How businesses can address and remedy systemic social injustices

Communicators must play a central role in helping executives navigate the current upheaval and reverse centuries of inequality. The momentous journey must begin with small, yet crucial steps.

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On May 25 a black man, George Floyd, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.

Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe; he became unresponsive and then died. The horrific occurrence was recorded on video.

Those disturbing images and subsequent news reports have prompted ongoing protests, both nationwide and abroad. There is outrage, there is sadness, and our employees are feeling all of it.

In the past, companies have tended to opt out on getting involved in such cases. That’s not an option this time; silence is seen as complicity.

Many organizations will attempt to share sentiments (“thoughts and prayers”) and will fail due to things like performative allyship and gross unconscious bias. Some will focus internally only.

What happens ultimately at the macro level happens first at the micro level. Although your company can’t control the macro level, it can commit to getting deeper into diversity and inclusion work.

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