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📜Dear Company Leaders - You might be shocked by #Floyd & the subsequent protests you saw in the US this week. I guarantee you not one of your Black employees is. So if you’re moved, angry, or concerned...good. USE THAT. Channel those emotions to propel you to action. A word.../1
Over the past few days, I’ve seen a flurry of corporate activity like tweets and donations to public causes. These external-facing displays of solidarity are great. Please keep them up. Please also know that they’re not sufficient for uplifting your Black employees./2
Racism isn’t just “out there” in police departments or rural Georgia. It’s hard wired into your organizational structures, team dynamics and individual employee experiences. How do I know? Because this is America./3
While you can't solve for slavery or racism - and nobody's asking you to - you can directly impact the extent to which your organization counters historical inequity, inequality & injustice. If you’re fired up this week, some active antiracist corporate commitments to consider./4
✔️Validate your Black employees’ humanity by communicating with them directly and personally.
✔️Curate a private memorial or other virtual space for Black employees to process and grieve.
✔️Protect Black employees’ time and ability to heal via external community gatherings, expensable coaching or therapy, and PTO.
✔️Relieve Black Employee Resource Group (ERG) members and leaders from all things. Managing the company through this is not part of their roles.
✔️At the same time, check in with Black ERG leaders to the extent that they’re energized, able and willing to be consulted.
✔️Mobilize other ERGs to ally in ways prescribed by the Black ERG or an internal or external #DiversityandInclusion leader.
✔️Hold managers accountable for checking in 1:1 with Black employees and equip them to hold that space.
✔️With Black employee consent, express solidarity in team settings & actively facilitate discussion so Black employees don’t carry the ensuing emotional labor.
✔️Message the whole company, taking care not to position this as a Black people problem or one that is removed from the workplace experience.
✔️Host an expert-led company conversation on how to be antiracist.
✔️Set quantitative goals for Black diversity, inclusion and belonging, including specific targets for Black leader representation, internal mobility and Black employee engagement.
✔️Put recurring time on the calendar now to assess progress against these quantitative goals.
*Broadcast the commitments you make companywide so there’s no turning back.*

Because the embers in Minneapolis will cool and so will your emotions. And you’ll shift your attention back to the coronavirus and remote work and Q3 priorities and [fill in the blank].
You're bearing witness to the race crisis that Black employees live every day and you should never let a good crisis go to waste.

What will you do about it? Enough is enough.
Bonus tip to mechanize all of the above:

✔️Devise a #DEI emergency response plan. This will happen again. Election 2020? Leverage whatever you did for #covid to organize a Comms decision tree across use cases. Don’t waste valuable time coordinating reactively next time.
Ask and you shall receive. At @Upwork , we're not proprietary about contributing to an antiracist society. CEO
@hydnbrwn and I are building out annotated resources to enable other companies to design active playbooks to uplift Black team members. 👇🏿✊🏿🙌🏿…
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