As you can imagine, the past few weeks have been deeply painful for those of us in the Black community. The world has witnessed the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We also saw the incident in Central Park in which a white woman attempted to use race to weaponize her local police force against an innocent Black man. These incidents are rooted in systemic racism and are neither new nor isolated.
In recent weeks, many of you have asked what can be done to help. Below are a few items we would like to share.
Be an agent of change within your organization:
- If you own a company or manage a team, ask yourself two questions: 1) Are there any Black people in my core workforce/on my team? 2) Are there any Black people in leadership positions? If there aren’t, do something to change that.
- Check-in with your coworkers (fellow classmates and friends) about how they’re doing and open the dialogue around racial justice/equity.
- Talk to your leadership and human resources teams about what programs they have in place to address racial inequities in hiring, retention, and career progression (e.g., Power To Fly conference).
- Encourage your company to match donations fighting racial injustice.
- Join the affinity networks at your company as an ally.
- Encourage your organization’s leaders to leverage insights from external subject matter experts (e.g., Manny Scott – Subject matter expert on intercultural competence).
- Talk to your investors about what programs they have to invest in more Black entrepreneurs.
Support Black-owned businesses:
- Seek out and support Black-owned businesses in your community. This list of Stanford GSB alumni Black-owned businesses will continue to be updated.
- Open an account at a Black-owned bank.
- Use apps that are focused on raising awareness of Black-owned businesses (e.g., Official Black Wall Street, I Am Black Business).
Support organizations at the frontlines of fighting racial injustice:
- See a complete list of organizations on the Black Alumni Chapter site. Note: Organizations listed by the Black Alumni Chapter does not imply an endorsement from Stanford GSB.
- Learn more about how you can support Stanford GSB philanthropic efforts.
Talk to your children:
- Prepare: Center for Racial Justice in Education provides tips for tackling difficult topics.
- Discuss: American Academy of Pediatrics gives pointers on how to start these conversations.
- Expose: Read books that have diverse lead characters and teach racial literacy.
Educate yourself about the Black Lives Matter movement:
Leverage the power of social media to promote racial justice and the importance of Black lives:
- Go to the social media of a Black person that you know, and either pick something that person has posted and reshare it on your own profiles with context as to why it means something to you, or, ask your friend which piece of content they’d hope that you would share with the world.
- If you don’t have content from anyone in your network that you’d like to share, find something relevant with a global perspective on these issues and share it via your social profiles (e.g., Trevor Noah’s recent video about Black Lives Matter).
- Find related content from entertainers, comedians, or other celebrities that explore issues of race with a possibly lighter tone (e.g., Comedy segment from Michael Che).
We look forward to increasing the dialogue with you all and hope that this helps us grow stronger together.
— GSB Black Alumni Chapter