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June 4, 2020

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms reflects on being the mother of a black son, a Fortune investigation into the health risks of breast implants gets results, and tips on being a real ally in this moment. Have a healthy Thursday. 

– 4 steps toward real corporate allyship. Yesterday, Fortune’s MPW community convened a discussion on racism and allyship as protests over the death of George Floyd and persistent racial injustice continued to roil the U.S. The business leaders and activists on the virtual conversation, hosted by Fortune‘s Ellen McGirt, proposed four ways companies should respond to the outcry and support their black employees right now. Emma has the full scoop here.

1. Focus on black belonging
“It’s incredibly important to focus on black belonging—the sense that your black team members feel a sense of solidarity from corporate leaders and everyone around them,” said Erin Thomas, head of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at freelancing platform Upwork. For a company trying to adequately respond to this societal movement, she said, everything else should come second right now.

2. Recognize your power 
“The services we bring, our purchasing power, our voice in D.C.—we have not used any of that power to address the systemic injustice of racism in this country,” EY U.S. chair and Americas managing partner Kelly Grier said of her $36.4 billion firm. “That has to change.” She is working to help her company acknowledge the power of its privilege on an institutional level in the same way white people and non-black people of color are recognizing theirs as individuals.

3. Make room for mistakes
There’s little room for error for companies responding to this moment. However, leaders should make room for their non-black employees to make mistakes while having these discussions, the group agreed. At Cisco, managers are trying to support employees in having “imperfect conversations” about racism and discrimination, said chief people officer Fran Katsoudas.

4. Be authentic
Rote discussions of programs like diversity initiatives won’t cut it in this regard, said Crystal Ashby, CEO of the Executive Leadership Council. Diversity programs have their place, but they don’t necessarily provide companies with the right toolkit to respond to police brutality against black people, she said. 

“This response can’t seem like a diversity program. This response can’t seem like something on a checklist. It can’t seem like they’re doing it for that reason or it’s no longer real,” said Ashby. Corporate America must ultimately remember: it’s not about them, she said. “This is not an issue about companies,” Ashby said. “This is an issue about people.”

This list is by no means complete. We’d like to hear from you about other steps that white and other non-black leaders and employees can take to make a true difference in supporting black friends and colleagues in this moment—and beyond. Email me at and we may share your suggestions in a future Broadsheet.

Claire Zillman

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe




- George and Gianna. Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna, delivered a heartbreaking speech at Minneapolis City Hall on Tuesday about Floyd's death by law enforcement. "He’ll never see her grow up," Washington said through tears. USA Today

- Mayor and mom. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wrote a piece headlined "The Police Report to Me, But I Knew I Couldn't Protect My Son." Even though Lance Bottoms oversees her city's police department, her son, she says, is like any black boy when he's walking the city's streets. New York Times

- From risks to results. Last month, Fortune's Maria Aspan published an investigation into the health risks of breast implants. Now pharmaceutical company Allergan, which was at the center of that investigation, is launching a new effort to track down tens of thousands of women who received implants that have since been linked to cancer and recalled. Fortune

- Plan Z. Exactly how will reopening businesses without childcare in place hurt women? Several mothers share their stories and expectations here. Virginia Dressler says she and her husband are "trying to come up with Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C." New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: PagerDuty hired Salesforce's Manjula Talreja as chief customer officer. Sumaiya Balbale joins Sequoia Capital as CMO. Luz Vega-Marquis, retiring president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, will be succeeded by Carmen Rojas; Rhonda Carter is the foundation's new VP of culture and operations. Laurie Truitt, former VP of digital consumer marketing at Gannett, joins Time as VP, global consumer growth. 


- Onto the general. One of this week's notable primary results was a House race in New Mexico where Teresa Leger Fernandez beat former CIA officer Valerie Plame. Leger Fernandez says "it's clear" that voters in the Hispanic and Native American district "liked that I am a Latina, based in the land and respectful of the land." New York Times

- PM to PM. Since handing over leadership of the U.K. to Boris Johnson, Theresa May has kept a low profile. But the former prime minister criticized Johnson over the security implications of a no-deal Brexit and his coronavirus lockdown strategy in a House of Commons debate. Guardian

- Image-conscious. Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan weighed in on President Trump's church photo-op—specifically on Ivanka Trump's presence at the event. "If other members of the administration were trudging across the plaza to a kind of doomed publicity stunt, Ivanka looked as though she were just gliding through ... The handbag clasped in her right hand announced that she was not sticking around." Washington Post

- Kardashian kollection. Even though Forbes reporting last week implied that Coty Cosmetics may have overpaid for Kylie Cosmetics with a $600 million price tag, the company is all-in on the Kardashians. The brand is in talks with Kim Kardashian West for another beauty line. Bloomberg


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8 journalists on reporting while black, with the weight of history on their shoulders Glamour

California sues Education Secretary DeVos, saying she has failed to implement student loan forgiveness program CNBC

MIT elects first black woman student body president in its 159-year history CNN



"I wanted us to just unite as human beings above all."

-Actor Keke Palmer on her viral plea for National Guardsmen to "march with us" 

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