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A Seat at the Table


A Seat at the Table is a podcast from the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance. It offers a unique view of Cultural Intelligence and its importance to the workplace. With a goal of understanding the cultural differences and the uniqueness within multicultural communities, each episode takes the listener through first-hand experiences with topics such as:

  • Anti-Racism Behavior for Business
  • An Industry Call to Action for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Black Leadership Perspectives

Each episode ends with practical, actionable advice on how you can communicate effectively with people from multicultural backgrounds.

A Seat at the Table is hosted by Gerald “Gerry” A. Fernandez, the founder and President of the MFHA, an educational non-profit organization that makes the business case for developing cultural intelligence in the workplace. Gerry has been recognized for his decades of work in educating and advocating for the business benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion in the foodservice & hospitality industry. Gerry was honored in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2018 Power List among “the definitive list of industry leaders who are not only setting trends today but also shaping them for tomorrow.”

Episode 06: November 24, 2020


Addressing Issues of Diversity and Racial Equity in the Restaurant Industry with Tom Bené


Speaker:

Tom Bené

Summary:

How do you encourage more people of color to join your company in a leadership capacity? According to Tom Bené of the National Restaurant Association, it all starts with education and amplifying the message that your company values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This week on A Seat at the Table, Tom discusses diversity at the corporate level and why DEI is important to long-term business success.

 

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Episode 05: November 10, 2020


How Cultural Competency Helps Your Bottom Line with Seema Jain


Speaker:

Seema Jain

Summary:

When Seema Jain worked for Marriott, she started an innovative program called Culture Day. The premise was to train employees on the customs and needs of customers from various cultures. Culture Day was a huge hit and helped Seema and Marriott realize that cultural competence leads to cultural confidence. Today, Seema joined Gerry for a discussion on how cultural knowledge can drive sales and improve the guest experience. Tune in for more.

 

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Episode 04: October 27, 2020


How to Be a Good Ally to LGBTQ+ Colleagues with Isaac Rocha


Speaker:

Isaac Rocha

Summary:

LGBTQ+ people are the least protected class in terms of civil rights and employment. To be LGBTQ+ is an exercise in constantly second guessing how you present yourself to the world and whether that image is detrimental to your work or relationships. Isaac Rocha identifies as a Hispanic gay man. He is our guest this week on A Seat at the Table and discusses what it’s like navigating business as a gay man as well as how others can be good allies.

 

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Episode 03: October 13, 2020


Dispelling the Myths of Franchise Ownership with Aicha Bascaro


Speaker:

Aicha Bascaro

Summary:

Ever wonder how brands like McDonald’s and Dominos have so many locations? It’s all thanks to franchising. Franchising is a great way to enter the food service industry, but many people don’t understand how it works. Aicha Bascaro is the founder and CEO of American Franchise Academy and stopped by A Seat at the Table to discuss how franchising works, how you can run a successful franchise, and how minorities and people of color can become franchise owners.

 

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Episode 02: September 29, 2020


How Businesses Can Become Anti-Racist with Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown


Speaker:

Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown

Summary:

Racism is an uncomfortable word for many people. But to dismantle racism, we must understand and define it. Our guest this week on A Seat at the Table is Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown, a racial equity consultant who specializes in organizational transformations. Dr. Brown joined Gerry to define racism and anti-racism as well as to offer a starting place for organizations looking to adopt anti-racism practices. Listen to this episode to learn why companies should strive to eliminate racism from within by challenging systems.

 

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Episode 01: September 15, 2020


Cultural Intelligence And Why We Need To Understand It


Speaker:

Dr. Sandra Upton

Summary:

Cultural Intelligence, or CQ, is the capability to function in multicultural situations. People with high CQ are effective leaders, good decision makers, and have a high degree of creativity. It takes commitment, training, and dedication to acquire this skill – not just one class on unconscious bias. Dr. Sandra Upton is the VP of Educational Initiatives at the Cultural Intelligence Center and joins us on A Seat at the Table to discuss CQ and how it can help your business’ bottom line. Listen for her insights on training, policy, and hiring.

 

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A Seat at the Table Trailer


Summary:

People with multicultural backgrounds make up the majority of the food service industry, yet few have a voice in the boardroom. A Seat at the Table is a podcast dedicated to highlighting the importance of cultural intelligence in the workplace.

Every episode, we’ll dive into topics such as anti-racism behaviors for businesses, why diversity and inclusion matters, and Black leadership perspectives. A Seat at the Table always ends with practical, actionable advice on how you can communicate effectively with people from multicultural backgrounds.

An inclusive business is a profitable business so join us and take your seat at the table.

 

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The views expressed in this podcast are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) and its affiliates. The MFHA does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or suitability of any information offered, and the listener is encouraged to do their own research, and where appropriate, obtain the advice or guidance of legal counsel or the input of other experts with respect to their practices and/or applicable laws.