“The terms “empowerment” and “activism” are partner words. Empowerment in the business environment is a state of being in which a person has official authority to do something. Management empowers employees by sharing information, providing appropriate resources, giving opportunities, motivating and developing employee skills so they can experience more satisfaction in their work and careers. Activism is the use of vigorous campaigning to bring about change. People become activists because they see a need for change, and uniting with others to bring change increases feelings of power and control.”
Conscious Language and Actions (misused words and alternatives):
- Check-in with your employees. What is on their minds?
- “Finding out what is important to your employees, whether through casual conversations or a more formal survey, is a good way of engaging them in the process of creating a [corporate social responsibility] program,” said Alessandra Cavalluzzi.
- “Hiding away in your corner office and hitting your numbers” without paying attention to employees’ concerns, he added, “is a short-term strategy.” said Henry Albrecht, CEO
- Reference the Daring Conversations Toolkit
- Rather than “everything going on”, “current events”, “the country’s situation”
- Say “Systemic oppression”, “crisis of anti-blackness and police violence”
- Why: “Violence against the black community is a specific issue, it has a unique history, and it requires precise solutions…it exists outside of summer 2020”- @khalil.greene
- Rather than saying “riots”
- Say protests or peaceful protests
- Why? Read Time’s “‘A War of Words.’ Why Describing the George Floyd Protests as ‘Riots’ Is So Loaded” and ADL’s “The Purpose and Power of Protest.”
- When speaking about public response, rather than using words like emotional, bossy, and loud
- Reframe and say passionate, assertive, and outspoken
- Why? Read Forbes’ “The Subtle Art Of Undermining Women In The Workplace.”
- Allowing people to show their support for Black Lives Matter
- Wearing Black Lives Matter apparel, speaking out, going to protests
- Why? Read SHRM’s “Employee Activism Is on the Rise”
- and the NYTimes’ “Starbucks Will Allow Employees to Wear Black Lives Matter Apparel” , Chicago Tribune’s “Can you get fired for protesting? Or spouting off on social media?”:
- Other resources
- Canopy Endorsed Practices
- Offering transportation, paid time off, incentives, or recognition on voting days
- Encouraging civic engagement through sending updates on voting and the US Census, hosting voting registration drives, political volunteering or canvassing.
- Support employees who speak out on social media and attend protests
- Cautionary note on hate speech, reviewing code of conduct or company values
If you have any questions about the above info, feel free to reach out via DM on any of our socials or firstname.lastname@example.org.