Black America remains under attack by systemic racism. George Floyd was murdered by a system that criminalizes Black people for simply existing. This system is rooted in white supremacy, and until it is eradicated, Black people and other marginalized communities will never truly be free.
In the past two weeks, we witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement emerge into mainstream conversations. We saw brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Nike utilizing the power of their platforms to share bold messages needed to educate and spark widespread change. By doing so, these companies help keep this conversation alive and growing, while exposing these issues to the masses.
However, you don’t need to be a big brand to make an impact. Last year, I volunteered as a Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the American Advertising Federation of Tampa Bay, where I helped organize the first speaker event focused on racial bias in the ad industry. Professionals of color spoke candidly about the challenges of navigating the predominantly white world of advertising and shared advice on how to nurture more inclusive work environments.
Through experiences like this, I’ve learned that the struggles I face as an Asian-American woman are different than the ones that my Black neighbors face. However, we shouldn’t let our struggles divide us, but rather, stand together in fighting against oppression and systemic racism. When we create a safe space for honest and open dialogue, we allow our individual voices to become a collective power that is needed to affect change.
We cannot wait until another Black person is slain to confront racism. If we support Black lives, it should mean we support more than just a person’s existence. We need to support a world that empowers and celebrates persons for who they are. So it’s up to every one of us to fight racism and create a world that values us all.
We each have a platform as well as a responsibility to use it wisely.
How you can help start to make changes on this topic:
- Educate yourself. Share what you’ve learned. Have difficult conversations.
- Support and respect the right to protest peacefully. Attend one yourself or speak to someone who participated in a BLM protest to understand why protesting is an important piece for the cause.
- Register to vote and make sure you vote in every election. Most of the change that needs to happen is at your local and state level. Your vote matters in who is the next mayor, city council member, county commissioner, and on up.
- Sign petitions to classify the KKK as a terrorist organization. It is with the goal to eradicate the organization altogether.
- Support Black owned businesses in your community.
About our “Platform for Change” blog series:
We abide by five core values at Pyper, Inc: learning, caring, results, strength, and enjoyment. We have created this blog series where we’ll share our unique experiences on how these values cross over into our personal lives, our industry, our clients, or what is happening in our world. Most importantly, we’ll discuss how these values can create a platform for change for the better.
This blog serves as the first in a series and represents learning and caring. Because we care about each other and our clients, we collaborate to build trust and aim to understand perspectives other than our own. Our team members have a responsibility to be constantly learning as industry trends, technologies, and our clients’ businesses are always evolving.