How to prevent inflicting or experiencing racial battle fatigue in the workplace

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Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit

 

Healing and Impact: Navigating Racial Battle Fatigue While Creating Systemic Change

Sheree Haggan, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager at Google

 

In her keynote, Sheree Haggan, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at Google, explored the importance of a more mindful approach for B2B businesses to take as they rehabilitate a white-dominated framework in a way that does not inflict racial battle fatigue on their marginalized colleagues.

Haggan notes that a reprioritization of diversity and inclusion has resulted in a sudden engagement with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) at businesses where they suddenly have a seat at the table. She stressed that it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to solve for the actions of the oppressor, rather, the ones who have the power must be the ones to enact change as they are the ones who built these systems. 

“My foot is being stepped on,” she said, “But I don’t have the power to remove the person’s foot. I can point to the pain, but [white people] need to remove the foot.”

Haggan urges businesses to move past getting caught up in buzzy, headline-worthy actions, such as making Juneteeth a company holiday, and to prioritize a deep investigation of their company systems and have senior management dedicate to a long term strategy with specific milestones and accountability.

For BIPOC who are currently experiencing racial battle fatigue, Haggan advises not to carry the weight of the businesses’ racism on their shoulders as this work should involve the entire company. She explains that boundaries at this time are crucial. “[Ask yourself:] What is your job? What is not your job? What are your limitations? How can you empower white people to step into their role with this?”

To read more by Sheree Haggan, visit dearkindperson.com/blog. You can also connect with her on Twitter and Instagram

 


Next steps:

This blog post is part of Brainrider’s Key takeaways from the 2020 LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit series. Read the rest of the series here:

Watch the rest of the keynotes from the LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit here. They have been made available their Facebook and Linkedin

If you would like to learn more about LesbiansWhoTech, please visit their website and follow them on their social media channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin.

If you would like to support the work of LesbiansWhoTech, please donate here.

 

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All images courtesy of LesbiansWhoTech Pride Summit.