Earlier this year the senseless murder of George Floyd, combined with the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on populations of color inspired the most visible protests against racial inequality in the U.S. since the civil rights movement. News media was abuzz, major brands issued well-crafted statements, and civic leaders convened community conversations.
At an individual level, I heard from many people who weren’t quite sure what action they could take beyond being vocal on social media. As nearly six months have passed since Mr. Floyd’s death, I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve done to help address inequity in my corner of the world.
This intractable issue compels each of us to act in different ways, big and small. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” I hope my sharing these six personal actions sparks ideas for others to find new ways to engage in this work:
Self-education. I continued my multi-year journey to better understand systemic racism and how to address it. There is no shortage of easily accessible books, podcasts, and videos we can use to learn at our own pace. Three resources I found especially compelling this year include How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, Slow Burn: Season 4 (David Duke) podcast, and John Lewis: Good Trouble.
- Shared learning. I convened a group of white friends eager to increase our understanding of racial injustice and white privilege. We meet bi-weekly over Zoom and discuss shared learnings from the content we’ve consumed together over the previous two weeks.
- Strategic volunteering. I answered AMA Triangle’s call for volunteers to design and implement strategies to advance our chapter’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Grassroots volunteering. I’ve occasionally volunteered for a couple of nonpartisan organizations focused on safe, secure, and accessible elections. What better way to
empower people in a democracy than to ensure they’re able to vote.
- Professional training. I’m in the process of becoming a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE). I’ve taken the course and passed the exam. The final step is a professional project I plan to complete in the coming months.
- Business consulting. As part of my consulting practice, I’ve been working with The Diversity Movement, a Raleigh-based company that helps organizations embed
diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into the core of their businesses. It’s quite fulfilling to support scalable DEI impact in the corporate sector.
I’m proud of AMA Triangle for our commitment to address inequity within our marketing community.
Join us on January 7 for a discussion to support each other’s continued learning, wherever we are in our journey of understanding and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Written by AMA Triangle’s AVP of DEI, Chris Herndon