The U.S. Needs a Third Reconstruction — and Business Should Lead It

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The work of a police officer kneeling around George Floyd’s neck vividly illustrates this persecution, which took the lives of black Americans.

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The U.S. Needs a Third Reconstruction and Business Should Lead It

Knee weight obstructing airflow is a metaphor for hindering access to capital and opportunity, and has created the massive imbalance of wealth and possessions between black and white Americans.

Now is the time for new reconstruction, and this time it must be led by American companies. All Americans, taxpayers, businesses and investors can benefit from lowering the cost of system barriers and unleashing the productive potential of blacks.

Businesses only need courage and confidence to take action.

The United States’ first two reconstruction operations have failed. The initial reconstruction was aimed at helping free slaves after the failed civil war, as it met violent resistance (literary and photograph) from former Confederate officials and former slave owners;

The oppressive decision of the US Supreme Court; The ‘settlement’ of 1877 put an end to the Southern Protectorate and the rise of Jim Crow. The second reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s was intended to give blacks full citizenship, but due to racial discrimination, working-class whites and blacks were polarized, and companies tried to promote conservative values ​​and led to a decline in the number of citizens and workers. after World War II … produced economic violence in the form of boycotts and civil disobedience necessary to end the legal persecution of blacks approved by the government.

For a long time, the persecution of blacks was seen as a “black problem”. Recent Research Reveals the Facts: Citigroup estimates that systemic racism has caused $ 16 trillion in damage to the US economy over the past 20 years. Not only does the persecution of blacks come at a high price for the US economy and its taxpayers, but removing system barriers will also create the potential for profit.

According to McKinsey, ethnically diverse companies can outperform financially homogeneous white companies, and bridging the gap between rich and poor African Americans would add $ 1.5 trillion to our economy every year, at a whopping 36% chance.

How does the company support the new reconstruction? Here are four suggestions for the CEO and his colleagues at C-Suite:

1. Educate yourself

Read the classic Harvard Business Review article “Issues of Race“. The author is David Thomas, Dean of Morehouse College, a former Harvard Business School professor and a leading expert on the hurdles and successes faced by black American workers.

This article is a powerful tool for improving the conditions and commercial performance of black workers because it (1) identifies the specific types of deficiencies that black workers face, and (2) the unique strengths and professional assets of developing black workers (eg resilience, cultural agility) gender and reflection (Strategic political, personal relationships) to survive the failure of the design system; And (3) how smart companies can use the strengths and assets of black workers to advance business development for all. Thomas also co-authored a new article on HBR this summer called “Taking Diversity Seriously: Stop the Business Case.”

2. Follow the leader

Tim Ryan, CEO of PwC, was shot and murdered by an off-duty police officer while his 26-year-old big black partner, Botham Jane, was watching football in his Dallas apartment. He opened the CEO of “Diversification and Inclusion Action” in 2016. Today it is arguably the largest trading cooperative dedicated to eradicating black oppression, with over 1,000 members.

In September 2020, Connecticut Governor Sean Wood, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and CEOs of some of the world’s largest and longest-running institutional investment managers launched the “Business Call to Action” (CCA) initiative. The purpose of the CCA is to take concrete steps to address racial and economic disparities in the United States and diversity within companies. The initiative aims to dismantle the wall of oppression with the greatest possible force, opening a new era of justice, opportunity and upward mobility for African Americans and the economy.