Racial discrimination is a big problem, and it won’t end until enough people band together and make it clear that it’s unacceptable in any form, in any situation.
Do you want to know what you can do to be an ally to African-Americans and other people of color at work in the face of racial discrimination? Here’s how you can help:
- Sponsor others: Use your voice to boost the standing of your African-American colleagues among your co-workers and peers by talking about their contributions, goals and achievements.
- Act as a champion: If you’re in a leadership position, use it to bring African-American workers into visible positions by directing questions their way, including them as speakers or team leaders and recommending them for advancement.
- Become an advocate: If you’re already part of an inclusive circle, use your status to bring African-American co-workers and other minority groups into the fold. Invite them to meetings, introduce them to your peers and advocate for their inclusion.
- Stand up and speak up: No matter what your position, you can voice your dissent if you see acts of racism at work or hear racists comments. Being both a visible and vocal ally can give employees who are experiencing racism some much-needed support.
Finally, if you feel like you can do nothing else, be prepared to be a witness and a confidant if you see racial discrimination happening at work. If one of your co-workers confides in you about racism in the workplace, believe them and encourage them to file a complaint through the proper channels.
Racial discrimination at work is never okay. If you or someone you care about has been victimized, seek legal assistance as soon as possible.