An Aera employee calls for fellow citizens to be active proponents of dismantling racism
By Linda Mohammad, Aera EnergyOriginally from Malaysia, Mohammad has been with Aera Energy for the last eight years. She is a production engineer for the Belridge Light Oil Production Monitoring team. Mohammad also serves as chair of Aera Black Employee Network (ABEN).
Last month, we celebrated Juneteenth, a date and event that officially commemorate the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.
Although it has been 155 years since then, freedom from slavery still hasn’t yielded equitability for all.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned recently amid the news coverage on racial injustice against the Black communities is that my lack of similar experience with police encounters or any other forms of racism as a minority in America does not negate what others are experiencing.
“Stand with us. Your allyship and commitment to be proponents of change are necessary. The time to ‘not see color’ or being ‘not racist’ is over.”
Acknowledging and understanding that we are still living through the byproducts of slavery, segregation and redlining that have been built into the systemic racism in this country is the first step for us to collectively heal as a nation before we continue our journey toward equality and equity for all.
As an Aera employee, I am proud of our company for taking a stance on this matter and standing with the Black communities here at Aera, locally and nationwide. From the letter by our CEO Christina Sistrunk addressing the current racial injustice, to Aera’s posts on social media supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, we are living our values of being “Collectively Empowered and Challenging Convention.”
For all lives to matter, Black lives need to start to matter, too. This is not a political issue but rather a humanitarian issue that is directly impacting the wellbeing of our friends and colleagues at Aera.
As we live up to our imperative of “providing exceptional care for people,” it is crucial that we’re “Embracing Inclusion” and making sure that we provide a safe and healthy work environment for our Black colleagues to bring their whole selves to work.
Listen, learn, participate
I encourage you to learn from our friends and colleagues at ABEN and within the communities we live in by participating in events hosted to celebrate Black histories and victories.
As allies, we may not fully understand the hardships and the long history of tumultuous times that they and their ancestors have endured through the centuries. However, it is important for us to listen and hold spaces for Black people to share their stories, pain and grievances. I personally have grown exponentially in compassion since I became actively involved with the Black community at Aera and locally. I trust that you will too.
This is my call to action. Stand with us. Your allyship and commitment to be proponents of change are necessary. The time to “not see color” or being “not racist” is over. We must strive to be anti-racist and normalize changing our opinions when presented with new information.
Allyship is a lifelong journey and not a destination that we seek to arrive at. The tasks at hand will not be easy or comfortable, but they’re necessary. Looking away is not an option for any of us.
Every citizen, every politician, every company and every leader must do their part to look at the truth without flinching. In that way, together we shall continue the fight for a more just and equitable country.