The death of George Floyd, the problems of systemic racism, violence and brutality that our POC communities have suffered from the authorities, and protests around the world have been terrible. This week I had to deal with what happened to my team and work out a plan for how we as a company should react.
We have POCs in our team and are a central part of our community here in the United States and around the world. We have run numerous programs aimed at supporting D&I initiatives and consider our role in the fight against inequality and injustice as one of our most important tasks, but we do not always understand it correctly. I don't always get it right. I know we have to do better.
The first thing I did this week was to apologize to my team for not responding earlier and more directly to what was happening. On Monday morning I tried to write something to make it public, but I couldn't find the right words and was paralyzed by the fear of misunderstanding it tonally. That's how many of us feel in the business world, but of course that's wrong. As many have said, silence is complicity and that is not who we are. Black lives count. This movement is important. Take bold action. Doing something that feels scary and risky.
It is imperative that we use this moment to fight violence and racism harder than ever. We need to work as a team and with our community to reinforce the voices and stories of those who are affected and affected by what is happening. Now, more than ever, we have to lead with empathy and support the black community in this fight for justice.
Yes, we should publish messages of support and our willingness to join the struggle for equality and justice. Yes, we should find out how we can use and influence our platform to influence the problem as much as possible. But we can and should do so much more.
Here are three areas that we are particularly focused on, and I encourage you to do the same. This list is by no means exhaustive, so please let me know if you have additional ideas on how we can be more effective and influence the problem even more.
It is imperative that we support those who are most affected by the protests, especially those who are detained and unable to pay bail. You can provide support by making a donation to The National Bail Fund Networkthat has a full directory of bail funds by state. ActBlue has also set up a secure donation link that you can use to send money to 37 national deposit. Crowdcentric fits together for every dollar an employee donates. Rolling Stone also shared a helpful breakdown of suggested causes and campaigns that you can currently support.
Another area that is of great interest to me personally is funding police reform and ways to adapt policies to combat police violence.
The police operation project has reviewed the rules for the use of police force in America's largest city police departments to determine if they include reasonable protection against police violence. They compared the use of violence by the police with data on police killings to determine if there was a relationship between the two. They finally found that police agencies with policies that clearly restrict when and how officers use violence recorded significantly fewer killings than those who did not.
You can learn more about their approach, analysis and results Here. Please take the opportunity to support your future work.
The exercise of our civic responsibility is particularly important for ensuring long-term solutions that form the core of these problems. This starts with the removal of officials who do not represent our core values and the vote on those who defend black human rights and end systemic racism, police violence and brutality.
To fix the problem, we need to change the system. According to a recent article by President Obama, this begins with the elected officials who are most important in reforming police services and the work of the criminal justice system at state and local levels.
"If we want to make real changes, the choice is not between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to ensure that we choose candidates who respond to reforms. "
Voting is not just about registering and fulfilling your personal responsibilities. It is important that we get as many people as possible to vote. Here are a number of ideas and resources to help promote the importance of voting in future elections:
- Make sure you are registered to vote: Visit "Vote Save America" and confirm your voter status. You can check here.
- Assume a battlefield state: Just because you do not live in a battlefield country does not mean that you cannot have much influence in helping voters in those countries to make their decision and vote on election day.
- Vote by email: Postal voting is an essential way to ensure that the 2020 elections can take place safely, securely and on time. Get your postal vote here. It only takes two minutes.
I am wholeheartedly convinced that we as a nation are not aware of the history and impact of systemic racism in this country and around the world. We need to invest our time to be better informed and develop a deeper understanding and awareness that enables us to put ourselves in black communities that suffer from racists and bigots.
As a good start, our friends from Tribeca Film Festival have put together this fantastic list of films and books to help us learn about systemic racism, police brutality, and unconscious prejudice. We also added some of our own:
- Anna Deavere Smith and HBO& # 39; S "Notes from the field"
- Bryan Stevenson"Just Mercy: A History of Justice and Redemption" and the adaptation of the same name
- The documentary "Mandela" from 1996
- Ta-Nehisi Coates"Between the world and me" and "We were in power for eight years"
- Sylvia Riveria & # 39; s "Y & # 39; all Better Quiet Down" speech
- "The End of Police Work" by Alex S. Vitale
- "Assata: An Autobiography" by Assata Shakur
- "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson"
- A practical guide to abolishing the police
- Robin DiAngelo"White Fragility"
- Netflix's "When They See Us", co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay
- "Knows How I Do: Considerations on the Race of a Privileged Son" by Tim Wise
As I said, this is by no means all we can do, but it is a beginning and a way forward and an opportunity for us to take action not only now but until real change occurs.
We are proud to be part of this fight and hope that you will join us and other leaders and organizations in our industry and do everything we can to not waste this moment.
Many thanks to my team for their support and contribution to this contribution and for holding me accountable in my role as CEO.
Selected image courtesy of Lorie Shaull.
The contribution How do we react? first appeared on Social Media Week.