We all need to stand up. Racial equity starts with you; today and the next day until the constructed systemic apparatus of racism is dismantled. All lives don’t matter, until Black Lives Matter! We all have to learn to become Anti-Racist.
Before speaking at the open forum, I had the opportunity to discuss with Dr Kelley Carter Jackson about what she is observing in the recent series of tumult. She undertook head-on the All Lives Matter crowd affirming in her presentation:
All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter.
(Too NOT Only).
All lives matter is dismissive, distracting, and denial.Dr. Kelly Carter Jackson
The following are my remarks delivered to approximately five thousand co-workers in the Open Community Forum: Racial Equity Starts with You.
Open Community Forum Remarks
Thank you, Jacki.
Welcome everyone to the Community Open Forum: Creating Impactful Change. My name is Kirt Morris and I am an immigrant and have personally experienced the weight racism in our society. I am also, the co-lead of the US Multicultural Business Resource Group ([BRG]). On behalf of the BRG, we wanted to say thank you for making space in your day to join us for this critical dialogue.
Our objective today is to create a safe space for our black community to share your thoughts and feelings on the recent events that display the continued pervasive and systematic racism in our country. It’s your choice if you want to participate by video or not. This event is for you.
We are saddened beyond words for what brings us here today but we are hopeful that, through this forum and through conversations and actions in the weeks and months to come, we can press forward together and truly create change that will last, and that will help Dentsu to be a truly inclusive and supportive workplace. This requires a sustained commitment to systemic inclusion, which is driven by behaviours of each of us and is much more than just the conversation of racism, but racism and racial justice are what our conversation is about today.
The format of the forum will be very fluid, with some thought starters via an anonymous instant survey tool to kick us off; and conversation will be guided by our moderator. We are thrilled and honoured to have activist, scholar and author Dr Kellie Carter Jackson with us today.
Kellie Carter Jackson is the Knafel Assistant Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she will be a Newhouse Faculty Fellow in the Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College. She is the author of Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (UPenn Press, 2019). In 2019, Force and Freedom was a finalist for the MAAH Stone Prize Book Award. Carter Jackson is also co-editor of Reconsidering Roots: Race, Politics, & Memory. Together, Erica Ball and Carter Jackson have curated the largest collection of essays dedicated to understanding the history and impact of Alex Haley’s Roots. Carter Jackson was also featured in the History Channel’s documentary, Roots: A History Revealed which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2016. Her essays have been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR Transition Magazine, The Conversation, Black Perspectives, and Quartz. You can follow her on twitter @kcarterjackson.
[Other works by Dr. Jackson include: The Double Standard of the American Riot]
So, before our conversations begin, we will be using the anonymous crowd-sourcing instant survey tool that I mentioned, called Thought Exchange, to help us not only capture a large volume of perspectives but also to understand the prevalent themes on your mind. I will now turn it over to Jen Paterno, Director Talent Strategy, Culture & Engagement to kick us off with the tool, thank you.
We all have to do our part. The following video was taken during a protest in my subdivision: