Author, speaker and consultant Tayo Rockson’s goal is to dismantle oppression in three industries: media, education and the workplace. These are where people spend most of their life, he says, and “our programming is most affected by what media we consciously or unconsciously consume.”
How will he know when he has succeeded? “If we can get to a place where north can sit with south, east with west, people can understand that being different isn’t less-than, it’s a celebration of who we are. Once we change our relationship with ‘different’ and don’t see it as a threat, we’ll get to a successful place.”
Having grown up Black on four continents, Rockson views DE&I from a global perspective. A diplomat’s son, he changed locales often and had to find his identity in different environments. His curiosity led him to write his observations in notebooks, which led to starting a podcast, then to consulting, speaking and writing.
In 2014, Rockson launched UYD Management, a DE&I consultancy, and began his podcast “As Told By Nomads,” which now reaches a worldwide audience. Today he’s a sought-after speaker and author of a bestselling book on DE&I and cross-cultural communications called Use Your Difference to Make a Difference.
Rockson’s consulting work focuses on establishing company culture practices that are sustainable. He says that organizations need to continuously create an infrastructure that supports diverse ideas. “Biases take over; you recruit based on what you know. When you don’t have checks and balances, you fall into old biases.”
He advises clients that for their organization to become the best it can be, people need to be their full selves. This means “being open about the things that bring me joy and showing aspects of my invisible identity. Being able to grow into who I can ultimately be.”
2021 DE&I Influencers List