In today’s episode, Rick and Sam are joined by Roy Austin Jr., Vice President of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel for Facebook. Roy discusses this unique role and describes the purpose, goals, successes, and challenges he and his team face as they establish this new endeavor. The conversation touches on the importance of a proactive and deliberative approach to shaping corporate culture, balancing free speech and civil rights in the online world, social media’s impacts on social trust in institutions, and Roy’s vision of hope in the goodness of humanity and people who want to do the right thing. 

Closing out the conversation, Sam and Rick thoughtfully discuss their perspectives of these topics through the lens of leadership and values.

Roy L. Austin, Jr. is Facebook’s VP of Civil Rights and Deputy General Counsel, a role that is the first of its kind in the tech industry and one that is incredibly important for Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, Roy was a partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP where he primarily practiced criminal defense, civil, and civil rights litigation. He also has experience as: an Honors Trial Attorney with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division where he investigated and prosecuted hate crime and police brutality cases around the country; Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG), Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice where he supervised the Criminal Section, and the Special Litigation Section’s law enforcement (police departments, corrections and juvenile justice) portfolio; and as the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity where he co-authored a report on Big Data and Civil Rights, worked with the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, helped develop the Police Data Initiative, worked on the expansion of reentry assistance, and was a member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

Sam Scinta is President and Founder of IM Education, a non-profit, and Lecturer in Political Science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rick Kyte is Endowed Professor and Director of the DB Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. 

Music compliments of Bobby Bridger- “Rendezvous” from A Ballad of the West.