How to avoid the ‘post-reckoning’ mindset in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace in 2022 – Yahoo News – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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OPINION: Nearly two years after the “racial reckoning” in which corporations, universities, foundations and local governments vowed to address diversity, the need for DEI is greater than ever.

In 2008, after the election of President Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, we saw a sweeping and alluring focus on the potential reality of a “post-racial” America. For many, the presence of a Black president and the media using the language of “race,” “breaking barriers” and “racism” signaled a potential end to the hundreds of years of bigotry, structural inequities and historical marginalization.

Many of us were concerned that the embracing of a “post-racial” ideology bound by limited facts could hinder the significant work that needed to be done. The election was indeed historic. Did it signal progress? Yes. Did it mean we were now post-racial? No.

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 (in addition to the murders of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Aubrey) was a catalyst to what many have called a “racial reckoning.” We witnessed a magnification of the lack of Black people and people of color in senior positions and on boards of directors. Many companies, foundations, organizations, universities and local governments made commitments and pledges to organizations focused on equity, Black people and Black communities.

At the time, the president of the American Psychological Association came out with a statement noting, “we are living in a racism pandemic.” Many organizations acknowledged the ways in which they had not addressed the history of systems and processes that did not actively address conscious and unconscious bias and legacies of privilege.

Almost three years into the COVID-19 pandemic and nearly two years into the “racial reckoning,” the need to focus on diversity, equity and


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