A message from the the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
One year ago, via a cell phone recording, the world witnessed the murder of Mr. George Floyd by a recently convicted former Minneapolis police officer. A nation often divided by politics, race/ethnicity, and socio-economics found some common ground when millions of people took to the streets in protest: enough was enough. There were 584 protests among the 50 states and several other countries within two weeks of the horrific event.
CHANGE was the motivator...in policing...racism and discrimination...laws, policies and practices...how unarmed Black and Brown folks are treated. Mr. Floyd's six-year old daughter, Gianna, said it best, only nine days after her father was killed, "My daddy changed the world!" One year later and we are still waiting for the changes mentioned above...but before we say nothing has changed, let's look at what is different. As a society we protested (in some cities everyday day since May 2020), we were forced to have uncomfortable conversations about racism and discrimination, more DEI positions have been created and hired for than ever before (Salus included), institutions/companies/organizations participated in cultural climate assessments and evaluated their policies and practices, and the protests along with their challenges/demands for justice spawned the most socially conscious civil rights movement since the 1960s. So, no, we did not experience a full dismantling of systemic racism and cultural oppression, but we can't expect more than 400 years of injustice to be resolved in one year.
As some mature people often say, "We may not be where we want to be, but we ain't where we used to be." Yes, our nation has a long way to go to right the ills of society...and honestly, the system changes may not be achieved in our lifetimes, but we can do our part by employing the principles of equity, inclusion and justice in all that we do. "Let's keep hope alive" (Jesse Jackson) and "Be the change" (President Barack Obama) by doing our part to "Get in good trouble!" (Representative John Lewis)
I am the Change,
Juliana (Dr. J)
Special Assistant to the President for DEI