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The Woke Coach Tackles Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Minnesota Companies

Seena Hodges believes that racial equity is the defining issue of our time. Not only does she believe this, she has built her consulting company, “The Woke Coach” around the idea of helping other companies ensure their environments are more diverse and inclusive. No matter the industry, including our local MN tech scene, there are inequities in hiring processes and retainment when it relates to marginalized groups, and Hodges aims to change that.

Hodges sees her type of consulting as a lifelong process of teaching and learning. She is a voracious reader, keeping up on the latest trends and social issues, and she surrounds herself with others doing the work so they can all keep each other engaged and informed. When asked about the state of the Twin Cities as it relates to inequity, she said, “Even though we are incredibly diverse, we are so segregated.”

Most of Hodges’ work involves breaking up that segregation by partnering with businesses and organizations for cultural development, providing assessment and training in the areas where she sees the most need for improvement. She also spends a good amount of her time speaking publicly and providing workshops. One of the newest workshops she is putting together is called, “From Ally to Accomplice.” This six-module workshop covers topics like, “Understanding Allyship,” “Intersectional Feminism,” and “Toxic Masculinity.” Hodges describes her target market for these workshops as people who are “willing to engage in doing the work.” They may not know what that work looks like, but they should at least, “be willing to take the journey to understand that there is sometimes a difference in what you intend and the impact your actions have on others.”

“Everyone has some sort of privilege, it is incumbent to use it to help someone else.” Hodges continued, “…once you see injustice, you can’t unsee it. So the question becomes, what are you going to do about it? You’re either part of the problem, or you’re part of the solution. Choose where you want to be.”

Hodges’ “Ally to Accomplice” workshops will begin this October, but the application deadline is September 19th. More information can be found on her website.

Valerie Lockhart
Valerie is proud to spend her time immersed in the Minnesota tech scene, whether she’s writing articles for, designing websites, or coordinating events for the Minnesota Women in Technology meetup group.