An Open Letter from Nash Squared Colleagues – EthNashity Employee Network

May 24, 2022
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This message is brought together by your peers. We are an Employee Resource Group (ERG) within the Nash Squared - EthNashity. We take our core values serious and put them in action. Our goal is first and foremost to educate our colleagues and to celebrate our diversity.

May 25th 2020.  In the midst of a global pandemic, the world stood still.  We all witnessed through social media the murder of George Floyd. We can recall the wave of anguish and horror felt around the world.

This moment for so many was eye opening and for others, sadly, a common theme. It was not the first incident of its kind by any means, a black life taken at the hands of a police officer. The list is heartbreakingly endless and still growing to this day.  

The world was enraged, and the spark lit a fuse that led to protests across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and even Antarctica.  Hundreds of thousands of people took to their streets in solidarity with George Floyd, demanding justice for him and the countless others.

As the shockwaves permeated society, people found themselves having difficult conversations, really addressing the issue at hand, perhaps for the first time. This tragic event had and still has a lasting impact on the world.

Thoughts from Nash Squared employees

We talked with our team members at Nash Squared and heard many comments about individuals remembering the exact moment they found out about George Floyd. The conversations it struck, and the pain felt from all. We want to share a few quotes from our colleagues on racism, allyship, silence, speaking up, their feelings and the impact.

“Being a person of colour, I really do hope and dream for the day that we aren’t judged or stereotyped for the colour of our skin, but unfortunately, the issue is very much still here and we still have to deal with it every day, hopefully we can make a change to that!” – S, UK
“My friends were surprised when I asked them if they had ever been complimented on how ‘well’ they spoke as though it was a shock, or if they had ever had their literacy questioned.  Or if they had ever been asked how old they were when they arrived in the country when they and both parents and were born here.  It really held up a mirror to society and those who cared enough to change began educating themselves and becoming aware of these comparatively minor incidents of racial discrimination.” -K, UK
“I hate to admit it, but I have people in my life who have said openly racist things and it wasn’t until what happened with George Floyd that I realised I was contributing to it even in my silence.  It really helped educate me on the fact that choosing silence is to choose the side of the oppressor, and since then I will always challenge stupid things I hear.” – A, UK
“What shook me was I expected fellow human beings to share my shock and to show compassion.  Instead, I saw countless disgusting comments online, attempting to justify it as George Floyd had a criminal past, or just comments of outright racism with no rhyme or reason. It was a huge wake up call and I found myself avoiding social media, distraught.  I couldn’t fathom the hatred so many held in their hearts, for no other reason than the colour of his skin.” – Katie, UK
“The George Floyd murder and the BLM movement resonated further with me than I thought. As an Ethnic minority in London I always thought I was part of a diverse city and that most cities and people around the world were like this… I was wrong.” - Akeesh, UK
“Having empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. Empathy helps us connect and help others. If we are all in this together, the connection and compassion are crucial to a sustainable and humane future. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – Kenya, USA.

In 2021 we commemorated May 25th as “the day the world came together for a common purpose and opened its eyes to the injustice faced by so many people, and we continue to challenge ourselves daily to identify the ways we can break patterns.” – Bev White, Nash Squared CEO.

At Nash Squared, it is important to us that we listen to our colleagues.  The statements we have heard tell us there is more for us to do and through our D&I Council, through our Employee Resource Groups – EthNashity, Wo+Men@Nash and NashPride and working with our colleagues we will continue to work to make a change.

An inclusive workplace

For two years the inclusive workplace response to our employee engagement survey remains the highest scoring outcome. It is great to see that this consistently high response reflects our inclusivity, yet we still have many lessons to learn, which is why we remain dedicated to ensuring all voices are heard.  

We continue to witness racist attacks such as in Buffalo, USA, we don’t have all the answers, but we do have hope knowing that we work in an organisation that’s collectively doing its part to make the world a little better.

Reach out to Ethnashity

We don’t want to downplay the heaviness of the inhumane act, hence, we encourage our colleagues to reach out to the EthNashity Group if you need a confidential listening ear – via our employee network group EthNashity Employee Network or directly – our EthNashity Co-Chair’s Akeesh Khokhar and Brenna Barnett would be happy to connect.  We would love for you to share your feedback!

If you do have any concerns, then please do contact your local HR representative.

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