During our third fully virtual event of the year on November 17, we were extremely excited to host Morgan Matthews, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Belonging at Peloton and Kennedy Ihezie, Senior Director, Global Diversity, Inclusion & Equity at AIG, for a fireside chat on the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in and outside of the workplace, the shift in D&I concepts and terminology and eliminating bias and advancing Black and diverse talent. No topic was off limits during this intimate conversation which brought to life challenges DEI professionals face today: data, storytelling, explorations of what it is at stake, interventions that work and the path forward.
The workplace is a unique environment. It’s one of the few places where different genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientations and other identities are present. We learned that racism can be manifested through beliefs, policies, attitudes, and actions and that racism comes in several forms, including: Individual or internalized racism, interpersonal racism, institutional racism, structural racism. The spotlight in 2020 has been on being Black in America and on the centuries of racial divide in this country. But DEI is a big bucket where we very often group together people of color, gender diversity, lgbtq+ diversity. As CSR practitioners we must work to move forward with a mindfulness of employees’ differences and intersectionality while acknowledging the uncomfortable and emotionally charged reality that there is a disproportionate impact for BIPOC Americans which was amplified during the pandemic.
At the end of the conversation we were left to ponder: Is this going to be a movement or a moment? We realize our members want to support one another, now more than ever – here are some actions you can take.
• Vote Your Values: Democracy works when we all participate fully in our elections. If you’re not yet registered to vote, you can register at: https://vote.gov/. (In Person & By Mail in some jurisdictions. Please contact your local government if you are outside the U.S.)
• The census was designed as a tool to ensure adequate representation. Participating in the census is vital as it determines resources for your community that include federal funding, congressional representation, funding for new schools, hospitals, roads and more. The Census can be completed online, through the mail, or by phone, making it convenient for every citizen to participate. Fill out the 2020 Census: https://my2020census.gov/ (Virtual)
• Take the pledge to add your voice to protecting and restoring places where significant African American history happened with the National Trust for Historic Preservation African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. (Virtual)
• Learn more about Amnesty International’s RightsNow! Campaign, which focuses on the ways in which issues of equality intersect with the reality of COVID-19.
• Sign the Ascend Pledge to support efforts to combat anti-Asian stigma, as well as all forms of bias and discrimination.
• Speak out if you witness a hate crime or incident. Stop AAPI Hate has tips for both those experiencing hate and those witnessing it.
• Join the NAACP “We Are Done Dying” campaign and demand justice for George Floyd.
• Advocate for Human Rights with Amnesty International and tell Congress to restrict the use of deadly force by police by advancing the Peace Act.
• Take Hollaback!’s Bystander Intervention training to help stop anti-Asian American and xenophobic harassment •
Help lift up critical, at-risk missions related to Diversity & Inclusion with Catchafire Foundation (Virtual)
• Join a local affiliate of the National Urban League, a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice and help elevate standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved groups (Virtual)
Fight Racism with the UN (Virtual)
• Help small businesses, many that are under-resourced and run primarily by diverse entrepreneurs, through Start Small Think Big! (Virtual & In Person)
Increase the number of women of color in the digital space with Black Girls Code and encourage girls of color to become innovators in STEM fields (Virtual & In Person)
• Embrace Race offers a variety of opportunities to help in their work in to raise a race-brave generation of children. (Virtual & In Person)