This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

Slated for a July 26, 2022 release, Amber Cabral’s upcoming book, “Say More About That,” offers strategies and anecdotes supporting the advocacy of oneself at home, work, school and elsewhere.

Cabral is an inclusion strategist, certified coach, speaker, and the author of another popular title, “Allies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture.” She has a deep passion for developing the next generation of confident decision-makers. BLAC spoke to Cabral to learn more about her work and the process of writing “Say More About That.”

Book cover for Amber Cabrals’ “Say More About That.”

BLAC: What was writing “Say More About That” like? 

Cabral: My first book, I wrote it in 13 days because it trying to address a need in the marketplace right after all of the conversations that started to percolate in the business space around racism and equity because of George Floyd’s murder and the impact that had on those conversations.

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This book is a little different because it wasn’t really in response to something. So I had more time. This book was less about me trying to give people foundational knowledge. Instead, it gives them a tool to understand the basics of how you can communicate as an ally or an advocate, and how you can push back when you end up in those tough conversations. 

Showing up as an ally is one thing, but, when the difficult part of it happens — someone pushes back or challenges you, or maybe you’re in a situation where the person that you’re pushing back against is a leader — the conversation gets a bit harder. This book helps you navigate that.

BLAC: “Say More About That” focuses on three key points: speak up, push back, and advocate for yourself and others. Why are these three important? How can others begin to work toward this? 

Cabral: What happens if you don’t challenge, if you don’t speak up, if you don’t advocate for yourself or others? You end up giving time away. You end up giving away effort that isn’t really serving you, and that can also take away from your own experience. That’s really just not fair.

We all have our own objectives, needs, and goals. This book tells you to get the opportunity — to have a say in your life experience. I’m really big on having full, complete, and equitable individual experiences. If we all guard our personal experiences a bit better, these conversations about equity and fairness would be a lot easier because we would be mindful of it for ourselves. 

The book’s intention is to give people the ability to protect themselves, navigate their own space, manage their own time, and feel good about the ways that they are giving away their time and their energy.

Then, they’re able to kind of use that experience as role modeling for those that come behind us — whether that’s our children, our coworkers, or whoever may be around to witness. They can show that this is what it looks like to stand up for yourself and not have to worry about destroying your reputation.

BLAC: How do you work to follow your own advice in your life?

Cabral: This is my natural style. It’s not new. 

There are definitely times I’ve made some folks uncomfortable. I’m okay with that. I recognize that I have to prioritize my own well-being and needs to be the most effective.

One of the questions I always ask is, “How do I want my life to feel?” When I have those moments when I’m not treated equitably or something wastes my time, energy or money — I do make a point to speak up. I understand the importance of this in the long term. I have things I want to do. I have goals. I have dreams. I know if I’m not a good steward of my own time and energy, I’m just not going to them when I need them.

Photograph courtesy of Amber Cabral

BLAC: Tell us about Cabral Co. What are your goals for the future of this organization?

Cabral: Cabral Co. is a boutique inclusion- and equity-focused firm. We support large companies and well-recognized brands with their inclusion and equity work. I work with VPs, and CEOs, and I also work a lot with our service level employees — folks working in retail stores, or behind the call center phones.

I’m really focused on ensuring that there’s an opportunity for everyone to understand what inclusion and equity mean so that organizations and their cultures can be healthier. That’s what our business is, and it shows up through coaching, training, and strategy building. I don’t know where this company is going, but I do know that we’re going to continue to grow, and as long as we have the opportunity to make an impact, I’m going to continue to lean in and do that.

BLAC: Tell us about “You Can Have Whatever You Want.” That’s a powerful title. What inspired you to start this podcast? 

Cabral: I started this podcast because I really believe you can have whatever you want. Now, I think you’ve got to work for it, and I think, more importantly, you have to spend a little time figuring out what that is. So many of us don’t sit down and ask ourselves, “What do I want? How do I want my life to feel?” That’s where the podcast came from.

You can learn more about Amber Cabral and stay up to date on the release of “Say More About That” by checking out her website. 

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