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Racism in the Water

by Tonya McKenzie

If somebody says that there is “racism in the water” what kind of emotions does that bring up? What stories come to mind? The first thing that I think of is Flint. That story had all of the makings of systemic racism. Then I took a look at the American cities with the worse water quality and realized that this problem is pretty complex. I am from San Jose, California and they were #29 on this list. Take a look for yourself. Is your city on here?

To shed some light on this issue and a few other corners of the conversation, I had a chat with Mr. Mike McGill of WaterPIO.  This gentleman has been in the media forever. He has been with CNN behind the scenes on shows like Reliable Sources and The Capital Gang. He was the Media Director of Colin Powell’s nonprofit. He is now the Founder and President of WaterPIO, helping water utilities improve their customer relations, media relations, and crisis communications. We get into some of the more complex water issues we have seen in the media and some that we may not have even heard about. Mississippi was a topic of conversation. That is a poorly run state for people of color on so many fronts. Mike had a very interesting breakdown of the issues in that state.

Got questions? Mike has answers. Listen in as he reveals who has the cleanest water in the U.S.A. I was floored.

For the record, we didn’t only talk about water. Mike, from Syracuse University, weighed in on the retirement of Carmelo Anthony and many other hot topics. When we look at professionals that we lean on to help solidify the reputation of our businesses and organizations, it’s important to also get to know them, who they are, and how they think. Get to know Mike and Water PIO. Having the conversation absolutely opened my mind and caused a shift from the preconceived ideas that I had about the leadership at utility companies. I was even more surprised about how open-minded and diverse Mike was in his analysis of how different demographics become the recipient and travesty of bad decision-making.

Check out this episode of Leaders & Learners Podcast : The Real Story About Water in America with Mr. Mike McGill

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Tonya McKenzie
Founder of Sand & Shores
Communications & Leadership Consultant
Author of A Child’s Memories of Cartoons & Murder
Twitter & Instagram: @TonyaMcKenziePR

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