Jul 8, 2020

Three ways to take action in business as an advocate for the black community

Michael Haddix

I’ve received a lot of questions recently about how to take action in the business world to support and advocate for the black community. Here are three ways to make an immediate and long-term difference:

If your company is expanding efforts to recruit and hire minorities, focus not just on hiring, but on creating an environment that ensures minorities feel welcome and able to thrive. Start by taking a look at your leadership team. Your leaders should be just as diverse as the workers you employ/seek to employ. If that’s not the case, there may be a reason why.

When investing your money, demand that the money managers be people of color. With more business flowing to and through black fund managers, there will be more opportunities that arise for others. This kind of intentional approach to investing will ultimately impact boards of directors, company missions, and investment portfolios.

Expose yourself to people outside your circle and when you do, listen. When I got to business school at Columbia, I developed relationships with people who were very different from me. It helped me to become an advocate for people that were different from me. I understood a different perspective. I think to be a true advocate, you have to have hard conversations, be willing to ask questions, and take frequent looks in the mirror. You can’t fight for something if you do not truly understand it.