Exploring Perspectives in Our Black Community: Racial Justice
By Tendai Ball ’22
As You Sow is a nonprofit foundation chartered to promote corporate social responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and legal strategies. Tendai Ball ’22 and Julian Matthews ’22 were hired as research associates with the organization, and Tendai presented some of their research during the assembly. You can read more about this racial justice research, including resolutions, data visualization, and social justice initiatives on the As You Sow website.
We, like many of you shortly after May 25, 2020, discovered the 10 minute recording of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he suffered from cardiopulmonary arrest and died. As the news of Mr. Floyd’s murder spread, it was dubbed an “awakening to racial injustice.” Though to many in the Black community, it was only a reminder of the broken promise of an equal America. During this time, many large corporations released statements on social platforms, committing to ending systemic racism through large monetary contributions and internal policy revisions.
We recognized that this was a crucial time for America, and Mr. Floyd’s murder would influence positive change but could also draw in lip-service, public greed, or even outright resistance from stubborn managers or media marketers. Before we discovered AYS we believed that there were no organizations or tools developed to enforce corporate accountability. After identifying a problem, we took initiative to create a solution.
During the summer of 2020 we created a database that compiled the racial justice statements of companies in the Fortune 500. We looked for official organizations to help us with creating our database and met Olivia Knight, As You Sow’s racial justice assistance manager, who was developing a similar database. After presenting our findings, we were offered the opportunity to join her team of paid research associates.
While working for Ms. Knight as research associates, we learned how to use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the racial justice statements of the corporations in the Fortune 500. We were given workbooks of corporate statements biweekly and typically worked around 10-15 hours per week.
Located in Washington D.C., St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.