A Letter to Take #ActionforEquality


June 3, 2020  |  Elizabeth Morrison


Elizabeth Morrison, VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Live Nation Entertainment

#ActionforEquality 

I’ve received a multitude of emails, texts and PMs of support and for those, I am forever grateful. Thank you. I have also had a lot of friends, peers and colleagues reach out asking me what they can do to help and honestly not knowing where to begin. 

I spent most of the last few days compiling this list for them and for anyone who wants guidance on where to turn to make a real difference. Topics range from becoming an ally, economic empowerment, White privilege to understanding the workplace experience for black/underrepresented people and a few others. 

If you know me (especially as a diversity practitioner), you know I appreciate that people learn differently and so I like to provide options. My list contains audiobooks, podcasts, animations, TEDTalks, articles, and documentaries. It’s meant as a learning journey to be consumed over time, shared and discussed. Many of the resources I included are appropriate for teens (use your judgment) and I included a section on speaking with kids of all ages about race and racism. 

Allies – please know that no action is too small, and that it’s ok that you are starting from YOUR beginning. No one is expecting you to become an expert in systemic racism, the black experience or social justice overnight. I (and I hope we, meaning black people) are willing to meet you where you are – especially if you are doing the work to educate yourself, identifying the action/s that are meaningful to you and taking action! This is a marathon and not a sprint. But make no mistake, we need you urgently to join our cause because we are literally dying without you. 

My Black Family – this is also for us. While I know we are suffering, angry, exhausted and maybe even scared, we need to use those feelings to strategically drive our actions. To welcome allies, accept their starting point, push them to learn more and do more and embrace them as warriors in our fight. We will not win without them. 

Unless we work together, we will not cure America (or our world) of its sickness of racism. Please join me in taking #ActionforEquality. You can also continue to connect with like-minded people by logging into LinkedIn and searching for and joining our #ActionforEquality group. I will also continue to share stories and resources through the group and welcome all members to do the same. 

Thank you. We need you. #WeMatter

Elizabeth A. Morrison
Founder #ActionforEquality
Emorrison20@verizon.net
Twitter: @DiversityBoss
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-a-morrison-1aa5996/

Become an Ally 

An ally is someone who is not a member of an underrepresented group but who takes action to support that group. It’s up to people who hold positions of privilege to be active allies to those with less access and to take responsibility for making changes that will help others be successful. 

  • Check-in on black friends, family, and co-workers. Listen with empathy and without judgment letting them know you are there for them. Every individual has their own unique experiences that create their reaction. Striving to listen to the pain, thoughts, and needs of others while refraining from sharing your opinions is of utmost importance. 
  • Use your privilege to speak up when you see or hear bias, racism, or unfairness. If this is during a police incident, record the interaction if possible and stand firm in being present as a witness. 
  • Stop talking about colorblindness. It’s not a thing and wildly insulting. Black people (really all people) want to be seen for who they are and what they bring to the table – this includes their ethnic characteristics, intelligence, wit, and other aspects of their identity, culture, and background. 
  • Realize that children are also impacted by tragedy and unrest and looking to adults and parents for answers and stability. Educate yourself and prepare for these conversations (see tips below), so you are in an emotionally stable place when having these conversations. 
  • It’s ok to ask questions, but please do the work first and strive to authentically educate yourself (tips below). 
  • Accept that you are going to make mistakes but please keep showing up. We recognize you are not perfect and will be learning. We need you to be steadfast in your efforts and persistence. 
  • If you want to understand how recent events led to our current social justice crisis (from Coronavirus to George Floyd), listen to Trevor Noah who does a great job pulling together the pieces. 
  • If you want to act specifically to combat justice, here are 75 actions white (and really any people) people can take.
  • If you want an approach to learning with a structured action plan, get the audiobook Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
  • If you want to know what Obama suggests you do, visit his Foundation’s Anguish & Action page

Understand the Black American Experience 

Know that it is your responsibility to educate yourself and not that of your black friends, family and peers. Google is your friend. There are a multitude of resources, books and documentaries that will help you understand America’s history of systemic racism, bigotry and bias. 

Understand White Privilege 

Experiencing hardships doesn’t mean you don’t have privilege. If you are white, your life is not hard because of your skin color. You may have had hardships due to another dimension of identity; however, if you are white, you have been afforded opportunities in this society purely due to the color of your skin. 

Talk to Your Kids About Race & Racism 

Depending on their age, kids today have as much access to media and social media as their parents. If we are distressed by what we see, what must our children think? Not to mention many are still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Over 50% of white parents never speak to their kids about race. Black parents start early with “the talk” and every time an incident of racism or racial injustice hits the news, they seek ways to swallow their grief and fear to have “the talk” yet again. Most experts suggest addressing race with your children beginning as early as 3 when they begin to notice a difference. These conversations, regardless of age, are an important opportunity for white parent allies to educate their children about allyship and shaping their perceptions of diversity. 

Understand the Workplace Experience 

On a daily basis, we spend 8 to 10 of our waking hours at work or working versus 3 to 4 hours at home or with our loved ones. Why is this important? Because of the time spent focused on work, our employment experience has a disproportionate impact on our human experience, mental health and overall happiness. 

Learn About Social Justice Organizations and Donate 

These organizations are dedicated to addressing inequality in our social justice system and mainstream media coverage and advocating for equality and fairness for black and underrepresented Americans. 

Support Black Businesses & Banks 

Did you know that in 2016, a dollar circulated in the Asian American community for over 30 days, in the Jewish community for 20 days, in the white community for 17 days, but in the black community for only 6 hours? Economic power is power. Diversifying your spending habits and seeking out Black businesses to support is a vital part of establishing equality. 


Black Lives Matterdiversity and inclusionequality

Elizabeth Morrison

Elizabeth A. Morrison is the VP of Diversity and Inclusion at Live Nation Entertainment. She builds Corporate Value and ROI through Inclusion, Engagement & Talent Optimization, Communications, Collaboration, and Multiculturalism. A passionate and naturally energetic diversity, inclusion, and communications professional with more than 17 years of success in engaging internal and external audiences to deliver business results. Leverages change management expertise, innovative learning and development programs, strategic communications and the ability to ignite synergies to create dynamically diverse and inclusive high-performance cultures. Recognizes the necessity of diversity and the power of inclusion as catalysts that drive innovation, engagement, productivity and profits. Prior to Live Nation, Elizabeth led and executed global diversity and inclusion strategies for Campbell Soup Company as Global Director for Workforce Diversity and Inclusion.



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