George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 has sparked a nationwide outcry against police brutality and the racist systems of oppression and control against communities of color in the United States. We at FMP view it as our moral and ethical responsibility to stand in solidarity with these communities and to put our words, actions, and money towards dismantling these systems. George Floyd’s name is only the latest in an ever-growing list of names of black victims and people of color who have lost their lives, liberties, and livelihoods beneath oppressive systems that extend beyond policing into incarceration, healthcare, education, and employment. As individuals and as an organization, these systems are antithetical to FMP’s values and we have an ethical responsibility to speak out against them, to act to dismantle them, and to follow the guidance of communities of color in doing so.
To that end, FMP is committed to living our values through actions as well as words. We recognize we are not an authority on the lived experiences of marginalized communities and want to learn from our community members who have experienced systemic racism firsthand and have been publishing expert guidance, leadership, and resources for taking action. Rather than detract from these sources, we will be sharing their words and voices with you by reposting, linking, and otherwise connecting you to this wealth of information and education.
In addition to using our platform to amplify the voices that matter most right now, we will also be publishing a series of blogs and articles that focus on how FMP is using this time to live into our value of continuous learning and improvement. Being a learning organization is about more than constantly improving our workforce’s skills and abilities. It’s also about reflecting on our own culture, history, and norms to see how we can be more inclusive, more equitable, and more just. It’s about practicing openness to critique and change as an organization and as individuals. It’s about investing our time and money in learning directly from experts with lived experience in the places we’re trying to improve.
As a member of our network, you too may be interested in exploring how you and your organization can invest meaningfully in learning from the growing community of experts publishing content on inclusion, racial justice, and equity. Over the next several weeks, FMP will be publishing stories and summaries on how we are learning in the following ways:
- Amplifying Voices: In addition to sharing content, we’ll also publish our strategies for identifying and evaluating which content we choose to share.
- Training Staff: Our whole workforce is learning right now. We need to learn to be better community members, better leaders, better allies, and better consultants, and we can’t do it on our own. We’ll discuss our approach to identifying training needs at all levels and sourcing solutions and providers who align with our values and goals.
- Learning From Our Own: We believe that employees are the most valuable resource in any organization. We’ll talk through how we’re practicing hearing and inviting input from our employees in ways that empower their ability to affect change.
- Searching for Bias: Learning isn’t just about the right now. It’s also about examining our systems, policies, and processes for the places where bias is impeding our ability to hire, engage, support, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. We’ll share how we’re learning to think creatively about identifying and addressing bias wherever we find it.
We’re all feeling a sense of urgency and immediacy right now, but these issues are not new and our response cannot be short-lived. We invite you to join us in this process of learning, growing, and changing ourselves and our world for the better.