SOCIAL CHANGE: EVERYONE HAS A ROLE TO PLAY (#useyourprivilege #unlearnracism)

If you are here, you are interested in learning more or contributing solutions focused on undoing the structural racism in response to the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd in 2020. Police brutality is an outcome of a system — one that sees racial disparity in policing, sentencing and accountability.

I am not an experienced organizer nor have expertise in this space; I’m just tired of seeing people say they don’t know what to do. Here’s my take on ways ordinary people can get involved: the focus is on actions to be taken (not just reading anti-racism materials). It’s really critical that we acknowledge white supremacy and racism are part of the founding of the United States, and while some change has been made the rate of change is still very far off from equity.

The list below will be actively updated as more solutions are sent my way — please send research, articles, suggested solutions, etc that you think should be added. Not interested in “Devil’s Advocate” positions or anti-black perspectives. Abusive behavior will be reported.

If you liked what you read, feel free to show gratitude with a cup of coffee.

Here’s a “table of contents” to find ideas based on your profession / expertise though I recommend you read all of them.

· CEOs

· Teachers and educators

· Lawyers and legal professionals

· Tech employees

· Marketers

· Finance and investment professionals

· Hiring managers

Here’s the Airtable. Click the Kanban tiles to learn more.

If you have an hour to spare, you could:

If you are a CEO/Founder, you could:

If you work as a teacher or within an educational space, you could:

If you are a lawyer or have JD, you could:

If you work in tech, you could:

If you work in marketing, you could:

If you work as a finance (or investment) professional, you could:

1. Revisit your process and outcomes: Map your loan (or investment) process step by step and run a report on outcomes by race, gender and other demographic data points. If there are differences in interest rates, investment amount, number of meetings to get to the same the ideal outcome, then your process needs an audit. The questions you should be asking including: what underlying factors may contribute to these differences, are there inconsistencies in the process that lead to different outcomes, what can and should be done to close them.

2. Define the parameters and targets: After auditing your process and outcomes, define and share the parameters for success. If successful loan applicants have 5 references and 20% collateral, put that in writing on all of your applications. You make your job easier sharing what the minimum (parameters) standards for strong applications are (targets).

3. Divest from private prison stocks: Research private prisons and other companies that use prison labor. Don’t reap investment for yourself or clients in these industries. Automated stock trading platforms and indices often allow you to remove specific stocks.

4. Share your knowledge and/or frameworks: Your knowledge of personal or institutional finance is worth sharing. Beyond blogging to your existing network, share your knowledge with your local small businesses especially the minority-owned ones. The goal is to reduce information asymmetry.

If you are a hiring manager within a company / organization, you could:

1. Revisit your process and outcomes: Does your recruiting process suffer from a “pipeline problem,” where you see the same type of candidate failing your filters or moving quickly through the process? You should map your process and see where individuals fall out of the funnel: ask who is falling out the funnel and why.

2. Discuss criminal background checks: Does your company have written a written policy about applicants with prior criminal charges? Based on over-policing and inconsistent standards, some of the qualified candidates may “fail” a background check especially if there is no clear cut line of what types of offenses don’t “pass.” Tell ALL candidates upfront in the early screen to start a conversation.

3. Consistent and drug policies: Some companies require drug-testing for some employees — usually only front-line and hourly employees. Drug-test everyone or no one.

4. Codify, share and require acknowledge of discrimination policies along with offer acceptance: If your company has any HR policies discussing discrimination, they should be part of the conversation about how seriously you and the company value a safe workplace. Make clear that accepting an offer also means accepting and acknowledging the importance of a workplace free from discrimination.

5. Be the leader — call out bad behavior: Managers are supposed to manage and lead. Your black employees should not have to address racist behavior from colleagues, but you as the manager should because it is important to you. Make racism and discrimination your problem to bear.

6. Clarity of job descriptions, referral and pipeline process: Revisit the active job requisitions and ask yourself: what are the real requirements for this role (are you confusing credentials for capabilities), how much are you anchoring on “target” schools or companies as a proxy for future success, and how much do you rely on referrals to source roles? In addition, if you’re the hiring manager have you set your own targets for the recruiter’s outreach: how diverse you want the funnel to be at EVERY stage of the interview process? (Added 10:30pm June 1, 2020)


I have not listed any specific organizations above because so much varies by state and region. Also, doing the research and seeing (i) the lack of options should tell you there’s a gap and your actions can help fill it and (ii) the overwhelming options tell you there’s no expert voice which is just as confusing for everyone else. The solution is to FILL the gaps where you see them and to amplify the reputable organizations and voices. Ally resources to start your journey.

About the author: Alterrell Mills holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School (2016) and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University (2010). He was the first in his family to complete a 4-year college program and comes from a family focused on serving the community. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or request business consultation to better serve your organization.



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