Reading Time: 4 minutes
Change (v): The act or instance of making or becoming different.
On May 9th, 1969, Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons on his show, to join him and cool his feet in a small plastic wading pool. ⠀
At this time, many African-Americans weren’t permitted to use public pools. After their time together, Mr. Rogers helped him dry his feet. ⠀
He never preached on his show but his simple act of kindness spoke volumes. ⠀
In a world where you can be anything, be like Mr. Rogers.
This was a post that went out on some of our partner accounts that we’ve created.
For a long time though, I didn’t know what to post, what to say, or the proper way to say it to show my support for Black lives and racial inequality. Then I saw this on someone’s LinkedIn post, immediately I knew I had to share the story because it resonates with me so much.
Mr. Rogers’ show had so many lessons and so many learning opportunities. This story spoke to me and not only that, it spoke to how I wanted to reevaluate where we are as a company and where we want to go. So, in reflection, we’re going to make some changes because I believe that change starts where you are. My hope is that our changes can help you and your business grow in the best way possible too.
A handful of us contributed to this blog, which is something that we’ve never done before. So by each section, someone’s name will represent what they brought to this blog as us all coming together to represent the company.
Using More Inclusive Photos – Kaitlyn
While we do have images of different varieties, ethnicities, and total inclusion, when writing content for ourselves and for others, we can be more inclusive showcasing all of the different types of people the nation and world have.
When searching for photos, make sure you’re thinking about this too. If you’re a certain ethnicity, add some variety of others in your posts. Add different backgrounds in your blogs and remember that each person resonates with something different.
Talk With Your Team, Your Friends, Your Peers – Alexa
Arguably the most powerful catalyst in a social movement is the conversations generated from it. We have found ourselves within an ongoing movement and our conversations seem more important than ever.
Whether you are surrounded by like-minded people or not, it’s important to check in with your friends, family, and team members. Not to simply gauge opinion-based responses, instead to express empathy with those closest to you. This has been a time of unity, strength, and change for some, and others are grappled with guilt, fear, anger, and strain. Now more than ever before, I believe people should be listening to the pain of others attempting to understand the experiences that have shaped them.
As a society, we’re at a turning point where we will no longer take inequality, injustice, and misrepresentation based on one’s race or background. As we push for a better system and society let’s keep in mind that “Inclusion is making sure people’s voices are being heard; being in the conversation, not just the topic of conversation,” Massah David.
Instead of talking about what is changing in our society, talk to the people fighting for that change, hurt by its lack, or experienced the weight of oppression. As we seek to become a more equal nation, let’s learn by listening, let’s be willing to have hard conversations with empathy as our “why.”
Craft Your Social Media Posts – Kaitlyn
Social media has brought us together and has brought such an opportunity to share opinions, tips, lessons and so much more. Use it to benefit you by carefully crafting your social media posts.
When posting, make sure it’s from the heart. Make sure it matches your brand’s vision and message. Make sure it resonates with your values. Be respectful of others while still being respectful to yourself and your company – even if it takes you longer to get it out there.
In difficult times like these, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t need to automatically post something the same day. Sometimes, in order to make a difference, you need to make sure it’s the right message for you. Think about things and get second opinions when you’re posting.
Make Changes In The Workplace – Sam
The key to wanting change is actually implementing change. Too often in everyday scenarios do we find ourselves thinking about change without putting forth any effort into making it happen. The reality of the world’s issues today lies so heavily in the fact that people assumed things were different without ever doing anything to make them different.
That’s why we find it so important now to provide you with actionable items that can genuinely make a difference in your business from now until forever. Consider adding the following items to your to-do list to enforce equality in your workplace:
- Add what is tolerated and what isn’t to your company’s handbook so everyone’s on the same page
- Implement rhetoric about diversity in your values and mission statements
- Grow your team diversely with people of color for a variety of contributions and perspectives
- Encourage continuing education about diversity in and outside of the workplace
- Make it clear to your employees, clients, and customers that you are an ally
Resources To Help
Being the change is always going to be easier said than done. In these times, we must find ways to stand for one another and make a difference. These changes are not a social trend but a movement towards equality all over the world. We have to start with educating ourselves. Here are some resources you can do or apply to make a change in our society, workplace, home, and more:
Starting or Signing Petitions:
Donating to Funds:
Read Books & Watch Films to Educate Yourself
Free Courses in Diversity and Inclusion:
Times like these can be overwhelming, so we were sent this article by a meditation specialist to help us de-stress and unwind:
- Consider creating a book club to talk about some of the books mentioned
- Consider creating a Slack channel for people to add in ideas or to brainstorm
Be The Change
Be vocal, be willing to learn, and be the listener. Acknowledge what you can do to make a difference. Some items that we’re already internally changing are:
- Adding more inclusive photos of Black & Latinx people to our blog images and throughout our future posts
- Adding more inclusive photos to our social media sites
- Researching a book for our next month’s book club that is from a person of color
We acknowledge that we don’t have all of the answers, but we’re learning, growing, and know that we’re all better when we do things together. I felt like this quote was the perfect one to end with, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” -Gandhi
– The team at South Street & Co.