Impact of equity and diversity 1 year after the death of George Floyd
The president of the national nonprofit CommonHealth ACTION talks about the impact of equity and diversity a year after the death of George Floyd.
– Calls for justice and police reform echoed across the country, but how far have we come to make changes in a year? Natalie Burke, president and CEO of the national nonprofit Common Health Action, joins me now live on Zoom. Natalie, thank you for being with me tonight.
NATALIE BURKE: Thank you for.
– One year later, in your opinion, what changes have you noticed?
NATALIE BURKE: I would say the biggest thing that happened was the awareness. I think for a lot of people they knew racism existed, but I don’t think they ever witnessed it with the gravity of what we saw when George Floyd was killed. And since that time this awareness has led people to look for ways to truly engage and change as individuals and to look at how they can change communities.
– What do you think of the current dynamics of the response a year later? And are you worried that we will only react to the tragedy?
NATALIE BURKE: I fear this, but I also feel that I have good faith in human beings and human relationships. So I think what has happened over the last year is certainly that we have seen changes in the local police services, things around and efforts in regards to ending the interdiction warrants, strangulations, the use of tear gas. Thus, efforts have been made at the local level to find ways to change the police to make them more effective and to make them more anchored in community policing. On top of that, however, we have seen corporate entities investing money in this effort to achieve racial equity. So you’ve seen JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Kaiser Permanente commit billions of dollars, energize black and Latin American owned businesses, and create opportunities for black women in various industries, as well as the supply chain. and by diversifying their supply chain. So I think we’ve seen policy changes in different ways.
– If people want to support the cause of equality, do they need to take action or donate, or do you recommend starting small?
NATALIE BURKE: I would say it puts more emphasis on fairness than equality, and fairness is that idea of fairness and that all people have the opportunity to achieve the best possible outcome. I think it forces them to start small in the sense of starting with themselves. Educate yourself by being in relationship with people who are not like you, who may not live the life you live or who come from your background, it is really the opportunity to root yourself out and end the prejudices. We prejudge people in the absence of information. It is much more difficult when we are in genuine relationships.
– How do you recommend offering grace to someone who is not really at the point where you want it?
NATALIE BURKE: I think that’s a great question. And I think it comes first from empathetic listening and the ability to communicate effectively and help each other. So how can you do that with compassion and understanding? It is by putting that person aside and having a very real and sometimes difficult conversation, but doing this from a place of understanding that we are all on a journey. No one is perfect at understanding how it all works and fits together, but if we work on it together we can be coaches, we can support each other and hold each other accountable quite frankly.
– Natalie, thank you very much for your time tonight.
NATALIE BURKE: Thank you for hosting me.