Before you view and hear ChannelE2E's interview with Aryaka CEO Matt Carter (further below), it's important to understand the context that led up to the interview.
After the killing of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer, I struggled to put my thoughts into words. I certainly despise racism and firmly believe in equality, diversity and inclusion. But I still wasn't quite sure how to express my thoughts and beliefs about America' failure to address and eliminate racism.
"The first thing we need to do is be comfortable having uncomfortable conversations."
That certainly described me -- someone who was sickened by Floyd's murder. Someone who wanted America to end racism. But someone who wasn't sure how to potentially lend my voice to the effort.
Aryaka CEO Matt Carter: The Blog That Caught My Attention
A few days after listening to that podcast, I read a blog from Aryaka CEO Matt Carter about George Floyd's killing and racism in America.
Within the blog, Carter conceded that he tends to be "very measured about commenting at work on broader social issues. My thinking has always been that there is a time and place for these types of discussions."
At first, I found those written words surprising -- especially since Carter is black. But as I read his blog more fully to absorb the complete context, I began to realize that people from all backgrounds sometimes aren't sure when or how to weigh in on social issues -- especially within the halls of business.
With that context in mind, I wanted to speak directly with Carter. To ask. To listen. To learn. And hopefully, to be a better entrepreneur and journalist. One who is more comfortable discussing -- and addressing -- the uncomfortable topic of racism in America.
Aryaka CEO Matt Carter: The ChannelE2E Interview
Now that you have the context, here's the interview -- which Carter kindly granted me on June 16, 2020:Video link
The conversation covers:
- 0:00 Introductions
- 1:00 - How Carter organized and shared his thoughts after the killing of George Floyd.
- 2:55 - Understanding that diversity and inclusion is about serving all stakeholders.
- 4:28 - Have the courage to ask the right questions at work.
- 5:55: How businesses can lead the way toward being more inclusive and open minded.
- 7:11 - Have boardrooms stepped up to address and eliminate racism?
- 8:00 - Finding and inviting highly qualified people with different perspectives to the table.
- 9:25 - Small businesses and diversity -- the path forward.
- 11:45 - Think about where you recruit.
- 14:20 - How individual steps by individual people -- in aggregate -- can make a big difference.
- 15:49: Conclusion
Special thanks to Rick Popko, a PR expert at Harden Communications, for connecting me with Aryaka and Matt Carter for the interview.