It’s been nine months since we first shared how we’re working against white supremacy, and it’s time for a check-in. While we’ve been encouraged by the awareness of the need for change at large, recurring news of gun violence, rising racism against Asian Americans, continued police attacks on Black Americans, and the trial of Derek Chauvin remind us that the urgency for systemic change is not new.
What We’re Doing
Identifying the problem(s).
One of the very first things we did was discuss the Characteristics of White Supremacy with our team as part of our (virtual) fall retreat.
We wanted to make sure everyone was at least on the same page about the language we were using and the pervasiveness of white supremacy, how it can show up even in things that we think might be “normal” in our business workday.
This conversation also helped us uplift and celebrate all of the individual ways that we connect to our work with Cornershop!
Focusing on what we can change.
In the beginning, we asked “what does done look like?” But changing a system means creating a new way of existing with one another, and that is ongoing.
We made space in our conversations for discussing policing, the 2020 election, the stress of COVID and childcare, gun violence, and other concerns from our own diverse communities, and we acknowledge: there isn’t a way to finish this work!
In fact, the best way for us to continue to work together on growing and affirming a more equitable and open workplace is by continuing to make the official, paid workspace available for conversations.
Some of the ways we’re doing this:
- We created a working group with an open invitation to examine biases and brainstorm paths to creating a better team culture. Members of our team met bi-weekly for an hour, even, or especially, when we were worried about competing priorities during the week.
- We’re transitioning our working group into a Belonging Team, to promote inclusive and equitable practices, and to help address specific issues and concerns within our company. We’ve made sure that our team is allotted work hours so that these conversations receive the same level of importance as client work.
- We continue to prioritize and celebrate diversity in our hiring practices and in promotions to senior management roles. We have a diverse set of clients and want a diverse set of employees that can most effectively respond to client needs.
- Our sales team loves making connections with organizations that focus on racial justice, women’s empowerment, and equality issues. We’re discussing how we can find new and abundant ways to ensure we celebrate and authentically connect with even more awesome organizations in the future.
Seeking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion expertise.
After attending the Netroots Nation virtual conference last summer, we shared a session about “Building a Better World by Building a Better Workplace” as a team.
This presentation helped us more clearly recognize that we’re not experts on the best approach for any of this! In order to properly evaluate how we’re doing at Cornershop, we’re reading a ton, continuing to dialogue and build ongoing examination into our processes, and exploring work with a DEI consultant as we grow.
As we continue to examine our culture and practices, we most importantly hold ourselves accountable to change. That’s our commitment to one another and to our communities beyond Cornershop, one step at a time.