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5 Things Your Business Can Do Now to Fight Racism — and Keep the Fight Going
Business Resources to Take Immediate Action and Commit to Ongoing Structural Work to Dismantle White Supremacy
“We recognize that it is not enough to be quietly non-racist, and that we have a responsibility to become vocal, visible anti-racist leaders,” writes B Lab U.S. & Canada Co-CEO Anthea Kelsick in a letter in early June to the community of Certified B Corporations.
Inclusion, equity and interdependence are integral parts of the B Corp community and each business that certifies. But the inequalities borne out along race lines, prominently visible in the United States, show that inclusion without a specific focus on anti-racism training, resourcing, action and accountability has clearly not been enough.
Whether your business has been working on anti-racism initiatives, policies and practices for years or this is your business’s and your own first steps on this journey, B Lab U.S. & Canada has researched and pulled together recommended resources for getting started and staying committed. Find links to these and more resources on B Lab’s Anti-Racism Resources page.
Immediate Action: Petitions, Civic Engagement and Donations
Using your voice — and your company’s — to publicly support efforts to end police brutality and seek justice for Black people who have lost their lives, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, is an immediate way to take action. Other immediate steps include making calls to policymakers both locally and in cities that are actively demonstrating for change as well as donating, as you or your business are able, to those seeking justice and policy change, such as 8 Can’t Wait, and those creating bailout funds for protestors. The Anti-Racism Resources page has additional links and a script for making calls you can use.
Team Management and Supporting Black Staff
Learn from resources designed to help people lead teams during traumatic times and periods of political divide and unrest. There are additional, specific resources for Black team members — an effective justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) framework requires specific courses of action for your BIPOC employees to be effective. To create lasting, systemic change at your organization, bring in professional consultants to guide your team’s anti-racism journey: B Corps such as Provoc, TMI Consulting, Change Catalyst, Praxis Consulting Group and Sweet Livity are good places to start.
And, because true change begins with the individual, commit yourself to the reading and education for where you currently are so you can dismantle white supremacy in your personal and professional life. Here are a few book selections to start with from the larger list on the resource page:
- Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard
- The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
- Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson and Syrus Marcus Ware
- Path to Reconciliation reading list
- Black History Month Library
Work With Black-Owned Businesses
Join or take inspiration from the 15% Pledge, designed to get major retailers to buy 15% of products from Black-owned businesses. Examine whether any supplier relationships could transition to Black-owned businesses. The Anti-Racism Resources page has a growing opt-in list of Black-owned B Corps, as well as options for individual purchases, such as We Buy Black and The Black Wallet.
Support Organizations That Have Been Doing Anti-Racism Work
While signing a petition and making a donation are good immediate action steps, consider the ongoing ways your business can support organizations that have been leading on anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy. This list includes Black Lives Matter, the Racial Justice Network, and more. This support can include taking part in financial protests, which are being coordinated in June, July and beyond. Find additional organizations and details about financial protests on the Anti-Racism Resources page.
For White People: Become an Effective Ally
Becoming an ally is a process rather than an identity, and ongoing education and listening are necessary. These resources from the Dismantle Collective and Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein include articles, books, films, and videos to launch your journey or help you continue from where you are today.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
5 Things Your Business Can Do Now to Fight Racism — and Keep the Fight Going was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.