Our businesses are a vehicle for our values.
This works both ways. First, the way our businesses look on the outside reflects which of our values we are prioritizing on the inside. Yikes. Yeah. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it's pretty difficult to refute. Owning up to this is the first step to changing it.
Secondly – and this is where we have the most opportunity! – we can actively choose to use our businesses as a way to promote, share and prioritize the values that we care about.
I am committed to showing up actively as an ally for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, because the atrocities that these communities are experiencing on a daily basis are unacceptable to me. I believe that we must act to change the toxic systems and mindsets that are oppressing and harming BIPOC, and those actions start with each of us. I want to commit to working actively on examining my white privilege, educating myself about issues and systems that oppress BIPOC, and infusing these values into my work and my business.
On this page I'll be sharing the resources I'm learning from and the commitments that I am making as a business owner and human being. I am also always open to feedback from you about what I can do better or resources I should check out.
Here are the steps that I will be taking in my business, starting now.
- I will take active anti-racist training for myself quarterly in my business
- When I have employees, I will pay for them to take this training also
- I will be using this list of courses as a starting place in my continuing education
- I will include BIPOC-owned businesses and software on any list of referrals I make
- I will create a resource of BIPOC professionals that I can reference & add to
- I will prioritize establishing professional connections with BIPOC
- I will prioritize diversity when I am hiring for any kind of coaching, support, or consulting, or implementing new business systems
- I will review my current software choices and research what, if any, commitments they have to anti-racism as a company, and switch from those whose response has been insufficient
- I will analyze my current business budget and work towards having 30% of it go to Black-owned businesses
- I will make anti-racism work part of my mastermind group, to ensure mutual accountability and shared impact
- At my twice-annual internal business retreats, I will include anti-racism as an ongoing quadrant of concern
- I will set aside one day per month for anti-racism study, review of my actions, and transparency to my community
- I will seek out and consume books, articles, Instagram accounts, courses, art, movies, newsletters and more created by BIPOC that are not specifically about anti-racism or social justice
- I will pay BIPOC creators to teach me about things other than anti-racism and diversity training
- I will keep track of the books I read and the diversity of their authors in an Airtable database
- I will make these commitments public and easily accessible on all my platforms & website
- I will add diversity and inclusion clauses to all of my contracts and my policies page
- I will be doing research into non-profit organizations who are fighting for equality
- I will set up recurring monthly donations to these organizations
- I will also set up a monthly local rotating donation to a cause I believe in
- I will continue to share resources & ideas from BIPOC on my Instagram stories, feed, newsletter and blog
- When I create presentations or resources, ensure I am using quotes from BIPOC, specifically Black women
- When I recommend books, I will ensure that I am prioritizing all forms of representation in authorship
- If I am asked to speak, or take part in something (course, panel, podcast, etc.) I will ensure that BIPOC have been included as well
- If not, I will encourage the organizers to invest in diversity and recommend specific BIPOC business colleagues for the role in my stead
- I will be discerning about the events, networking groups and trainings I attend to ensure that they are safe spaces for BIPOC as well as other marginalized groups
- I will develop a sliding scale model for my 1:1 and group coaching offerings
- I will implement and offer more flexible PWYC options for my courses and products
- I will find ways to offer my business coaching services pro-bono to marginalized groups
- I will remain open to feedback, critique and suggestions on how I can improve and do more to become an anti-racist business
- I will create an anonymous suggestion box to collect ideas from my community
- If I mess up and cause harm, I will apologize fully and quickly, and take concrete steps to make it right
- I will continue to update my commitments as I learn more
- I will add to this page regularly to create a sense of transparency
- I will talk publicly about my anti-racism education & action steps
It doesn't end here.
I am committed to taking these steps (and others I've likely missed) on an ongoing basis in my business and personal life. This will be a lifelong journey, and (as with my business as a whole!) I'm in it for the sustainable, slow, effective long haul. I will also be updating this page regularly to keep you informed of my action steps & ongoing commitments.
What kinds of action steps are you taking in your business to become a more anti-racist organization? What teachers have you been learning from? What are your favourite BIPOC-owned businesses to support? Let me know on Instagram @stephpellett or by email, email@example.com.
Here's what I'm working on this month in my own anti-racism journey:
Articles & Guides
What Did You Just Say? | Sample responses to racist comments
Ways You Can Help | Aggregated resources for supporting the BLM movement
Me & White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
The Person You Mean to Be by Dolly Chugh
Between the World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo