By Chioma Onwutalobi
I don’t believe in short-term measures. The racist incidents we have experienced in the past week didn’t just begin, but rather they are a product of years of institutional racism and systematic oppression. For hundreds of years, individuals have failed to speak up, failed to educate their children and have ignored opportunities to support this movement. Thankfully, in this past week we have witnessed more people and brands taking active steps towards uplifting black voices, some out of sincere and legitimate support, and others due to an indirect sense of obligation. Whatever the case may be, it is important that we don’t allow this moment to come and go. This is an opportunity for us all to make sustainable changes and overthrow the status quo. There’s no room for excuses anymore, it is time to focus on solutions and be the change. As a business with influence, here’s how you can help to make a long term impact that goes beyond just showing your support on social media.
Implement diverse marketing. In countries like the USA, minority groups will make up the majority of the population by 2040. Exposing people from mainstream ethnic backgrounds to diversity through marketing and comms is a step towards creating acceptance and inclusivity within society
Hire more people from minority backgrounds while being conscious of tokenism. Take active steps to create a diverse workplace. Your interaction with a colleague or employee of minority background contributes towards an experience that determines whether or not hey feel like they belong, are included and are valued. Create a safe space for difficult conversations.
Support organisations that raise awareness. There’s only so much you can do, so it is important to also support anti-racism organisations, so these experts with knowledge of the community can receive enough resources to educate, raise awareness and support those who have been affected
Commit to placing a proportionate percentage of ethnic-owned brands on your shelves. In doing this, you’ll be pumping billions into those communities.
Support the training of people from disadvantaged backgrounds in your field, so that they are empowered to occupy more space in the industry. True equality will not exist until these groups have an equal seat at the table. Until equality is achieved, racism will continue to manifest itself in many disguised forms.