“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.”
Those words are from the late Audre Lorde, an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian and civil rights activist who described herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” According to Wikipedia, she dedicated her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and homophobia.
The first two parts of this series focused on the importance of organizations moving from advocacy to activism in the Black Lives Matter movement.
How can your organization take action now to create meaningful social change? How can your organization recognize, accept and celebrate the differences among individuals all across our society?
First, it’s okay to admit your organization has some work to do.
Then, create an action plan for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Engage in meaningful education to understand the issues at play. Don’t just expect your employees of color to do the work for you. That’s not their job. Read books, take classes.
- Educate your employees. Make time to have on-site diversity training. Provide resources to your employees to make it easy for them to educate themselves.
- Encourage listening and learning.
- Practice listening and learning yourself.
- Employ empathy.
Beyond the Black Lives Movement, how can your organization create meaningful change toward the goal of social equality for all?
Brands are built from the inside out
Remember that with all marketing, brands are built from the inside out – and so is your organization’s brand in any movement for meaningful social change.
That means your employees need to do the talking. Listen to them.
Engage them. Set up committees on diversity and ask them where your organization could make a meaningful difference in honoring diversity and addressing bias and racism in the organization. Be open to entertaining all ideas and commit to acting on them. Get outside support as needed.
Create a series of Town Hall meetings to discuss the ideas to be implemented. Discuss metrics that will be put in place to measure the impact of the actions your organization is taking. Engage employees to join in the work. Commit to giving periodic updates on how the efforts are going. Make course corrections as needed to ensure that progress continues.
Remember the goal is to create meaningful, sustainable change. We all have a lot of work to do.
The Activ Consulting Group wants to know how your organization is taking action to create meaningful change. Please email us at Jane@activcg.com.