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press releases

October 23, 2021

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dr. Suzette Walden Cole
Co-Founder and Team Lead 

Social Responsibility Speaks Responds to Misrepresentation of
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Event Activity

ATLANTA, Georgia – Social Responsibility Speaks is aware that a photo of one of their team members conducting an educational program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has been covered by some news outlets and virally shared on multiple social media platforms. The truth is that on October 18, a team member from Social Responsibility Speaks used a simple analogy in an exercise during an event for the sorority and fraternity  community which has been mischaracterized in a way that mocks valid efforts to achieve an understanding of privilege through a lens that many can easily name. Social Responsibility Speaks believes this was intentionally captured out of context. Perhaps this should not be surprising because of how polarized our society is, and how dismissive of justice and humanity some humans are in this moment. 

The Team Leads of Social Responsibility Speaks share, “The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill confirmed for us that there were 288 attendees at the event. As is our practice, the team member onsite shared a QR Code that linked to a session evaluation at the conclusion of the program. At the time of this statement, 43 participants (14.93%) of those in attendance completed the evaluation. One participant shared with us their key learning from the event, ‘It’s more important to think about why people around you make their decisions rather than judge them for it.’ The program was successful as demonstrated by participants reporting an increase in knowledge levels by as much as 23.25% in topics of power and privilege, inclusive language, and how to engage in difficult conversations.” 

Social Responsibility Speaks’ educational programming is never the product of one individual but is created in collaboration with each other and informed by research in both education and justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity. The Team Leads offer, “This means that individual mentions and attacks on our team are completely misplaced, inappropriate, and potentially puts members of our team at risk due to personal exposure which flies in the face of caring for and valuing each other as humans.”

The Social Responsibility Speaks Team expects push back and are always happy to engage in dialogue with well-intentioned criticism. However, the Team Leads do not believe that is what has occurred, saying, “While this slanted media blitz may seek to deter our work, it only serves as a reminder that these conversations are more important than ever. We are committed to our programming. We will work in solidarity with every person on our team until the systems of oppression we fight are completely uprooted and dismantled.” Social Responsibility Speaks invites every human to join them in the journey to fulfilling the social responsibility we all have to care for one another, work towards a more just society, and endeavor to educate others to do the same. 

About Social Responsibility Speaks: Social Responsibility Speaks™’ mission is to create a culture of  belonging and mattering through a focus on equity, inclusion, and justice. We partner with individuals  and organizations to commit to becoming better and stronger in our journey to prevent harm, confront bias, and seek justice. The Social Responsibility Speaks’™ team sees everyone in this space as a leader who must model cultural humility and hold themselves and others accountable to this work.

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