March 21, 2023
Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, established in remembrance of the tragic event in Sharpeville, South Africa on March 21, 1960. It was during a peaceful protest against the Apartheid pass laws that 69 demonstrators lost their lives at the hands of police authorities under the brutal Apartheid regime. In response to this devastating event, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1966, calling for global collaboration to eradicate all forms of racial discrimination.This year’s theme focuses on the urgency of combating racism and racial discrimination, but what does that mean for us and why should we care? According to the World Economic forum, US businesses lost a total of $172 billion between 2016 and 2021 due to staff turnover caused by unfair treatment of minority employees.A UK government-sponsored study found the economy was missing out on $29 billion due to the lack of participation and progression of Black and minority-background people in the workforce – equivalent to 1.3% of the nation’s GDP.What can we do about it?
As this year’s theme suggests, to combat is to fight! This is an active rather than passive stance. If you see something, say something. If you find yourself in a position of privilege, rile against the structures of discrimination, injustice, xenophobia, and inequity that threaten our way of life. We need to understand that fighting for the unrepresented doesn’t jeopardize our rights, it’s fortification against exploitation of all kinds. As our Friday St Patrick’s day post revealed, themes like slavery, exploitation, discrimination, pay inequality (based on an ethnic group) are not always restricted to skin color.Make a commitment today to arm yourself with understanding. Open your heart to the suffering of others. Then, strengthen your resolve and get involved. We’re putting together policies and goals to take on inequity in the workplace. We are looking at our hiring practices as a starting point for equity opportunities and justice, and we are also rolling out SMART DEI goals for 2023 and beyond. If you’ll excuse my french; LET’S FUCKIN GO RXMG!!Happy End Racism Day.