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Torin DEI Truth Bombs

Torin Ellis, a self-described coach, consultant, and speaker specializing in diversity and inclusion joins the boys for a Black History Month check-on on the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Torin shares his perspective on the importance of universal design and organizational redesign in fostering inclusivity, addressing the backlash against "wokeism," the challenges in advancing DEI, and the need for a collective voice to combat setbacks, such as Supreme Court decision to terminate Affirmative Action.

Torin emphasizes the significance of taking action and not just relying on discussions, urging organizations to address issues like pay inequality actively. The trio explores strategies to navigate the socio-political landscape and drive progress in DEI initiatives. Then we discuss a controversial statements made by Governor Ron DeSantis, equating slavery to a work training program, and emphasizing the importance of addressing racism and inequality beyond just conversations in black churches but spreading awareness in various communities.

The conversation delves into the challenges of building relationships, advocating for honest discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Torin shares insights into the increasing demand for diversity and inclusion education in companies, highlighting the need for CEOs to make a genuine commitment, allocate resources, and be held accountable for diversity initiatives.

The discussion also touches on the performative nature of some diversity efforts and the importance of tangible outcomes. Torin reflects on the debate between Elon Musk and Mark Cuban, emphasizing the need for action in addition to public discourse. Finally, as it is Black History Month, Torin shares his personal connection to the month and encourages understanding and support from individuals, acknowledging the potential for positive change when addressing interference in achieving diversity goals.

Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.


Joel: Oh yeah. It's SZA's favorite podcast, AKA The Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheesman, joined as always, the Arsenio to my Eddie, Chad Sowash is in the house. And we welcome back, good friend of the show, Torin Ellis. He is the Principal of the Torin Ellis brand, one of the best speakers around, consultant, advisor, and just all around good dude. Torin, welcome again to the podcast.

Torin Ellis: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I think it was back in September, 2018. I get to meet my Chad and Cheese debut. It was beautiful. And let me tell you, it was around the time where we were celebrating blockchain and artificial intelligence and machine learning. We talked a lot about cryptocurrency and some of the other attributes of change inside of the workplace. But then, Joel and Chad, we were also ignoring babies in cages. And here we are now in 2024, where it's taken more than 200 times for us to federal, on a federal level, pass an anti-lynching bill, more than 200 attempts to pass an anti-lynching bill. And yet in the last two years, we've seen more than 500 critical race theory bills in states all across the country. So we got a whole lot of work to do.

Joel: So leave it to you to jump right to the... Go right to the chase.

Torin Ellis: Right to the meat.

Joel: Believe it or not, some of our listeners don't know you yet, Torin. Give us a quick Twitter bio about you, and then we'll dive into all this shit.

Torin Ellis: Yeah, I appreciate that. Coach, consultant, speaker, all things, diversity and inclusion. Said another way, I am a frequency of humanity. I am a voice of humanity. I am an advocate of humanity. And so everything that I am attempting to do for the both of you and for the audience, everything that I'm attempting to do is to just simply make it better for people in the places in which they work.

Chad: It's pretty amazing because when I first got into the, let's say for instance, the state federal government and working with them along with major Fortune 500 companies, we heard this term "universal design." And universal design meant it was good for everybody. Individuals with disabilities didn't matter, right? Whether you couldn't hear, you didn't have sight, didn't matter, right? Universal design. But the beautiful part about universal design is it didn't just make things accessible for those individuals. It made things better for everybody. So what you're talking about, and I wish we could get on this talk track, okay? This doesn't just... Everybody's talking about, they want to focus on race, they want to focus on gender, they want to focus on people who are not gendered, right? Instead of saying, "This is good for humanity. It's all good. Let's roll with it."

Chad: And that being said, unfortunately, and this is out in the New York Times, there's been a backlash against what is called the "wokeism" on banning DEI programs in public universities. And even in states, there have been books, there's just been so much backlash. We had such great momentum after the tragedy of George Floyd, the murder of George Floyd, right? We had so much momentum, and we felt like we were going in the right direction. But for God's sake, what the hell happened?

Torin Ellis: Yeah. So first, I want to go back to the universal design piece because for a person like myself, I tend to go into organizations and/or will stand on stage and say, or use the phrase "organizational redesign." And it's not that I feel like the universal design is short-sighted. It's not that I feel universal design is in any way dismissive or nefarious. I think it was a best attempt at that time. And I feel like it's a best attempt in the time, wherever it's... Whether it be a product, a service, some sort of access to a building, whatever, I do feel like universal design has its place in our commentary. I also feel like we should be spending a great deal of time in organizational redesign, which is where I am. And so to your question, Chad, of what happened, I feel like it's one of those situations where individuals that are in power don't want to relinquish that power.

Torin Ellis: They don't feel like they can share that power, which is part of what I said in my presentations from 2021 up until now, we need a shift in that relationship with power, period. We need to find a frequency. We need to find that metal within us that allows us to speak up, to have voice in situations that are unjust or that are unfair or that are biased or that are inequitable. We absolutely have to be able to call a spade a spade. And what that means in calling that out is, there will be some sacrifice. There will be some sacrifice. People will lose promotional opportunity. They will lose favor with their bosses, the in-crowd in the workplace. You will lose choice assignments. You may lose bumps in pay or whatever. You will sacrifice when you use your voice, but it's mandatory that we use our voice because status quo honestly is killing us.

Torin Ellis: It is a direct correlation between the rise in mental health and challenges that people are exhibiting and discussing in the workplace, and the fact that so many are trying to remain status quo. So I believe the callback that we are experiencing... And quite frankly, I don't even call it a callback. It's a robbery.

Chad: Yeah.

Torin Ellis: You know what I'm saying? Theft. We don't know who took it. It happened. We weren't there. We couldn't see them. But this right here is a robbery of the progress that we've made in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We see the people who are taking it from us or attempting to take it from us, and it's up to us to arrest them.

Joel: How would you define the current state of DEI? There was a period where it was on the upswing. We're all sort of on the same page and moving things forward. And then as you mentioned, it got politicized. It got used as a way to garner attention or political clout or power. Where do you see it today and where do you see it 12, 24 months from now?

Torin Ellis: Yeah. Where I see it today is, we still need to advocate even for our educators. The way that I opened up the show, so many people in classrooms all across this country are wrestling with, well, how do we talk about and celebrate and amplify Black History Month? And next month, it'll be Women's Month, Women's History Month. And I can guarantee you, there are going to be people who are going to be struggling with, well, how do we amplify and talk about the incredible work from this particular woman or these groups of women or whatever the case may be? So I still see DEI as potent. I see it as present. I see it as effective now as it has ever been. And where I see it in 12 to 24 months is that we will have made progress.

Torin Ellis: The question, Joel, is how much progress? And what I'm tired of, if "tired" is the right descriptor, I'm tired of minimal progress. It's so small that even that tiny bit of advancement, that tiny bit of shared-ness, if you will, is something that people are trying to take back. And so I believe that we will see progress today. We'll see it at the end of 2024. We'll see it in 2025 and 2026. Question becomes, how much of it will we see?

Joel: But from where you sit, minimal progress, but then from my perspective we see like huge hits. So when the Supreme Court throws out affirmative action, that's many steps back for a few steps forward from there. So you talk about progress, but what's your sense of these big hits that we're taking with, whether it's state legislation and public education, whether it's the Supreme Court? Like from where you sit, these are huge hits, yes?

Torin Ellis: Yeah, they are, which is the reason why I would challenge a leader who says that we are an apolitical organization. You cannot detach the reality of how an individual grows up or how an individual is living, migrating, navigating life. And so just like you said, you bring all of that to the workplace. There are people who heard that decision who were floored. Floored. They couldn't even focus the day that that decision came out from the Supreme Court, and for days and weeks, maybe even months after that. So you can't really separate the two. They are major hits. But what I would suggest is, it's in those times that we absolutely have to be willing to exercise that voice, feeling empowered enough in our space that we can speak to that situation.

Torin Ellis: We don't need to be somebody else. Just be who you are and voice to your HR team, "I don't like this. What are we going to do to make sure that we can take care of the marginalized, the underrepresented in our workplace? How can we make sure that we are protecting them?" Because while all of that is happening in the Supreme Court, what are we doing to make sure that we are protecting our employees, which in that case happen to be women?

Chad: It seems, okay, so Roe v. Wade, affirmative action. We've been talking about the small victories over the years of, let's say, just focus on pay equity, right? It would take 50 years. And everybody's talking about progress. And this is what drives me so fucking crazy, is that the progress is so small that it's going to take decades for us to actually win and meet up together, right? To see equity at all. The question is, there's got to be something we can do to change the narrative to be able to bring more people under the big circus tent so that we can all work together to get to this goal, right? And the big question is, and I see what's happening from the side of the right who are actually bringing litigation lawsuits, those types of things, that they're trying to split, which they have over the years, us by race, right?

Chad: So if we take a look at it, and I'm not saying that we shouldn't focus on those things, but if we take a look at all the individuals under a certain socioeconomic line and we focus on all of those people, no matter what color, no matter what gender, what have you, just to be able to drive equity, pay, those types of things, do you think that is prospectively a more successful narrative moving forward? Because we've got to find a narrative, man. We've got to.

Torin Ellis: Well, it's a narrative as well as action, Chad. And so I think it's not an either/or proposition. It is that. And so to your point, when we discuss pay inequality, why do we need another report to share with us that we have pay inequality? Why can't we do what Marc Benioff did with Salesforce a few years back? And they went through and looked at compensation for the entire workforce, not once, not twice, but three times, I believe that was the year of 2019 or so. They looked at pay compensation three times in a year to get pay equity across the organization. It's a matter of, "Let's have the conversation, but then let's be willing to take action." And when you see individuals that would prefer to be an impediment to progress, when you see individuals that are being stalwarts of stalling, you have to be able to call that out. And so sometimes it's the collective voice.

Torin Ellis: Torin by himself is not necessarily going to work. Torin, Chad, and Joel together is a little bit stronger. Torin, Chad, and Joel times 10 is even stronger. And so I would believe that in many of these situations, it's the collective voice that we are missing. We have too many scattered voices that are working. We need collective voices that are amplifying these disservices or injustices that exist in our marketplace. And let me just say this to you. Like I said in the beginning, 200 times to get an anti-federal lynching bill. That wasn't signed until 2022. Now what in God's green earth would make a person say hanging an individual or lynching an individual is something that I can't get behind? 2022. So it's the collective voice. Sometimes it's going to take us a little bit longer. The fight is going to be a bit more uphill. It's going to be a bit more challenging and nuanced, but we must fight.

Torin Ellis: And where I believe we are missing is... And when I use "fight," I use that nicely as well. It's in our taking action. We tire from taking action. And the secret is, that's what they are predicting. That's what they are banking on. The other side is banking on, how can we distract them? How can we get them off of focusing on the pay inequality? How can we get them focused on the fact that they're not represented in boards? How can we get people focused on the fact that we're not hiring people with disabilities? How can we get them to focus on or not focus on LGBTQ issues and keep putting shiny balls in front of us when inhumanity is something that should be central for all of us? But we have a governor who pretty much said that slavery was a work training program.

Joel: Yeah.

Torin Ellis: That was actually said.

Joel: Yep.

Torin Ellis: A governor in this United States who was running for president.

Joel: Not just said, but in a textbook. It wasn't just a comment.

Torin Ellis: Yep. Or that they gained skills that they could use later on in life.

Chad: Yeah. A work training program, yeah. So let's talk about something that... In the green room, we talked a little bit about that I think is incredibly important because you had said that, we don't need White politicians to come into Black churches and talk to us.

Torin Ellis: It was a Tweet put up by Kenny Akers and he said in that post, "We don't need White politicians to come into Black churches and talk about racism. We need White politicians to go into White churches and talk about racism."

Chad: Let's amplify on that. We need, and this is one of the things that you pretty much challenged Joel and I to do back in 2019 when we asked you the question, what can two White dudes actually help the DEIB? You said, speak up. But even more so, speak up in your circles. Don't just go to the NAACP local chapter and have the discussion for God's sakes. They already know that shit. Get out there and have the discussion. So I guess what I would say is, challenging everybody to do the exact same thing.

Torin Ellis: Yeah.

Chad: Take those beliefs beyond that of just people who have the same belief system, and get out there and have those discussions.

Torin Ellis: Yeah. The truth of the matter is, that life is challenging. Building relationship, it's challenging. Everyone doesn't necessarily get along. I have people that I don't necessarily like or wish to be around or have drinks with or socialize with at networking events. And some of that is because I know who those individuals are. Some of that is I don't know who they are and I'm a bit of an introvert and I'm not willing to walk across the room and introduce myself, nor do I care if they come across and introduce themselves to me. I'm not being mean about it. It's just the way that it is. But for the most part, what it requires is that we are honest in and outside of our circles. And so yes, I do want people to have conversations around inequality and access to opportunity and shared power and resources. I want people to have those conversations at their holiday table, in their gatherings, in their community, in the car when they are carpooling. I want them to have those conversations at the water cooler when they go to Chipotle to have lunch with their colleagues.

Torin Ellis: I want these conversations to be had because the bottom line is, it's not all that hard. The truth of the matter is, it's not all that hard. I've had diverse teams in every corporate space that I've been in, and my teams have always performed well. I've also had diverse teams that at some point in performance did not perform so well, whether it was they didn't get a grasp of the product, they were working on their sales pitch and trying to navigate how to reposition this new addition that we had. We go through the ebb and the flow. But for a person to have a universal theme that diversity is not good or that diversity is always good, it's something that should be challenged. We should be willing to have honest conversations point blank. I believe personally that's where the HR tech space has failed us, is that we really don't have a solid piece of business intelligence software in the HR tech space that supports the dimensions of diversity and correlates with this conversation around diverse teams are more productive and more profitable.

Joel: So you mentioned Chipotle, and just for the record, don't come talking to me about anything at Chipotle 'cause there's a barbacoa burrito stuff in my mouth.


Joel: You're on the front lines of this in the perspective of the company's organizations bring you in to talk about these issues, whether it's training, education and whatnot. And what's your sense today versus last year, the year before, of company's appetites for doing this? Because my perspective is, yes, we need people to speak up, but we also need companies to sort of step up as well. You're on the ground floor of that. What's your take on company's appetite for the kind of things that you talk about in the education that you're delivering?

Torin Ellis: Yeah, I appreciate the question. The appetite for me personally is increased. I grew business last year. I lost two clients. One came to the end of their mandate, another one because I opened up a conference call and used the word "shit" at the top of the call, and they didn't necessarily like that. So I ended up losing that particular client. But that's what it is. I gained business. And the reason why I feel good about that is because I have some set rules. 10 years ago, when I started working in D&I, I would have an insertion point of anyone who could get me into the organization. VP of talent. It could be a recruiting lead. It could be a hiring manager. Now, my insertion point is a little bit different. It has to be sanctioned and secured by the executive level. I can begin conversations with anyone in the organization, but if your executive team, your C-suite doesn't sign off on making this investment, then I don't do the engagement. So I have a lot of organizations where I believe they are absolutely wanting to be better.

Torin Ellis: And I think, Joel, part of the reason why they want to be better is because when they engage with a person like me, yes, I am unapologetic. Yes, I am very direct. But I'm not unfair. I'm not unreasonable. I'm also not a person who takes the conversation away from business. So I talk to them about marrying the business methodology with the social imperative. I get it. People are emotionally charged and want different conversations to take place. But we are running a business. So how do we bring those two together so that all factions feel good? And in the end, Joel, I'm telling them, you can measure my efficacy by three things: Employee engagement, increases in productivity, and positive attrition. That's exactly what I say to him. Employee engagement, increase productivity, and positive attrition. Torin, what do you mean by positive attrition? I wanna be able to identify the pockets in the organization where we have incredible leaders that are historically accustomed to developing people, inspiring resourcing and supporting their people, and those individuals decide that they wanna take something else on in the organization. They don't leave, they wanna grow inside of the company.

Torin Ellis: So I wanna identify those leaders in the organization, those are leaders who are for me, I am absolutely looking at, well, what's the representation numbers looking like? Because if I know that Joel is an incredible leader but he doesn't have any diversity, okay, so then let me help Joel get some more diversity on his organization, he can continue to be that incredible leader, and he will be a thrust for pushing people in the organization. How does Torin do that? If Torin's a great leader but he doesn't have any diversity or representation, how do we help him in that regard so that he can bring people in, inoculate them in his system, and help them positively grow in the organization? Three ways that we can absolutely, measure the efficacy of D&I.

Joel: So my comment would be... I wasn't expecting that to be your answer, that things are improving and getting better. So my follow-up question would be, it sounds like you're confident that this isn't, I guess, a form of tokenism, just a way to say, "Hey, we are embracing this." You feel like this is real genuine change that companies wanna make from your perspective?

Torin Ellis: Not feel like, I know it is. Because I signed six-figure deals.

Joel: That's great.


Torin Ellis: And I don't mean it as a minor flex, but I use it as an example. There is absolutely no way, when people reach out to me, "Well, Torin, can you do an engagement for 15 or 20K?" No, can't do it.

Joel: Yep.

Torin Ellis: I charge that much for speaking. So if you want me to actually come in to your organization and serve as a fractional or virtual chief diversity officer... Because that in many ways is what I'm doing. I'm either fractional, I'm virtual, or at the bare minimum, I'm complimentary to whatever is currently in place. If you want me to do that, then you're going to pay something similar to what you would pay a person doing this work full-time. Because I'm building it into the organization, so that when I do walk away, even in that man they... Where I use "shit" at the top of the conference call, trust me, [laughter] they are further along today than they were two years ago when they started working with me. And I'm confident in where they are today versus where they were two years ago. So you will absolutely make an investment. So to me, there is no question as to whether or not they are just box checking or if they are serious about the investment VMA.

Joel: That's fucking great.

Chad: The beautiful part is that you're attracting... These are the companies really that you're attracting, right? These are the ones who really want to make a change. Okay? That's not everybody. The question is, because there are a lot of companies who they just wanna step back, they don't wanna be in any political target area whatsoever, right? And you've heard a lot of the DEIB change into, "Well, let's just drop the diversity and just focus on inclusion, equity, and... " Is that a path forward? Is that a way to hopefully get away from some of these wokeism bullshit narratives, and just focus on getting shit done? Because you are dealing with a crème de la crème of companies who give a shit, right? What about all those that maybe they do, but they're afraid because they don't know what to do? What do they do?

Torin Ellis: Yeah. So I will say, and I'll catch some flack for this because I've caught it in the past. Two years ago or last year, 2023, my objective when I was on stage, Chad, was to not say the phrase "diversity and inclusion."

Chad: Okay.

Torin Ellis: That was my team. My team said as we were doing speech prep, "Can you make it through the year, stand on stage, be the influencer that you are in this space, and not use the phrase D&I?" And I did. I was able to do it far less. It was a precipitous drop in my using that phrase. That being said, everything that I do is still focused on that theme of D&I or humanity that I mentioned in the beginning, and so I am not really a six in one hand, half-a-dozen in another. If an organization wants to change the acronym and add a J to the end, fine. If the organization wants to drop the D and only talk about inclusion and belonging, I'm fine with that. I don't care. If I genuinely know where they're coming from, their position, that's what matters to me.

Torin Ellis: I think that we can get to where we need to be in terms of working with that muscle, getting that courage, being more bold and authoritative in the marketplace, being able to stand up to their geographic, regional, state-wide politicians or others that be. If we have to take a step back to be able to begin making progress, then so be it. I'm not worried about letters, I'm worried about us making progress.

Chad: So is that so that you could separate yourself from the performative? Because just using the acronym doesn't mean anything. It's all about outcomes, right? We've talked about this over the years, is that there have been millions of dollars, in some cases, like Facebook, put millions of dollars into a program, they got nothing out. Right? There were no outcomes. We saw a lot of CDOs, chief diversity officers who were hired who had no resources, no staff, they could do nothing. They were pretty much just a figure head that was there, who knows what for, right? That all felt incredibly performative. Is that your way of stepping, pushing yourself away from the table and say, "This is way too performative, we've gotta focus on outcomes?"

Torin Ellis: Yeah, so let me just say this to you. In March of 2019, Russell Reynolds put out a report, and I'm butchering the title of the report. It's "Finding your Next Chief Diversity Officer." And in that report... And I'm doing this purposefully, I'm not trying to get the part in any trouble, but I'm making a point. Russell Reynolds in that report said that most chief diversity officers are under-funded and under-resourced. Okay, cool. That was no surprise. What pissed me off is, organizations will continue to give that $400, $500 million retained executive search firm, diversity-related searches, they still get a pass on not providing diversity in the pipeline or under consideration.

Torin Ellis: So we're talking multi-million dollar search assignments, and here we are writing a report saying that CDOs are under-resourced and under-funded, yet they are not holding themselves to a higher standard to support the diversity efforts inside of these organizations where they are taking diversity-related assignments. Not just an open rec, a diversity-related assignment. So the problem that we have is, we don't have enough accountability. We gotta have accountability with the vendors. We have to have accountability with our internal staff. And one of the things that I said is, it needs a decorative statement from a CEO, it needs a willingness of that CEO to reallocate resources, and then we need to hold people accountable. Leadership needs to be held accountable.

Torin Ellis: And the bonus of that, whenever I go into an engagement, if you wanna see D&I change in your organization, all you have to do is ask every employee across the franchise, what did you do to support the CEOs a diversity initiative? And like you said, some are gonna be like, "I did this." Or someone gonna say, "I tried that." Or others are gonna say, "I didn't do anything. I didn't give a damn. I didn't care. I wanna do nothing. I don't care about it." Cool. If you care about your job, if you care about that company, your leadership, that relationship, I don't believe that people will year after year after year say that, "I didn't do anything." I believe that if you are around something long enough, you eventually, Joel, will begin to open and express your growth in that way, something that I saw you do from 2018 up until now. While you may have been a person who cared about D&I in 2015 '16, '17 and '18, and may have been silent about such or not as vocal about such, you are a totally different person now in that tenure, that tone, that amplification in 2024. Six years.

Chad: We're so proud of that, yeah.

[overlapping conversation]

Torin Ellis: So when you are around something, you will eventually show that you care about that something. So I think that's what we're... We're missing the accountability piece.

Chad: I'd say on the show, we're proud. We're proud of seeing the...

Joel: I thought the growth was only in my waist line, but I appreciate that. [laughter] So I'm curious. So currently, a recently high-profile people like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban have been going back and forth on the DEI argument. Just curious, from your perspective, when you see high-profile people debating this, do you think, "What a bunch of knuckleheads looking for attention?" Or do you feel like at least there's some light being shown on this issue, and at least people are talking about it? I'm just curious of your perspective when Mark Cuban and Elon Musk go out and about this topic.

Torin Ellis: Yeah, I appreciate you actually bringing that example up from a few months back. I don't look at it with a side eye, let me just say that. I tend to look at the essence of what's being exchanged and to kinda quickly determine whether or not people are genuinely doing what or saying what they... What is being said. In that case, I felt like both of them were genuine. Elon does not really support D&I, and I've gotten that both through his efforts and through friends that you and I both know that have consulted with the Tesla organization. So I know firsthand or very close to firsthand that he doesn't care. On the flip side, Mark Cuban, he had to have a couple of wake-up calls.

Joel: Yeah.

Torin Ellis: It took some wakeup calls for him to understand, "Wow, wait a minute, I need to do and say a bit more inside of my at least Dallas Maverick organization." So here's the deal though. In that example between Cuban and between Musk, there was this pastor on the South Side of Chicago, the pastor's name was Corey B. Brooks. And I'm gonna paraphrase what he said. He said, "It's beautiful that Mark Cuban is sticking up for D&I but the truth of the matter is that, I don't see D&I being applied to any of the young people that I'm supporting on the South Side of Chicago."

Joel: Yeah.

Torin Ellis: And he went on in a very long thread just simply said, "I feel like it's a hot air balloon. It's a lot of people grandstanding and talking, but they're not coming to the South Side of Chicago and working with these young people that I'm working with, to introduce them to opportunities, skill development, potential places of employment, mentor-ship, resources. They're not showing up here." So there is a flip side to the conversation. Yes, we love when the celebrities or high-flying corporate titans getting engaged in the conversation. But I also don't want us to forget the least among us where this conversation should be having some efficacy and impact.

Joel: I'm gonna let you out on this. It's February, which is Black History Month. What does the month mean to you, and what would you like to say to two White guys like us in terms of how we should look at and think about Black History Month?

Torin Ellis: Well, the month means everything to me because the woman who is my mother, a person who loves me, her birthday is Valentine's Day. So this is one of my favorite months of the year. It just so happens that it has some other dimensions, one of which is to include Black History Month. Listen, it's 28 days. It is what it is. I can never wake up and not acknowledge who I am and the dimensions in which I bring to this thing called life. Whether that be bad or good, whether I'm inside of a corporate quarter or sitting inside of a community, walking through a mall, relaxing in a park. I can never forget the fact that I am who I am, and I bring this with me. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes it's a laborious thought. Sometimes it's heavy. Sometimes I'm operating and moving with a bit of apprehension and fear.

Torin Ellis: So what I would share to you as two White men is to just simply know that that's how it is for me. It may not be that way for other friends that you have, or whatever the case would be. I just want you two to show up and remember what I always have said: Potential minus interference equals results. When you look at the problems that we are facing, the both of you and others that are listening, when you look at the problems that we are facing, what's your potential to make a difference? Sure, you may have some interference, some roadblocks and things that are in the way. How do we get them to fuck out of the way so we can make some results? P minus I equals R.

Chad: Amen. Amen. Amen. Well, this is a big shout-out to momma Ellis, by the way. Big shout-out, birthday shout-out to momma Ellis. Happy early birthday. Torin, we appreciate you coming on the show. As always, always love to having your voice around. If somebody wants to connect with you, they wanna find out what you're doing, where would you send them?

Torin Ellis: @TorinEllis across all of social media, and on the web Really simple.

Joel: Love it.

Chad: Love it, my man. Love it.

Joel: Thank you, Torin. Chad, another one in the can. We out.

Chad: We out.

Outro: Well, thank you for listening to, what's it called? The Podcast with Chad, with Cheese. Brilliant! They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology. But most of all, they talk about nothing, just a lot of shout-outs of people you don't even know. And yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one. Cheddar, blue, nacho, Pepper Jack, Swiss. With so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anyhoo, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. That way you won't miss an episode. And why you're at it, visit Just don't expect to find any recipes for grub cheese. It's so weird. We out!


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