In the past, when confronted with an uncomfortable racial truth, I have fallen back on the line, "What do I know? I'm just a white privileged suburban matron."
Easy enough to write off my ignorance. To fend off criticism with a throwaway line.
Recent events—unconscionable and senseless—compel us all to rethink our easy liberalism and finally to answer the question: which side are you on?
As a child of immigrants who remembers the casual cruelties of classmates, I have embraced multiculturalism and diversity. As a woman who has fought for equal rights and equal pay, I have tried to be fair-handed with employees. As a female business owner who has confronted the harsh realities of the marketplace, I have reached a hand out to aspiring newbies.
All along, The Ivy Group has not been outspoken on political matters. Worse still, there are times when we go along to get along—tolerating intolerance because to speak up would be to stir up.
The time to be silent is over. To be silent is to be complicit.
Equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice matter. Black lives matter.
We will do our part by committing to:
- Engaging team members in diversity, equity, and inclusion training on company time and at company expense.
- Enacting more proactively inclusive hiring practices (we are currently very "vanilla"…) and expanding our professional networks.
- Educating ourselves on the language of anti-racism (words matter!).
- Proactively addressing racial bias in the imagery and language we use in our work.
- Offering mentorships to aspiring black-owned enterprises.
- Working with organizations, particularly in the areas of health, education, and housing that contribute to a community's quality of life.
To do less would be to do harm. That time has long passed.