Over the last few months, the terms racial justice and racial equity have become more familiar to more people.
But, what do they really mean? And how do we actually accomplish what they set out to do?
We want to start by applauding the Atlanta Business Chronicle for taking the lead on connecting racial justice and equity with business prosperity. This is a critical connection that must be made and one that we plan to more fully explore in the weeks ahead.
The article discusses meetings between Black and white business leaders in an attempt to quell unrest in our communities and start a civil, productive dialogue.
This approach became known as the “Atlanta Way” and evolved into the moniker, “The City Too Busy to Hate.”
Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area prospered under this banner. Businesses and international events flocked to our region, all under the impression that racial unrest and racial injustice were not a part of the landscape. This is “good for business.”
But, somewhere along the way, we have lost our way. The metro-Atlanta area ranks FIRST in the nation in the rate of income inequality, according to a 2018 Bloomberg Report.
And, to make matters worse, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis published by 24/7 Wall Street, shows that the city of Sandy Springs is officially the most expensive city to live in Georgia.
How can we support racial justice and racial equity without also addressing the financial disparities that exist in our community?
Financial inequities are real. Look no further than the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing. We’ve talked about the workers on the frontlines who work in our hospitals, stock our grocery shelves, and clean our emergency rooms.
These folks don’t have the “luxury” to work from home or be coaches to their children who must now learn remotely.
The Atlanta Way was effective back in the 1960s, but we need to bring ALL voices to the table and INCLUDE them. Not only in the conversation but in the decision-making process itself as we move through this Racial Equity movement.
Join us as we explore what it REALLY means to have racial equity in our community.