It’s Time to Educate Ourselves: An Anti-Racism Resource Guide

June 4, 2020

The recent events remind us that as racism and intolerance continue to plague our world, it is incumbent upon all of us to condemn acts of hatred and violence toward marginalized communities—now.

We know this is an incredibly painful time for the black and brown communities, including members of our Ketchum family. In the past week, our colleagues have taken part in many conversations with each other and their clients—some planned, others spontaneous. These discussions have been raw and unguarded. And out of these, a common theme keeps surfacing—many of us feel at a loss for the right words. In the face of this monumental need for change around systemic racial injustice, some of us just aren’t sure what to say.

What I’ve learned over these past few days is that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. But it’s time to educate ourselves so we have the words and knowledge to have courageous and brave conversations.

Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Ketchum is taking a side. We are making a firm and unambiguous commitment, expressed through immediate actions, to be a more empathetic, educated and engaged organization. One of our first steps was creating an anti-racism resource guide that draws on recommendations from our employees and insightful information we’ve seen posted online by social justice leaders. We created this as a resource to inform our own education within Ketchum, but we invite you to join us in tapping these sources. I hope you find it educational. I also hope this guide continues to grow, and that you will join me in adding additional resources as we continue to learn.

Visit Ketchum.com/BelongAtKetchum-anti-racism-guide to view the Anti-Racism Resource Guide or download the PDF.

I know Ketchum has much more work to do in this area. We are committed to continuing to do the work—work that we’re hoping will inspire a sustained movement of change. Here are the actions I’m taking: Become more informed. Enlist friends and family to join me on this journey. Use my voice, open my wallet, exercise my right to vote. There are plenty of things each of us can and must do to fight racial injustice—the only thing that’s unequivocally wrong is doing nothing.

As President and CEO of Ketchum, a top-five, global communications consultancy, Barri Rafferty oversees Ketchum’s offices and affiliates in more than 70 countries.

Outside of Ketchum, she participates in a number of groups including the sustainability task-force for the World Economic Forum and is a member of Arthur W. Page Society Page Up program. Rafferty sits on the board of StepUp, an organization with the mission of empowering girls from under-resourced communities to become confident, college-bound, and career focused and she is also a member of the governing body of OmniWomen, Omnicom’s Leading Women’s Network, for which she holds quarterly panel discussions featuring prominent women. She is the recipient of the Plank Center Milestones in Mentoring Award.

Barri is a graduate of Boston University (M.A) and Tulane University and enjoys watching soccer, volleyball, and dance – especially when her son and daughter are involved! Connect with her on Twitter: @barrirafferty