Patricia Arredondo & Courtland Lee
AAG Senior Consultants
There are not enough words to describe the sentiments of sadness, outrage, despair, frustration, and anger felt by millions of people around the world in response to the recent murders of four African Americans—George Floyd, Breeona Taylor, Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, and Tony McDade. The deliberate racist nature of these killings has laid bare a greater virus in the U.S. than COVID-19. We are not in a post-racial period as had been spouted following the election of President Barack Obama. In spite of his accomplishment in winning the presidency, he was insulted during his first State of the Union address and was subjected to subtle and not-so subtle racist jabs throughout his two terms. This pattern of disrespect, disregard, and discrimination toward Black and African American people is historic and constant—and it has to end.
For 400 years, this country has enslaved, belittled, and oppressed Black, African American and people who are visibly different than the white majority; racism is the dominant illness in the U.S. It persists in schools, universities, workplaces, restaurants, supermarkets, public spaces like parks, auto dealerships, neighborhoods, real estate agencies, banks, medical offices, sports and sport outings, and many other settings that can be considered part of everyday life. Incidents of racism or suspected crimes occur on a daily basis for Blacks in this country. We have a responsibility to end this behavior in our schools, workplaces, and public spaces and can make progress by recognizing and using our social or economic privilege for social justice advocacy.
The AAG is committed to advancing organizational diversity management strategies in universities and other organizations. Our work is based on the values of equity, respect, inclusion, and cultural competency. These values mean we as individual consultants and as a team, also intentionally work on ourselves to be better listeners, partners for change, and social justice advocates in the workplace and in our communities.
Keeping alive the memory of George Floyd is essential. His unfortunate death has catalyzed so many of us to raise our voices in protest, to write statements of unity with our Black and African American colleagues and friends, and to lend support to family members who are African American. As social justice advocates, we will continue to engage proactively to address inequities and to champion the rights of all peoples. #Blacklivesmatter