World-wide there is an awakening and recognition that racism is a real issue. Black communities all over the world experience systemic discrimination in their personal and professional lives. As time passes, protests will not be enough to create sustainable change. Organizations need to take the time and space to reflect on how racism reproduces itself both internally and externally so that they can take meaningful action to address it.
At Thoughtexchange, we stand in solidarity with Black communities and those working to dismantle systemic racism. We are committed to putting in the work and accelerating the actions needed to achieve real change.
We believe in the importance of expression and dialogue during challenging times, and we want to help you provide people with their right to be heard as your organization works to resolve critical issues.
Thoughtexchange can help you hear from the unheard majority to help surface critical thoughts and actions as you work to address racism in your organization and community. Exchanges are a safe space to share perspectives, questions and advice on a potentially very divisive issue.
Now more than ever is the time to have difficult and important conversations to bring people together to take action against racism. We are here to help you make that happen.
Some things to consider in your exchange planning:
- This conversation is critical. Avoiding it will potentially do more harm than doing it thoughtfully.
- Do you or can you partner with activists, diversity & inclusion practitioners, leaders from Black communities and/or anti-racism educators to consider the question, language, and to review the thoughts shared?
- How do you expect your community/stakeholders to respond? Do you feel like people will respond constructively in this conversation?
- What ability do you have to action what you hear from your community?
Example questions for consideration:
- What’s on your heart and mind right now with what is happening in the world around anti-racism?
- What can our organization do to support you and other employees as we navigate how to dismantle racism within the workplace?
- What are your thoughts and questions about what we can do to ensure we are improving our diversity and inclusion efforts as an organization?
- What are your thoughts and questions about what we can do to dismantle racism in our community/district/organization?
- What are your thoughts or advice for how we can best support or partner with Black communities and the Black Lives Matter movement as allies?
- What are the most important actions we need to take to ensure our organization addresses racism and existing systemic biases effectively?
- What are your thoughts and questions about our organization’s current response to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and to overcome racism?
Sample Invitation Email or Introduction
Key Consideration: Set expectations around respectful, constructive conversation and that any hateful thoughts will be removed.
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Riah Milton, Dominique Remi, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and too many others have brought much-needed attention to the critical work that needs to be done to tackle racism in our communities and organizations, and in our systems.
As our organization recognizes this is an issue that MUST be addressed, we want you to be part of the process for figuring out the solution. Now, more than ever, we need to come together to take action.
We invite you into this important conversation to have a respectful dialogue. We will be using your thoughts to <INITIATIVES/NEXT STEPS>.
Please add as many thoughts/questions as you like and then consider and rate 20-30 thoughts based on how much you agree. 5 = strongly agree. 1 = strongly disagree. Finally, please keep thoughts respectful and constructive. Any hateful comments will be removed.
This exchange will be open until <DATE>.
- This exchange is confidential. Your thoughts will be shared, but not your identity.
- If you see a thought that is rude, hurtful or identifies a person or group, you can report it by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought.
- You do not need to rate all thoughts in this exchange. It is appreciated and recommended to rate around 30 over the time the exchange is open.
Sample Survey Questions (Options)
When creating your exchange consider why you would like to ask a survey question and how you will use the information. Asking survey questions that might feel identifying can impact the quality of experience for the participant.
How do you self-identify? (multi-select not available)
- American Indian or Alaska Native or Indigenous
- Black or African American
- Hispanic or Latino or Spanish Origin
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
- Prefer not to say
Do you live in X county/community/district?
Role within Organization
Have you had training in diversity, inclusion or anti-racism?
How safe do you feel sharing your thoughts and experiences around anti-racism with others in this organization?
- Very unsafe
- Somewhat unsafe
- Somewhat safe
- Very safe
- Consider working with activists, diversity & inclusion practitioners, leaders from Black communities and/or anti-racism educators to consider the question, language, and to review the thoughts shared and flagged.
- We invite you to connect with one of our CSMs to discuss how to balance keeping conversations safe and respectful vs. accidentally censoring.
- Machine moderation is imperfect and might flag thoughts that should be in the conversation.
- Leaders are notified by email when a thought is flagged by machine moderation or participant <unless their email notification settings are set to Off. The default settings are ‘quiet’>.
Machine Moderation On - Leave Thoughts In:
Our recommendation is to have machine moderation on, leave thoughts in. This means that reported thoughts would remain visible until they are reviewed in order to create the most transparency.
- Please consider if leaders have the capacity to monitor flagged thoughts to remove them if they deem them to be rude/hurtful.
- The leader can choose to start this way and if there is hate speech in the conversation, they may choose to hide thoughts until reviewed to create safety for participants
Machine Moderation On - Hide Thoughts:
By having machine moderation, hide thoughts on - you are allowing the machine to temporarily hide thoughts that potentially should remain in the conversation
- Please consider if leaders have the capacity to monitor and approve flagged thoughts to increase transparency and avoid the potential sense of censorship.