On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis when a police officer knelt on his neck for an agonizing nine and a half minutes.
His senseless death transformed a nation. His name became a rallying cry for change and a demand that each of us reflect on our beliefs, actions and intentions.
Today is a day to pause and reflect.
As human beings, let’s take a moment to think on the life of George Floyd and others like him, killed at the hands of a system that has often looked at Black people as less than. Remember that Floyd was more than a symbol. He was “Big Floyd,” a father, a mentor, a campaigner against violence, an athlete, a “mama’s boy.” He lived. His life mattered, and it was cut brutally short.
As communicators, take a moment to think of how your organization has changed — or not — in the last two years.
Have you lived up to those statements and promises you made as Americans took to the streets bearing signs with Floyd’s name and image? Are the communications you’ve sent out backed up by real action within your organization in how you hire, treat employees, serve your stakeholders and interact with the world we all share?
In all likelihood, you don’t have the power to make all these changes yourself. But comms pros have a unique ability to be a voice of accountability within our organizations, to point to the promises we’ve made and to ask: Have we done this? Are we living our values? Were our statements a reaction to a moment or a genuine pledge to transform who we are?
If you have seen progress in these last two years, celebrate those wins. But recommit yourself to action and look at where you still want to go.
Communicators lead the charge for change inside and outside our organizations. Today and every day, be bold, be brave, be compassionate. Be a voice for positive transformation in how we lift up our Black and brown coworkers, customers and neighbors.
Remember George Floyd today. Then honor his life by making diversity, equity and inclusion a way of life instead of a slogan.