15 Jun 6 things you can do right now to support our black community
by Aubrey Donnelly
Our nation is experiencing a time of great upheaval and change. On the heels of COVID-19’s still looming uncertainties, heightened awareness and unrest regarding race issues in the United States has swept the nation. Too many in our country are hurting. And that’s why it’s more important than ever to be stewards—to take care of each other.
At Simplus, we uphold Stewardship as one of our company values. To us, it means looking out for each other, being accountable for our actions, and promoting a supportive, caring culture. We have many black team members, partners, clients, and loved ones who all claim part of the Simplus family. We have open hearts and ears to learn, listen, and be good stewards.
There’s a lot of work to be done. And it won’t happen overnight. But there’s also a lot of healing we can foster by examining our lives and creating space for growth. Here are six things we’re doing here at Simplus to support our black colleagues and community members. We encourage you to do the same.
1. Lead with empathy
First of all, we’re taking a cue from our partners at Salesforce and leading with empathy. This means we put our own concerns and wishes aside and, instead, we first consider the needs and wishes of others. We’re taking the time to learn about the issues first, being sensitive to the emotional bandwidth of our black family members, and, when appropriate, opening up a dialogue. Some are more ready to talk than others, and we respect that.
2. Practice good citizenship
We all have the power to usher in change with our vote. Make sure you are registered to vote. Take some time to research the upcoming ballots and read about candidates on local, state, and national levels. Officials in every level of government can affect what daily life looks like for all of us, so be ready to cast your vote for the changes we need.
3. Watch a recommended documentary or movie
Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and Amazon Prime are all featuring great resources for understanding race issues—past and present—in America. Some of the top-recommended options are…
– Just Mercy (free to rent on digital platforms)
– 13th (Netflix)
– When They See Us (Netflix)
– If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
– Black Stories Presents: Your Attention Please (Hulu)
– The Banker (Apple TV+)
– I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime)
– Harriet Tubman: They Called Her Moses (Amazon Prime)
– …and many more!
4. Refresh your reading list
Whether it’s sitting down every night to read another chapter or tuning in to an audiobook during your commute, you can easily make time for educating yourself with some reading on the topic. Academics and novelists have been covering this topic in the nonfiction and fiction spaces for several years, and their work is more pressing now than ever. Here are some of the most frequently suggested by advocacy groups:
– How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
– I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
– So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
– The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
– When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
– White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
5. Share time and resources
If you can, consider donating to some of the many organizations leading the charge toward true equality and fair treatment serving your local community.
In addition to monetary donations, many of these organizations need volunteers to continue spreading the word and increasing awareness. Try to find time in your schedule to support these organizations—not just with your money, but with your time.
Above all, pause and listen to others at this time. Seek out perspectives and experiences different than your own. Practice listening to understand and empathize rather than listening to respond. Often, just hearing someone else’s story is the best way to forge a relationship—you don’t have to have a reply ready. Simply giving your time, concern, and attention is enough. Empowered with new insights from these kinds of conversations, you can be a better ally and friend and stand up for justice in your day-to-day life.
With deliberate efforts from each and every one of us to—all striving to be better stewards of our global family—we believe that great change is possible. Greater love, peace, and understanding are already rising. Our hearts go out to our black Simplus family members. We stand with you.
Aubrey is the Sr. Executive Admin to the CEO and People & Culture Partner at Simplus. She is passionate about helping people and maintaining a top-notch culture. Dog lover, wine connoisseur, avid traveler, and football enthusiast.