The 7 Hallmarks of an Antiracist Organization
Pivoting from status quo to radical JEDI inclusion
Shortly after our inboxes were flooded with Covid strategy emails from every brand on earth, it seemed that every company suddenly aspired to prove its non-racist status. Even companies that furloughed or fired their diversity teams at the start of the pandemic released Black Lives Matter (BLM) statements in response to the racial uprisings following George Floyd’s lynching. Unfortunately, posting a BLM statement is the lowest bar for inclusion and corporate antiracism. Simply having a BLM statement and no antiracist action to back it up is tantamount to corporate Blackwashing. The world is looking for evidence of your sustained inclusion efforts and a track record of being a good actor in your community. If you don’t have that track record, it’s time to build one. I presently ask all of my clients whether they want to lead antiracist organizations or not. It’s not a trick question. If leadership has no desire to shift or pivot toward antiracism, that is their prerogative. A focus on sustainable justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) strategies is sufficient. However, the timing has never been better to take a morally and socially accountable stance in service of the restored humanity and rights of BIPOC communities. The organizations that make this shift expeditiously and intentionally will be the clear winners on all fronts long after the largest Civil Rights movement in world is archived in the annals of history. Here’s what it takes to create sustained, accountable, and impactful antiracist organizations.
1. Antiracism starts with leadership
This may seem obvious, but consider the implications. Many organizations are taking on antiracist actions because employees and communities are applying pressure. The focus on antiracism must be supported at the highest levels of the organization in order to maintain momentum and ensure accountability and impact. The efforts will require resources and prioritization that only leadership can approve. This includes both the board of directors and the executive team. Whether we are talking about engaging BIPOC communities more equitably or establishing community level reparations, leadership must be on board and heavily involved. Antiracist…