We are at an inflection point. As we grapple with the ravages of COVID-19 and the experience of anti-Blackness made ever more visible, we are seeing unprecedented reckoning with the realities of inequity and momentum toward societal transformation.
We know that systemic change is what is most required. Structures and systems create and reinforce the hierarchies we seek to dismantle. And the decisions people make and how we treat each other matters — being knowledgeable and passionate about systemic change doesn’t absolve those who hold dominant group identities from causing interpersonal harm.
At Perception, we recognize that the challenges we are experiencing can feel intractable. We turn to research from the mind science of identity, as it helps to explain why others’ — or even our own — interpersonal behaviors may contradict the equality that our society and our workplaces espouse. We draw on practical, evidence-based strategies to align individual behavior and institutional practice with conscious values of equity.
“Most people do not know they hold prejudice because they do not know why they are prejudiced.”
– Harry Belafonte
To be clear, the events that triggered the current reckoning with race — the murder of George Floyd and Christian Cooper’s experience in Central Park — were a result of racism, full stop. For a police officer to hold his knee on a man’s neck for 8 ½ minutes is murder and the horrific video shows the devaluing of human life — a form of racial dehumanization. Amy Cooper weaponized race by calling the police and claiming to be threatened by “an African-American man.”
Since 2009, Perception has been committed to equipping individuals and institutions with deep insights about how we experience identity differences, recognition of the impact of current practices on individuals of various identities, and evidence-based strategies to live out their values of equity. In the years we have been doing this work it has become apparent that for institutional change to occur, those who hold power must engage authentically, commit to accountability and transparency, and invite everyone to be part of the conversation. This requires a data-driven approach, the identification of context-specific protocols, and culture change while centering the experiences of those impacted, that ensures genuine belonging for all.
Join us in the transformation of our society. Learn more about our Services & Solutions.
“To be an antiracist is a radical choice . . . requiring a radical reorientation of our consciousness.”
– Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
The night is beautiful
So the faces of my people
The stars are beautiful
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the sun
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people
– Langston Hughes, 1923