This Summer, Cogo had the honor of creating space for six professionals to share their experience and the work of anti-racist ally-ship. We wanted to circle back to those conversations as we continue the fight for racial equality and equity both at Cogo and in our communities.
Here are some tangible actions that each of our speakers and moderator recommend for anyone to start enacting in their day-to-day routines.
Entrepreneur and finance professional, Torrence Moore, closed the virtual event with a statement on how allies can use their own privilege and continue their own anti-racist work.
"Until our allies speak up and say something, change won’t be easy." - Torrence Moore
Torrence discussed how "the recent acts of police brutality and microaggressions against Black people have ripped the bandage off of America’s secret, that racism, institutional racism, and systematic racism all do exist. I think now is an opportunity to address this head on." We can use this as an opportunity to enact institutional and systematic change as well as evaluate our own behaviors to see how we can speak up against racial injustice.
In a similar sentiment, Val Mosley recommended that the best place to start as individuals is through speaking up. She believes organizations need to take a deep look into their recruiting process as well.
"If you’re in the room, speak up. Make sure that the recruiting process and pool is diverse. Opening hearts and building bridges is important." -Val Mosley
Bindu had tangible takeaways for Black allies and anyone with a seat at the table.
"Being able to play the long game, get yourself a spot at the table and lift others up." -Bindu Kalesan
Bindu also took the opportunity while on the panel to encourage her own community to be better allies, "I hope more Indians and south asians will come forward and be allies [for the Black community].” We can all begin the path forward by seeking ways to lift others up, especially those without as much opportunity or success as we've had personally.
As we look forward at the actions we can take to become better allies, Ty Pinkins recommended that;
"People and companies and allies alike can talk about the things that are going wrong, look at their biases and look how they can contribute to youth organizations to empower young people of color." -Ty Pinkins
In order to be better allies we have to recognize that not only recognizing our biases, but seeking organizations to donate to regularly, can continue to make strides toward greater equity and equality.
Kendall Spencer pointed to having difficult conversations as the path toward progress.
"All of theses conversations are going to be difficult, but once you move past that, look at and evaluate your institutions. Ask yourself, where do we have representation, where is their voice? And ask, where are minority views represented?" - Kendall Spencer
Cheyenne Cochrane emphasized the importance of elevating Black voices.
"Elevate Black voices if you’re an ally or close friend or a family member, find opportunities to help them elevate their voices as well. It can be a simple phone call, a text, or outreach to see how they’re doing." -Cheyenne Cochrane
Cogo is grateful to create spaces to have these conversations, elevate others voices, and provide employees with access to thought leaders across multiple industries. While we recognize there's much more work to be done, we're committed to a data-driven approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Cogo.