Giving Compass’ Take:
• Darren Walker tells corporate leaders that if they really want to support Black lives, they need to make system-level changes, not just mass donations.
• How do any gaps in workers’ rights have disproportionate effects on Black workers? What are you doing to ensure your corporate policies value Black lives?
• Learn more about how you can deconstruct racist systems and support Black lives.
Since protests over the killing of George Floyd erupted across the country, I’ve received numerous calls from corporate CEOs who want to know what they should do, and where can they quickly donate $10 million dollars to advance the cause of racial justice?
The first thing I do is remind them of Martin Luther King Jr.’s caution that philanthropy must not be used to obscure the economic injustices that make it necessary. The frustration and rage we’re seeing across the country aren’t just about a racist system of policing.
It’s also about original sins–a genocide of Native Americans and enslavement of Black Africans whose stolen land and labor built this country’s wealth, enriching countless white people and their descendants in the process. It’s about the predations of modern-day capitalism that have allowed a privileged few to hoard the lion’s share of the nation’s wealth, effectively consigning Black folks to the bottom rung of the economic ladder.
Here are 9 things every corporate leader can do to improve Black lives.
1. Remake your C suite
2. Hire and advance more Black people
3. Get involved in the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative
4. Pay your employees a living wage
5. Provide a safe and healthy workplace
6. Provide paid sick and family leave
7. Reconsider executive compensation
8. Advocate for a more progressive tax code
9. Advocate for shareholder reforms
While the millions in onetime donations are appreciated, a permanent commitment to reducing racial inequality through changes in your own practices would be more meaningful. Outsourcing the work of racial justice isn’t sufficient when a broken system of capitalism has produced indefensible levels of wealth for owners and daily insecurity for workers. The corporate sector has the responsibility–and the ability–to act now.
Read the full article about how corporate leaders can support Black lives by Darren Walker at TIME Magazine.
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