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  • Writer's pictureTraci Dority-Shanklin

Skin Tone “Agnosticism”

Like some of you, I’m Generation X, so I was born after the Civil Rights era. Our parents told us that “skin color should not matter” and taught us to be “skin tone agnostics.” We weren’t supposed to talk about race or even acknowledge it since “everybody is the same,” and it’s impolite to point out any differences. I was raised this way; a lot of us were.

In fact, I mirrored this same “skin tone agnostic” philosophy when I adopted my oldest daughter, a black child from Haiti. I thought I was doing right by trying to instill the same values my parents modeled for me in regard to skin color, and that it should not matter; we’re all the same; and it’s impolite to point out difference. When I prepared my questions for my interview with equity and inclusion strategist, Nicole Lee on The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds podcast, her response to one of my questions about “skin tone agnosticism” in the clip below took me by surprise and got me thinking about race a little differently:

Whether you’re at home, in the car, at your job, or on your workout, I hope you’ll join me, Traci Dority-Shanklin, the union and client advocate with over twenty-five years of experience in Taft-Hartley funds and DB plans, on The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds podcast at Buzzsprout, Apple Podcasts, or right here on our website,

Be informed. Be inspired. Be part of the change!

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