Blue Ribbon Commission on Racial Equity Manifesto

A Testament to the power of change

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Racial Equity acknowledges the importance of the word “human” in our work. We assert that bias, discrimination and inequity in the workplace are organizational culture issues, and that individuals with influence in the workplace must interrupt the systemic process that perpetuates these issues. We believe diversity, equity and inclusion should be part of the overall business strategy and owned by the entire senior leadership team.

We believe the audiences for our work are human resource professionals, people managers, executives and CEOs. The outcome of our work should assist human resource professionals by messaging to CEOs that they are key to eradicating these issues, and messaging to people managers that they play a substantial role in the employee experience and therefore share equal responsibility for creating and maintaining inclusive environments where all within the organization have access to professional opportunities.

We believe the path toward equity includes recognizing that there are systemic gaps that adversely impact certain groups. The path toward equity requires all in the workplace to be drivers focused on closing this disparity and to act overtly against bias and the lack of access to positions of influence. The path toward equity focuses on inclusion.

We recognize allies that have been voices, change makers and sponsors of workplace equity and invite them to continue with us in these efforts. However, we urge those currently addressing systemic bias and exclusionary practices through philanthropy to also invest those resources in the professional growth and development of the underrepresented minorities who work for their organizations. Additionally, we urge these same workplaces to ensure that when people who belong to underrepresented groups ascend to positions of influence, they are not penalized for advocating and sponsoring the growth of other underrepresented employees.

We acknowledge the limitations of any single group to provide all the solutions to systemic workplace issues. Therefore, we seek to identify actions that can be quickly taken and resources that have been carefully scrutinized and can be utilized in the workplace to build a strong foundation on which to create organizational cultures focused on inclusion and equity.

Our work will seek to do the following:

  • Define a 21st century approach to address bias in organizational culture that will be used to produce and curate content and tools to develop inclusive and equitable workplaces.
  • Outline a robust set of actions that will drive a longer-range agenda—from cradle to career—on inclusion and bias in the workplace.
  • Develop metrics that ensure accountability at all levels of an organization.
  • Charge HR professionals with being change agents to ensure they are not barriers to inclusive and equitable workplaces and with providing leadership by listening, learning and acting.
We All Pay a Price for Racial Injustice


Percentage of workers who feel there is no one at work they can turn to for help after experiencing unfair treatment in the workplace due to their race or ethnicity.

Black workers are 2-4 times more likely to perceive unfair treatment than their counterparts in other racial groups.

Meet The Commission

Rosanna Durruthy – Vice President of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, LinkedIn
Marc A. Howze – Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer, Deere & Company
Bernard J. Milano – President, KPMG Foundation and The PhD Project (Ret.), and Member, President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs
Trisha Zulic, SHRM-SCP – Director, Human Resources, Business Ops and Strategy, WSA Distributing, Inc. (SHRM Volunteer Leader)
Camille Chang Gilmore – Board Member, SHRM Foundation, and Vice President, Human Resources and Global Chief Diversity Officer, Boston Scientific
Dr. Eden King – Lynette S. Autrey, Professor of Psychology
Michelle Nettles – Board Member, the SHRM Executive Network, and Chief People & Culture Officer, ManpowerGroup
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP – President & CEO, SHRM
Melissa H. Anderson, SHRM-CP – Board Chair, SHRM, and Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Albemarle Corporation
Dr. Tom C. Hogan, SHRM-SCP – Professor of Practice in Human Resource Management, The Pennsylvania State University
Jason Lawson –  Vice President, Human Resources, Installed Building Products (SHRM Volunteer Leader)
Dr. Steve L. Robbins – Founder/Chief Curiosity Cultivator
Dr. Alex Alonso, SHRM-SCP – Chief Knowledge Officer, SHRM


Hear from Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission