Building Our Own Table: Wandile Mthiyane
Meet the founder of Anti-Racist Hot Dog
Hello friends, I’m not quite sure where I came across Wandile Mthiyane, but I loved the company name immediately, and I knew I wanted to feature his important work here. Please meet Wandile…
Wandile, tell me briefly about your background prior to founding Anti-Racist Hot Dog.
Growing up as a global citizen, moving from one neighborhood to another, I have experienced firsthand the challenges of constantly having to adapt and fit in. My childhood was marked by the conversation at home about finding a stable and permanent home. My education in Zimbabwe and America only reinforced my identity as a binary other.
But, through all these experiences, I have come to understand that despite our differences in culture, race, and beliefs, we are all more alike than we are different. The problem is that we often get trapped by our biases and polarized world, missing out on opportunities to connect and learn from each other.
That is why I am passionate about creating a sense of belonging for everyone. Whether it's through physical homes built by Ubuntu Design Group or non-physical homes like the Anti-Racist Hot Dog Conversation Cards, my goal is to help people feel at home.
These cards are designed to make conversations about race and inclusion in the workplace more accessible and less intimidating. By providing a personal and guided process, employees can learn about each other, understand their role in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, and start building bridges across differences.
What’s the elevator pitch for Anti-Racist Hot Dog?
Anti-Racist Hot Dog (ARHD) is a cutting-edge organization that transforms workplace culture through humor, food, and meaningful conversations. We are dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion by sparking introspection, igniting difficult conversations, and building stronger and more inclusive workplaces. We provide innovative tools to leaders to help them integrate inclusion into their daily operations, recognizing that unchecked biases can prevent teams from reaching their full potential. Join us in our mission to create a creative, innovative, inclusive, and fun workplace through the unique and memorable experience of food.
And in more detail?
As the founder of Anti-Racist Hot Dog, I am committed to promoting DEI in the workplace. I believe that deep experiences, not just policies, are necessary to combat racism and transform culture.
To achieve this, I offer a unique approach to DEI through food. Our program includes the ARHD party, cooking classes, and immersive consultations.
The ARHD party starts important conversations about bias in the workplace with interactive dialogue, delicious food, and employee surveys.
Our cooking classes are a 6-part lunch and learn series that use food to bring people together and explore anti-racism and inclusiveness in the workplace.
Our immersive consultations work with company leadership to implement long-lasting DEI frameworks and policies, affecting the company culture and vendor diversity.
At Anti-Racist Hot Dog, we believe unchecked biases limit a team's potential. Our approach is engaging, fun, and effective and helps employees integrate inclusiveness into their daily lives.
What inequity were you trying to redress/address, and why is this important?
A culture of unchecked conscious and unconscious racial biases prevents teams from reaching their full potential. When education about equity is more engaging, it is also more effective!
How’s it going? What has the response been?
The response to our approach has been positive. Companies who have worked with us have seen improvement and have come back for more engagements. It's encouraging to see a willingness to learn and grow in the workplace. On the other hand, there are still companies who believe they don't need DEI help, but even they are starting to reach out as they are facing incidents of racism. Despite being only a year in, we're thrilled with the progress and excited for what the future holds.
What’s next for Anti-Racist Hot Dog?
We have a few exciting projects on the horizon at Anti-Racist Hot Dog. Firstly, we launched our Anti-Racist Hot Dog Cards Kickstarter! This deck of conversation-starting cards will help employees integrate inclusion into their daily lives by sparking introspection and difficult conversations about equity.
Additionally, we're excited to announce the launch of our Anti-Racist Hot Dog Cooking Show! This free, intercultural cooking experience uses food to jumpstart discussions on racism and bias, and helps turn policies into cultural change.
We believe that when education about equity is engaging, it is also effective. With the use of our conversation-starting cards and the immersive experience of our cooking show, we aim to help companies create a stronger, more inclusive workplace community.
Join the movement for a just and diverse society by enrolling in our cooking show for free at https://antiracisthotdog.thinkific.com/collections. Get your deck of Anti-Racist Hot Dog Cards at https://lnkd.in/gADHA84Y and share your thoughts with the network after experiencing it. #antiracisthotdog #equityandeducation #conversationstarter
In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?
I want to end racism.
Is there anything I haven't asked you that you'd like to add?
Our approach is engaging and interactive, making complex topics accessible through cooking, parties, and games. Clients, such as Deloitte Global, the Obama Foundation, and Yale School of Architecture, have experienced the impact of ARHD's approach. Here's a link to our cooking class trailer:
Thank you, Wandile. I’m excited by the combination of food and anti-racism work. Please check out the Anti-Racist Hot Dog on their website, LinkedIn and Instagram.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2023. All Rights Reserved.© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2023. All Rights Reserved.
I am an anti-racism writer, educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.
In the trailer, Wandile makes the most enlightening comment, which is that barriers (of bias) break down the more you interact with people!
Once we get THAT out of the way, we will be in a better position to redress inequities.
A different and exciting approach!!