5 ways to transform DEI talk into tangible action

After holding frank discussions with employees and communities about diversity, equity, and inclusion, these credit unions are taking the next step, from forming DEI councils to launching targeted charities.

The employee book club at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union ($4.9B, East Lansing, MI) began reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism in February, just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the world. Little did the club realize how relevant that book would soon become.

In late May, the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the custody of Minneapolis police, and the subsequent protests forced workplaces everywhere to confront questions about race in America. White Fragility soon hit No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Copies of the book were nearly impossible to find, and interest in the credit union’s book club soared.

Such responses are well-meaning but fall short of addressing racial inequities, writes Washington Post freelance columnist Tre Johnson in a June 11 article.

“White people tend to take a slow route to meaningful activism, locked in familiar patterns, seemingly uninterested in really advancing progress,” Johnson says.


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