By: Brad Karsh
Founder and CEO of JB Training Solutions
Yesterday morning I felt incredibly unsure how to start our weekly all-team meeting. Even as a company that has built courses on unconscious bias and making the world more equitable, we all felt ourselves searching for the perfect words to say, and how to adequately show up for each other in this moment. How could we possibly proceed with business discussions, when everything felt so trivial compared to the deeply painful week across our city and nation?
Everyone honored the feelings we were sitting with and acknowledged that our own white privilege sheltered us from deeper feelings of pain and awareness of the years of racism and inequities that have led to where we are now. I also learned that it’s not enough to say we are not racist. We must work and work hard at being actively anti-ractist. It requires us to think internally, and act externally.
There probably isn’t just one “right” way to navigate what’s happening now, but JB is committed to learning, education, and action on this front, and we want to share the following resources to help you make work (and the world) better:
LEARN AND ACT
|Read HBR’s How Managers Can Promote Healthy Discussions About RaceChallenge 1: Set up 1 meeting by next week and start a conversation. Sample questions from the article include:– Have you experienced any barriers to success at this company related to your race?|
– What can we do better to facilitate your success and sense of inclusion?Read HBR’s U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against RacismChallenge 2: Create a space for employees to connect this week. Everyone shares: 1 thing they learned this week and 1 thing that they commit to doing. Challenge 3: Make space for feedback on what your organization can do. Create a roundtable discussion this month: What can our organization do in our community? What would activate meaningful change?Subscribe to Ellen McGirt’s newsletter raceAheadChallenge 4: Set a goal to read 1 article and take 1 action each week on an idea that was inspired by McGirt’s newsletterChallenge 5: Keep the conversation going and join JB and fellow HR colleagues as we brainstorm ways forward (more information on that below).
|We believe that it’s our responsibility to take action not only as individuals, but also as a united organization. We hope you find inspiration or ideas for your team from the actions we are committing to:1. Incorporate into quarterly & yearly goals: In an effort to build continuity and commitment to social justice into JB’s processes and procedures, we are reassessing our quarterly and yearly goals to ensure that we include specific objectives for addressing racial equity in our organization and community. 2. Host a Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable in June: We want to create a space to have more of these conversations – with all of you. Let’s get together, information share, and ideate. If you’re interested in learning more about this event, let us know by signing up here and we’ll send you an invitation.3. Start a monthly ‘Article Club’: At the beginning of the month, a different team member will circulate an article on being actively anti-racist, and we’ll start that week’s all-staff meeting by sharing reactions and perspectives on the resource. 4. VTO (Volunteer Time Off): Our team has always had the opportunity to take 1 day a year of paid leave to invest in our community. This year, we’re encouraging team members to spend that VTO day volunteering for a local cause they feel passionate about. 5. Donate to cause of choice: Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we put our money where our mouth is, and contribute to organizations that are having a direct impact on fighting racism and discrimination. A few of our team’s choices include Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, Chicago Scholars, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.|
I would love to hear from you. How are you showing up for your employees right now? What specific strategies are you putting in place to diminish privilege, foster belonging, and promote inclusivity, justice, and healing? Please let me know, and I will group responses to be shared in a future e-mail so that we can all continue to learn from each other.
As always, please let us know if JB can do anything to support you in this critical work.