The murder of George Floyd and the massive protests that followed drove home what many already knew – that America’s broken justice system is the most important social issue facing a generation.
It also shone a spotlight on the racism, ineffectiveness and cruelty that pervades so many systems around the world. Governments everywhere were quick to realise that they too were facing a reckoning on punishment and incarceration.
Businesses have to speak out on criminal justice reform. More than three quarters of consumers believe it is not enough for companies to make money – they must also positively impact society. The numbers are overwhelming:
● 71% of Americans believe companies have more responsibility than ever before to address social justice issues
● 80% say companies need to recognise their role in systemic racial inequality
● 35% of employees are reconsidering their current job because their company is not doing enough to address social justice issues externally
However, while many corporations released a statement supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, some faced substantial backlash from the community. Many were quick to accuse companies of “performative ally-ship” – skin deep advocacy, driven by PR concerns rather than a real commitment to fairness and equality.
It is undeniable that companies can affect change. No constituency is more important to policymakers than investors and employers – now more than ever, following COVID-19’s economic devastation.
But how can businesses engage on criminal justice reform in an impactful way? Where should they put their resources to best use? How can they demonstrate a sincere commitment?
To answer these questions, the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice has produced an 8-Step Toolkit, a practical guide on how your business can move beyond corporate statements and create meaningful, lasting change to help drive criminal justice reform. Learn how to:
1. Use your voice
2. Use your leverage
3. Build an inclusive workforce
4. Innovate with your product and service
5. Use your investment and power
6. Inspire and lead
Register here to join our digital event on the 29th September and hear from justice-engaged business leaders and individuals with lived experience of the criminal justice system.