Building Our Own Table: Kimberley John-Morgan
Meet the founder of Junxure Consulting and learn about her fight against performative allyship
I’ve been connected with Kimberley John-Morgan on LinkedIn for a while, but she really popped into focus for two reasons. First, her posts on performative allyship, and second, her unashamed celebration of all things Black and of Caribbean heritage. The DEI resources she’s created are also stellar, so I’m delighted to feature her here. Please meet Kimberley.
Kimberley, tell me briefly about your background prior to founding Junxure Consulting.
Before my full-time writing career, I worked for 20 years in career development, where I helped people from all walks of life secure employment opportunities. My work with newcomers to Canada thrust me into diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work—witnessing the systemic inequity that my internationally trained clients faced lit a fire in me that still burns brightly today. In all of the spaces I have worked, clients readily understood my advocacy voice. However, I was a persistent "problem" to administrators and staff -- especially when I worked in higher education (which is ironic, isn't it? The place of "innovative thought" being vehemently resistant to diversity). Needless to say, I have never been good at sustaining the status quo.
Give me the elevator pitch for Junxure Consulting.
Junxure Consulting is a ghostwriting firm dedicated to supporting people who face isms. Through my writing and resources, I shine a light on the discrimination that hides in plain sight.
And in more detail?
In addition to helping individual clients write letters to convey and call out their experiences of workplace discrimination, I also work extensively with organizations to update their website copy to reflect their evolving DEI efforts. Likewise, I support the learning of aspiring allies and the work of DEI practitioners through my eStore of training resources.
What inequity were you trying to redress/address, and why is this important?
Through my work, I seek to speak out against all of the isms as they occur across the workforce. The 99% of the world that has to work for a living should be able to do so without harassment and abuse. For centuries the inequity that has propagated on Black, LGBTQ+, and disabled folks has led to glaring economic disparity that needs to b examined and eradicated.
How's it going? What has the response been?
Well ... amongst people who face isms, my work has been well received, and the response has been positive -- my work allows them to feel both seen and heard. However, amongst the aspiring allies, the response has mainly been performative. They are happy to like my social media posts, but only one white "ally" has ever hired me to write a letter. And the experience ended up being a saviour-centred assignment. It was a terrible experience rife with racial trauma.
My eBook Allyship 101: Things Your Friends Won't Tell You sold over 100 copies within the first 90 days of its release. But again, the piece has been celebrated by people who face isms, while the aspiring allies remain stoically silent with their feedback. This collection of letters was written to create an impact, but I have yet to witness any such inklings. I constantly have to remind myself that my job is to prepare the food for thought; I cannot force anyone to internalize or apply it.
What's next for Junxure?
There are not enough hours in the day for me to work on all of the projects that I have on deck! On the top of the list is the second volume of Allyship 101. Also, I am slowly drafting a book that speaks to the lived experiences of people who face isms. It is essentially a collection of pieces that validate the lived experiences of everyone who has been othered in their workplace. I had initially challenged myself to release all of this work within nine months, but I have since decided to take my time with everything. I require rest, plus my work is layered and needs to be sipped slowly by my audience.
Any other interesting ventures coming up for you in relation to redressing inequity?
I have many pieces that I cannot share on social media because of the ire and violence of the ignorant. As such, I am building a space to share my content exclusively. At this *junxure* the only way I can speak to the people who face isms is behind the demi-protection provided by a paywall. Unfortunately, there is no way that I can keep 100% of the harmful people out, but with the paywall, I will have more power to escort interlopers out and lock the door behind them. Those interested in my updates can follow and subscribe to any (or all) of the Junxure Consulting links.
In relation to racism, what's your vision for the future?
I am pessimistically optimistic. I hold no hope that discrimination will be eradicated in my lifetime. That said, I am optimistic that the work that I (and so many others) do will strengthen the voices and advocacy of those impacted. I believe that significant equity gains will continue to occur through the upcoming generations. Along the way, I hope my work rings loudly in the ears of those with privilege. My vision is that today's work will be an ever-uncomfortable call to action -- a firm directive for performative allies to stop crying and engage in the heavy lifting. It is long overdue for them to get to work.
Folks, I totally agree, and I hope Kimberley’s words will help to drive real action and change. You can follow Kimberley’s work on the Junxure Consulting website and eStore, and on LinkedIn. What stood out for you? Feel free to share.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Background image courtesy of Getty Images - Colors Hunter - Chasseur de Couleurs
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