My name is Marli Crowe and I am the Founder & CEO of Crowe Career Services (CCS) and C. Suite. I am hurt and angry over the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Over the past couple of weeks, their stories have been amplified across the world, but as many of us know, this is not new. Injustice against Black people and the disregard for our lives is embedded in the fabric of this country, fueled by racism and systemic oppression.
CCS and C. Suite are two Black-owned businesses, with 90% of our clientele being Black. This is personal, and quite frankly, I and my fellow counterparts have had enough. I empathize greatly with my core customer base, Black professionals. I know from first-hand experience the personal struggle of keeping face, maintaining professionalism, and falling short to respectability politics, while simultaneously mourning the continuous loss and disregard for Black lives. I feel now more than ever, it is time to take a stand for what has been pushed under the rug in corporate America for far too long. This week, many corporations showed their solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement via social media, but lack diverse leadership and discriminate against Black employees. Those same corporations market towards and capitalize on Black culture but often don't amplify their platform to cater to the communities they serve. While we appreciate the statements, real change is beyond a post or a donation.
Change must begin with the system and the mindset of non-Black people. Black people know our lives matter. As a Black businesswoman, it is not my job to tell you why my life matters, or why the many Black lives that have been slain matter. However, if you are a non-black person, your silence is solidarity with the centuries of oppression that Black people have faced. And it is time for you to stand up for us and to have those conversations with your friends, colleagues, and family members about why Black Lives Matter.
And to my Black Professionals, I challenge you to have an ongoing conversation with your colleagues and leadership about your wants and needs in corporate America. Though it may be groundbreaking and challenging, your voice matters now more than ever. Their ears are open and what you say now will have lasting effects for Black professionals to come. As always I’m here for you, I support you, and we’re in this together.
Founder / CEO