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Until we can breathe: a call to action

By: CCOP Team

Resources to donate, advocate, and learn are at the end of this article.

“If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.” - Barack Obama, June 1, 2020

At a moment when actions are exponentially more important than words, it is difficult to encapsulate what we, as individuals, as a team, as a nation, are feeling. 

Fear. Anger. Uncertainty. Heartache. Helplessness.

Until recently, we were relentlessly focused on harnessing the power of purpose to forge a path forward in a COVID-19 world. We were heartened by moments of humanity, from neighbors, healthcare workers, kids and more. In the face of global uncertainty, many were coming together for better. 

And then: On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered. This, following the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Those, following so many others.

We have been here before. We have felt the collective anger towards an unjust system and a culture that perpetuates racism and inequality. We have marched. We have advocated for change. But too often, these efforts have faded with time.

We hope this time is different. We hope our collective desire for progress does not return to a slow boil, but builds until we finally achieve lasting, systemic change.

As a team passionate about social issues and the power of purpose to transform society, we are faced with a collision of societal moments. Our colleagues and clients have gone from “How do I support our frontline employees” to “What can I say to my employees about issues of race and justice” and “What’s next?”

There are no clear answers. There is only a clear call to action: to act with deliberation and humility. 

To stand up for people of color.

To vocalize what you stand for.

To march with your brothers and sisters.

To use your resources and privilege as part of a sustained advocacy effort.

To vote for people who advance systematic change.

To donate your time, talents, and dollars to organizations in this fight.

To engage in constructive discourse about racism and injustice.

To refuse to allow this to be a passing moment, rather than a sustained and growing movement.

This movement will leave its fingerprints on the nation. But make no mistake: like the pandemic, equality is a global issue. We’re seeing that in marches taking place from Berlin to Brisbane. The question is whether we mourn the turmoil of 2020, or we make it a catalyst for sustained change. 

We can’t return to what passed for normal, not when equity and justice are at the heart of the matter. We must create the next normal: one that is more empathetic, inclusive and fully equal. A normal in which black lives matter, full stop.

While many people are marching and posting, many more remain on the sidelines. It may be easy to think that one person’s actions couldn’t possibly make a difference. That is why it is so vitally important for everyone to do something no matter how small, and then do something more. 

As we write this, our New York team hears the unceasing drone of helicopters, the wail of sirens, the chants of protesters. The gloves and masks that have littered the streets for months now intermix with hand-written signs and strings of police tape. It is at the same time eerily quiet and jarringly loud, every sound a reminder of how the system has failed and the work we must do to right it. 

The scene is playing out across the United States and, increasingly, around the world. From Minneapolis to Atlanta, Los Angeles to Detroit, the air is heavy with both fear and hope. Every protester, barricade, sign challenging how we see the world, and each other. It is up to us what we see in this movement. We hope you see change. We hope you pursue it. 





About CCOP

Our mission at Carol Cone ON PURPOSE is to develop a world of good. As purpose serves as a powerful growth accelerator, we help organizations discover their true reason for being and develop social impact programs that build reputation, engage employees, and guide internal operations.

Kristin Kenney Today at 10:28 AM


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