how to foster
"Why do my underrepresented employees keep leaving?"
Who is Janice Z. Gassam Asare, Ph.D.?
Video created by Vixon J.
My life as a first-generation Cameroonian-American with intersecting identities caused me to have a very unique upbringing. Growing up, my family moved around frequently. When I was 11 years old, my father shared that he found a new job, so we would be moving to the Middle East. At that age, I had no idea where or what the Middle East really was. I was stuck in my bubble and I was unwilling to see things from a different perspective. After living in the Middle East for a few years and moving back to the United States, my perspective had completely shifted.
Coming from a family of immigrants allowed me to develop a unique perspective at an early age. Throughout my youth, I never quite felt like I belonged. I often found myself experiencing what W.E.B. Dubois coined as the ‘double consciousness’, except I was experiencing a triple consciousness. I felt like I was torn between three different cultures, and never really fit in anywhere. It was a journey trying to navigate white America while not quite feeling "Black enough" or "Cameroonian enough." As I got older, I started to develop a deep pride in my Blackness and in my heritage. My experiences with anti-black racism made me take a more vested interest in studying, learning and examining both anti-black racism and white supremacy (or what I would now like to refer to as "white perversion") in order to dedicate my life to dismantling them.
I have over 10 years of experience facilitating racial dialogue and educating others about equity and inclusion. The work that I do is inspired by my mom and her willingness to speak up and speak out against the oppressive systems that she had to navigate in her workplace. Through the strength and perseverance personified through her, I am invigorated to be the change I seek in the world and the workplace. In the words of Audre Lorde, “My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” I am constantly fueled by the belief that the greatest power a person can yield is their voice.
I center my work around the liberation of Black people and more specifically, Black womxn. The reason for this is echoed in the words of the Combahee River Collective:"If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression."
Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology
Recognize by the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) as the Global Top 100 Under 40
Author of the best-selling books Dirty Diversity and The Pink Elephant
Authored 250+ Forbes articles
Written for Business Insider and Fast Company
LinkedIn Newsletter with over 20,000 newsletter subscribers
15,000+ downloads of The Dirty Diversity podcast
Collaborated with Google, Amazon, Nordstrom, Yale University, the Dr. Oz show, Paypal/Venmo, H&M and various other companies, conferences and institutions
10+ years of experience as a racial dialogue educator and facilitator