What Employers Can Do to Show their Support for Civil Rights Activism

It is challenging to focus on what is essential in our personal lives and also the world. But mostly, it’s unavoidable to see what voices should be heard that aren’t and the injustices these voices are facing in the most unsettling times.  

The time is now or never to take a stand against racism, social injustice, and the everyday inequalities that somehow still run rampant in our contemporary society. It is disheartening to read or watch the daily news to see all of the setbacks, yet again, it is easy to be inspired by the outward support across the world. 

As many companies scramble to recover from economic setbacks, many are also finding ways to support social activism and local communities to progress and change the world. So, if your company has yet to take action and join the movement, there are a few things you can do to uplift voices that are known to be marginalized or ignored. 

Here are a Few Ways Employers Can Contribute to and Support Civil Rights Activism: 

Allow for extra time off to accommodate protests

Fortunately, with more flexible hours as of late, it is easy for employers to accommodate personal schedules. 

To show support even more for civil rights, take a step further to enable employees to request time off for protests and be supportive by personally endorsing it and offering PTO (Paid Time Off), especially if employees would like to represent a company’s stance against social injustice. 

Set up workplace discussions

Keep the conversation alive and evolving. 

This sort of continual, progressive dialogue is what will elevate the movement to the next level. Employers should offer employees of color (and all minorities) the opportunity to amplify their voices by allowing them to host meet-ups and listening sessions to educate and motivate the team as a whole. 

You can do this by scheduling an in-company meeting to discuss ways employees can get involved with social activism within the company and beyond. By doing this, you will empower employees to take charge and voice their support.

Make donations to non-profits that support minority demographics

The most sought out and talked about non-profit to contribute to at the moment is, of course, Black Lives Matter

Even though the particular organization may have received the bulk of the recent attention, it’s still a great go-to option to show your support. However, there are numerous other truly inspirational foundations, non-profits, and organizations to contribute to, get involved in, and support by sharing and caring. 

Here are a few more to look into:

  • NAACP – Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the longest-running civil rights organization in the U.S. 
  • Trans Women of Color Collective – This group offers support for community members who are particularly vulnerable to sanctioned violence and open their arms to all walks of life, especially trans women and members of LGBTQUIA+.
  • The Innocence Project – This non-profit’s mission focuses on the freedom of the staggering amount of innocent people who remain incarcerated and the general reform of the prison system. 

These are only some of the examples, but be sure to check out your local sources and learn more about foundations that would directly contribute to the immediate community and those in need. 

Release an official statement on behalf of your company

Perhaps you have already donated to a local non-profit or have supported an organization your company stands behind. That’s great! Have you let your clientele or customer base know that you are making moves to support the greater good? If not, you should! 

From heavy-hitting big-box retailers like Target to niche market distributors and local businesses, companies of all types are coming together to raise awareness, funds, and support to fight the systematic injustices that have been the “norm” for far too long. 

Keep your audience in the loop

One easy way to let people know what your company has done is to create a statement page on your website, social media platforms, or both!

Windship Trading Company, a wholesale distributor based in central Texas, donated 4,500 respirator masks to Texas Organizing Project to support #BLM protesters across the state. They have added a banner to their website’s homepage with a link to their statement supporting “No More Silence.”

Continue to support equal rights.

The best thing an employer can do to aid in civil rights activism is to show your support even after the protests settle. Keep the conversation going among employees. Let minority voices be heard and let them take charge. Work together to find ways to reach out to your local communities and do so in a consistent way. If people continue to work towards the common goal of equality for all, the change we wish to see will become visible and progress can be made.  

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