In an awkward onstage appearance this week, Gov. Bruce Rauner drank a glass of chocolate milk to demonstrate his belief in diversity.
“It’s really, really good,” Rauner said after taking a sip of the sugary drink. “Diversity!”
The clunky corporate metaphor was the brainchild of Hyatt Hotels diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire, who appeared alongside Rauner on Wednesday at the downtown Chicago Thompson Center to discuss workplace diversity at a Black History Month event.
Enlisting Rauner as his lanky magician’s assistant, Stoudemire, who is black, poured a glass of milk to represent the white men who lead most organizations (including, um, the state of Illinois).
“This chocolate syrup represents diversity,” Stoudemire said, before squirting a healthy dash of brown syrup that immediately sank to the bottom of the glass.
“When you look at most organizations, diversity sits at the bottom of the organization,” Stoudemire continued. “You don’t get inclusion until you actually stir it up.”
Rauner then stirred the syrup into the milk, turning it brown, and he took a sip and pronounced it good.
“Diversity is the mix, and inclusion is making the mix work,” Stoudemire said, concluding his analogy.
Stoudemire told Chicago Inc. he’s been using the chocolate milk stunt for 16 years as a simple way to illustrate the lack of diversity at the top of Fortune 500 companies. He typically picks on the most powerful person in the room to be his assistant, he said, adding that Rauner “didn’t know what he was getting into.”
He declined to comment on Rauner’s efforts to improve diversity in Illinois government, but said, “I give him credit for his willingness to step up and put himself out there … he could have said, ‘No.’ ”
Rauner’s spokeswoman Rachel Bold did not respond directly when asked whether Rauner was embarrassed by the stunt, but wrote in a statement, ”This was the event moderator’s example of diversity that an audience of all ages could see and understand. It was one of two demonstrations at the event, both of which received ovations from the crowd.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner drinks chocolate milk to prove diversity is needed in the workplace.
“It’s really, really good. Diversity!” pic.twitter.com/RQkPDf0XCt
— Based Monitored ???? (@BasedMonitored) February 22, 2018
SourceL Chicago Tribune