Last week in this spot, after I discussed my feelings around the murder of George Floyd and explained how the Women in Retail Leadership Circle will always stand against racism of any kind, I asked all of you for some ideas on how we can work together to end racial injustice and become better allies. And, as I suspected from our fabulous and supportive community, I heard from many of you. In the opener today, I will share some of the ideas that came across my desk, as well as some valuable resources I found over the past week to help retail business leaders fight racism and become better allies. Here are some ideas I gleaned from our community:
- Read Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s column on his own anger.
- Employ people of color, pay fair wages, and train for higher paying positions.
- Make an intentional and deliberate commitment to meet, work with, and help women of color in business.
- Read this heartfelt and moving article by Anthea Kelsick, co-CEO of B Lab U.S. and Canada.
- Educate ourselves before engaging, educating and influencing others. To help with this goal, read “How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi. (Also, check out Brene Brown’s podcast interview with Kendi; it’s fantastic.)
- Donate money to vetted organizations where it would be put to good use, such as the NAACP.
And here are some valuable resources I found that may be helpful to you:
- This USA Today article lists 100 ways you can take action against racism right now. Importantly, it lists several vetted organizations to donate money to support the cause.
- LinkedIn has made its seven-course learning program, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All, free through the end of June. Check it out here.
- Korn Ferry is hosting a series of webinars this week called Race Matters. For more information and to register, click here.
- This Fast Company article discusses a plea from Aurora James, founder of the Brooklyn boutique Brother Vellies, for major retailers across the U.S. to commit to buying 15 percent of their merchandise from black-owned businesses. The campaign is dubbed the 15 Percent Pledge.
- This great list from New York Magazine features 125 black-owned businesses (headquartered all over the country and online) that you can support, in seven different categories from beauty to bookstores to gift shops, among others.
- The Female Quotient has put together a webinar series on how to “turn words into action, become true allies, and address racism head-on.” You can register for the series, called the “Virtual Equality Lounge®: Moving From Conversation to Action,” here.
- In this thought-provoking and often hilarious Ted Talk, writer, comedian and commentator Baratunde Thurston reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing — while challenging us all to level up.
- Here’s a list of books designed specifically to help you understand and dismantle racism.
- This video, a part of the Harvard Business Review’s “HBR Quarantines Series,” discusses several actions leaders must take to address systemic racism.
Let’s keep this dialogue going. Please continue to send any ideas, comments, thoughts or feelings to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.