Racism and the George Floyd Protests (Public Statement)June 1, 2020
A Message From Catalyst
The toll of Covid-19 has impacted all of us, profoundly. For people of color, that impact has been disproportionate and overwhelming.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the killings of George Floyd, after buying cigarettes at a deli in Minneapolis; of Ahmaud Arbery, jogging in Glynn County, Georgia; and of Breonna Taylor, an EMT sleeping in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. Their deaths have led to global protests and highlighted the systemic racism in the United States. The day after Floyd’s death, this news was only compounded, when we bore witness to video of the disturbing confrontation in New York City’s Central Park involving Amy Cooper, who called police to falsely accuse an African-American man, Christian Cooper, of threatening her.
There is a cumulative toll for Black communities and people of color in this country and across the globe. There is a burden – the risks and fear faced daily for themselves, their sons and daughters and loved ones due to institutional racism, prejudice, and bias. And while it has dominated the news cycle this past week, we at Catalyst know it is foundational in American history and affects all of us.
Today, and every day, everyone must do the hard work and have challenging conversations to expose racism and bias and understand each other’s experiences and perspectives. There are no simple solutions. But we must have constructive dialogue and work to dismantle structures that systematically disadvantage some and advantage others.
The public conversations on race taking place now underscore the responsibility of employers to address workplace inequities. Emotional tax, racism, and the unconscious and conscious bias that people of color face on a daily basis in organizations around the world requires all of us to educate ourselves about how to correct bias and lead inclusively, valuing empathy and taking action.
Catalyst stands against racism in the workplace and in the world. We all have work to do. We are committed to tackling inequity within the Catalyst community and beyond. If we work together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable future.
Catalyst President & CEO