Jul 15, 2020
Justice in June: Raising Racial Awareness & Empathy
This article was originally published on Henkel Spotlight North America.
Devastated by the murder of George Floyd and the deep-rooted racial injustice it has come to symbolize — Bryanna Wallace, Assistant Brand Manager – Kenra Professional, and her best friend Autumn Gupta were inspired to create a Google document to help people become better allies to the black community.
Initially intended for their own friends and family members, the document struck a chord. Within days, it clocked 190,000 views and over 1.7 million views on Twitter and was highlighted in the Washington Post. Based on the clear interest and need, the two friends turned the document into a website called Justice in June. Filled with antiracism resources, the website offers three learning plans, based on the amount of time a person can devote to learning every day.
“Bryanna is a true role model for entrepreneurship, dedication and community engagement. It’s wonderful to have employees like her at Henkel,” says Stefan Mund, Regional Head Beauty Care Hair Professional North America.
Below, Bryanna Wallace shares her views on diversity, inclusion and allyship.
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“If even one person’s perspective has changed because of our efforts, it’s been worth it.”
Bryanna Wallace, Assistant Brand Manager – Kenra Professional
What is the goal of Justice in June?
After the murder of George Floyd, there was an overwhelming amount of information about what people should read, watch and listen to. Our goal with Justice in June was to offer a starting place and provide a structure of actions to create a daily habit — even if you can only spare 10 minutes a day.
What does it mean to be an ally?
To be an ally, we must continually ask ourselves how we are practicing antiracism, character growth, and intentional conversations to better contribute and lift up marginalized communities. For the black community specifically, being an ally is about being informed, aware and empathetic. While you may not fully understand the experience of black and brown people, you can listen, honor and respect their experience and stand alongside them.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
Diversity and inclusion are two pieces to a puzzle, and both are essential. For me, diversity goes beyond a single bucket, such as race or gender, into mindsets, lifestyles or ways of thinking. Beyond just listening to those who are not in the majority, inclusion is exemplified by creating paths to opportunity from top down and bottom up. We cannot elevate as a whole if we do not empower at every level.
At Henkel, I see that our leadership cares and am proud to be part of a global company committed to diversity and inclusion.
What’s next for you? And for Justice in June?
I want to continue excelling in my role at Henkel and find ways to show leadership around diversity and equity within the company and our industry. As for Justice in June, Autumn and I want to turn this moment into a movement. That means creating more tools and resources to guide people on their journey. Our next goal is to create a more robust, immersive online experience. And based on interest from a variety of organizations, we also want to develop guides geared specifically for a professional setting.
It’s been encouraging to see the positive outpouring to what we are doing, especially coming from outside the black community. If even one person’s perspective has changed because of our efforts, it’s been worth it.
About Bryanna Wallace
After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2019 with a degree in Business Administration, an Entrepreneurship emphasis, and a Dance minor, Bryanna Wallace brought her talents to Henkel. As Assistant Brand Manager at Kenra Professional, she collaborates with an array of teams to bring new products to life.
Diversity and Inclusion at Henkel
We believe treating each other with kindness, respect, and dignity promotes an inclusive culture that helps everyone be their best. We encourage all of our team members to continue to be leaders in activism, philanthropy and community involvement - giving, advocating and volunteering for positive change.