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'Social unrest leads to social awareness:' Businesses, universities addressing racism publicly

Businesses, organizations, and universities are posting publicly about racist incidents and their stance against racism.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — “Saying nothing doing nothing is an action in and of itself," says Natasha Slaughter. She's the President of the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. 

Since the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to stop police brutality and social injustice. Companies across the nation are using social media to let the public know they won’t stand for racism.   

We’ve seen instances locally where a small farmers market business, Moonbooch, was removed from the Riverside Arts Market because of an alleged post saying “if you donated money to the #BLM you just gave it directly to the inbreeds.” RAM posted, before this incident, on Facebook saying they stand against injustice, discrimination, racism, and bigotry.

We are open and live for Riverside Arts Online Market AND we will be... open at 10am under the bridge for in person sales of essential items! Two ways to shop and support local! https://www.facebook.com/.../1288000968.../...

Over the weekend, a retired US Navy captain appeared to accidentally go live on Facebook saying racial slurs and racist language in a conversation. He has resigned his position as a trustee on the US Naval Academy Alumni Association. 

RELATED: Retired Atlantic Beach U.S. Navy Captain, alumni volunteer accidentally goes live on Facebook, uses racial slurs during conversation

The University of Florida tweeting on Tuesday about a prospective student's social media use:

"A prospective student who posted racist comments in social media will not be joining the University of Florida community this fall."

 Slaughter says social unrest leads to social awareness. "Racism and racist behavior should not be tolerated in the workplace so these national events are requiring that employers and employees have a dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and equity and how people are treated in the workplace because people are no longer silent about it,” Slaughter said. 

Slaughter said businesses don’t have to post publicly on social media about their policy, but they do need to communicate with their employees. 

"It’s only successful if it comes from the top. The CEO, the small business owner, the executive committee – they need to work closely with the HR professional with their organization to craft a statement that aligns with their organizational values and point out that certain actions will not be tolerated," Slaughter explained. 

She said there are three things businesses, organizations, and schools can do today for free. 

  • Create safe spaces where employees/members/students can have open discussions
  • Talk to your employees/members/students and see how they are doing and what they are feeling
  • Educate yourself on the issue as well as standard practices. SHRM meetings are open to the public. 

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