How communicators can help in discussing racial injustice

These conversations can be tricky, emotionally charged and perilous for organizations, but ignoring them can have dire consequences. One agency is trying to make a difference.

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Many organizations are trying to have difficult but important conversations about race, injustice and police.

At Porter Novelli, that conversation started long before the death of George Floyd, brought about by an effort to address inclusion and equity in the workplace. A storytelling process that focuses on encouraging employees to share their respective backgrounds brought forth the story of one employee whose family has dealt firsthand with inequity in the U.S. justice system.

For Assistant Controller Wayne Reid, recent news headlines are all too familiar. In the last several years, Reid has been on a journey to talk about the police shooting that killed his brother in 1998.

Reid began to revisit the tragic occurrence after the officer who killed his brother, facing a second trial for the shooting, took his own life. Reid said he began to understand that the tragedy united his family with that of the officer, and that what has been desperately missing is an open discussion about all the things that contribute to such shootings.

His efforts to tell the story led to a book, a collaboration with the trial judge who oversaw the case, titled “Death by a Cop: A Call for Unity.”

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