June 18, 2020: Ending racism


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I would like to share publicly my thoughts on racism and the horrific events of the last few weeks. I’m aided in this by the deeply emotional and thoughtful dialogue taking place within the World Bank Group, including powerful blogs, messages, conversations and town halls.  

We’ve agreed to speak out, which I will try to do though I know I won’t be able to find the right or strong enough words.  

What happened to George Floyd is beyond reprehensible. I hope that justice will be served for him and his family, but it cannot make up for his death and the pain for him, his family, and all those who care about humanity. The scourge of racism is deep and pernicious and must be confronted and ended.

Racial discrimination and social injustice have no place in any of our workplaces or societies.

Last week, I joined two important all-staff conversations on the subject of racism, along with thousands of my colleagues at the Bank. I’ve been overwhelmed by their emotions and mine, including anger, compassion, and shame at indefensible acts. We discussed what we can do as an institution, and we’ve urged all staff to become part of this conversation. 

I announced last week that we’ve set up a Task Force on Racism with a broad mandate to work on issues related to this challenge within our institution, our programs, and countries where we work. Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice President and World Bank Group General Counsel, is leading the task force, and working closely with Human Resources, Operations, Internal Justice Services, our existing Diversity & Inclusion Council, and offices across the World Bank Group.

As an institution, I’m sure that we can do better in tackling injustices, racism, and inequality within the World Bank Group and around the world. I and the entire senior leadership team are looking forward to working closely with the task force, all staff, shareholders, civil societies and the communities we work in around the world -- it is critical that we listen to each other and find ways to take action against racism.

As an institution, I’m sure that we can do better in tackling injustices, racism, and inequality within the World Bank Group and around the world.

This Friday, June 19, is the anniversary of the official end of slavery in the United States and ‘Juneteenth’ is being recognized around the country as a moment to acknowledge the atrocities of the past and make commitments to end racism.

The World Bank Group is planning an all-staff event on the morning of June 19 to recognize this historic day and publicly demonstrate our values, and we will be displaying #EndRacism banners on two of our DC-based office buildings. Racial discrimination and social injustice have no place in any of our workplaces or societies.   

Originally published on LinkedIn

September 10, 2021

The initiative of the institutions is to be welcomed. The story is the perpetual event the acts come and go but only change the actors,similar to the assassination in Togo of colonel Madjoulba Bitala. Isn't an immediat reaction of the institutions also valid to help shed light on this criminal act so that justice can be done for the grieving family

September 10, 2021

You can certainly commit to doing more.
Today, you oversee a "World Bank" in a world of huge disparities in finance and access to finance. Disparities by race, country, disparities by gender. Are you irrelevant to addressing these issues today?

Even now, the coronavirus response is creating through minting of money pools of billions of dollars at a few people's feet. These people are not black, and these people are not able to turn that wealth into wealth for all e.g. reward useful work (not corporate pantomime), provide security (not militarization), add to peace, enlightenment, ...
Do you see how rotten and useless the existing system is now? Maybe it's a good day to abolish yourselves? Or maybe study afresh and find what wealth means and how to contribute to equitable wealth creation.

September 10, 2021

You all are hypocrites. While it’s good PR 2 stand pretend BLM, your institution, like so many countries protesting with us, has an atrocious reputation for open and virulent racism against its own. What have you don’t to tackle the racism from Italians and other Europeans against Africans, Caribbean’s and African World Bank employees?! Keep your fake platitudes if you refuse to change the culture in your organization.

Social Injustice
September 10, 2021

Social Injustice means unequal rights, unequal opportunity, and/or unequal treatment.

“Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.”

Everyone should have equal rights, equal opportunities and equal treatment that can meet their physiological needs. In short, all human beings must have the right to a decent and safe life, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

September 08, 2021

I have a passion for people and choose to work in development since the last 15 years with the UN and the World Bank. I am part of the minorities (asian, arabs, blacks) not recognized officially in France.

As you working on capturing more data on African American staff, will you look at how to capture the diversity elsewhere like in France ?

The WB launched important initiatives like The Women Business Enterprise and The Minority Business Enterprise, did you look at possibilities to replicate Gender and diversity inclusion as a requirement for partnerships. It could start with partnerships with the United Nations agencies to require that in WB funded projects, diversity and inclusion is a reality.

I am currently based in Bangkok where a large regional UN HQ is based. Most of the discussions I had with UN Staff on the lack of race and gender diversity ended up with a similar quick conclusion made essentially by an assumption since I am a colored woman..."Africans don't want to come in Asia".
I am happy and confident in the full engagement of the World Bank in ending discrimination and racism but I am not trusting the lip service of the UN towards a more inclusive workforce that represent the citizen of the world and brings a qualitative diverse and innovative approach.