're in a 4060, split, wherever you are, you may think you're in the most progressive like company in the world, where you're trying to do like big things, but you're either on in the slight majority, or the slight minority, because there are more people that probably aligned with, with anti sort of diversity sentiment or investing in these programs in these ways. Because, again, it's just some people think that that should be taught at home, they think it should be taught elsewhere, or it's a it's someone else's responsibility to kind of teach people these things. And I think it's just, it's just the reality is, you know, I think we're we're very divided country when it comes to having difficult conversations around these things.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

So what resources would you recommend individuals or even organizations that they can tap into, to better raise awareness and just become more aware of all these different issues that are happening?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Yes, this is I get this question quite often. Because I think I wish that there was one kind of place that I could point people to, to, to kind of say that this is this is kind of the better practice guide or a best practice guide for things. You know, but it's difficult for me because I think I have to think about the person who's receiving the education or seeking sort of the resources. And I've come to terms with the fact you know, not a lot of people read books. So making a book recommendation is like, you know, it's a, if you don't read a book, I'm not again, I'm not judging, if you read books or not, I have to because this is my work. And I have to read research papers, I have to watch a lot of videos. Some people are YouTube people, some people are BuzzFeed, listicle kind of articles, people, some people want Twitter format stuff, or Instagram stories, or tic tocs actually become a really great sort of resource for creators to be telling their own stories. So I've wrote my first recommendation is one understand kind of yourself and your personal learning journey and in making sure you're choosing content, that is that is something that you're actually going to be ingesting, like, don't set an expectation for reading a book, if you don't read books, like you're never gonna get to it, it's just gonna sit on the shelf. And there's no sort of there's there's not a reason for that. But you know, but understanding kind of your own learning process of what's going to resonate to your what things you're actually going to resonate towards, is important. The other thing too, is probably less of a resource kind of thing. But I think it's more of a don't rely it's like an action sort of things don't rely on when you're looking for resources. And they're depending on which path you decide to take, don't rely on the recommendations of, of things that are auto generated to you. Because oftentimes, these artificial intelligence programs and things that actually present content to you present things that are already within your sphere. So make sure that you're actually actively on an unconscious level, seeking out content that not that doesn't necessarily stick with what content you're automatically receiving on your own. So being aware again, like if you're on tik tok, we're looking at creators talking about systemic racism and there are no black Tick Tock creators in your feed. That's a problem like Right. So like, there's no Latin x individuals or indigenous individuals, like, at least be self aware to know that you're just not taking what tic tocs kind of giving you as as a given for the recommendation. But you're, you're seeking out a broader range of things that have things in the dialogue that need to be said, because you don't want to kind of live in that bubble. And I think in the US education journey, I think it's also important as you're reading, looking at these resources, to what will help you kind of more clearly hone and define what it is you're trying to get or read or do is also understanding that that education serves a purpose, there's a means to an end. So ultimately, I can read 15 books, it doesn't mean anything, if I don't take action on it, it doesn't mean anything. If I'm not pushing for change, it doesn't mean anything, if I'm entering into a conversation or using it to enter into a conversation, to tell someone that I was ignorant about these things, and that I need to be doing better in in these other ways. And so contextualizing your educational journey, also with an end goal is I think, important as well, because we can get content all day long that we're in a land of information, we're in the, we get the most information at any given moment in time in human history at this like today, and then tomorrow, it's going to be even worse. And then the day after has even more information. So just being highly aware of where you're getting your content from making sure it's relevant to how you want to do it. And then also making sure you understand how that education is actually going to inform what it is the act, the actual things you're actually wanting to take, I think is my best advice for looking for resources that will be helpful for someone.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you for highlighting all of that. I know for me for a fact, I'm not the type to sit down and read a book, but audio books look great for me. So that works best for me. And

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

I love it. And that's great. And that's exactly it. It's like I think people people are like, they the again, all you see it on Tick Tock I see it on, on all the Instagram stories, particularly last year during the protests, like all these books came out, like all these book recommendations came out. And I was happy that the resources were being shared. But I'm also like, you can't just read that book in a bubble and then expect change to happen. Right? Like, like systemic change happens, because you're tackling a policy because you're tackling your own your own ignorance about a topic like what's the means to the end to the end of it. And I get I get flack, I think from some of my diversity peers, because they're really kind of lean into one method of learning. But unlike that method of learning has no meaning if you don't, if you don't use it. So podcasts again are great. Like, if you're a podcast person, and you want to do 30 to 45 minute segments of someone kind of speaking to certain subjects again, find out what kind of the topic is you're trying to learn research a little bit, make sure it's not auto generated for you. And then again, understanding like how that's going to enter into what that next step is of that of like, what's the purpose that that's trying to serve? It really helps to kind of press you to more so into like, Okay, why am I doing this? Why am I read the reading this or this resonates better, because this author kind of speaks in this voice that I actually, I need this thing to be explicitly told to me A, B, or C, whereas some people are more heady. And they're like, I want to talk more about like the theoretical stuff. And like, I didn't know enough people well enough to make like one broad thing. That's why I'm like, these are the kind of the tools that I would use to educate yourself.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

And I especially appreciate you highlighting that it's not sufficient to just educate ourselves, but to also implement and take action, because that's where the real change happens. And also, collaborating with others and tackling those policies. So getting involved in with public administration connecting to those leaders who are making the decisions in our country. So definitely, I appreciate that.

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

You had mentioned the school being involved with the school board. I I've known some individuals who have who have had their start in, in, in Congress and in other positions, and had their routes basically started in working on that with the school board and getting that that for a sort of into being engaged. I think that we don't we don't highlight these opportunities. In particular, I think for women, as as good entry points into being engaged more meaningfully in the political sphere in understanding that that your voice in these avenues kind of does have impact and how you're in shaping how individuals are talking about things. So Community College Board school boards, like like, what you just know, what you just alluded to, as you know, the participation and that active civic engagement is so important. People writing you know, we may live in a state you may live in a state to where that letter might not necessarily like it's already you already know how your senators going to vote, but you still need to vote. You still need to go in and write letters like these are important. Like it's this. It's the muscle building of that civic engagement that has so much power. And if it's not going to be one thing, it's going to be another and I can tell you for For a fact, like, there are things I fare of I think of myself as fairly progressive. There are things that my senators don't don't align with me on. And I wouldn't have known that had I not been writing letters and sending emails, calling their offices and saying, I disagree with the position that you're taking on this. And so we take it as a given that they're in service to us. But also like that engagement doesn't work unless we're also engaging back with these individuals. And so how do we untangle that? How do we get more women more people of color? How do we get more underrepresented individuals into these systems? It starts somewhere, someone just doesn't automatically become a senator. It starts with grassroots movements, starts with school boards, it starts with Community College boards, it starts with local neighborhood watch groups, it starts with a lot of different things that are that are, again, the civic engagement, you might think is minor, but it's a great way to sort of begin a meaningful engagement in that journey. Yeah, I

Host - Kerry Rosado:

highly agree with that. I would also recommend individuals, if they're not the type to run political campaign, they could get involved with Commission's or boards within their cities. And there's always a need for this. And so getting involved just simply attending a city council meeting and learning what they're discuss whether the challenges. And yeah, getting involved with nonprofits is also another great way to just kind of get more involved in making impact.

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Yeah, I so I've joined every, almost every neighborhood that I've been in, in San Francisco, I've joined the local neighborhood associations pay my little $10 dues, or a $5 dues, or however much it is. And it attracts the attention of leaders, like they're actually not the pre pandemic times, they'd knock on my doors and make visits, like, because very few people take it upon themselves to be that actively engaged. And so the fact that you have an indigenous person talking about issues that are meaningful and important, and a lot of people are like, why would you join this local sort of thing, community thing? And you know, it's only like, once a quarter, and, you know, they talk about housing stuff? And I'm like, Yeah, but it's, it's, again, the engagement aspect of beans that you have agency in some control over the dialogue of what's being discussed, and whether or not it goes one way or another. I think oftentimes, people just get so defeatist about the problem than the process or things feel so overwhelming. It disappoints me. And I'm like, you know, the, it's just like, people not voting. I'm like, why? Like, if they be engaged, the the change happens when people are engaged meaningfully. And I think that that's, that's the toughest thing is, you know, letting people know, like, it can happen in a lot of different forms. So yeah, I absolutely agree with you on that.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

I do agree with the engagement piece, I have friends who in the past have chosen not to vote for whatever reason, but it goes back to understanding the impact you're making and why it's important to vote. And so educating people on their rights and why they should, should participate. Like

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

I was, I was a city poll worker in San Francisco. And what I would love were the people who came in to cast their ballots with blank ballots, like they get returned out because they're blank. And I was applauding them. I'm like, that's exactly what this is about you, you do not like any of these people. And you are voting still to say, I don't like any of these people. I'm like, bravo. Like, like, like, so just because you don't like something you still can be involved in the process to actually just be engaged. The engagement doesn't mean you're forced to make these decisions. It just means being engaged. Right? So those people are like, I was like, go good on you. Like I don't feel anything out. But putting your blank ballot in is in and of itself an act. You know, it's it's, it's it's a patriotic act. It's like exercising that right. And I live for that. I think that's amazing. Well, I

Host - Kerry Rosado:

appreciate all your expertise that you shared with us. Definitely very engaging, going forward, how can our audience members, our listeners, stay in touch with you to better understand your work, and just become more aware of how they can get involved and start to make impact?

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Sure, I post I think most of my, I'm on Twitter, so mj yahzee MJYHZIE. And you can find basically, a lot of in my bio, there's a link also to Matthew yahzee.com. And you'll see Mike my bio there and ways to contact and engage with me. I oftentimes put together small groups of individuals to meet sometimes when they want to just talk about like diversity issues or issues coming up. And then I also generally tend to post you know, some longer form things on LinkedIn as well. But all those links can be found at the link on my bio for Twitter.

Host - Kerry Rosado:

Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us. And this was a pleasure connecting with you. And that is a wrap. Thank you so much.

Guest - Matthew Yazzie:

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Thanks for all the work you're doing.