2016: A Year in Review

We recently published our 300th article over on Abernathy, which feels surreal. There are far too many articles and contributors to highlight from the past twelve months, so I’ll simply direct you towards the archive.

There’s a lot of great content we haven’t yet published as well. Interviews with leaders in tech and media, contributor profiles, tech spotlights, and much more. I used to be hard on myself about not having cleared out the editorial backlog sooner, but one of the ways I’ve experienced breakthroughs professionally and personally in recent months is by being kind to myself. It’s coming. A lot is coming.

As I was constructing a new narrative around how to approach the balance of the year, my friend Tylea, never one to mince words, assured me that I didn’t need to listen to another podcast, read another self-improvement book, or otherwise wear myself out on this cerebral hamster wheel. I just needed to get on with it.

And she was right. The more I reduced inputs and listened to my intuition, the more the universe conspired in my favor. Below, please find a few 2016 Highlights:


  • Appeared on the Mass and Volume podcast (thanks Scotty!)
  • Received the 2016 distinguished alumni recognition from the FSU College of Communication and Information

Appeared on the Behind the Brilliance podcast (thanks Lisa!)

Spoke at the Life@Work Culture Conference, discussing racism and other personal topics about racism for the first time (thanks Michael and Sol!)


  • Spoke at Responsive Conference—my first time in the Bay Area (thanks Robin and Christine!)
  • Facilitated a workshop for a software company called Pivotal in their San Francisco office (thanks Guillermo and Neha!)
  • Facilitated a workshop at Pivotal’s Cambridge office (thanks Jonathan and Brittany!)
  • Spoke with Hubspot’s People of Color affinity group in Cambridge (thanks Katie and Kate!)
  • Delivered a talk during Baltimore Innovation Week (thanks Sabrina and Margot!)


  • Produced an event in Harlem sponsored by WeWork that was conceived and executed in 15 days and drew hundreds attendees from across the city (thanks Eric and Enesha!)
  • Announced our sponsorship with August Public (thanks Mike!)


  • Spoke at the Wharton African American MBA Association’s 43rd Annual Whitney M. Young Conference (thanks Chris!)
  • Spoke on Qubit and Quartet Health’s tech diversity panel (thanks Hakim!)
  • Spoke at Encore‘s final Brown Bag Lunch of the year (thanks Marci and Eric!)
  • Appeared on the Woke Podcast (thanks Brandon!)
  • Appeared on the Leadership and Loyalty podcast (thanks Dov!)

Equity & Inclusion
Many of you will recall that I was reluctant to offer consulting services around “diversity and inclusion” despite having more than a decade of related experience. A turning point came when I realized in a conversation with an advisor that it was both silly and selfish to keep my gifts and experiences bottled up.

I’ve since thrown myself into this work—which feels more like a calling than a vocation—and I’ve spun it off into its own brand: Equity Impact Group.

Here’s the summaey, for those interested:

Equity Impact Group empowers thoughtful organizations and the leaders who run them. We provide Equity & Inclusion Workshops, Executive Coaching, and Assessments for companies looking to make meaningful strides on their Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

New Years Eve
Shortly before the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s, I’ll take the stage at the legendary Solomon & Kuff Rum Hall in Harlem to share a short message about 2017 (and beyond)—a Call to Community, if you will. Sasha, Ephraim (performers in the original Hamilton) and Shaun are hosting the second annual N.Y.E. “Off the Kuff” party.

I’m deeply humbled by this opportunity and equally proud to play a part in something so crucial. Celebrating during challenging times is revolutionary, and I look forward to sweating out my weave with like-minded folks through the night. I hope you’ll join us.

We’re busy planning a February event in Harlem to follow the Movers & Shakers Event, and I’ll share those details as soon as they’re available. New projects will be announced in the newsletter first, so be sure you’re subscribed if you consume these updates on the web or social media.

Thank you all for an amazing year, and I’m looking forward to connecting in 2017.

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Recently on Abernathy
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From the archives

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Note: a version of this post first appeared on Abernathy.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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