Anonymous User wrote:using race to help you out. classy
It's a warzone out there man. Use what you got. You can hate the system while respecting a person's prerogative to max their outcome in that system. Would you hate on somebody who had a well connected lawyer uncle for leveraging that because its "unfair"?
Its total fair game to look for ways to seek commonality with the person you're talking to. This isn't all that different than somebody saying, "oh you went to XYZ school, so did I!" Except a lot more so.
Just don't lead with it, otherwise it might come off as pandering. I wouldn't mention anything AA related until midway through the conversation unless it opens up organically. Someone said ask about AA organizations in the area where the guy works could work. You could also ask which firms or companies have well designed diversity programs. Nearly every firm does and does so prominently, so its certainly not an odd thing to bring up. Dude knows you're on this call for career advice, and dude knows that there are programs out there specifically designed to help URMs.
I wouldn't mention "pushback" or resistance or anything negative though. He might take offense to that, and really you should always try to frame things positively anyway.