Knoetic Curations: Racial Justice and Inequality
For the past few months, we've been sharing content to help you and your teams navigate tectonic changes in how we work. COVID emerged suddenly and rippled through our workplaces, communities and economy. It was an exogenous event that turned our world upside down, seemingly overnight.
But the events of the past few weeks remind us that the greatest challenge we face as a society didn't emerge overnight. Racial inequality has persisted for years, decades, and generations. This injustice has shaped all of us. It is embedded in every part of our society.
And in contrast to our swift COVID response, we have long-tolerated a status quo that is intolerable.
But it feels like the tide might be turning, and we need to fuel that change. This week, I wanted to share a few resources that I have found useful for me—as a CEO and as a human being—in confronting issues of racial injustice and inequality.
We've also highlighted organizations we've vetted and personally donated to – and welcome any further recommendations.
To begin, I'd recommend reading through Firstmark's excellent set of resources on racial justice:
Firstmark's Resources for Education on Racial Justice
1. How to discuss race and politics
There is a national—and global—conversation happening about racism, the responsibility of government, and social and economic injustice. It’s no longer viable to ignore these issues, or pretend they don't impact our work:
- How to Manage Your Team in Times of Political Trauma. We are living in a time of deep uncertainty and anxiety. Here are some thoughtful lessons on how best to manage a team given this reality.
- How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Work. More than ever, there are likely going to be difficult conversations happening at all levels of your company. Seek to engage responsibly.
- Almanac Free template: Check-in with your team. A template for team-wide emails and how to communicate more effectively and empathetically in a fraught environment.
It's incumbent on all of us to be actively anti-racist, and take steps in our own personal and professional lives to embody those values. Here's where to start:
- Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good. Greater Good put together a set of pieces that explore our potential to recognize and reduce prejudice in society (and within ourselves).
- Antiracism Resources OR Anti-racism resources for white people. These resources are intended to help many of us deepen our anti-racism work.
3. For parents & kids
One of the most challenging—but most important—conversations we can engage in is a discussion of race and racism with our kids. This is a confusing time, but it's important not to shy away from this discussion.
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup. This is the best curated roundup of resources for how to discuss race and racism with kids.
4. Workshops and Programs
A debate continues to rage about the effectiveness of implicit/unconscious bias trainings. Here are a few helpful reads on the topic.
- Discussion of implicit bias programs. It's a complicated issue, but this article does a nice job of summarizing the nuance around implicit bias programs.
- Mastercard on Unconscious Bias. Another helpful discussion of what your DE&I programs and trainings can (and can't) accomplish.
- Unconscious bias training that helps shift the Paradigm.
5. Act and Give
It should be profoundly clear to all of us at this point that something must change. There is no silver bullet. But change starts with each and every one of us, and that means taking action beyond our words.
I'd encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can. I'll personally share a few organizations that I have found to be doing good work:
- 8 Can't Wait and Campaign Zero are taking a data-driven approach to ending police brutality.
- Equal Justice Initiative is working to end mass incarceration and racial inequality.
- The NAACP continues to work to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality.
As business leaders, we all have an obligation—and an opportunity—to effect positive change. I hope the Knoetic community can continue to serve as a resource as we embark on this mission.