From the Trenches

Fostering Change From Within

A topic of much discussion within our company as of late has been, “How can we make a difference to help end racial injustice and inequality?”

Our company has always been actively involved in several charitable activities whose mission is improving educational opportunities for students in low-income communities. However, given recent events, my work colleagues and I are asking ourselves, “Is that enough?” Everyone unanimously agreed that while these are worthwhile activities they do not directly address racial injustice and inequality. The question then became, “How can we directly foster change?”

We decided to ask every member of the team how they felt we could make a difference.  We began with a management team meeting, then conducted a confidential survey of each member of the management team to gain feedback on what steps we should take.  No clear-cut answers emerged, so we pressed on.

Another management meeting was held where the results of the survey were reviewed, and after much discussion, a new idea surfaced. Why not use our corporate know-how on a pro-bono basis to partner with an underserved organization who needs our skills?

Our next step was to present this idea to every member of the company and get their input via an anonymous survey (which is in progress). We expect to land on a path forward to do our part very soon, and I will share the results with you then.

How we foster systemic change on complex issues like racial injustice and inequality will never be easy. Thoughtful planning and diligence of focus is imperative to forge a new path, a better way to be.

We have decided to own the responsibility that change begins at home—or in this case, at work. We are just one company, but we are determined to do our part. If we can all strive to have those discussions and to be open to making a difference in whatever ways we can, I believe a better world can and will emerge.

Additional recommended reading: Moving from Diversity to Inclusion.

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