Addressing sensitive topics requires special consideration and empathy. Approaching conversations at work about the ongoing racial injustices Black people are facing can be intimidating and complex, but the most important step is to start talking.
By recognizing the emotional labour many of your employees are taking on right now in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, not only will you be acknowledging the varied impacts of the issues and their causes, but you will also be better equipped to support your Black employees moving forward.
Michèle Newton is guided by what she describes as a “better together” philosophy—growing relationships, nurturing collaborations and facilitating partnerships, especially those with a shared focus on strengthening our community. She cites the key actions Canadian businesses can take in order to respond to Black Lives Matter include self-reflection, acknowledgement and atonement and devising an action plan.
To do meaningful anti-racist work, you have to be ready for a lifetime of learning and self-correction. You might make some mistakes along the way, but by putting forth the effort to try to authentically connect with your Black employees, you’ll be helping to improve their workplace experience—and your own.
Michèle is one of four directors of Konvo Media, a black-owned Public Relations and Communications Agency, Michèle provides consulting services to both large and small clients. She has over 25 years professional experience across different industry sectors including: packaged goods, beauty services, financial services, retail development, real estate, arts, entertainment, municipal government and not-for-profit.