Best of 2022: Martine Kalaw on Black History, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Being a Stateless Immigrant, and How to Build Bridges of Belonging in Corporate Organizations

A World of Difference
A World of Difference
Best of 2022: Martine Kalaw on Black History, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Being a Stateless Immigrant, and How to Build Bridges of Belonging in Corporate Organizations

Martine Kalaw’s compelling mission is to empower Human Resources professionals to make Diversity, Equity and Inclusion accessible in the workplace, but her journey as a stateless and undocumented survivor reveals the irony of empowering managers to support marginalized communities while also risking Tokenism.

You will learn how to use team building activities and mental health support to help empower marginalized groups to reach their full potential.

“It’s not lip service when especially when you’ve got metrics and you also can identify the return on investment when we adjust those metrics and we improve the metrics.”

Martine Kalaw is a speaker, consultant, trainer and author with a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and tech startups. She helps develop people and increase performance and productivity as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant.

Martine Kalaw, a stateless and undocumented survivor, grew up navigating through a number of different communities. As a result, she was able to gain an understanding of different perspectives, which inspired her to create her own enterprise, Martine Kalau Enterprises. Here, she focuses on making diversity, equity and inclusion more accessible in the workplace. Martine realized that those in marginalized communities often feel a deep loss of dignity and aloneness, so she encourages them to build a team of resources to help empower them. This team should include a mental health practitioner, a technical assistant, a mentor, an ally, and the right attorney. Through her work and her book, she focuses on providing resources for those in marginalized communities and upskilling managers to understand the power and influence they have in

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. What strategies can be used to make diversity, equity, and inclusion accessible in the workplace?

2. What is the importance of having a team of support to empower individuals in marginalized communities?

3. How can managers use their influence to create a sense of belonging and access in the workplace?


[Insert links to any other lead magnets or Calls to Action from Guest here]

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

[Insert 3 past episodes with links]

Connect with me:







Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: {LINK}

Chapter Summaries:


Our guest on today’s show is Martine Kalaw. Martine is a speaker, a consultant, a trainer, and an author. She brings more than a decade of professional experience working with Fortune 500 companies and tech startups. She’ll be speaking about leadership around diversity, equity, and inclusion with an emphasis on belonging.


Martine Kalaw was born in Zambia and his family is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He spent seven years in removal proceedings, deportation proceedings. Now he’s created Martine Kalaw Enterprises to support human resources professionals in making diversity, equity and inclusion accessible in the workplace.


The author has a book that provides more tools for individuals who are undocumented or stateless. She says the first thing is get a team. Second is having a technical assistant, a mentor, an ally. Third is having the right attorney who builds you up and is your advocate.


Dei: I felt like these conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion are going way over people’s heads. The bridge is human resources and managers. Dei: The way that you make it accessible is through upskilling managers.


Martine: Why should companies do more than just appear inclusive? She says bottom line is really the compelling factor. To appeal to the market that you’re trying to appeal to, you need a whole team. This really becomes a business imperative if your sales numbers are down.


LZ: How can we have companies and organizations that really create places of belonging at work? LZ: It really starts with human resources or the equivalent working with managers to incorporate that into their management development. Building of trust is what allows people to start to feel like they belong in the organization.


There are little things that we can do as managers to establish a sense of belonging. Consider this for many of us, we work at organizations that are global. And acknowledging those little things is part of building inclusion. It’s certainly now where employee retention is causing us to have to rethink.


The World of Difference podcast is all about acknowledging the differences among us and bringing those to the table. People from different marginalized spaces experience different biases, different ways in the workplace. By asking a question, managers can start to acknowledge how each person is different.


We’re about to head into Black History Month in the United States. Do you often find that people make assumptions about you, that your black history is kind of a particular way? And is that a conversation that’s been challenging for you to navigate at all?


Start with compensation and equity and all of those things. That’s much more powerful than these grander gestures. If we could make that go forward this year Black History Month, it would be a gift to all of us.


Martin: I found myself connecting with parts of Martin’s story, even though I have not lived anything close to her life. Martin: It’s important in the aspect of creating empathy, which is one of the strategies around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Please follow her writing and her work and reach out to her for consulting.


Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are real key to the attrition rate right now. Companies doing this well are doing a better job at retaining employees, making better decisions. Martine Kalaw can come in and consult with your organization to help you grow and do better.


Michael Fosberg will talk to us about his story where he was a 32 year old man who had been raised to believe he was white, and at 32 years old realized he is black. We’re going to talk about the conversation of race as a social construct here during Black History Month.

Martine Kalaw is the CEO and president of Martine Kalaw Enterprises, LLC; a consultancy focused on learning & development, human resources, and diversity, equity & inclusion for corporations, organizations, and nonprofits. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration focusing on immigration law from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and has authored two books, Illegal Among Us: A Stateless Woman’s Quest for Citizenship and The ABCs of Diversity: A Managers Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As an organizational development expert, Martine has single-handedly built and executed onboarding solutions, management and leadership programs, global mentorship programs consisting of 400+ employees, and designed and customized training for Macy’s, Xaxis, Wheels Up, and Education First. Martine transforms the implicit biases of working professionals and leads “heavy” conversations related to race and legal status. She specifically focuses on unconscious beliefs towards blacks and immigrants through workshops and seminars while also equipping companies with training to up-skill new managers. Martine partners with global professionals to implement learning and workforce development strategies and solutions incorporating race and biases, manager training, and inter/intra department communication. Her soft skills curriculum is popular with late-stage startups experiencing pangs due to a merger, an acquisition, exponential growth, or a sudden reduction in business.

A passionate DE&I consultant, Martine has written for publications like Huffington Post and has delivered a TEDx talk on immigration policies as they relate to equity and inclusion. She’s also appeared on C-span.

Outside of her work, Martine contributes thought leadership around immigration reform. She’s spoken at Senator McCain’s 2006 Town Hall Rally on Immigration and the U.S. House of Representative’s Judiciary Subcommittee’s 2007 hearing on Immigration Reform. Her story has appeared in USA Today, Metro New York, and The New York Sun. Martine is also the founder and executive director of Stateless and Dreamers Foundation (SAD), which she created after her seven-year battle with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which eventually led to her U.S. citizenship. SAD provides guidance and practical tools that stateless persons and undocumented immigrants can use to navigate between lawyers and the courts more effectively.

Become a patron of this podcast, and enjoy free merch. Join other patrons of this podcast at Patreon.


The A World of Difference Podcast is brought to you in partnership with Missio Alliance.

Join us to discuss this episode, previous episodes or for other thoughtful conversations at our Facebook group. We’d love to have you stop by and share your perspective.

Stay In Touch: Connect on Facebook and Instagram with thoughts, questions, and feedback. Rate, review and share this podcast with anyone that would love to listen.   Find Us Online: @aworldof.difference on Instagram and A World of Difference on Facebook, on Twitter at @loriadbr & on Clubhouse @loriadbr. or

Interested in one-on-one or group coaching on how to live a life that makes a difference? Check out:

Become a patron of this podcast, and enjoy free merch. Join other patrons of this podcast at Patreon.

By commenting below, you agree to abide by the Missio Alliance Comment Policy.