The ongoing influx of racial accusations is a result of an organizations inability to implement a Racial Equity Framework that transforms the organization. Organizations such as a school or a business continue to become involved in the public ridicule of racism accusations for which they can eliminate. Statistics have proven that without the appropriate Racial Equity Framework, organizations will continue to contribute to their demise, public humiliation, and eventual elimination.

The lack of utilizing a Racial Equity Framework has had an impact on businesses. In 2019, Philadelphia police escorted two black men — Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson — out of a Philadelphia Starbucks after an employee reported them for trespassing because they didn’t immediately place orders. In this particular case, Robinson and Nelson were waiting for a business associate to arrive and had only been in the establishment for a few minutes before police were called. Their ordeal led to protests and calls for a boycott against Starbucks. Starbucks’ decision to initiate cultural diversity training cost $12 million in lost profit as it closed the doors of more than 8,000 company-owned stores and its corporate office. 

The lack of utilizing a Racial Equity Framework has impacted schools too. The ACLU along with the UCLA Center for Civil Rights Remedies reported that dramatic disparities exist at the school, district, state, and national level. Black students were just 15 percent of students nationally, but they accounted for 45 percent of all of the days lost due to suspensions. This discipline gap contributes to the achievement gap. The 11 million days of lost instruction translates to over 60,000 school years, over 60 million hours of lost education, and billions of dollars wasted in a single school year. 

Both businesses and schools could use a Racial Equity Framework that will protect their employees and their constituents.

The first step is to begin with a foundational definition for a Racial Equity Framework. According to the organization Racial Equity Tools, racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. According to the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change, racial equity would be a reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin. Therefore, a Racial Equity Framework would provide guidance on how to ensure that a person’s ethnicity does not provide an advantage to societal benefits.

The next step is to develop a Racial Equity Framework for which businesses and schools can gauge their progress towards racial equity. The framework includes four major components. The first component is Data Mining and Analysis. Data Mining and analysis is used to discover behavioral knowledge and to determine credible patterns that either inhibit or contribute to the success of the business or school. The data analysis will help to make effective decisions regarding how to improve racial equity.

The next step is to create processes that positively transform the workplace or school. Many processes that are developed force stakeholders to become defensive. Once a stakeholder becomes defensive it is almost impossible to eliminate the defensive routines that can destroy the initiative to provide racial equity for all employees and students.

The next step is Leadership for which many business and schools overlook. Leadership is a function of management which helps to maximize efficiency and achieve the goals of employees and certified school staff. This leadership component is based on a personal and professional code of ethics allowing the reflection on how personal leadership biases contribute to racial challenges in the workplace and school.

The final step is to provide evidence that indicates that the business or school has taken extensive steps to ensure that racial equity exists for each employee or student. When a business or school is faced with an accusation of racism the normal response lacks evidence. But for those businesses and schools that use the completed framework the response becomes that this must be an isolated incident and not the overall culture of the organization.

 

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