To date, communities around the world have experienced varying degrees of unprecedented challenges—whether they’re related to the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, and structural inequalities or administration shifts that unearth longstanding governmental foundations. Some communities have been affected by all three—and more. In the United States, in particular, it is no secret that the communities that have been disproportionately affected by this trifecta are marginalized communities of color.
The urgency in which we must come together—from across all sectors—to dismantle the systems that have unjustly affected these communities is ever more present. The time is now.
Unlocking Human Potential
Several of our corporate partners have come to us in recent months asking “what can we do?”
They want to know what they can do to help marginalized communities get access to the healthcare they need to fight COVID-19 (Learn more through our Reimagining Community Health Systems program). What they can do to address systemic racism and how they can mobilize their talent to address structural inequalities that destabilize marginalized communities in complex ways.
While addressing complex issues such as these will require dynamic, multilayered, and collaborative approaches, we at PYXERA Global know that unlocking human potential through skills-based pro bono projects is a critical component and one that will enhance sustained impact. The reciprocal learning that occurs between the corporate employees and nonprofit professionals is what leads to mindset shifts that cause lasting impact and systemic changes.
Accelerated Impact in Action
An example of enabling reciprocal learning while addressing social justice issues is with our corporate partner, NBCUniversal. Over a two-week period in August, over 60 NBCUniversal employees from the legal division formed small teams and collaborated virtually with 11 social justice driven nonprofits from the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The employees collaborated on 16 projects including (not limited to) work addressing criminal and social justice reform, education equity, immigration, inequities in incarceration, and voter protection/electoral protections. Nonprofit partners included the Vera Institute for Justice, the Welcoming Center, the Pretty Brown Girl Foundation, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, to name a few.
Examples of the accelerated impact the NBCUniversal employees had included the development of a memorandum of law that outlines relevant laws and considerations toward ensuring the safety of detained immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The memorandum of law provides advice on communication strategies that reframe perceptions toward immigrants within a specific community, the development of a digital strategy that offers an inspiring view into the social-emotional well-being that is in reach for girls of color, and a roadmap to increase access to training and internships for first-generation college students.
Something We All Can Do
In unprecedented times like these, we all have something to give—and learn. We hope you continue to ask yourselves “what can we do?” and be open to the limitless ways you and your colleagues can work toward reducing inequalities around the world and in your own backyard. We have seen that you don’t need a ton of time, but rather the commitment to do something. It all starts there.
To learn more about how your company can address systemic racism and structural inequalities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.