Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Sharon Hurley Hall is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Diverse Leaders Group, the Founder and Curator-in-Chief of Sharon’s Anti-Racism Newsletter, and a renowned speaker on Anti-racism and Equality. Prior to this, she worked as a journalist, writer and educator for more than three decades.
Sharon and her sister Lisa Hurley are both Co-Founders and Co-Hosts of the popular podcast called The Introvert Sisters Podcast.
In our interview with Sharon, we explore her passion for anti racism and talk about her new book, "I’m Tired of Racism: True Stories of existing while Black".
Hello Sharon and thank you for participating in this Q&A session. You’ve spent a number of years fighting racism and promoting equality. Where does your passion for anti-racism originate from?
Sharon: I’ve certainly focused on this in the last three years or so, but it’s something I’ve been aware of for a long time. I’ve experienced racism everywhere I’ve been, from living and working in the UK and France, to visiting the US, to post-colonial settings in the Caribbean. It’s unjust and it’s wrong, and I feel I should do my part. For me, that looks like sharing Black stories and experiences through books and my newsletter, and helping others lead the way to equality through my work at "Diverse Leaders Group".
In your frank opinion do you see a future where racism doesn’t exist, or has been mostly eradicated? If so, what do we need to do now, for us to achieve such a future?
Sharon: I think it will take a long time, to eradicate racism, if we ever achieve it. One key thing for us to do, is to get clear about what our end goal is. For me, that’s true equality, a world where everyone belongs and thrives as of right. Sadly, that seems a long way off today.
What key challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Sharon: Funnily enough, that’s a hard question to answer. I’ve faced challenges, of course, sometimes because of racism. My approach is usually to take another path. So, if my boss doesn’t treat me fairly at promotion time, I would generally start looking for a new job. Of course, Black people shouldn’t have to jump through those hoops, but we often do, and many of us try to find other ways to achieve our goals and thrive.
You recently published a book called "I’m tired of racism". Please tell us what this book is about?
Sharon: The subtitle of “I’m Tired of Racism” is “True stories of existing while Black”, and that gives it away. The book collects some of my essays on Black experiences. Most of them are things that actually happened to me in the UK, Barbados, France, the US and elsewhere.
Who is the target audience of your new book, and what would you like them to learn from it?
Sharon: I have several audiences, these include Black people who feel seen and understood, and white would be allies, seeking understanding about Black experiences. My goal for the would-be allies is for them to do something with what they learn, and to be inspired to identify and reduce inequality and racism where they see it happening around them.
Do you have a favourite section or quote in your new book, that you would like to share with us?
Sharon: It’s hard to pick one out, but in chapter 7 there’s this quote,
Sometimes I can’t believe that I still have to argue that racism and inequality are human rights issues and not political ones.
My hope with the book is that people will tune into the human cost of racism, and be moved to dismantle the systems that support it.
Before we conclude this Q&A session, please tell us a little about your Anti-Racism Newsletter?
Sharon: My Anti-Racism newsletter has been going on for two and a half years. With it, I’m on a mission to fight racism one article at a time, by sharing global perspectives on racism and anti-racism.
It is a must-read if you are a committed anti-racist or would-be ally looking to get insights, resources and tools to help you do the work, and progress on your journey. Basically, I see it as a tool for learning and growth, and like the book, my hope is that people will use the information in the newsletter as a catalyst for change, both personally and professionally.
We have come to the end of this Q&A. Thank you for participating in it. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.