On May 25, 2020, a tipping point was reached. The gruesome unnecessary inhumane death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, in Minneapolis Minnesota sent chills through the nation. The Black Community was literally gutted as we came face to face with the fact that our core identities threaten others without any wrongdoing or any penalties. In fact, we have been seeing more and more vigilante style deaths for Black People. The double standards that are occurring send messages that if you're a black person, you follow a different set of rules. We are at a moment in history, where the Black community is tired of worrying, tired of news about unnecessary killings of our brothers and sisters. It is now time for change.
This recent killing of George Floyd has sparked outrage. We are finally hearing the question, what can I do to help. Please note that this is a wonderful start that speaks volumes. Knowing that you acknowledge first before criticizing means a lot. Here are 21 suggestions on what you can do to help wipeout racial injustice.
Show You Care
I can't tell you how much it means to see posts and statements about people just acknowledging the wrongness of what's unjustly happening to the Black race. You can do your part by showing that you care! Care that atrocities are happening disproportionately to the Black Community. Asking me how I’m doing is great. But go one step further and be prepared for answers you can’t process or handle. Still showing you care goes a long way.
Continue to ask how you can help. You don’t have to have the answers.. most of us don’t but you can certainly do what you do when you are students, seek out answers. Find Black Mentors. Find resources to educate you.
Use your voice. If you can’t support others using their voices. If you are an introvert and you simply don't want to bring attention to yourself, support others that are using their voice.
Walk Your Talk
Walk your talk. If you have a Diversity and Inclusion strategy, and this is not a priority, then make it so. Don't just use D&I as buzz words that don't ring true to actions. This is the time to be courageous and stand for the right thing. Surely, you're seeing injustices happening on a regular basis. The Leadership of the country has demonstrated double standards are okay. At your core heart, simply know they are not and walk your talk to do your part in ensuring this isn't a truth that you support.
Tech Companies and their commitment to supporting racial injustice are being tracked by Sherrell Dorsey and her team over at Tpinsights.com. Find more information here. I say that to say people are watching closely for how companies are showing their solidarity during this time. If you're hearing your leadership team say, I don't know what to do, send them this article from my good friend and fellow CEO, Eric Pliner.
#BlackoutDay2020 will occur on July 7, 2020 to rally economic empowerment of the Black Community. Show your support by spending monies only with black businesses on July 7th.
Check out the replay of my panel discussion on fighting racism. While you're there, subscribe to my YouTube channel as I'll be housing other impactful videos there.
Put Resources Towards Finding Solutions
Assign a task force to make a plan of action. This deserves your attention and investment. When I worked for Diageo, I clearly remember teams on the ground going to support Haiti Relief or Katrina relief. Resources were allocated to be first on the ground. This is the type of support that's needed now. The Black Community is in dire need of relief and need help from big organizations (who commit that Diversity and Inclusion is the right thing to do).
Stay accountable. Track and report out on what gets done in this area. This is an opportunity to effect great change. In order to do so, there must be extra accountability in place to ensure true actions occur.
Up the Ante on Eliminating Racial Bias
Take a risk on your talent. There is an opportunity to continually support change. Whilst you may be already engaged in Diversity and Inclusion Strategies, realize that your hiring/promotional practices may need tweaking. Most companies aren't checking temperatures like they do at the doctors office for Covid (before you let people in). Bias walks right in the door.
Expand your diversity training. One and done isn’t it. Diversify the type of training provided. Remember the concept of job switching/shadowing. Consider implementing opportunities for a day in the life of a Black Person. Truly, it will be an exceptional experience. Kudos to P&G for the videos that do a fine job at shining a light on racism. Here are two examples.
Be Courageous in Your Quest
Find black partners to educate you and your teams. There are several lists floating around black vendors you can work with in supporting your diversity needs. Don't forget to consider Simone Morris Enterprises as a vendor to work with. Here is a list that has been curated by Michelle Kim.
Be a pro-supporter for voting rights. Create education on voting for communities not understanding the importance their vote makes. Encourage your staff to vote for change.
Use your influence to effect change. Find your voice. The Black Community needs you.
Align yourself with companies who get it. Just like there’s a CEO Action Committee, there should be a Black Lives Matter CEO Committee. And if not, Black Lives Matter / Racism should be top of the list as an agenda item for the CEO Action Committee.
Create a safe space for employees to learn and grieve. Employee Resource Groups/Business Resource Groups are a powerful opportunity to be leveraged. They need to be front and center (especially the Black ERG/BRG) and can serve in an advisory role when it comes to your company's vision for supporting #blacklivesmatter. They may not have all the answers but they will appreciate the fact that you're acknowledging them and making them a part of the solution.
Make a statement. What do you plan to do? Why do you care? If you get backlash (i.e click funnel CEO) that questions your statement, continue to show up. Don't shrink back and encourage others to take a back seat. Know that there's a lot of anger being processed and you being patient and persistent will be noticed and appreciated.
Pivot from just minding your own business. I know this is fairly obvious but there comes a time where you have to stop minding your own business and take a stand. I can't think of a better time than now.
Take advantage of free resources. Attend our upcoming panel discussion on racism. Be sure to sign up here.
Educate Your Family
Teach your children about racism. Read books, listen to podcasts and walk your talk. I currently host the Inclusion School Podcast with Julie Kratz (Inclusion Strategist and Ally). Be sure to listen and check out our resource page for strategies to leverage in upping your game. We have some real talk episodes with just Julie and I having conversations about how we talk to our children about inclusion.
Become a student and learn more about anti-racism. Here are some helpful links to help you along the way.
Now that you've gotten some ideas as to what you can do to help in the fight against racism, start small. Figure out what actions you plan to commit to and follow through taking. Make a plan, track your progress, and get an accountability partner to set yourself for success.
Need More Help?
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Simone E. Morris is an Inclusion Strategist. Simone shares her message across various platforms, for example, Forbes, Medium, Thrive Global, Glassdoor, Leadercast, SmartRecruiters, Social Hire, Diversity Best Practices, Profiles in Diversity Journal, and BambooHR. She is also co-host of the Inclusion School Podcast.