As we remember George Floyd on the anniversary of his murder, it is a moment to reflect on what has changed, in our nation, in ourselves, and at GBH, and to further our resolve to work against all forms of racism.
The George Floyd Memorial Center is establishing May 25 as a Day of Enlightenment, and in many ways it has been a year of enlightenment for GBH. We have grown more acutely aware of the racism experienced by our Black community members, the hateful violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and longstanding racial discrimination against Hispanic/Latinx and Indigenous communities. That awareness has moved us to acknowledgement and action, which has come about with input from many of you.
Last spring, we made a series of commitments to advance GBH in greater understanding, equity, inclusion and dignity. We recognized there was much to do, and that this would be a journey. Through this pandemic year, we took the first steps, and together we have made progress in a number of areas.
We recruited our first Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer, Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates; launched our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council; engaged with the Catalyst board, GBH’s first Employee Resource Group for BIPOC employees; initiated a DEI training program for all staff with specialized sessions for local news staff; added DEI goals to staff performance evaluations; undertook a review of our vendor and supplier diversity efforts; and across all our editorial teams addressed diversity behind and in front of the camera/microphone, working with diverse makers so that our teams and our content are more inclusive.
These actions are contributing to our commitment to change, and to being more intentional in both how we do our work, and in the work we create. Through these efforts GBH is a stronger organization, better able to serve our community.
GBH will present programs over the coming days across all our platforms to address racial issues, past and present, including all of our GBH News programs on 89.7 and GBH 2 and our digital series, The State of Race, which continues this Thursday, May 27, looking at “The Road Ahead.” You can find a list of programs here.
We know there is much more to do. As public media content producers, the more enlightened and aware we become, the greater our ability to actively carry out our mission of informing, educating and creating greater understanding to advance racial justice.