Black Lives Matter
I am tired. My community is hurting.
When will we see change? When will we be treated equally?
The problem of systemic racism is not new in the world, and certainly not in the United States. Being a young, black woman in the US, I don’t have the choice of whether these issues matter to me. I am born into them because of the color of my skin.
The most recent situations we are seeing nationwide are not new. They are embedded in the system of America. They were sparked again because there was yet another murder of an innocent black man, George Floyd, by a police officer in Minnesota.
After a video surfaced on the internet, the black community and our allies stepped up to the plate to spread awareness and hold the 4 police officers involved accountable for their heinous, and murderous actions against George Floyd. It is by these efforts that we are working to bring justice to Floyd and his family. But our efforts don’t stop here. We’ve seen countless peaceful protests across the globe, people spreading awareness and advocating for black people in solidarity of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The black community and our allies will continue to put in the work because we must be heard in order to be equal. There is power in numbers, so we need more people to step up to support black lives and call out injustice when they see it and hold people accountable.
What can you do to help?
Black people don’t have all the answers, but there have been many black people in this country in the past week and many, many times before that have shared what can be done to support us.
- Listen. Listen to the perspectives and stories of black people because these are the stories that matter right now and need to be heard. Listen to how you can be supportive.
- Have empathy. If you are a non-black person, you’ll never understand what it’s like to be black in America, and I wouldn’t wish these injustices on anyone. Be empathetic and have an open mind.
- Educate. It is the responsibility of everyone to educate themselves and the people around them on these issues of systematic racism that have tarnished our world. I always try to recommend books, movies and documentaries to help understand. Here are a few resources that I’ve dived into to further educate myself and some that have been suggested to me.
- Movies/documentaries: 13th, The Hate U Give, When They See Us.
- Books: The New Jim Crow, Between the World and Me, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Hate U Give, White Fragility
- There are many more resources, but actively looking for credible sources is key. Never stop educating yourself.
- Advocate and support. Support us. Speak up for us. Defend us. Spread awareness. It cannot only be black and brown people doing the work to enact change. Do not stay silent. Staying silent is part of the problem.
- Act. Vote people in office that acknowledge and support the struggles of black people. Donate if you have the means. Use your education to educate others. Protest peacefully. Call your local governments and speak up on the change you want to see.
Black people are tired of the injustices, inequalities, and racism, but we won’t stop fighting for what is right. We want to live in a world where the black community does not have to fear when doing day to day tasks.
Non-black people need to do more. Disrupt the harmful stereotypes and misconceptions. We are trying to improve the coexistence of any race or origin, but this starts with black lives.
Have an open mind. Just because you may have thought one way in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t own up to your mistakes, learn more, and change your mind.
I want to thank the employees and leaders at Schneider Electric that have spoken up to show their support and have asked how they can help. Schneider is 100% committed to inclusion, but many agree that we need to tip the needle to get more people of color in our organization, specifically in the US. Only 6% of US employees at Schneider are black, a stark percentage when there are 13% of black people in the US overall. How can we help at Schneider and beyond? Share open job positions with your friends and family of color and advocate for them in the process.
In the words of our CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, “The future is not canceled”. We all have a responsibility to build a better future, and the work doesn’t stop here. We must keep going until we get to a place of equality.
About the Author
Isabel Barbosa is an Employer Branding Content Specialist at Schneider Electric. She has been with Schneider since September 2018, when she started as an intern while finishing her senior year in college. Isabel is passionate about areas in diversity and inclusion and tries to advocate for those voices that are the minority.