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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As Americans engage in difficult conversations about race, violence, privilege and more, one place they may receive training is the workplace.

Why it matters: Firms often ask or invite employees to attend programs that help them communicate about diversity and inclusion. With many people working from home, the skills they've picked up can also be applied in a family setting.

The big picture: "Unconscious bias trainings have been happening over the past couple decades, but ramping up in the last decade," says Rashawn Ray of the Brookings Institute and the University of Maryland, who leads diversity and inclusion training for companies, police departments and the military.

  • Cherie Brown, founder and CEO of the National Coalition Building Institute, which offers diversity training, said she was on a recent Zoom call with a client organization when one employee, who identified herself as white, shared that she was pulling together eight of her family members to read and discuss a book about racism.

Yes, but: Ray cautions that many companies will host these programs, but fail to take meaningful next steps. "Without a follow-up, they don't have a plan to really integrate racial equity going forward."

  • And Brown says there's an important distinction between the diversity and inclusion work embraced in the corporate sphere and "hard conversations about race and dominance and privilege. That conversation is not yet in the corporate arena."

What they're saying: There is a silver lining to the present situation, according to Ray — and an opportunity to be seized. "We are capturing a moment where people are paying attention."

  • Katina Sawyer, cofounder of workplace training company WorkrBeeing and a professor of management at George Washington University tells Axios that she's seen an uptick in interest in wellness-related initiatives since COVID-19. She sees diversity, inclusion and wellness as intrinsically linked, and brings D&I topics into the wellness programs she leads.

The bottom line: "I've noticed people are deeply reflective, much more so being at home than being at work," says Ray.

Go deeper

26 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

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