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Updated: July 6, 2020 10 things

10 Things I know about ... How companies respond to George Floyd's killing

10) If the existence of systemic racism was not evident to you before 2020, the killing of George Floyd by the police and the staggering disproportionate number of people of color dying from COVID-19 should leave no question. Acknowledge it. 

AiVi is a partner at Worcester law firm Bowditch & Dewey. Reach her at

9) Understand some employees are deeply affected by racism and may be distracted in their work. Treat them like you would treat any other employee dealing with personal trauma.

8) Commit to creating environments of dialogue. But do so with great thought and care. Do not just have an impromptu pizza lunch to open up the floor for conversation.

7) Hire a professional. There are very talented experts who can guide companies through a thoughtful and meaningful diversity and inclusion plan.

6) Under no circumstances should you look to your employees of color to lead the conversations or to write your company’s statement.

5) Make diversity a goal in your strategic plan for hiring, retention, and promotion. Hold yourself accountable.

4) Be intentional in your business relationships. Seek to do business with companies owned or led by people of color. Intentionally choose to not do business with companies who are not committed to diversity.

3) Stay vigilant in the long term. Having one conversation or one training session is performative and your employees and customers will see right through it.

2) Speak out publicly, but only if you are serious about denouncing racism and reducing its impact on your organization. Your employees and customers are waiting for it.

1) Put your money where your mouth is. Make corporate donations to social services agencies focused on racial justice. Invest in your local youth of color.

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