b'DIVERSITYEQUITYINCLUSION:MATTER The death ofgram grid on June 2 for the later-maligned Blackout Tuesday. George Floyd wasCompanies, from the smallest mom-and-pop shop to the retail-ers large enough to land a spot on National Jewelers $100 Million the final drop thatSupersellers list, found themselves swept up in the current. broke a dam longAfter years of trying to stay middle-of-the-road when it came to hot-button social or political issues, many retailers today are realizing primed to burst.that, to paraphrase the title of Black journalist Don Lemons recently His murder released a torrent of protestslaunched podcast, silence isnt necessarily the best option anymore. nationwide against police treatment ofBut neither is speaking out if a company has no intention of ex-Black people and racial inequities in Amer- amining and taking the needed steps to increase diversity among its ica, a resurgence of the Black Lives Mattertop-level executives, in-store staff and/or in its advertising. movement that started in 2013.Companies have to be willing to make fundamental changes to The images of former Minneapolis policetheir entire culture, says Simon Tam, an author, activist and musician officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floydswho organizes workshops for Fortune 500 companies on developing neck for nearly nine minutes taught everyone that things are not asmore inclusive workplaces. ideal as they might have thought they were in terms of race relationsIt cant start and end with one conference or a single training in this country, says Kecia Caffie, the Dallas-based senior vice presi- session on diversity. dent and general manager of Signet Jewelers-owned Piercing Pagoda.If people want to [increase diversity]and I think they ought It was very much in black and white for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. tothey need to realize its a journey. Its not just one step, he says. In the weeks following Floyds May 25 murder, social media wasThe expectation is that youre going to overhaul your company cul-flooded with messages of support, and black squares filled the Insta- ture, and for a lot of people, that can be a very scary thing. NATIONAL JEWELER 45'