Essentient Association Management believes that systemic racism, anti-Black racism and racialized micro-aggression do not have a place in a just society.
As a Canadian company that endeavours to always do the right thing, we recognize that doing the right thing is not always enough. Knowing that racism exists but doing nothing to prevent it will only perpetuate racism. We can all do better. And we will.
Between June 5 and December 31, 2020 Essentient featured Black leaders in our social media feeds. We wanted to amplify their voices, their messages of anger, of despair and of hope.
They are featured below.
Please listen; engage; and be an instrument of change.
A little bit of background on our campaign…
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin, American Author and Civil Rights Activist
On June 1st, one week after the senseless death of George Floyd, I was approached by Ashi, a young Black woman on the Essentient Association Management team. She asked me if I had considered putting out our position on anti-Black racism.
While I had indeed contemplated crafting an anti-Black racism statement that would be broadcast via our social feeds, I was paralyzed by the idea it would be arrogant of us to believe we could contribute in a meaningful way to a global dialogue that both unites and divides. Racism has been in our midst for hundreds of years and a single statement from a small AMC in Canada had the potential to contribute nothing more than an empty platitude. We wanted to do something that had a longer shelf life.
What if, I asked Ashi, instead of a statement, we created a long-term campaign that promoted Black voices? Ashi suggested that we should feature Black organizations that perform good work in the community. And what if we made financial contributions to these organizations and encouraged others to do the same?
Ashi gave us some suggestions for Black leaders and charitable organizations that we could feature but the rest would be up to us. She felt strongly that the entire Essentient team should become invested in the project so that we could educate ourselves about Anti-Black racism.
Working with Heidi, our Digital Media Specialist, we came up with a plan – One Black voice and one organization that works in the Black community featured in our daily social feed, five days per week for the foreseeable future.
Of course, little did we know how involved this project would be. In order to create regular content that is relevant and impactful we came up with a master list of Black voices. This list gets updated every couple of days as we make discoveries of leading Black voices in Canada, the U.S. and globally. They come from all walks of life and are contemporary or historical.
Constance Wrigley-Thomas, CAE – Essentient Association Management