117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

I had the great fortune of sitting behind Marcus Glover on a bus ride to Wallkill Prison for a Defy Ventures business mentoring day, and time flew as we talked about everything from him teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers, to criminal justice work, to his mission of funding minority-owned businesses through disruptive venture capital. 

I can’t wait for you to listen in on this conversation and get your own powerful dose of Marcus magic! You’ll hear about his passion for well-told stories, practicing empathy (rather than the misguided savior complex), cultural competency around dismantling privilege, and much more.

Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/marcus-glover.

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More About Marcus Glover

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Marcus Glover is a Partner at Southbox, an early-stage investment fund focusing in areas of high-growth technology startups and disruptive content producers. He founded TEDxHarlem in 2010 and has also consulted entertainers and athletes including Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, Kobe Bryant, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, Rihanna, Allen Iverson, Eli Manning.

Presently, Marcus is devoted to investing and advising early stage ventures. He also holds a deep commitment to social justice and criminal justice reform serving as a board member of New York Tri State Board of Directors for DefyVentures.org and LiberationPrisonYoga.org. Through his work with these organizations, Marcus has become a dedicated mentor to incarcerated men, women and youth and also volunteers as a yoga and meditation instructor leading juvenile programs at Rikers Island Prison.

Topics We Cover

  • How he got started teaching yoga and meditation at Rikers

  • Embracing his own brokenness, yoga as a platform for personal transformation

  • Why the goal of prison programs isn’t what most people going in might think

  • Our goal is to offer unconditional presence

  • His passion for well-told stories, telling stories that empower us versus disempower us

  • Own your story: the pieces that seem successful and the ones that feel broken - it’s the shards that we shy away from, but that’s what makes us more relatable, more human

  • How he ended up at venture capital to further his mission of conscious investing

  • Main critique of VC is cultural competency: as much as it has been pioneering in all these ways of technological discovery, it hasn’t done a great job of disrupting diversity and inclusion

  • Systemic biases that have been here for decades, but as a platform, VC has the power to continue to transform in all of these areas

  • His next frontier for social justice and venture capital: cannabis. For example, The People’s Dispensary - seeks to reinvest profits into communities that have been harmed by the War on Drugs

  • Focus on double-bottom line: people and profits

  • Activist venture capital means “making an investment and level the playing field in everything I do”; also, “protecting against the downside of privileged people coming in and owning all the wealth and communities of color owning all the despair”

  • Reciprocal dismantling of privilege - as a culture we need to develop that IQ around how we level playing fields

  • Privilege is in many ways the barrier to empathy, even though it’s something many of us enjoy

  • MLK: saw his job as to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable

  • Success is the greatest illusion there is. Can any entertainer or athlete say that their success is their own?

  • Secret weapon to try after listening to this episode!

117: Activist Venture Capital and Teaching Yoga and Meditation at Rikers with Marcus Glover

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