Racial injustice: 'Our country has never dealt with the issue of race'

Four senior PR leaders discuss the implications of recent incidents of police brutality and white privilege for business, brands and communications in a panel discussion convened by PRWeek.

Demonstrators in Brooklyn call for legislation to increase police accountability. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Demonstrators in Brooklyn call for legislation to increase police accountability. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

The death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and an incident in Central Park when a white woman called the police on a black man on Memorial Day have revived concerns that racial injustice is as prevalent as ever in modern America.

PRWeek editorial director Steve Barrett gathered together Metro Atlanta Chamber's Deisha Barnett, Yum Brands' Jerilan Greene, Porter Novelli's Soon Mee Kim and GM's Craig Buchholz for a full and frank discussion about racial injustice.

The panel investigated issues such as what these events say about modern-day society, what needs to be done to break the never-ending cycle of racism and brutality against black people, the role of business in leading change and how active listening within organizations is crucial in turning talk into meaningful action.

Other topics covered included how brands should (or shouldn't) respond to events of the past two weeks in an authentic manner, the danger of opportunistic behavior and the toll this continued injustice places on black employees in their work and personal lives.

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