Since the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement aimed to raise awareness about the systemic racism and violence the African-American community has endured for centuries in the U.S. Critics of the movement often reply that “all lives matter” and that the focus on deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers ends up encouraging violence.

Law enforcement violence against African-Americans is nothing new – but the proliferation of social media and cell phone cameras has finally made this problem a subject of daily conversation -- and daily tension for those following the headlines.

Tensions over the BLM movement and police violence, along with other racial issues, can manifest themselves in the workplace. At a time when some industries, including the technology sector in Silicon Valley and beyond, face criticism for a lack of diversity, the very discussion about BLM and the topic of race in general can at a minimum make employees uncomfortable: whether they are black, white, or any other race or ethnicity.

So, how can a company demonstrate that it is an ally of the BLM movement, or any group that considers itself underrepresented or the object of bias in the workplace? Is striving to be an “ally” even enough? And how can a company ensure such a conversation can make everyone at the office comfortable and feel open about discussing these issues, including, of course, white people?

To that end, TriplePundit spoke with Cecily Joseph, vice president of corporate responsibility and chief diversity officer of the technology company Symantec, which is based in Mountain View, California.

Read the full article on TriplePundit, part of a series sponsored by Symantec on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Image credit: Tony Webster/Flickr

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.