Going Back to Normal is Not an Option
It’s been time for a long, long time. The death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Abery and the many others who have suffered at the hands of systemic injustice and racism in America, are victims of my complacency. It’s time to make a stand.
AS FOUNDER OF THE ATHENA GROUP, I PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY COMMIT TO ANTI-RACISM AND WILL ACTIVELY WORK TO DISMANTLE THE SYSTEMS OF WHITE SUPREMACY.
The Athena Group builds capacity to use power for good through conversation, collaboration and engagement. We believe everyone belongs and deserves to thrive – and are painfully aware that the U.S. has not arrived. Honestly, The Athena Group has not arrived! We are still a primarily white-dominant organization that has not strategically integrated equity in all that we do.
What I know is that “going back to normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic is not an option for me, or The Athena Group. Normal wasn’t all that great for me anyway, but it is downright dangerous for Black people, immigrants, and anyone that can’t be mistaken for white.
This post is a public statement about what I, and The Athena Group, will do in the near and long term to take a stand against racism.
- I will continue my own education about racism and white supremacy
- I will become more aware of my own biases
- I will become more articulate in talking about racism with my family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances
- I will not become defensive when someone points out when my actions or words are causing harm
- I am taking a 21-Day Equity Challenge for leaders
- We will integrate an equity plan into our overall company strategic plan
- We will diversify our very lovely, but very white consulting team and partners
- We will use our whiteness to reach other white folks to raise awareness about racism and white supremacy
- We will actively develop relationships with black-led organizations and other community partners to collaborate on work and amplify voices of black, indigenous and all people of color
- We will hold equity expectations and space for race conversations for all consultants working with us
- We will seek clients who are profoundly reforming white-based systems to support values across difference
- We will continue to shift our own organizational structure away from the traditional hierarchical system and towards self-organization and distributed power
These times call for acknowledgement, deep listening, restorative justice, and human-centered systems change – all cornerstones of The Athena Group work. I invite you to join us in our commitment to shaping a future we ALL want to inhabit.