That Pixacore is a minority-owned business frames its commitment to diversity. Roles and opportunities are earned by colleagues different in background, gender, orientation, age and religion. We respect insights from those who’ve traveled roads both long and short. We honor the challenging history and great strides made through the Pride movement.
Yet the recent societal demand for change inspired by Black Lives Matter should be a stirring reminder for Pixacore, and indeed the entire life sciences industry, of how just enough attention to diversity is inadequate. We must understand diversity and inclusion as active pursuits with implications not only for our internal operations and worldview but to help shift the tides — to inspire progress in others.
We have watched in anger and grown increasingly frustrated with stories of Black Americans senselessly killed by police over the past year: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Daunte Wright among too many others. The guilty verdict in the Floyd case offered a glimmer of hope and perhaps a crack in the thick ice of systemic racism in America.
We must build on that momentum — taking advantage of this moment in our nation’s history to examine our own biases carefully and critically — and challenge ourselves to address longstanding inequities. To root out systemic racism and replace it with the joys of diversity and inclusion.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of The Africa Center in New York, conveyed the deeply rooted reality behind our need for systemic transformation:
“Because of our complicated and interconnected histories of colonialism, subjugation, violence and resistance, we all are the affected and the effectors. We share the responsibility of making sure that the ways in which racism shows up in our systems, explicitly and implicitly are seen, confronted and checked
so that we can use our energy for bolder and brighter pursuits.”
As an Indian immigrant growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, I witnessed but couldn’t quite comprehend why my African American friends had fewer opportunities and deeply rooted biases against them. Their reality was starkly different from my own experiences as a “new” minority from Asia. The legacy of institutional racism and systemic discrimination places responsibility on all of us to make a difference. We must continue to educate ourselves, listen intently to those who experience racism and reflect honestly on how we can contribute to change.
Pixacore appreciates the advantages of diverse collaboration in our endeavors as well as our culture; that conscious work can build awareness, e.g., attending MM+M’s Racial Equity Summit; and that access to mentorship is a key component of inclusion.
As a fearless, trailblazing agency, we must consciously move beyond diversity and embrace racial equity.
To that end, Pixacore will continue to honor Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth and donate funds to appropriate charities. As pandemic restrictions ease, our Diversity team will ensure that we’re constantly learning and growing by organizing staff participation in community service, youth education and internships.
“Racism in America,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote, “is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.”