by Paula Anderson
As we reflect on the 155th anniversary of the official end to slavery, we must be aware of the current systems (i.e. political, economic and justice) that continue to perpetuate 'slavery'.
It is important for corporations, business and government leaders to understand the plight of African Americans. Showing empathy is one of the ways to rally around the need for change, but 'actions speak louder than words.'
Traditionally, African Americans have had to work twice as hard to receive the same professional recognition and social acceptance as white Americans. One of the systems that separated us from the beginning was education.
Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) were established because African Americans could not attend Predominately White Institutions (PWIs). Even today HBCUs do not receive the same level of funding as (PWIs), therefore the cycle of economic injustice continues.
It is great that companies and organizations are recognizing the racial disparity and inequities from within and are allocating resources. However, we cannot use this time to promote our companies if real change will not occur.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to fighting economic injustice, police brutality and racial discrimination. His legacy continues and judging people by the "content of their character" can be done when you develop authentic relationships. What truly matters is the person's heart.
Our economic, political, and justice systems have to be reformed for real change to take place. The challenge for White Americans is to understand that we want to be given the same access and resources as everyone else with the same standards and guidelines. If the playing field is level, then we can all play together.
Police brutality has sparked this conversation and outrage, but economics has to be the end goal for true liberation to take place.
To learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visit the National Civil Rights Museum.
Paula Anderson is the founder of Writing by Design Media. The company exists to share stories and content that inspire, inform and encourage readers and stakeholders.