The Next Frontier For Businesses Advocating For Social Change

Enough Is Enough

Some days are more challenging than others. 

As an individual, I have nothing to complain about. I’m blessed by every measurement imaginable. However, like you, I still find meaningful anger, disappointment, and confusion about certain events going on in society. 

Yesterday, a grand jury decided not to charge any of the three officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor with charges of murder or manslaughter. If you’ve paid any attention to this case and the underlying event, you would recognize the sheer absurdity of this. 

For the purposes of this article, we won’t spend any additional time talking more about that, despite the fact that it surfaces lots of emotions.

What is worth a conversation is how judicial malpractice like this can be prevented in the future.

Over the last many months, businesses have stepped up in countless ways to demonstrate their public stance on the topics of social justice, inequality, and police brutality. Companies from practically every industry have imprinted their mark on what they perceive as right versus wrong.

With this being the latest development of an unfair judicial outcome, one question rang loud to me: what role can and should businesses play in helping to correct these problems we find ourselves facing?

Hear me out. Large corporations spend millions, in some cases much more, to lobby and influence public policy on issues that matter to them. This includes areas like intellectual property, privacy issues, financial disclosures, net neutrality, access to public/private services, and a nearly infinite number of additional items.

What would this look like? It could mean lobbying for more public education about bias, inequities, and inherent racism that exist throughout societal systems. It could also manifest as formal audits and reviews of judicial outcomes measured by demographic and socio-economic groups. The list of ways to address this is long.

I recognize that there isn’t a clear return on investment (ROI) for this type of lobbying, but it could indirectly address many of the social inequities that a given company may already be trying to solve. This type of expenditure (or investment) could help shape the future of society, just as their lobbying dollars on renewable energy and related topics are intended to do.

The status quo is not working, as we’ve seen with the verdicts associated with so many other police brutality cases. It’s become so bad that yesterday’s outcome wasn’t even entirely surprising. 

Still, we can’t treat this as acceptable.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this idea is not fully baked or comprehensive, but I’m trying to think of all the avenues that could and should be explored, considering how much the current system is broken.

If you have additional ideas to help address the issues, please raise them to someone. It’s clear that we need all the help we can get.