As the person responsible for public statements and ensuring your organization is represented in the best light possible, what do you do when you receive yet another notification about a senseless act of racially motivated violence that has occurred in our country? Whether directly or indirectly, your team, your customers, your community are all affected by it so how would that look if you say nothing even when saying something is so hard.
It seems that there is a tragic act or realization every week that needs addressing and the weight can become overwhelming during this critical point in history laden with heightened racial tension and public scrutiny. We empathize with you, but the fact of the matter is, we create more harm when we don’t address it. We uphold systemic oppression and harmful biases when we don’t actively tear them down.
Going beyond making “just another public statement about diversity, equity, and inclusion” requires emotional labor. It requires us to pause and think about our roles (individually, organizationally, racially, and as a society) how we have contributed to the problems. As we reflected on the tragic event that occurred on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta GA we considered how this explicit racist event connects to micro instances of racism in the workplace.
Before you craft and publish your next statement of solidarity, we invite you to reflect and ask yourselves how racism that may be perpetuated in organizations mirror the attitudes and beliefs of our larger society. Think about:
- The ways you have allowed your own biases to intentionally or unintentionally bar Asian communities from professional growth within your own organization. Check out the “further reading links” at the end of this article.
- What are your/your organizations biases fueled by?
- What impact does the lack of Asian representation have now and in the future for your organization and our Asian communities (individually and as a collective)?
- What can you do to be more inclusive of Asian populations internally and externally?
- What support do you need to identify and make changes?
More important than putting out a statement is the action and authenticity behind it. Without real empathy and real change we will continue to do more harm than good.
“Less perfection, more authenticity”
To read our statement about the March 16, 2021 events in Atlanta GA, click here.
Harvard Law School – The Model Minority Myth