This week, it has become clear that besides a health pandemic, we have yet another, even greater challenge to tackle together: real and raw discussions about racial injustice in America and the pure outrage that has ensued in recent days.
This outrage is not new. For too many in our society, and for some of my colleagues, it has been a reality of life. As a leader of an organization full of young, smart communicators, we have spent considerable time over the past 5 years encouraging all G&S employees to bring their entire selves to work each and every day. With that comes tough conversations, constant growth and a journey that involves both real steps forward and new, bigger challenges.
As we watch the latest and shocking challenges unfold on live TV and social media, corporations and companies like ours have an opportunity to lean into the fear, anger and anxiety and embrace it with compassion, concern, education and action against social injustice and inequity.
Some say it is naïve to think like-minded organizations can create a wave of momentum to bring real change when so many before us have fallen short. But I feel we can do better. We must do better. It is our responsibility to be stewards of continued, positive change.
Once again, I find myself truly inspired by the outpouring of compassion from within my own company. Employees are listening, watching, making their voices heard, and so many more are finding their voices and taking action. This powerful excerpt I received from one of my colleagues on Friday supports my optimism about emerging stronger from the current crises.
“This is a topic I care deeply about, and the last few days have me feeling tremendous conflict about what my role as an advocate should be. Like you, I think creating space for these discussions and understanding the importance of listening is so critical. What has been so awakening for me this week is the idea that what I’ve been framing as listening could also be perceived as silence, and even worse, complicity or endorsement...To be active rather than passive in my D&I advocacy, without losing sight of my belief that the perspectives of others carry at least as much weight, and likely far more, than my own.”
The future of equality and opportunity is a collective responsibility. Let’s double down and work together to bring our voices, ideas and action together to make a difference.