Creating a World That Works for Black Lives

by The Berrett-Koehler Team

June 05, 2020


We share deep grief and outrage over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Oscar Grant, and the countless Black lives lost to unjustified use of force and violence by police, white supremacy, and various systems of oppression that have marginalized Black Americans for centuries.

Berrett-Koehler stands with Black Lives Matter. Our mission is to create a world that works for all; while Black neighbors live in fear, Black colleagues are exhausted, and Black friends worry about their family members, the world is not working for all. For too long, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ+ people have been silenced, marginalized, punished, and excluded from being their full and authentic selves and shaping the limitless potential of our world.

It is clear that despite our best efforts, we have a long road ahead of us to create a world that values the humanity of each and every person — this will not be possible until we reckon with the centuries of dehumanization and anti-blackness that poison our relationships, organizations, and social institutions. 

We believe that change must happen at every level — personal, organizational, communal, and societal. One of the most pervasive and harmful inequalities that infect every level is racial injustice. We must take this moment to examine personal biases, relationships, and communities with the basic acknowledgment that no one of us can succeed until all of us can

Over the last week, countless people have been wounded in body and spirit by witnessing the effects of trauma on their community. That’s why we’re giving away our best-selling book on secondary trauma, Trauma Stewardship, for free.

You can download your copy of Trauma Stewardship here.

We hope this offering will help you care for yourself while we are being called to care for others. 

In the coming weeks, we will be dedicating a significant portion of our time pulling together resources from those who guide us: our authors. We will be sharing and distributing these resources with you in the service of creating a world that works for all. We need to be willing to have tough conversations. It is not enough, and has never been enough, to be simply "not racist," we must be vehemently anti-racist. 

In the meantime, here are some actions you can take today:

  • Seek out voices advocating for racial justice, especially Black voices. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and People of Color have long advocated for equity and equality, and have the most experience with how to dismantle racial hierarchies. Engage deeply with intersectional frameworks that center the most vulnerable. Sit with the discomfort of interrogating the racial coding that exists within all of us. Buy books directly from the publisher or order from an independent bookseller.

  • Donate and support civil rights organizations. Many of the demonstrations that have happened over the last week have resulted in unjust prosecution despite peaceful actions. Make sure they are supported in helping us create a world for all — where everyone is free. Organizations like the ACLU, Color of Change, and the NAACP (among many) are seeking support. Look to your local community organizations first.

  • Invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization. The greatest impact you can make is in your workplace and community. If you don’t know where to start, here is a free guide on how to invest and deepen your DEI work so that your colleagues and employees feel they can be psychologically safe, seen, and valued when coming to work during this traumatic time.

  • Push for inclusive policy at all levels. While the presidential election commands so much media attention, it’s just as important to get involved with your local and state elections to push for inclusive policy. Call your city council members, representatives, state senators, and senators to advocate for racial justice, especially if there is a case of police violence open against a member of your community. Vote, and make your voice heard. We can no longer be silent. 

We’re in this together. Onward. 


The Berrett-Koehler Team

Topics: Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership and Management, anti-racism

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