Dismantling Systemic Racism

Posted in: News, Press Releases

As a Black female executive at a Black-owned company, BCforward is a dream come true for me.  The atmosphere is different here; everywhere, in every department, there’s diversity.  Our management team is diverse.  Our employees are this beautiful patchwork of races that likens itself to the United Nations.  Our diversity is an innate part of our DNA and the respect for the cultures that make up our organization manifests itself in the way we conduct and manage our business.  Although, I do realize that we’re all breathing rare air here. 

However, the BCforward culture that respects and honors diversity; that makes us thrive and excel at everything we do because we see diversity as a corporate asset, does not exist in the society we live in for Black Americans. 

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Akeem Baker, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans that have been killed without mercy by law enforcement didn’t have the opportunity to thrive in a culture that valued their diversity.  Their blood was shed because of systemic racism that allows people to forget that their lives are important, no matter what the color of their skin or their economic status. 

I believe that it is important for me not to forget that although I may be blessed to work amongst people of different creeds and nationalities, that respect me, treat me as a valuable member of the team, listen to my viewpoints, and come to me for advice; I cannot forget that this is not the norm in American society at large.  There are still a majority of Black Americans that are being treated unfairly just because of the color of their skin.  There are Black Americans stuck in poverty or the criminal justice system because of the systemic racism that exists in every facet of a society.  There are unfair rules that were designed to keep a majority of Black Americans as a hated part of the society through profiling and constant prejudice.  Despite the progress the United States has made, Black Americans are too often denied basic privileges that others take for granted.  I’m talking about fundamental human and civil rights and the dignity and respect that comes with them.

I realize that when looking at the enormity of this problem, finding ways to make a difference can look very daunting.  But I believe that sometimes, it’s not about changing the entire world. I believe that BCforward is taking action to help make huge differences in the lives of Black Americans.  I believe that BCforward can be a role model for how companies should treat their employees and how important diversity and inclusion is to an organization’s and to our communities’ health.  I believe that we will continue to show companies that all voices should be heard and that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity in order for our communities to thrive. In conclusion, I’d like to ask you to join me in donating to the families of the victims of systemic racism and police brutality.  You can donate to those families via this link.  I’d also like for you to join BCforward in making equality and inclusion a pivotable vision of your organization. I’d like for corporate and civic leaders to use this tragic moment in history as a jumping off point for becoming intolerant of the mistreatment of Black Americans and develop actionable plans to dismantle systemic racism everywhere it exists.


Andrea Bartlett

Vice President of Strategy & Process Transformation