Yohuru Williams, history professor and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, recently spoke with the Star Tribune about concerns that companies are losing momentum in their approach to diversity, equity and inclusion programs.
From the story:
George Floyd’s murder by police in 2020 created an urgency in many organizations to address diversity in a new way.
At many companies, talks among colleagues became more open. New investments were pledged. Policies were reassessed.
Some reached out to Yohuru Williams, professor of history and director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, who also consults with companies.
He taught company leaders a different way of approaching diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, starting with history lessons instead of implicit bias training or inclusionary practices.
Now he fears that companies are losing momentum.
“What worries me is that I’ve seen some organizations that have doubled down and say that we’re in this for the long haul and others that say the moment is passing – and that is why we constantly end up in this cycle,” Williams said. “I would encourage those organizations that either started something in 2020 and have moved away or haven’t done it yet should (get started). While the immediacy is still here, we have to make that collective investment.”