Teary eyed commercials, flag waving music and multi-million-dollar donations to non -profit organizations. On the surface, it appears as if corporate America is all in for unity, inclusiveness, blah blah blah.
Stop playing, if you want to know if a company is serious about helping to stop systemic racism, look at their past behavior. Check out their activities before Covid-19 and George Floyd. No company is perfect, many are trying hard but willingly admit they don’t have all the answers. But others are using these events to fake diversity and inclusion in order to gain a few points when our country desperately needs authenticity.
The proof is in the mix:
- How many Black, Latinx, Asian and Native Americans do you have on your Board of Directors?
- How many Black, Latinx, Asian and Native Americans do you have in the C-Suite with budgets and staff?
- What programs have you created and supported that genuinely impact black and brown communities?
- How much money, compared to other non-minority programs, have you slated for black and brown programs, vendors, suppliers, summer interns, and so forth?
- Did you speak up quickly? In the words of CNN’s Don Lemon “Where Are You?”
And finally, are you donating to the same old organizations or are you looking for bright, young, for-profit, talented people of color who are just looking for an opportunity to shine.
The answer is simple: Real leadership and commitment is evident before a crisis and continues long after the media coverage fades.