allyship and accountability
In last month's blog, I told the story of Belly Mujinga, a Black woman who died from COVID-19 after her employers failed her. In the context of #BlackLivesMatter and global calls to address anti-Black racism, her story is a clear example of how power and privilege play out in the workplace. We often talk about microaggressions, likening them to “death by a thousand cuts”. In this case, the on-the-job microinvalidations Belly faced were one cut too deep.
In recent weeks, the conversation has shifted to allyship. The business world has been vocal in its solidarity, and many organizations have been willing to contribute financially to the fight for justice. Although these are welcome steps, they are not sufficient. Allyship is a process. It is a commitment to ongoing learning and unlearning to understand how systems of oppression work, recognize these systems in action, face one's complicity in upholding these systems, and actively confront them in solidarity with marginalized groups and individuals. Allyship is a title that you earn, given by those with whom you are in solidarity, when you have done the hard work of change.
I got the chance to talk about allyship and accountability during last week’s episode of The Leadership Leap Radio show. You can listen in to my segment, The Inclusion Zone by clicking the following link: