Category Archives: Social Issues

Social causes, activism, and projects

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 2: The Present and A Way Forward

The continuum of violence against African Americans and the Black Community

What has happened in the past is not different from what continues to happen today because racism is generational.  Racists who have committed crimes use all the tools of systems of privilege built in their favor to avoid being held accountable. In doubtful circumstances, lawyers have changed venues for trial to predominantly White communities where their White accomplice juries can unconsciously and consciously exercise bias. 

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 1: Understanding Our Shared History

When people say, “enough is enough!”, Do we really understand why? Why is it that we consistently deny the traumatic experience of racism that pains African Americans every single day? Why do we vote for leaders who effectively support policies and practices that are racist or discriminatory? What propelled so many Americans of all ethnicities including White, African Americans, Asian American, European American, Hispanic Americans to come together despite the Covid-19 pandemic to protest on the streets? Why do African Americans continue to endure racist and discriminatory practices generation after generation? These are some of the questions we ponder here given the recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement that has taken the world by storm even as a pandemic rages, propelling people to deprioritize their personal safety in order to stand up against racism and a history of subjugation and discrimination.

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

I am not happy when I read some of your posts and ask who are these people? Have they always felt this way about me and my people? Some of us are minimizing what happened and trying to justify police officers brutal attacks. However, this particular policeman had no concern for another human being’s life as we all watched his face that lacked any emotions. Yes, there are good and bad people period but this is not about that it is about watching a black man die before the WORLD’s eyes by the hands of corrupt police officers.

This is being done on a regular basis like it is open hunting season on black males. Some of us want to bring up George Floyd’s past to once again minimize what happened as I have stated before if he was butt naked running through the streets, screaming he did not deserve to die like that. Some of us want to question the looting and rioting. Believe it, a lot of that has been agitated by people who infiltrated in the peaceful protest with one agenda to make it chaotic.

Continue reading Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

 WHICH ROAD TO TAKE

We are at a crossroads of Good and Evil in civilization. Standing with Faust. Robert Johnson, and  Joe Hardy. Do we continue to sell our souls to the devil or do we defeat him?

We are in the middle of a war against evil. Some of this evil is external and in the media hourly. However much  is internal, homegrown, Godless feelings that I’m better than you based on my race, creed, national origin, faith, or which side of the tracks I live on.  Continue reading At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

Allyship through social networking – by Deborah Levin

Allyship is an inclusion and diversity strategy through which individuals with privilege support members of underrepresented groups in positive ways.  Implementation of allyship strategies in work environments is increasing. There are many opportunities to use this strategy beyond the workplace, particularly in person social networking and media activities, to combat hatred toward underrepresented groups. 

Hate, as a noun, is a passionate dislike, disgust, hostility or learned moral resentment of someone or something.  As a verb, hate is to feel intense dislike, resentment, or hostility toward someone or something. Hatred is a demonstration of these feelings.  Typically, hatred toward a group or class does not begin with extreme behaviors; instead, there is an incremental escalation which begins with less severe activities. 

Continue reading Allyship through social networking – by Deborah Levin

Should we Defund the Police? – by Marc Brenman

As I write, the current demonstrations against police violence have produced one good slogan: Defund the Police. Is this something we really want to do? About 64% of Americans own houses. When we need police help and call them, do we want them to not come because of a lack of personnel, equipment, or communications? Slogans don’t make good public policy, and are rarely efficacious. They can rile people up in call and response.

The alternative to policing is anarchy and chaos. As a people, we are not good at self-regulation. Do we want to surrender to vigilantes, private security forces, bodyguards, high walls, high noon, “stand your ground,” and Second Amendment advocates who claim to be standing between us and tyranny but who are advocates for their liberty and freedom only? I can imagine classic strategic planning for police, with substantial community input, to decide what to prioritize, what to stop doing, and what to do more of. And classic organizational development, to deal with the organizational culture problem obviously present in too many police departments of the supervisory chain of command losing control of the blue suits, or never establishing control over them in the first place. And classic human resources efforts, to hire the right people—ones without authoritarian traits, high control needs, or racism, and with cultural competency and thoughtful, Constitutionally based responses.

Continue reading Should we Defund the Police? – by Marc Brenman

Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

It’s a very hard thing to figure out what to do about reducing police violence in the US, especially reducing and eliminating racist violence. These issues keep coming to our attention largely because of undue and inappropriate police violence against unarmed African-American men. Recording of videos on cellphones and subsequent distribution on social media have made these tragedies much more public and apparent. These tragedies have been occurring for a very long time. Progress has been spotty and inadequate.

In classic strategic planning, we talk about what to stop doing, what to do more of, and what to do less of. There appear to be issues of organizational culture, where a substantial number of police departments are disconnected from morals, ethics, humanity, cultural competence, and the surrounding communities. Clearly, if an organization is being overtly discriminatory, they should stop doing that. But most of us aren’t overtly discriminatory, so our connection to the larger society must be producing discriminatory effects. The issues are complicated by the fact of about 19,000 largely independent police departments in the US. Continue reading Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

What Does George Floyd’s Murder Teach about Accountability? – by Vincent I. Phipps

Foremost, my heart goes out to the family, friends, and supporters of Mr. George Floyd.  As a professional communication coach, it can be challenging to remain poised when you are emotional over seeing such an egregious act of what we were victimized to witness.

How is it that the world saw Mr. Floyd have his life extracted and we as viewers are also victims?

The answer is accountability.  We all saw the video.  Former Police Officer Dereck Chauvin, age 44, mercilessly kept his knee in Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.  Although Mr. Floyd desperately pleaded for his life and although civilians videotaped and did their best to inform Former Office Chauvin of Mr. Floyd’s depleting condition, those pleas were unrequited by Chauvin.

What is accountability?  According to Dictionary.com, “the fact or condition of being responsible”.

Continue reading What Does George Floyd’s Murder Teach about Accountability? – by Vincent I. Phipps

Riots & Race: Then, Now and Next? – by Deborah Levine

It’s been two years since the shooting  and subsequent riots in Ferguson. One year after that event, I wrote about having the dubious honor of witnessing three generations of protests related to race, inequality and injustice. In the 1960s, protest marches were televised nationally, inspiring many of us. Yes, some protests became violent riots, but some gave rise to long-term institutions promoting racial equality. Those of us deeply invested in the movement shared a vision and were committed to making a difference through advocacy, education, politics, and, as I did, urban planning. However, after the shootings of unarmed African American men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, the killing of police officers in Dallas, the numerous street protests, and the ongoing threats, I am less hopeful than I was coming out of the sixties.

Continue reading Riots & Race: Then, Now and Next? – by Deborah Levine

Opening for Business – by Shelton Goode and Cathy Light

Finding New Ways to Serve
Employees, Customers and Communities

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring the effects of the coronavirus on organizations and ways to mitigate the cultural and economic damage they face. To assess the current landscape, we conducted an informal survey of roughly 80 organizations from across metro Atlanta in partnership with HR Executive Roundtable and the HR Leadership Forum. The sample includes organizations from a variety of industry groups. While it is not representative of the U.S., Georgia, or metro Atlanta economy as a whole, it does capture the intense distress being experienced by mid-size, tech, and retail-oriented companies — a snapshot of the crisis, collected recently. We wanted to understand how organizations were dealing with the disruption and what they planned to do once their companies decided to re-open. We were particularly interested in their human resource and leadership resilience and the challenges of bringing employees back to work.

Continue reading Opening for Business – by Shelton Goode and Cathy Light