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Emotional Equity: Creating Space for Black People to Express Their Feelings

White supremacy creates a world where Black feelings and particularly Black pain, are erased and ignored.

Ciarra Jones, MTS
Published in
3 min readMar 7, 2023


As an Equity Consultant, I consistently speak with historically underrepresented employees who are navigating complex issues of bias and discrimination in the workplace.

Without fail, many employees express fear that in raising a grievance at work they will be construed as “the problem.” Black women, in particular, highlight that their pain is often misperceived as anger. As such, when Black women speak up concerning their experiences of hostility and bias in the workplace they are met with defensiveness and accusation in lieu of support and advocacy.

In organizational psychology, the right to express one’s feelings at work is called the “right to comfort.”

When we pull back the layers of who has the “right to comfort” at work, we can see the ways in which Black pain in the workplace is understood as secondary and oppositional to White comfort.

Both Black and Brown employees must deploy emotional gymnastics in order to have their grievances heard without engendering a negative response from their place of work.



Ciarra Jones, MTS
Writer for

My writing explores DEI, religious inclusion, social justice, and personal development.