Last month I began a new blog series entitled ‘Changing Perceptions’. It was at a time when the US was beginning to reopen, and I planned to discuss the ways in which our feelings and perceptions of employers and employment itself have shifted during the COVID crisis. But 2020 never ceases to amaze, and that same week a different – but far from new – revolution took hold of our country when anger and action erupted over the sickening murder of George Floyd. Perceptions changed again.
The word “perception” has its Latin roots in “per” meaning “thoroughly” and “capere” meaning “to take”. Hence the English dictionary definition “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.” This lexicon lead me to think about the way our perceptions change. It’s an immersive and experiential thing to perceive something, and we have it in our power to enhance, shape and shift our perceptions. In fact, we have a responsibility to.
According to data by Civiqs the first two weeks of June saw support for the Black Lives Matter movement increase by nearly as much as it had done in the past two years. A perfect storm of timing and the particularly grotesque nature of George Floyd’s death brought the US to a tipping point. And – as with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery – video footage made this real and unignorable to people everywhere. It took hold of our senses, and our perceptions are changed forever.
We see this change in the marked uptick of people of all races taking responsibility to educate themselves on racism – understanding the need to change their own perceptions, and making use of resources to better and more thoroughly understand.
At Havas People, we have taken that responsibility seriously, and below share some of the resources that have helped to change our perceptions. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and passionately believe that Black Lives Matter.
A Glossary of racial equity terms
Ted Talks to help you understand racism in America
The 1619 podcast series on the entanglement of slavery with American history
Black Lives Matter toolkits to help you learn about injustice – and how to take the message to your community