racial equity demands

letter

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

& Sexual Harassment Prevention

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email template:

[Date]

Hi [insert supervisor name]

 

I am emailing to better understand how [company]  is taking steps in solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. [Insert quotes, statistics on the industry problems around racial equity, and how it’s their responsibility to set a standard] As a committed employee, I know this company cares about its employees diversity, equity, and inclusion.  In order to work towards an equitable,  safe, and inclusive environment, I wanted to request the following steps for our company:

 

Suggested Requests [Choose from where do you think your company is ready to go and push them to do more] 

 

INTERNAL CULTURE REQUESTS: 

  • Reassessment of company’s value & mission towards diversity 

  • Reassessment of recruitment, hiring, and career development 

  • Reassessment of partnerships with external vendors, contractors, artists, etc. 

  • Investigations  of pay inequities and hiring: staff, leaderships, Board of Directors etc. 

  • Accountability for racism and sexisim in the workplace

  • Anti-racist professional development for staff and leadership through external consulting group

  • Commitment to designing tangible steps for inclusivity at company

  • Investment in long term equity and inclusion initiatives: positions, committees, campaigns, etc. (that do not further labor BIPOC without pay). 

  • Public statement to staff that stands in deliberate solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement and with clear and tangible action steps.

  • Hold facilitated dialogues on the current climate with the intent for building more respect and learning. 

  • Allow for paid mental health days, especially BIPOC staff.

 

EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENT REQUESTS:

  • Matching donations, % of profits and proceeds go to BLM organizations

  • Built in staff community service days, protest days, etc. 

  • Long term financial investment in the Black community through matching donations or contributing a percentage of profits

  • Hiring Black vendors, hiring Black artists, Black contractors etc. 

  • Engagement and pipeline programs

    • Recruiting from Historically Black Colleges & Universities 

    • Apprenticeships, Fellowships, and Mentorship programs for BIPOC

 

There is urgency in the conversations happening in the world to address this issue.  We need to see a commitment from leadership for the long term, not just for the short term. 

 

Thank you for reviewing my request.

[insert name] 

 

TIPS:

 

  • Approach your company in good faith.  Assume that they care about this moment and that standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement will only strengthen the company culture. Tie it to your company’s current missions and values to diversity, if possible. 

 

  • Be sure to request dates of when your accommodation can be met.

 

  • Even if your company is unable to figure out tangible action steps at the moment, ask for their commitment in figuring it out with full transparency and urgency. Call out empty or grand gestures. 

 

  • For all non-black staff: Listen to Black staff. Listen to Black staff. Oh yeah, listen to Black staff without laboring them. Ask your BIPOC colleagues for consent to engage in organizing efforts.

 

  • For all non-black POC STAFF: While all BIPOC staff are impacted by systemic racism it is important that we center the Black community. 

 

  • For all WHITE staff: If you are white, don’t be afraid to make mistakes  -- but move with intention. It is your job to call in your white colleagues.  

 

  • Find your allies and co-conspirators in your workplace, get other people to sign on to this email. None of us can do this alone. Make sure to work together to hold yourselves and your company accountable. 

Photo credit: Janine Namgung, CTLG STUDIO

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