White supremacy is real. White supremacy murdered George Floyd. White supremacy murdered Jamar Clark, Philando Castille, and many more Black individuals in Minnesota whose names we will never know. The 9-minute video doesn’t just feature a rogue officer acting out of malice. It’s not an isolated incident. It is just more proof of what Black people have been trying to tell the general public for many years: the systems that we have created in this country, from our government to our workplace to our neighborhoods, were built intentionally to exclude, silence, and erase Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
It’s not just policing.
It’s everything from our workplace leadership, cultures, and norms to our elected officials, laws, and policies. We’ve had almost two weeks to process this, so now what? Where do we even start?
I’m going to start at work. These pervasive systems have created workspaces that also intentionally exclude BIPOC, from lack of representation in leadership to excuses why making a commitment to equity is too hard to accomplish in Minnesota.
We will do better.
We set out three years ago to enable employment equity for the LGBTQ community. Through engaging in this work, it is very clear that the white majority in the Queer community forgot that the first Pride was a riot against police brutality. A riot that was led by Black and Brown transgender individuals. We will never fulfill our mission until People of Color in the LGBTQ community experience the same level of freedom and opportunity that their White counterparts have. Minnesota leads the nation in economic disparities between White and Black families and with the Black transgender community experiencing unemployment at 4x the national average, it’s never been more obvious that we have a lot to do.
Here’s where we are going to start holding ourselves accountable.
- Our 2021 Proud to Work MN Conference will feature at least 40% BIPOC speakers (2020 conference sits at 32% speakers of color)
- Mossier will provide 50 conference scholarships to black LGBTQ employees, students, and young folks
- Mossier’s Board of Directors will increase our representation of BIPOC to 60% (2020 board currently at 50% POC)
- Mossier’s membership programming, events calendar, and blog will feature recurring monthly content on anti-racism and white supremacy in the LGBTQ community that centers LGBTQ people of color presenters and experts. This isn’t a “special event”; this is our ongoing focus.
- Mossier will commit to hiring a person of color for when our next full-time opening occurs and we will aspire to a staff that is at least 50% people of color
- Mossier will develop new metrics for assessing which employers we recommend to our audiences. Those metrics will include a strong racial justice lens.
We will hold our partners and sponsors accountable, too. With our conferences, events, training, and consulting work, we will advocate for our partners and sponsors to make tangible progress on:
- Use language like White supremacy, White fragility, systemic racism, etc. For too long, we have failed to call these things out in favor of much more comfortable language like inclusion, discrimination, and bias.
- Diversify executive leadership teams and corporate boards to reflect the demographics of the city in which they are based.
- Ensure every organization has a chief diversity officer that is funded and sits within the executive leadership team.
- Develop metrics and accountability for managers when it comes to diversifying their teams and ensure continuing education on topics of race.
- Begin publicly sharing workforce data that includes recruitment, retention, and promotion figures Black employees.
- Divest from racist and/or white nationalist politicians and other political giving that harms communities of color.
- Increase funding for affinity groups and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Move foundation dollars and corporate giving to Black-led nonprofits.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community. We will remain in solidarity knowing that the path to justice will be challenging. We will not be silent.