Last week I was driving home and saw a lone teenage protestor holding a sign in support of the anti-racism movement. Upon seeing her, I had an immediate feeling of solidarity – I only wish I would have been bold enough to stop the car and say so. I was inspired by the site of a young teenage girl who was brave enough to stand alone and raise her voice.
My own voice seems muted in comparison to hers. What part can I play? How do I show support for our collective responsibility to combat systemic discrimination and racism?
There are those whose voices are more amplified than most – celebrities, politicians, and even leaders of organizations like mine. Over the last few weeks I have watched how different people use their voice, and specifically who chooses not to use their platform to show support.
Today, in the form of this blog, I am choosing to support the teenager who raised her sign in my neighbourhood. I’m choosing to support those who are much more courageous than me. I’m choosing not to stay silent, and in some small way, I hope you find inspiration and your own way to support the anti-racism movement.
I do not see systemic racism as a mere political issue – I see it as a human issue.
A friend asked me with curiosity why our organization would engage in a “political” act of supporting the anti-racism movement by posting supportive messages on social media. She shared that while leaders in her organization talked about sharing a message related to this, they ultimately chose not to because of their policy not to get involved in “politics.”
While we had a respectful conversation, I was clear that I do not see systemic racism as a mere political issue – I see it as a human issue. Racism is far beyond anything political. Rather, it is a problem that cuts to the core of who we are, or, more importantly, who we are not as a society. And if organizational leaders are not willing to raise their voice against racism for fear of losing clients – or because of some outdated archaic policy about not getting involved in “politics” – that is just sad and, dare I say, wrong.
In our organization, staff and leaders have been spending time talking about our current environment. Some staff have shared about their own experiences of discrimination based on their ethnicity and race. And collectively, we are asking questions like, “What can we do?” and “What can we offer as an organization?”
As a result of these conversations, we quickly made a change to our previously scheduled free webinar and are now offering a one-hour webinar on the topic of Diversity and Culture – Strategies for Working with Differences. You can watch it for free at any time.
I also want to highlight three helpful articles found on our organization’s blog. These articles offer ideas and steps that an organization can take to promote diversity, cultural awareness, and constructive dialogue:
- Beyond Tolerance: How to Create Inclusion
- 3 Ways to Leverage Diversity Within Your Organization
- How to Practice Constructive Dialogue
Please share these free resources with those in your network. This act of sharing and building awareness is one way we can all show support for the anti-racism movement. For my part, I will continue to ask myself and my organization what we can do to support the anti-racist movement.
For more FREE RESOURCES on this topic and others, visit our free resources page.