Angela Russell

My day job is manager of diversity and inclusion at CUNA Mutual Group. My role is to help create a workplace that goes beyond just having a diverse group of employees to one where inclusive practices make it a great place for all. We can all feel threatened by change—there’s a great quote, “the status quo is resilient”—and it’s important to recognize this whenever you’re trying to effect it.

My most memorable caffeine would be the time when I had the opportunity to talk to a professor about the intersection of economics and health—a passion of mine—but had had so much caffeine that I’m sure I came off as extremely hyper!

My current caffeine of choice is black coffee, a dark roast or Americano. I especially like to have a French press coffee while I’m sitting on my patio with the Sunday New York Times.

My favorite place for caffeine is a shop in Portland, Oregon whose name I just can’t remember! It’s one of those hipster places that makes you feel as if you’re in an episode of Portlandia. In Madison I enjoy Bradbury’s—crepes and Kickapoo coffee. You have to be in the mood for a communal experience though (given the shop’s layout). I also like Arcadia Books in Spring Green.

 The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Meridian Wallace, a fictional character in my new favorite book, The Atomic Weight of Love. I’d love to talk with her about maintaining a sense of self when you’re involved in a relationship and the challenges women face as they try to balance their personal and professional lives.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  How we can learn to love one another. If we could learn how to agree to disagree and how to work through the mess, fear and ego of connecting with our fellow human beings, we’d learn a lot.