This is what I think about…how companies can move toward antiracism through racial equity
I remember when I got a call from a client to do training. I shared that it was important that all members of the company understand race and racism in order to understand how to move forward in their personal and professional lives. I believe if there is not clear understanding of how the problem arose, then any d.e.i.b. effort will fail.
Some people may not know that I also do this work in honor of Mr. George Floyd. He encouraged my brother when he was in school at our alma mater, Jack Yates Senior High School. Our high school was founded by the Rev. Jack Yates, formerly enslaved, and we believe in the power of a community to create change. Well, it has been over a year since his life was taken because of racism and I wonder why the difficulty with 100% of spaces moving forward toward antiracism like we do for other issues.
I believe it does not take a lot to make a huge impact. But it does take initiative. If you are still wondering how to get started, still listening or stuck here are my top key actions to take point on antiracism and DEIB.
Phase 1: Sourcing the Hire
- Hire an outside Black or African American consultant(s) in this field for ongoing work (not just training). It matters the person or group is independent of the company/organization.
- Look on LinkedIn there are authentic, talented and impactful folx speaking, posting and leading all the time. Use #blacklinkedin or #diversityandinclusion.
- Find out their approach and vision for the work. Share information about you, your company/organization and concerns. All companies have budgets so pay equitably.
Phase 2. Survey
1. Conduct a survey that focuses on the level of understanding on proactive and reactive topics (i.e. construct of race, microaffirmations, equity, etc.)
2. Host Listening Sessions with small groups to gather information about their experience, how they feel and what they want to see moving forward.
3. Encourage 100% of board, executive leaders and employees complete the survey. With this level of buy in, you can truly see how to grow outcomes.
Phase 3: Data Analysis
1. Note the % of survey responses because it is an indicator of a gap or glow.
2. Analyze the gaps and glows of each part of the survey. It can be further disaggregated by race/ethnic identity, roles, departments, etc.
3. Pay attention to comments that rise in the survey.
4. Share data with board and employees.
Phase 4: Differentiated Training and Coaching
- All training must focus on the root cause: race, levels of racism and the impact.
- Differentiated training sessions should have mix of roles and identities in groups for some sessions and targeted to specific roles or identities for others.
- Invest in ongoing coaching for tier leaders including Affinity Group leaders, managers and directors, Chief of Diversity and Chief People Officer, Executive Leaders and Board (or related titles)
Phase 5: Goals with 30–60–90 Day Action Steps
Recommendations can be given, but it assumes that the leadership has a choice. Thus, I use the word “action” because it indicates a level of accountability for everyone.
- Develop growth goals based on quantitative and qualitative data points.
- Ensure growth goals tie to core values.
- Design an action plan around board, executive leaders and employees action steps.
- Progress monitor and share data with the entire organization.
- Provide your Black/African American employees with training that would support healing from any workplace trauma
It is hugely important that every member of any company or organization drive the outcomes toward antiracism through d.e.i.b. I am LaTonya Davis, founder of TonyaDavis.com, and I speak, consult and train on all these topics. Follow me on LinkedIn at #tonyadavistalks.