As a man of color, what is happening in America isn’t lost on me. From everyday microaggressions to larger defining events, racism isn’t an anomaly for brown and black people. There are defining moments you’ll never forget; those moments when you were made to feel unsafe and unwanted. For me that was when I was slammed onto a hood of a cop car. My crime? Hanging out in a wealthy suburb where no one looked like me. I was just a kid (who ironically at the time, happened to be interning at the DA’s office in San Francisco) but that feeling of fear never left me nor did the reality that I was targeted that day. Imagine that being a constant worry for our black brothers and sisters — that just existing is a dangerous proposition. Imagine, being a young man wanting to go on a run but you can’t get the image of Ahmaud Arbery out of your head. Our nation is at a precipice and it’s time for visible, impactful action. For those of us that can and as leaders, we need to lend our time, money and voices to bettering our nation by actively working towards anti-racists measures. This means both at a personal and corporate level. Here is my call to actions. Please add to my list as well.
1) Actively donate, petition and vote. Here are some great resources: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co
2) Talk to your children about race. Honor our differences. Celebrate diverse life experiences. Visit: https://www.theconsciouskid.org for beautiful children’s books on race and human experiences
3) Hire BIPOC in both entry and senior leadership positions. Not one or two but many. A diverse workforce is a productive, richer and safer environment. Companies that are more diverse perform better too. For a simple guide on how, start here: https://guides.wsj.com/management/building-a-workplace-culture/how-to-increase-workplace-diversity/
4) Support Black Business. Black Americans make up 15% of the population. Actively carve out 15% of your household budget to support black business. That could be a restaurant, fashion brand or service like a plumber or contractor. Just google it.
5) This one is important: Never stay silent. If you see something awful happening, step in, call it out, bring attention to the matter and get involved.