What Can My Organization Say About Anti-Racism?
Question: What can organizations say or what can their response be to the current environment when it comes to racism? Especially when some people in the organization may have a racist viewpoint? And how can we become more diverse as an organization at both the board level and the working levels?
This goes back to your company values and being able to tie any message, whatever it is, to the values that your company already stands for because this is your shared agreement with both your internal and external community and supporters. In a case like this, no matter what is happening around it, whether you agree with protests or not or, the Black Lives Matter organization or not, it’s about restating your values with your community.
Confused about what you need to say? It can feel really big and confusing, but all you have to do is stand up and say
“Hey, what we saw was wrong and we want to let our company know both internally and externally, that we don’t stand behind anything like that. What we do stand for is X, Y, Z values”.
You’re just restating your values. You can even leave out the first part to say:
“hey, as a company, we don’t stand for any injustice. What we do stand for, however, is X, Y, and Z.”
You can make it a simple statement. The main point is that you stand up and say something.
This is why companies spend so much time on their values. By using their values and making this statement, companies can support the world in the sense of supporting humanity and also let their employees know that they support them.
When a company doesn’t say something and there are people internally or externally in your community who believe in a cause or are part of a group, this shows that the company doesn’t really support it’s community.
If an organization has any people of color within it’s community and they have not said anything or made a statement, we would urge you to say something right away. The reason time is of the essence is because the people of color in your organization are hurting, they’re frustrated, they’re angry and they’re wondering why the company that they are giving their best time, talent and skills to isn’t supporting them back.
If not supporting employees is not the intention, then every organization has to make that right by speaking up. Every organization must be able to step up and to say something. And saying something in a timely matter is critical.
The main point that most organizations need to hear is this:
>>You don’t have to agree with the methods.
>>You don’t have to agree with protesting.
>>You don’t have to agree with the organizations involved in the movement.
What every organization is agreeing with is that life is valuable.
Every organization is agreeing with supporting people living.
At the core, this is what Black Lives Matter is about. Supporting people living.
Life is valuable. That’s what we’re talking about here, right?
We often underestimate our own sphere of influence. Many people feel like they don’t have a large platform. Since this movement started, many people have stepped up and have done simple things, like written e-mails or had conversations with leadership.
Every person can use their own influence and experience to talk about and raise concerns about the things that are happening all around us. Every person can help clear the confusion and point a way forward.
A lot of times taking that first step can go much farther than we expect and can actually produce the results that we want to see in regards to getting companies to take a stand.
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