with Marjorie Morrison, CEO and founder of PsychArmor Institute
Posted Nov 02, 2017
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The importance of building military cultural competency is oftentimes recognized when in a situation where more knowledge is needed. Marjorie Morrison, CEO and founder of PsychArmor Institute shares her organization's efforts in creating awareness for employers and HR departments through education to help close the civilian-military divide. This discussion continues in part 2 of Military Culture.
Robert Traynham:The transition from active military service to civilian life poses numerous challenges to veterans and their loved ones. For the 93% of the population [00:00:30] that has not served in uniform, responding and relating to these unique challenges can come with difficulty. Hello everyone and welcome to Comcast Newsmakers. I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Marjorie Morrison. She's the CEO and founder of PsychArmor Institute Marjorie, welcome to the program.Marjorie M:Thanks for having me.Robert Traynham: It is always good to have you here. Let's talk for a few moments about this divide, for lack of a better term, between the transition between military life serving our country in uniform, but also the transition to civilian life. Why is it so, for a [00:01:00] lack of a better term, bumpy Marjorie M:I think that the average American just doesn't understand the military veteran, and we have a lot of pre-conceived ideas of what they're like. So these service members, they have rockstar careers in the military, and then they get out, and they come into civilian life, and we're like their safety net, but yet, the net has a lot of holes in it. And there's just so many places for them to fall through and not be appropriately returned back. I always say, they served our country, it's our job to serve them [00:01:30] when they get back.Robert Traynham:Right. It sounds like there's two transitions in that. First, is personal. Obviously just getting re-acclimated with your family. And that's hard. That can be very difficult for some people. The second one is, as you mentioned, they have a rockstar career in the military. That skillset, that mindset, that knowledge and wisdom that they have, is that easily transferable to private civilian life, in terms of the workplace Marjorie M:I think it is and I've seen it happen again and again, but [00:02:00] the problem is, is that the civilian workplace doesn't always see it, because they oftentimes, as you can imagine when you're looking for an employee, you have a job description and you're looking for the closest match in your candidate to that description. And sometimes it's not that match, but if you go one step further and you look at qualities and core capabilities, there absolutely is that match. It just takes them to have to work a little bit harder.Robert Traynham:It's interesting, Marjorie. I have a friend of mine that works in the HR industry, and a couple of years ago she said, "Look at this resume. This person that serves in the military, I don't even [00:02:30] understand. They're using jargon that I simply don't understand." And I said, "I'm actually reading it differently. I see leadership skills. I see communication skills. I see delegation skills. I see this gentleman in this incidence, that I think is operating $20-$30 million worth of equipment on a daily basis, and they're 23 years old."Marjorie M:That's right.Robert Traynham:So it's an interesting translation. But I guess, my question is, Marjorie, do you think many HR people see resumes that way, and just push it aside Marjorie M:Yes. I think it's getting [00:03:00] better, but there's a tremendous amount of work that we could do on educating HR folks. And I think we're doing a good job in educating HR folks. I think that it's significantly getting better, but then you have the hiring managers, where it goes from ... and they may be the place where it stops. It's almost as though everybody needs to be educated. And then, once the veterans get in, we need to educate the company at large to help your environment be military-friendly, and veteran-friendly, and [00:03:30] connect them with other veterans, so that they have some mentors, so that we focus not only just on getting the job, but retaining the job, and staying in it.
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The American demographic is shifting to a nation where the majority will be people of color. While the population share is on the rise, gaps in education, wealth and more, still exist. How could equity benefit all of our society Part 1 of a discussion with Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink. This discussion continues in part 2 (The Curb-Cut Effect).
Visit PolicyLink on the web, on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
See a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: In only three years, the year 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that children of color will make up the majority of America s youth. However, despite these gains in population share, gaps in employment, education, and health care continue to expand. Hello everyone, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I m Robert. Joining me is Angela Glover Blackwell, she s the C.E.O. of PolicyLink. Angela, welcome to the program.
Blackwell: Thank you, Robert.
Traynham: Change is coming. We know that this country is changing, with respect to its next American chapter, as I like to call it. And what I mean by that, as I mentioned a few moments ago, is that people that look like you and I, and others, will make up a majority in this country. Change is hard. Some people do not embrace change as quickly as others. Your response to that, Angela, in terms of where the country is going demographically and ethically.
Blackwell: Change is exciting, and this is a great change for the United States of America. What s happening is, is we re rapidly becoming a nation in which the majority will be of color. All of the things that the nation will need are happening naturally. For example, we ll remain a young country. The median age for people who are white is 43. It s 33 for people who are black. It s 28 for Latinos. It means that we remain young with lots of children, as other countries are ringing their hands over the fact that they re aging so fast. People of color are very entrepreneurial. People who are Asian, Latino, African American, are three times as likely to start businesses. So it means that our entrepreneurial life will remain strong. It s a good thing, it s an exciting thing. A lot of people think that this is something scary, but it s not. It s actually a gift to this nation, that the very things that it will need to maintain a stable middle class are coming with the demographic shift.
Traynham: You know what s really interesting I remember in high school history class, we heard the terminology "the melting pot." We heard the terminology of all these different ethnicities coming together to represent the American story. And it s reflected in our democratic system in the building right behind us. So to feel your enthusiasm and to hear your enthusiasm is heartwarming in so many different ways. You also write in a pretty groundbreaking report, and I m quoting you.
Blackwell: That s right.
Traynham: Expand on that.
Blackwell: The notion is that when we solve problems from the standpoint of those people who are most vulnerable, everybody benefits. The classic example is the curb cut. You see it in streets all across this country. They re there because of the advocacy of people with disabilities in wheelchairs. But the truth of the matter is, people pushing strollers, workers pushing carts, pulling wagons, people traveling, parents worried about their young bike riders not riding in the street, all benefit because of those curb cuts.
Traynham: What you re referring to is the A.D.A. piece of legislation, Americans With Disabilities Act, that President George H.W. Bush signed into law. And that curb cut, if you will, is what Angela s referring to.
Blackwell: That s right.
Traynham: And what about that 85-year-old senior citizen who perhaps maybe had a knee replacement, but cannot maybe step up on that step, that curb cut also helps that person, as well.
Blackwell: That s right.You solve a problem for one group,authentically, effectively,and everybody benefits. It s the same thing investing in people of color.
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