Strands of Genius: Search Hacks Boost BIPOC Talent for Greater Visibility, Let's Not Talk About Race, The Urgency of Intersectionality

Guest Curated by Darien LaBeach

This year we’re aiming to highlight 50 creative thinkers that have inspired us, by giving them the opportunity to guest curate this newsletter, Strands of Genius. We met Darien several years ago through Rosie’s cousin John. When he’s not modeling for Brooklinen, he’s busy driving change as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy over at Huge.



I'm a multi-hyphenated creative doing it for the culture. Most of my time is spent calling people in, as opposed to calling them out. I put together strategies for more inclusive companies and personally work on healing a culture of toxic masculinity. Follow me @dlabeach for education & resources on being anti-racist, unpacking privilege, and being a better ally (spoiler: it’s an ongoing process).

Conversations are part of the larger equation. The world needs people ready to "pull up" not just "show up" for the movement. The first means constant and consistent actions for people in ways that say "I'm here" with more than words. The latter suggests it is ok to just be around with positive intentions. Still curious? Try these three things:

  1. Pair statements with actions. Keep doing that till it becomes a habit rather than lip service.

  2. Pay Black people for additional emotional labor. People should remember we are being disproportionately affected by dual pandemics.

  3. Interrogate the impact of actions and design decisions — not just the the intent.

Editor’s Note (Rosie): Conversations with Darien involves loops and twists and lots of laughter, and are always incredibly satisfying, whether in hidden spaces over sushi, or accidental house parties, or even over text. More recently, these conversations have often ended up involving Hamilton, or evolving to our attempts to perform key numbers, and so I can’t say I’m surprised that made it in — though I love the added context to consider. You should know that when Darien *isn’t* kicking ass as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy over at Huge, he also helps to curate events as a part of — If you’re based in NY/NJ, trust us when we say you’ll want to check ‘em out. Thanks for some excellent links, Darien!

Editor’s Note (Ashley): Darien and I actually met back in college while attending UGA and being Grady kids. The actual point of meeting is still unclear, but we’ve shared many memories of attending college football games together and more recently when I saw Darien perform stand up comedy in NYC. Darien is someone I’ve always admired and continuously am inspired by. I can’t wait to see what my fellow bulldawg does next and look forward to the day we can see each other again!

We’re looking for a design intern to help support us in our continued development of the School of Stolen Genius. If you or someone you know might be interested, head on over to the application for more deets.

:: THE LINKS :: 


Looking for more from Darien LaBeach? Those enrolled in The School of Stolen Genius will receive a deep dive from him in their inbox shortly! You can access all our expert interviews for SOSG here.


:: Game :: Bananagrams

:: City :: hello Brooklyn

:: Book :: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is the best book I've read in the past decade. Bar none. Intergenerational storytelling and healing narratives are like medicine. (Rosie’s note: YES! Totally agree. Absolutely loved that book.)

:: Podcast :: Risk! The podcast is so revealing of humanity in the raw. The vulnerability and intimacy that comes through each story makes me feel more connected and compassionate of others.

:: Album :: Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording). Also, a friend recently put me on to VWETTO II by Georgia Anne Muldrow and I've been vibing ever since.


Hamilton on Disney+

Excited for nuanced conversations and displays of BIPOC communities in the mainsteam. Whether you have seen it live or not, I highly recommend finding a way to watch it yourself. Not only is it a revolutionary piece of theatre, but it also forces us to embrace dualities rather than binaries. There’s a tweet that captured this perfectly, "alexander hamilton was complicit in american slavery" and "hamilton the musical is a once in a lifetime piece of art very worthy of praise that gave tremendous opportunity to artists of color, specifically black artists". These two statements can and should coexist. (Source)

Love & Lysol,

Darien LaBeach

instagram | linkedin | darien labeach

Strands of Genius is currently read by 12,000 subscribers. Support us by sponsoring an issue, becoming a member of The School of Stolen Genius or encouraging friends or colleagues to subscribe.

It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothingBut copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions. 

Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based out of Washington, our company is registered in Tennessee, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.

Hit reply and let’s talk about how we might be able to work together :)