Pursuing Racial Justice in our Places of Employment

Hi again! If this is your first time here, I am so incredibly honored that you would take time out of your day to read my thoughts. If you are a returner, welcome back! Glad to hear I keep you entertained 🙂

I am so glad that you are continuing this conversation. Did you order a book yet? One of my best friends and I just started reading one of the books together…I’m pretty sure we have polar political views, but I learn and grow so much from my conversations with her. Plus, it is so much easier to walk through life with real, deep, hard conversation having, laughing until our belly hurts, friends. 10/10 recommend.

My current favorite book is “I’m Still Here, Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown Here are the deets. **If financially, you cannot afford to buy a book, please email me, or text me. We can make a way**

On Monday, as I was scrolling…you know that thing we do that seems to bring us more stress than joy these days… I was scrolling and came across an advocate who posted a template for holding our employers accountable. It got me thinking, who else needs to be held accountable? Who else claims to love all people, yet is currently (maybe unknowingly) missing the mark? What can we do to help these places understand that they have to show support to their communities? I think we can do this while also supporting our places of employment, our churches, our favorite organizations, and set a path of building bridges rather than burning them.

We have to start somewhere, here is where I want to encourage you to start with me.

  1. Hold your employers accountable for speaking up! Using a template like Rachel Cargle has posted can help you draft an email that is full of grace, understanding, but also demands action to be taken. I sent this to my place of employment’s leadership team yesterday, and it has opened the conversation to what else can be done.

In seasons like these, we want our BIPOC (reminder; black indigenous and people of color) co-workers to know that we are allies, and are learning how to be safe spaces, not just voices on social media. This is how we show them that we are here, we stand with them.

2. Advocate for employee education (while continuing to educate yourself, of course) at your workplace. Companies like Signi Consulting, and Race Forward, and The Diversity Gap do diversity training, and consultations for employers, educators, and in the classroom. Talk to your supervisors, and executive teams today about what you can do to help them move forward steps they have already set in place, or help them put new educational tools, and training opportunities in place. Ask for these trainings to fall under your next fiscal year departmental budget request…it takes time, but you can make it happen.SHRM has a great formula for employers, but it starts with collecting data for needs of your organization…this is where we come in, your employer needs to know the NEED is real, and it is needed today. We want diversity and inclusion in our workplaces.

3. Ask your employer about Employee Resource Groups, Task Force’s, Committees, and other ways that your company is intentionally setting aside time to initiate, plan, and execute inclusivity, activism, and awareness about race issues, and other social justice issues. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) can be a great way for people with similar minds to come together and end racism in the workplace. Be the Bridge has an incredible program that Christian companies and Churches can do. There is also this group Showing Up For Racial Justice.

And Finally,Take time to do research, and answer these questions:

Is your office a place that is welcoming of all hair styles and clothing styles?

Is your office a place that welcomes conversations, and ideas from everyone (or do you have a dominant voice that often hushes others in meetings)?

Is your place of work cautious and attentive to the need for diversity in leadership?

Is your place of work inclusive and aware of religious and cultural holidays that need to be honored and respected (even if they disagree with the orthodoxy of the belief)?

Thank you for reading through this, the final step (and a step I will also repeat daily) is to start your own research, do the homework for yourself and find organizations and individuals who are doing trainings near you who can help you understand what is needed from the industry you are in.

See you tomorrow!