It’s everywhere. Many organizations and businesses have made statements about racial injustice and police brutality – stating they are standing with the Black community. When Black Lives Matter first came out, it was condemned by folks and many people refused to utter the phrase. Now, #BlackLivesMatter is seen in statements, emails, and all over social media. I will say that I’m feeling indifferent. And here’s why…
Warning: The rest of this post will not be comfortable to read.
Black Lives Matter is more than a moment. Many of our ancestors were brought to the “New World” and were bought and sold as commodities to build the economy. They were mistreated by slave owners, the medical profession, and other professions. We, as Black people, are still being impacted by trauma, policies, and institutions that uphold white supremacy supremacist ideals.
Organizations who serve Black and Brown Communities… Do Better!
You claim to stand with the communities you serve, but you mistreat your Black and Brown employees by silencing their voices, trying to make them conform, underpaying them for their expertise, keeping them from advancing their careers – the list goes on. And that’s even if you have Black and Brown employees for the Black and Brown communities you are serving.
Did you know that having staff that reflect the identity of the communities your organization serve can help to reduce bias?
Did you also know that diversity does not equal inclusion does not equal equity? And your one-time diversity training? How’s that working for you BIPOC staff?
When your organization says #BlackLivesMatter, that includes your Black staff.
Black lives have been exploited long enough. Our lives are more than a moment. Jumping on the solidarity statement train does not absolve the trauma experienced by your former and current employees. This is not the time to look good because everyone else is making statements.
#BlackLivesMatter is a movement. We matter because we’ve been abused, oppressed, and ignored for so long.
For those in academia or those who need data, there is literature on Critical Race Theory, anti-blackness, and oppression. #Googleisyourfriend. The issue is the research is dismissed and critiqued by “experts” who refuse to acknowledge the expertise of Black scholars.
For executives and HR, STOP TRAUMATIZING YOUR BIPOC (Black+Indigenous+People of Color) STAFF! I cannot say this enough. That one-time diversity training – it’s not enough. Closely monitoring the sick time of your BIPOC staff, but not your non-BIPOC staff, is unacceptable. Tokenizing your BIPOC staff is harmful. Not acknowledging and celebrating the success and accomplishments of your BIPOC staff is demoralizing. Serious question: Have you checked in on your staff during this time?
Be sincere, authentic, and transparent with your next steps in this MOVEMENT! Making a statement is a small step – this is not the time to lose momentum. When you state #BlackLivesMatter, know that people are watching you to see if your statement matches your vision, mission, values, and actions.
Don’t get caught up in the moment.