“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, "I Have a Dream," 8-28-1963, Washington, D.C.
Today we honor Martin Luther King, his legacy, and the progress made in the past sixty-one years. But we also recognize the gaps that still exist and the work that remains. If you haven’t yet, take a look at the 2023 Racial Equity Dividends Index, the annual survey of Minnesota-based private sector organizations led by the Center for Economic Inclusion.
Progress, Best Practices, and Persistent Gaps
The index highlights how some Minnesota employers are moving forward in their diversity efforts, from expressions of hope to mission statements to meaningful action and measurable results. It’s working. But Minnesota’s racial gaps in employment and wealth remain wide. It will take all of us, working together, to change that. Employers can play an enormous role, starting with the hiring process. something as basic as ensuring that racially diverse slates of candidates are considered for job openings. According to the report, only one in four Index participants “require hiring managers to consider a racially diverse slate of candidates for job openings.” If your organization is part of that other 75%, this is a change you can make in 2024, starting with your recruiting process. Does your executive recruiter work with diverse talent pools? Ask them. Hold them accountable.
New year, new beginning
The start of a new year can mark the beginning of a new chapter in creating diverse, equitable workplaces that reflect the demographics of their communities. Tawanna Black describes it as “our shared ambition, to build to build regional economies with equitable racial wealth,” noting that to get there will require “deliberate, scalable investments and accountability.”
This year, as we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, we wish you and your loved ones a day of reflection, gratitude, and renewed commitment to a more equitable community.