History has its eyes on you. Do your part. The change starts with you and me.
Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, chief diversity officer at Microsoft, “Relentless empathy: When hate demands critical leadership”:
“There was once a time when work was work and life was life. Managers and leaders didn’t engage in or inquire into the personal lives of their employees, and employees didn’t share anything about their life beyond the work they were expected to deliver each day. Those days are clearly long over, largely due to the realities of a global workforce, the industry’s expanded understanding of the power of empathy-driven leadership. Our identities are showing up in our daily work and the expectations of employees are starting to shift.
Another place where we are seeing similar shifts is in the ways that employees are thinking about and talking about acts of identity-based hate and violence that happen outside of the workplace. These realities can impact the way that members of many communities feel and experience their daily lives. While I have personal perspective on this as well as professional perspective as a D&I leader, I recognize that my proximity can only take me so far. It is most important that we create space to listen to members of each community and understand what is needed in moments like this. As just one perspective, Megan Carpenter shared her reflections, as a Black woman, as a D&I professional, and agreed to let me share her post.”
Megan Carpenter, diversity and inclusion communications and events director at Microsoft, “Get it wrong for me: What I need from allies”:
“So now when an interested ally asks me, ‘what can I do’… I feel differently. I am too tired to carry this alone, now I am ready to put people to work. I am ready to have high expectations, or really any expectations of those around me to show up. I am ready to ask for and assume that those who want to be an ally to me and my community will show up in the ways that I need them to, and not in the ways that they want to.
Now, when someone asks, ‘what do you need from me’, I say, ‘I need you to learn, I need you to care’. Somehow, we’ve all evolved to underestimate the power of learning and the power of seeking to understand. Knowing what things harm me is a sign that you value me. We’ve come to expect we will just magically know all of this without having to work at it, to think we have to act immediately without first understanding, and to believe we can’t make mistakes. This is the difference between an eager ally and an informed ally. I personally don’t want the flashy signs or symbols of allyship, I’m not looking for the buttons and t-shirts and hashtags (there are many dissenting opinions here both in the D&I space and even within community). I want an ally who pays attention to what is happening outside their own community or perspective. I want an ally who knows that these things are happening to people like me, without me needing to tell them that they are happening to people like me.
Then I want an ally who works to change their individual behavior and change the system around us for the better. Not just one or the other. I want a bunch of people who are interested in becoming allies to me to get it wrong. Because I promise, you will get it wrong, likely more than once. But please get it wrong, for me. Be wrong on my behalf. Try stuff, learn stuff, make attempts, and fail. Embrace the discomfort of not knowing, of not being certain, of not understanding and then be motivated enough to learn and get better. I will give you grace if you give me effort. We are risking our lives; you can risk getting things wrong.
I often point people to my favorite book on the topic of race, by Seattle author and activist Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want To Talk About Race. I consider it the perfect book for anyone looking to begin their learning journey on this topic. An especially easy way for executives and leaders to expand their awareness is to sign up for Ellen McGirt’s Fortune raceAhead, which shares regular reflections on current events across a number of identities and communities.”
Historic moment to take action for racial justice and equality
Silence is violence. Inaction is racism.
Ways to take action:
- Call your representatives, demand justice and action, change the system
- Donate/get involved with the following non-profits:
- https://www.naacpldf.org/ — NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- https://thelovelandfoundation.org/ funds therapy for Black women and girls.
- https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/ — The Minnesota Freedom Fund is a community based nonprofit that combats the harms of incarceration by paying bail for low-income individuals.
- https://www.stillsherises.org/ — Still She Rises is the first holistic defense office in the country dedicated exclusively to the representation of mothers in both the criminal and civil legal systems.
- https://eji.org/ — Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.
- https://www.splcenter.org/ — Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies.
- https://www.innocenceproject.org/ — The Innocence Project exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices.
- https://www.theconsciouskid.org/ — The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. We partner with organizations, children’s museums, schools, and families across the country to promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups.
- https://www.byp100.org/ — BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. They focus on leadership development for Black youth, direct action organizing, advocacy, and education. Support by donating.
- https://colorofchange.org/ — As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.
- https://www.wpaonline.org/ — Women’s Prison Association works with women at all stages of criminal justice involvement, promotes alternatives to incarceration, and helps women build the lives they want for themselves and their families after the release.
- https://www.whenweallvote.org/ — Help us fight for fair, safe, and accessible voting for all Americans.