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Anti-Racism Work + Commitments: A Mission Forward Business Leaders Roundtable

A few weeks back, we reached out to a group of CEOs and business leaders with a very big request: join Carrie and Alex Orfinger of the Washington Business Journal for an honest, on-the-record, uncomfortable conversation about the anti-racist commitments and statements we have made over the last twelve months, and assess our progress against those commitments. In our season two finale, we bring you that conversation.

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A few weeks back, we reached out to a group of CEOs and business leaders with a very big request: join Carrie and Alex Orfinger, publisher of the Washington Business Journal, for an honest, on-the-record, uncomfortable conversation about the anti-racist commitments and statements we have made over the last twelve months, and assess our progress against those commitments.

The conversation comes at an interesting moment. Just days after the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic, and as hate crimes against the Asian American and pacific islander community and, in particular, hate crimes against Asian American seniors have been on the rise. What’s more, the conversation was recorded just hours before a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian American women in Atlanta, Georgia.

Our framework: We have each carried a unique responsibility during this time; to care for the health of our employees, while managing and protecting the health of our businesses. The intertwined nature of events from this past year have meant that we must consider the culture of business differently. We must think about the weight of the world’s events on our teams in ways we likely haven’t considered them before.

This was an actionable conversation and not a comfortable one. It is not comfortable to be called to grow. It is not comfortable to stretch beyond the habits and tendencies with which we have become complacent. It is not comfortable to go beyond ourselves. Each guest this week came into this space with a spirit of self-examination, accountability, and a willingness to examine how businesses like ours can contribute to more inclusive, and equitable workplaces for all people.

Here we are, to think about where we are, where our sectors are, and where we must go to ensure that the racial reckoning so many business leaders are engaging isn’t a fleeting moment, but a movement for justice. With that, you’ve made it to the final episode of our second season. We hope this conversation, like others this season, gets you thinking, acting, and pressing forward.

Participants:

In season three of Mission Forward, Carrie Fox welcomes Natalie S. Burke explore the state of our collective health in the wake of the pandemic and what's necessary to bring us back together. They talk with experts, truth tellers, and firebrands who work and move among us to see what lies at the intersections of identity, value, and power.

Natalie S. Burke

A nationally-known speaker, “equity evangelist,” strategist, master facilitator, and public health leader, Natalie provides executive leadership for CommonHealth ACTION whose mission is to develop people and organizations to produce health through equitable policies, programs, and practices. Natalie joins Carrie as co-host for Season 3 of Mission Forward.

Natalie
Carrie

Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.