It is painfully clear that we as a society have far to go to overcome the racial inequities inherent in the current system. We, white ecosystem builders, need to do more. We need to try harder to understand better. We need to become true allies.
The keynotes addresses, talks, and breakout sessions at ESHIP Summits, SCN Summits and other ecosystem building conferences have provided powerful and compelling arguments to learn and understand the experiences of Black people, how to be an ally, and as Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire suggests, reflect on what we believe about diversity and inclusion and how we show up in our ecosystem.
Have we been listening? We need to try harder. There are many, many resources available to help us to change our mental models and behaviors. The four videos below are a good place to start.
Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire
Change Catalyst Part 1
Change Catalyst Part 2
The Need for New Systems
Listening and learning is a start, but we also need to help co-create a new system that is equitable, inclusive, and just.
In his talk at the 2017 ESHIP Summit, Paulo Harris directly referenced the 2015 riots in Baltimore, resulting from an eerily similar situation to what unfolded recently in Minneapolis. We often hear it said that the system is broken. Harris concludes in his talk, “The problem is not the community, which is often blamed for the ills. The problem is the structure of the system that leaves communities hanging.” The structure of the system. It’s not that the system is broken. It works extremely well for those in power, the ones that put it into place. We need to be allies working to create new business and economic systems that are inclusive, equitable, and just.
In the two videos below, Paulo Harris and Dell Gines outline new paradigms and ideas for new inclusive and equitable systems. For deeper dives into the co-creating new systems, check out the two articles below the videos; one from Fay Horwitt, the other authored by Dell Gines and Rodney Samspon.
Rodney Sampson and Dell Gines
Building Entrepreneurship Ecosystems In Communities of Color
Things We Can Do Right Now to Be a Better Ally
Lastly, here are some anti-racism resources for people trying to become better allies.
Hey there, are you a white person wondering what to do as an ally for Black people right now? A lot of my white friends have been asking, you’re not alone. Let’s get you going on doing some work! (thread) #BlackLivesMatter #DoTheWork #allyship pic.twitter.com/hmDz1yzCsd
— Melinda Briana Epler (@mbrianaepler) June 2, 2020