Today my white affinity circle reviewed the Stages of Racial Identity Development. I started to think about where organizations might be along this development path. As leaders wake up to systemic racism and take ownership in making a change, they are moving through the acceptance and resistance stages.

Some companies are acting out of shame/ guilt taking performative action to stay out of trouble and do no harm (retreat stage). Others are engaging in rigorous change management processes to create systematic change, taking control of the type of organization they want to be- anti-racist (emergence stage).

The first conformity stage mentions how whiteness is the norm which forces non-dominate cultures to assimilate rather than contribute to. In order to step into the final integrative awareness phase, we must create environments where BIPOC people feel safe to be themselves, where they truly belong- not solely hiring more diverse talent that will ultimately be forced to assimilate.

Ask yourself, where are you on your journey of racial identity development? Your organization? How can you hold your organization accountable to create systematic change to encourage more just systems and inclusive cultures for all?