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Racial Justice Statement: 2020

    A Message from the Board of Directors: Our Statement on Racial Justice

    June 10, 2020

    To Our Seacoast HR Association Members,

    We want to share with you a statement published by our parent organization, SHRM, in response to the brutal murder of George Floyd. While we stand in solidarity with SHRM’s statement, we also want to acknowledge as a Board that there is much work to be done on the grounds of social justice, racial equity, and authentic inclusion within workplaces and communities here in New Hampshire’s Seacoast.

    In New Hampshire, the majority of our workforce – even our own Chapter membership – is predominantly white. While there are efforts across our great state to ensure workforce diversity, address and cure disparities and promote equality, because of our homogeneity, race is a topic that we rarely discuss outside of “diversity hiring metrics.” The circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are a call to action for all of us. We must rise up and condemn racial discrimination and systemic injustice. As a Chapter, we must also agree to intentionally and visibly apply this solidarity to our philosophies and practices in the workplace. We must acknowledge that the pain, trauma, and anger of injustice felt by many of our employees do not and will not necessarily occur while “off the clock.”

    To be an HR Professional in the year 2020 means that we need to be the champions of workplace culture and the protectors of equity within our organizations. But are we making matters worse by saying the wrong thing in our attempt to be supportive or are we remaining silent out of fear? As members of SHRA, we must be willing to step into this gap if we wish to initiate change. These conversations (and the hard work to follow) will not always be comfortable, but they are critical and necessary. Most importantly, we must be willing to start with ourselves.

    We are encouraged by the positive dialogue, education, and action being taken on a global level to further denounce injustice. But what can we do locally to further that effort? We admit that we don’t have all the answers. In fact, the SHRA Board is wrestling with these very same questions and is on the same journey as you. But we know one thing – we want to do this together and our Board is committed to providing you with the tools, trainings, and resources to help.

    What do you need help with to make real change within your organization? What do your employees need to feel supported, safe, and heard? Do you feel equipped to have conversations with your teams about racial equality? We would love to hear from you about what you are doing during these troubling times and how we can best help. Please reach out and let us know how/what you are doing. Your feedback will also help us to design future programs and resources around this topic.

    As a start, we want to share a collection of book lists by the Portsmouth Public Library to help spread the word about further educational resources.

    We are committed to making a difference – together.

    Seacoast HR Association (SHRA) Board of Directors