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Independence associate resource group hosts conversations about racial and social injustice

word cloud from iLEAD session that asks "What one word describes how you are feeling right now?" Answers included hopeful, encouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, scared, inspired, and many others

Word cloud illustrating responses from associates during an “Emotions in the Black Community: How are you feeling?” session.

In response to recent events surrounding the fight for racial justice, Independence associate resource group iLEAD (Inspiring, Lifting, and Empowering the African Diaspora) has created “The State of the Black Community.” The forums were created to provide a valuable opportunity for Independence associates of all backgrounds to share experiences, learn from each other, find common ground, and discuss ways to promote a more just and compassionate society.

Hundreds of associates have attended the first several sessions, which launched on Friday, June 19, and included conversations with leaders from across the company.

Session topics include:

  • “Emotions in the Black Community: How are you feeling?” focused on the personal emotional impacts of recent events that have brought injustice and inequality to the forefront.
  • “Take a Walk in my Shoes: A Journey Towards Empathy in the Black Community,” focused on the personal and professional experiences of Independence associates as it relates to microaggressions and unconscious bias.
  • “A Journey Towards Encouraging Allies for the Black Community,” focused on actions that allies can take to prevent the black community from being marginalized in the workplace.

Associates have shared their own stories and fears regarding racism, as well as the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

iLead plans to host additional events throughout the summer, including “Mind Your Mind,” a three-part series exploring mental health awareness in the Black community.

Across the country, Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans have pledged to fight racism and injustice in the communities they serve and throughout the country.