We are all brothers and sisters, and today our brothers and sisters of color need everyone – you, me everyone - to leave the stands where we cheer for justice and walk onto the field to take actions to deliver it.
I recognize that Black communities are hurting, our nation is hurting, and our own diverse Jobcase community is hurting. I mourn the needless loss of life, and I recognize the persistent racial inequities that underly their consistent occurrence. Yet in this pain, there is hope. Hope in marches to focus national attention. Hope in hugs between police & protestors. But hope and empathy aren’t enough. Actions are required if we are to right these wrongs - persistent actions backed by a collective resolve that is more determined to wipe out injustice than injustices are to persist. And to finish the job, we must think and act differently. Now.
Jobcase is an inclusive community that has always been about empowering YOU in your worklife, and leveraging any success we have as a company to advocate for worker’s rights. Success in this mission means closing the gaps of income inequalities for ALL workers and bringing balance back to capitalism and, in doing so, making our nation stronger. We will continue to pursue this mission of inclusion and empowerment for all.
But we all must acknowledge that for people of color, the current disempowerment in worklife sits on top of a system of structural racism. It is clear to me that one cannot be addressed without the other. It is also clear to me that we must not just say, all lives matter (which of course they do) but very specifically BLACK LIVES MATTER! We must no longer think it sufficient to believe ourselves colorblind at work and anti-racist in mindset, we must be intolerant of racism every time – EVERY TIME – we encounter it. We can see that not being racist in mindset just isn’t enough anymore. George Floyd is dead. Ahmaud Arbery is dead. Breonna Taylor is dead. Not in 1820 – in 2020! We must all recognize, it is time to take action.
Let’s be courageous. Let’s be the people we want our children to see. Let’s commit to not turning away from racism. Let’s no longer simply condemn it in whispers and in walk-aways. Let’s condemn it on the spot and with those practicing it. Let’s do so peacefully and with firm compassion and intent to help change mindsets. Let’s take the time to try and educate and welcome more to the ranks of this fight. Because real change will come from recruiting more people to be intolerant of structural racism – not simply hammering it back into the shadows where it creeps so insidiously throughout our culture and institutions. Real power, real change isn’t going to come from beating racists down but in helping them peel off layers of racism taught to them and building them up too. We are born to love one another. Period. Let’s remember that and confront structural racism with love – not hate. But confront we must. And now.
We will broaden our advocacy beyond work-specific issues to also address mass incarceration issues and racial achievement gap issues. We will strive to identify employers who walk-the-walk on inclusion and promote them over the talkers. Not just to inform how members select employers, but also how they spend their consumer dollars. We are launching an internal working group to identify further actions we can take at the intersection of economic justice and racial justice. We are looking to identify and promote best practices. We are looking to learn. And, we are looking to hold ourselves accountable to walking-the-walk ourselves.
You can do a LOT! We will continue to highlight best practices for employers, at all levels, to operate an inclusive company that supports economic and racial justice; but let’s start with some quick adjustments to recruiting methods you can do today:
Ban the box: 77 million people have a criminal record (19 million felonious). Nearly 40% of our current incarcerated citizens are African American despite being only 12% of the population. When people serve their time, they should not have a lifelong vocational penalty attached thereafter – ban the box asking for criminal records.
Drop artificial hurdles: Are college degrees really necessary for every job listing they are tacked onto? 35% of white Americans have attained this status compared to 20% of black or 15% of Hispanic Americans. Scrub those job requirements and you will find amazing talent that have been filtered out simply because of structural impediments to degree attainment.
Widen your recruiting funnel: One need not define employee mandates by demography, but you can easily mandate consideration of candidates of color in the assessment and application process of your hiring needs. Open the opportunity funnel and we all benefit.
Jobcase is in this fight. One land, indivisible with liberty and justice for all – includes racial justice for all. Let’s be who we were born to be. Let’s take actions not just show empathy. And together, let’s put structural racism where it belongs – on the trash-heap of history.
Fred Goff and the Jobcase Team