It is not a slogan or bandwagon issue. It is something we need to embrace, respect, and acknowledge as part of the momentum necessary to move our country forward on one of the most challenging topics: racism.
It saddens, frustrates and candidly angers us all because racial equality should not even be a topic for discussion, let alone one mired in senseless murders, violence, and bigotry. Yet, here we are in 2020.
A victim of a senseless police murder. Mr. Floyd joins the ranks of many others who have befallen the same fate. How is this possible? Why is this still happening?
Perhaps you have felt the same anger, frustration and hopelessness too? Watching the peaceful protests with a sense of pride, a hallmark of our nation’s history, and then sadly seeing some violence erupt from those protests suddenly makes us frustrated again.
Maybe you are wondering what you can do…what can your organization do…to make a positive impact in what feels like an impossible situation?
Today I would like to offer three steps that I believe will help us support each other, learn more about these complex issues, and offer a variety of actions each of us can take in our respective communities.
LISTENING – We need to start inside our organizations. We need to take the risk and open up with each other…share our feelings…even if we aren’t entirely sure what we are feeling right now. Perhaps now is the time for you to step up and lead the internal effort to create forums for discussion, sharing, and support for every employee?
LEARNING – Next we need to educate ourselves on what is happening. Invest some time and explore various websites dedicated to this issue. Talk with your colleagues, friends and clergy about resources in your community, and most importantly take the time to better understand the different perspectives apart from traditional news media.
www.naacp.org – one of the longtime voices for the African American community
www.charitynavigator.org – a premier charity tracking organization that will help you find well respected organizations for you to consider donating to or learning more about
DOING – Expressing our collective anger is simply not enough. As we listen and learn we are naturally more confident to take action. Doing something is what matters most. Consider supporting a peaceful protest, reaching out to local organizations in your community, or even getting involved on a broader scale.
How About You
I know it is not easy to speak up, learn about sensitive topics, or take action. We might not get it right every time; however, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing ourselves forward.
As you consider your role, reach out and let me know what you’re thinking. Communicating with each other is more important than ever.
Jay Kuhns is a human resources executive, leadership coach, speaker, consultant and is the author of Unstoppable Power, Leverage Energy, Risk and Relationships and Advance Your Leadership Career. He is a “Type A” leader who understands that human resources leadership is about high energy, creativity, strong personal connections and making changes that push organizations forward.