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After the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philly, look back to lessons from this summer

Here are 28 stories on racial equity to reread, including first-person perspectives from Black leaders and advice on organizational leadership in times of crisis.

A Philadelphia march held in honor of Black women killed by police, June 2020. (Photo by Julie Zeglen)

Yesterday, Philly police officers shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philadelphia.

It’s a callous reminder that systemic violence against Black lives is both a local and national issue. In June, the city erupted in protest after the police killing of George Floyd. Now, once again, it is hitting Philadelphians where we live.

As we think about next steps and plot our reporting for the next few days, is looking back to look forward. Below is a roundup of reads on racial equity we’ve published in recent months, including several from June, immediately after the Black Lives Matter protests prompted by Floyd’s death. From first-person perspectives from Black leaders to advice on organizational leadership in times of crisis, this list is just one way to continue the essential conversation we all must be having right now: How do we create a truly just society?

The big picture

10 action steps to sustain the fight against systemic racism

From our Baltimore site: Drawing on conversations and articles we published in June, here’s a roadmap to keep the calls for change from recent protests alive.

Talking racial equity? Make sure you understand these 17 words

A shared vocabulary is the necessary first step for discussing racial equity. Here’s a glossary of terms you might find useful.

High-tech surveillance amplifies police bias and overreach

The promise of objective, unbiased technology didn’t pan out. Instead the technology created new problems, including highlighting the lack of accountability for high-profile instances of police violence.

Viral videos of racism: How an old civil rights strategy is being used in a new digital age

Over half a century of shining lights on racism has not eradicated the darkness of inequality, though the methods of shining those lights have evolved.

Organizational leadership

To white organizational leaders: Silence is violence. Here’s what you should do now

After a weekend of social unrest, it’s important to be reminded that white leaders must create the space for honest dialogue and action.

Go beyond ‘How are you?’ when checking in with employees right now

The consensus from these HR pros: Address current events with compassion and genuine plans of action.

How do I talk about race at work?

Hear from two diversity and cultural competency experts on long-term change and short-term starts on this episode of The TWIJ Show from

Temple prof Timothy Welbeck has ideas for how companies can support Black employees during and after this moment

While many have lauded corporate responses to civil unrest, the attorney and hip-hop artist who lectures on African African history and culture remains skeptical.

How Philly biz heads are talking to their employees and addressing unrest, this week and beyond

Company leaders have been making space for their teams to process the underlying causes of this past week’s ongoing protests in the region and across the country.

3 things company leaders should understand about race, protests and the workplace

In a virtual fireside chat with Nate Nichols, Loop & Tie’s Benish Shah shared how business leaders can better support Black employees in this moment.

Heartfelt letters, donations and silence: Philly employees say this is how company leaders are addressing racism

“What comes of this will deeply impact whether I decide to remain at the organization or not,” one startup employee told us.

You can’t look away. So what can you do to help?

Most people want to help in some way when there’s racial unrest, writes Delaware reporter Holly Quinn. Don’t forget about racism when the fires go out.

First-person perspectives

Liz Brown: Leaders must ‘make real and visible efforts’ to support Black community members

The Design Jawn founder addresses those in power within tech and innovation circles.

Sylvester Mobley: ‘Every organization has a responsibility’ to talk about racial inequity

Coded by Kids’ founder and CEO on the importance of discussing the country’s long history of oppression.

Kiera Smalls to CEOs of Philly tech: ‘Do better’

Philly Startup Leaders’ former executive director issues a call to action for local biz leaders to respond to systemic racism.

Bruce Marable: ‘Ultimately, we all want to know that our lives matter’

The Employee Cycle cofounder and CEO on how he and his company as responding to systemic racism — and what he expects from his community.

What the George Floyd protests mean for black founders

“If we can all agree that being black is not easy, we should similarly agree that being black and being a founder is at least twice as hard,” writes Baltimore-based Fixt CEO Luke Cooper.

Dawn Myers: The tech and venture industries must support Black founders ‘swiftly and without hesitation’

The Vinetta Project DC’s director offers advice for organizational leaders on how to acknowledge the moment and fight systemic racism through their work.

Donavan West: As society changed to face COVID-19, let’s do so with ‘RACISM-20’

The former president and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE on what we must all do to pick up the pieces of racism’s ruins.

April Johnson: Tech companies, it’s not enough to ‘not be a racist’

The D.C.-based Happied founder offers recommendations on being actively anti-racist.

The protests in Philadelphia are probably interrupting your workflow. They should.

Companies cannot ignore that we are experiencing civil unrest, a pandemic and the worst recession and unemployment rate in modern history, wrote Philly reporter Paige Gross in June.

Looking forward

Boosting Black and Latinx Entrepreneurship in Philadelphia

This 10-part series will highlight Black and Latinx entrepreneurship in Philadelphia, including the inequities these founders face so they can be addressed — as well as explores what resources do exist to support their growth, and what more is needed. Part one features The Tactile Group founder Marc Coleman.

A proposed entrepreneurship hub wants to spur ‘Black America’s Main Street’

Smith & Roller’s Tayyib Smith and Constellar Corporation’s Guy Laren say the center would expand the pool of business resources outside of Center City and into West Philly.

Coded by Kids raises $1M to launch OnE Philadelphia for a long-term, inclusive tech pipeline

The program, funded by Bank of America, Comcast NBCUniversal and the Lenfest Foundation, aims to work in communities of color to address diversity and inclusion in the tech and innovation space, and to deliver sustainable career opportunities.

Four months later, West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative is helping businesses pick up the pieces

After many local storefronts were ravaged during the summer’s protests, and amid the ongoing pandemic, here’s how the biz association is supporting local commercial corridors — including via tech repair pop-ups.

Want to grow more Black businesses in Philadelphia? Start with advocacy, funding and social capital

Entrepreneurship has long been seen as a wealth generator. Here’s a look at how to increase access to that opportunity in a city with fewer Black-owned businesses than its peers.

What can this generation of Philly activists learn from Black abolitionist James Forten?

The 19th-century entrepreneur’s life shows business success and a push for societal change existing side by side.

PhillyCAM’s new pre-apprenticeship program aims to be a pipeline for young media pros

The Arts2Work program is pairing Black and Latinx Philadelphians with mentors and skills to help them pursue careers in media and the arts.


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