By Denise Banks
Vice President, Human Resources
COVID-19’s disproportionate racial impact and the unjust killings of Black people ignited a civil rights movement not seen since the late 1960s. It also fueled a real opportunity to create and sustain culturally competent workplaces that advocate for social and racial justice.
For many of us, this opportunity includes seeing systemic racism for what it is, expanding our experiences, and creating a new reality.
In college, one of my textbooks, “The Kaleidoscopic Lens: How Hollywood Views Ethnic Groups,” demonstrated how movies misinformed viewers by dehumanizing ethnic groups and by depicting only one social reality. Movies, TV and other media create lasting impressions of ethnic groups that are biased, and we can end up accepting unchallenged norms.
By expanding our experiences, we change those impressions, and with them our systems and institutions in which inequities are embedded.
At MCFI, I am proud to say that we are playing a critical role in continuing to expand the diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence experiences of our staff to serve our clients and to serve each other. Our award-winning Diversity & Inclusion Office is well-respected and, for more than 10 years, has been a leader in providing education and programs on ethnic, transgender, disability, generational and many other awareness. Right now, we are working with leaders and employees to focus on skills for creating inter-culturally, safe, and inclusive environments.
We are on a journey to dismantle the “one-view only” approach and expand everyone’s experiences, leading to more effective cultural competence, advocacy and action. We look forward to continuing to foster change and be part of solutions to build more healthy and hopeful communities.