LEADERS MUST SET ASIDE THE STANDARD DEI OR HR PLAYBOOK DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME; Kent State Today; June 17, 2020
When black Americans watched George Floyd being killed by a white police officer, they saw themselves and their family members. During that horrible eight minutes and 46 seconds, black Americans were traumatized. The unrelenting series of events that black Americans have witnessed before and after Floyd’s killing is racial trauma, which at its core is racism, says Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and director of the Program for Research on Anxiety Disorders Among African Americans in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University.
According to Neil-Barnett, it is important to understand that most black Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status, education or job title, experience one or more forms of racism every day. Therefore, it is necessary for leaders of organizations to set aside the standard DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) or HR playbook in this unprecedented time.
Neal-Barnett writes in a Harvard Business Review article titled “How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees” that “the go-to diversity corporate trainer who teaches stress management techniques will not suffice. Programming targeted towards all employees will be unsuccessful.”