Conversations around race, systemic racism, unconscious and unconscious bias have reignited in the mainstream this past month.
For many people of colour and, in Australia especially for indigenous people, those problems are always in the foreground. The sadness, grief and anger come from injustices that range from deaths in custody, to erased histories, to biased policing, to everyday workplace discrimination, and beyond. In Australia the patterns of wealth and inequality are also linked to a history of colonialism and dispossession.
These issues aren’t new, but we think this is a moment for all allies to participate more in dismantling the parts of our systems that perpetuate them.
At IIG we feel a deep sense of responsibility to run our business in a way that acknowledges and addresses the existence of racism and bias, and their longstanding effects. Whilst it may be challenging, and at times feel scary, we are also resolved to make our contribution to the effort beyond our organisation. One element of our contribution is to use the platforms we have, like this email newsletter, to be unequivocal in our support and to amplify the voices of people of colour.
It is abnormal for investing and finance conversations to specifically address this issue of systemic racism; investment communities tend to be privileged, and able to ignore its effects. As one of our team said this week “Privilege is the choice not to engage, the absence of anger, sadness and frustration that the experience of racism brings.” So we want to be explicit about why we, collectively, should not be silent.
Firstly, we know that in our various IIG communities, there are people who directly experience racism. If that is you, this last month may have rekindled frustration, anger and sadness. In various parts of our business we have worked to better understand how to integrate different experiences and voices, to support and promote more equitable outcomes in our various sectors and markets. We will keep doing this. We are open to learning more about your experience and working with you, if you want that. We have started that journey, but we have a way to go.
We also know that plenty of people in our communities are looking for ways to educate themselves, as we are. Below are some resources for that, and we would welcome seeing more.
Thirdly, we want to use our relationships in powerful industries, like finance, to widen the space for dialogue, understanding and most importantly action against racism, its effects and its dismantling. If you are new to this conversation, we hope some of these resources will help you find a path in.
We expect there are actions you can take.
IndigenousX: A rotating set of indigenous twitterers take over the account. Right now, it’s Blackfulla Bookclub. Last week it was educator, activist and performer, Bizzi Lavelle, a Wakka Wakka woman living in Brisbane.
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence builds solid foundations and solid futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are on twitter as well, and their CEO, Gamilaroi and Dhungutti woman Clare McHugh, posted a video this week.
A collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ personal stories. From Bob’s Story: “Reconcliation isn’t about fixing, it’s about listening, learning, and living.”