C3MD’s inaugural event of the year was our January 19th Conscious Cocktails, “Continuing the Conversation on Racial Equity,” which brought Black Lives Matter and issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the spotlight.
C3MD was delighted to welcome back Wendy Moomaw and Danielle Marshall, co-creators of the Reimagining Racial Equity workshop intensive, to continue the conversation.
Danielle Marshall, CDP is a Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Strategist and Founder of Culture Principles; and Wendy Moomaw, ICF PCC Coach is an executive coach & Founder of the Conscious Collaboratory℠ and chair of the DEI Committee for C3MD.
Eboni Adams Monk, president of C3MD, kicked us off with a welcome and shared how this event is part of who C3MD is. “It goes deeper than the Black Lives Matter movement. These issues aren’t new; they have just been brought to the forefront.”
Wendy Moomaw set the stage:
June 1st, 2020. Protest in Lafayette Square. The National Guard brought rubber bullets and chemicals.
January 6th, 2021. Capitol Building. The National Guard declined to send support.
Danielle Marshall asked, “What is the first thing you are going to do when you can invite people over for the first time?”
After many variations of “hugs and gathering” were shared, our answers tended to be more towards the environment we want to create. We need to focus more on the outcome than how we are going to cultivate that environment.
To further paraphrase: As we are beginning to think more about what racial equity means for us, as a nation, as businesses, as leaders, as individuals, the question becomes how are we preparing our houses and places of work to welcome racial equity? What are the things we need to “clean up?” What are we preparing? We need to create the space for ALL employees to thrive, not just invite them in without preparation.
The group separated into virtual breakout rooms to share what each person/business is doing to prepare themselves and their organizations for racial equity work. And if they’re already doing that, how are they advancing the work? Wendy and Danielle recognized that people are in different stages of this work. Some may have been doing this for years, some just starting. They wanted everyone to lean in to share and to learn.
Participants were asked to share something they learned from their groups. The comments were varied and rich:
- Focus on youth
- Explore the history and restrictive covenants that caused so much inequity, disparity, and poverty
- Look for solutions for systemic racism in public education and the notion of paying for it out of neighborhood taxes
- Awareness, and awareness that without that acknowledgment, there won’t be an improvement
- Education about inclusion (focusing greater outcomes)
- Create space that provides support for people who’ve been living inequities
- Provide more opportunities to be included in the conversation
- Treating people the same is a way of showing inequities.
Continue the conversation. Continue to question. Continue to learn.