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August 28, 2020

Message from Eugenia Harvey, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for WNET

“How are you?”
“Honestly, not good today.”

My friends and I have daily, real time conversations of race-related events as a means of both coping with and hoping that something, anything, will progress and get better. The comments above were from this morning’s chat with my sorority sister Jacqueline.

Sunday night, my former business partner Reiko texted me the video of 29 year-old Jacob Blake being shot in Kenosha, WI. Our sons, both in their 20s, grew up together. Her bi-racial identifying son looks Black. Mine is. I refused to watch the video because well, I can’t.

Then more shootings followed. I called my Madison, WI, friends John and Paul and between tears and expletives, we learned that the alleged shooter who killed two protesters and injured another was a white minor with a long gun who wanted to be a cop. Reportedly, police officers gave him water and thanked him for his “help” before he destroyed at least three lives.

On Wednesday night my nephew dropped by for a snack after his work shift was done. He was impressed that NBA teams had boycotted their playoff game to protest the murders of Black men like them, and him. “They can do that?” he asked. We called his cousins and had a virtual watch party of this alternative sports highlight reel of solidarity and support. One cousin semi-joked, “Some days I wish I could call in ‘Black’.”

“So how are you going to take care of yourself?” Jacqueline asked.

“I don’t know yet,” I replied. “Art. Reliable information. Community. Smart conversations. Philanthropy.”

As the Chief DEI Officer of the WNET Group, I work in a company that presents trustworthy journalism, intelligent conversations, and inspiring art that includes images of Black resilience, hope and love. Even in these combustible times, WNET strives to serve our viewers.

Here are a few programs and segments that I turn to during this time.

Eugenia Harvey
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for WNET

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