Most of us have heard about the lawsuit Texaco faced for racial discrimination. You and your team assisted Texaco in various aspects of its inclusionary and diversity efforts and outreach programs to help them about. Tell us more about how you dealt with this issue and helped the company in the midst of such a scandal?

“During this time Texaco was in a bad place. some senior executives were caught on tape making racist remarks.  Due to recent explosions and air quality concerns, activists also levied charges against Texaco that it had no regard for the health and safety of its workers or for the health of community residents.  The Rainbow PUSH Coalition had even announced a boycott of Texaco.  In calling for the boycott, Rev. Jess Jackson said, “Enough is enough.  I hope when you need gas and see a Texaco sign; you’ll just keep on driving.” When I was brought on board, I knew I needed to act fast.

“I was asked to come on board by a Texaco consulting attorney, who knew my ability to bring people to the table for productive dialogue. I liaised with Texaco executives and influential Black thought leaders, including Rev. Jackson. I had personal conversations the late Dr. Dorothy Height, National Council of Negro Women president; the late Joseph E. Lowery, Southern Christian Leadership Conference president; Kweisi Mfume, NAACP president; and Hugh Price, National Urban League president in order to chart the best course of action for remedy. I then went on to organize two conference calls and an in-person meeting with these civil right luminaries and Texaco brass.  The most immediate success was that the boycott was called off.

“Apart from the end to the boycott, the discussions also inspired the material that later became a comprehensive plan to ensure fairness and economic opportunity for Texaco’s employees and business partners.  The pan encompassed the inclusion of minorities and women throughout the organization, and long-term institutional change.”

Wow Yolanda, you really turned things around for them!

Tags: Yolanda H. Caraway, Change Catalyst

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