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My march toward racial justice

My march toward racial justice

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Human. There’s no division in that word. It includes all of us. At times though, looking at world events, it feels like the emphasis on “human” gets lost. That we focus more on what separates us than what brings us together. When really, underneath it all, we’re all human – though being human doesn’t mean that we’re all the same. We’re individuals, and that should always be celebrated.  Still, it can be easy to get distracted and forget to remember the aspects that make us unique.

George Floyd’s death, along with the other egregious killings and shootings that lead to the outrage that the world witnessed last spring and summer, is a prime example of loss of perspective on what it means to be human. It was in the midst of these events that I knew I needed to bring the conversation of racial injustice from our twitter and Instagram feeds into the office setting.

I gathered a team and dove into researching historical issues and the underlying landscape of racism. My efforts were supported by the newly-formed Black Leadership Council (BLC), as we all knew we needed to open the dialogue to educate our colleagues, create a safe space to allow people to ask questions, and keep our collective focus on the human element as a way to begin to turn these moments into a movement here at Buck.

Rooted in our desire to educate, we took our Canadian and American colleagues through a deep dive into what systemic racism is, shared personal stories, and encouraged questions. The reception was overwhelming, and we knew that we had achieved our goal: Focusing on what makes each of us human and allowing our hearts to educate and inform our actions.

Not only was this work transformational for our team, it was transformational for our audience as well. There was true realization that these up-front and difficult conversations about what divides us were long overdue and necessary steps to start to understand and digest the events that were unfolding around us. People from across the business with different backgrounds, levels of awareness, and implicit biases reached out with appreciation for beginning the discussion and acknowledgment that this isn’t a business problem, it’s a human problem.

We’re in unprecedented times. We’ve all seen things in the last year that we’ll be telling our grandkids about and that will be recorded in the history books of their children. And as leaders in our organizations, we have the responsibility to learn from our history to pave way for a new path forward.

We all need to be part of this change. Every little action counts. Even if it’s something as simple as talking to someone about what you’ve read here today. That’s a step in the right direction. Speak up.  Stand up. Advocate for each other. Especially for those who may not have anyone to stand up for them.

This Black History Month, we not only celebrate the progress made by our people in the past, but we also celebrate the progress that we’re making today as we work together to build a brighter future for ourselves and our fellow humans.

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