The recent uprisings surrounding police brutality and racial inequality inspired many companies to issue support for the Black Lives Matter movement. However, it remains to be seen how those companies will move beyond issuing statements on social media and put action behind their activism.
Jabari Paul understands what it takes for companies to back up their words with tangible changes that can help to shift culture. Paul, who has more than 10 years of professional and volunteer experience working in advocacy, campaigns and the nonprofit sector, serves as the U.S. activism manager on the social mission team at Ben & Jerry’s.
During a recent interview on the “rolling out A.M. Wake-Up Call,” Paul discussed how corporations can reevaluate themselves in the midst of this watershed moment.
How can corporations follow in the footsteps of Ben & Jerry’s by being active in the movement?
I would recommend companies hire more people from the advocacy space. They often hire people who come from a traditional corporate background. It’s important to have someone who understands movement, movement building and advocacy and make sure your company has a culture [where] voices are valued and [people] have an opportunity for upward mobility. We’re frank and honest with people. We’re working to make improvements to understand what we can do better. We don’t have it all down pat. We try to provide a platform to uplift our partners and be a better ally in this space. It’s not playing the role of White saviors; it’s more about creating a space and opportunity to help advance issues that people in the movement care about.
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