He's all about the data and the science.
Dr. Mike is a combat veteran who graduated from West Point in 1985 and served as an Infantry and Aviation officer in Central America. He then went on to receive his masters degree in business analytics from Saint Joseph’s University and his doctorate in organizational behavior (DBA) from Drexel University. He currently leads an HR analytics team for the federal government and teaches at George Mason University.
As a Black man, Mike knows first hand how unjust internal narratives impact his life on a daily basis. Sometimes those interactions are intentional, and other times they are the unintentional consequences of engrained thoughts and policies that have perpetuated injustices.
Even as a moderately successful and educated person, Mike has been forced face-down on the street surrounded by police with weapons drawn because they thought he was someone else. Soldiers have refused to salute him because they did not want to acknowledge a Black officer. Restaurants have refused to serve him, and others have refused to be served by him. He has even been stopped and accused of stealing his own Italian sportscar.
These are just a few of the many life experiences that are shared with every other Black and Brown person in America. No amount of money, success, education, or power exempts them from the internal narratives that are ingrained in our institutions, justice, healthcare, and educational systems.
Yes, these experiences are overtly racist acts. But they are not the focus of this podcast series. Instead, this series emanates from years of research into human behavior, the collection and analyses of data, and the many conversations Mike has and continues to have with coworkers, friends, and students who honestly want to challenge those thoughts that serve as the foundation for what is often unintentional unjust behavior.
As with all great learning situations, this process needs to be a two-way conversation. So please engage in discussion after each episode. Share your insights, ask questions, and challenge what is said. Only through that discourse will we together reach a better understanding and hopefully build a better and more just America for everyone.
Horton, M. (2020). Do you really want my input? Exploring the relationship between gender-ethnicity dissimilarity in teams and individual withholding of creativity. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2425562072).