How Workplace Racism Materializes at the Office Door – Stanford Social Innovation Review

Illustration of seven white people and one Black person in business attire standing in front of a door

(Illustration by Nyanza D)

“When one door closes, another door opens.” So goes the popular adage. But if the door is a metaphor for access and opportunity, then an implicit truth of this adage is that a new door does not open for everyone.

On March 25, 2021, Georgia State Representative Park Cannon was arrested and dragged out of the state capital when she knocked on a closed door, behind which governor Brian Kemp was signing a voter restriction bill largely aimed at making it more difficult for people of color to vote. The simple act of knocking on the door brought her a charge of obstruction and disruption of the general assembly. Meanwhile, the governor, seated in front of a picture of a former slave plantation, and the white men protectively standing on each side of him smiled as they posed for pictures. Did the governor gatekeep? Use the door to keep Cannon from exercising her right to advocate for the constituents who voted for her?

This Is What Racism Looks Like

This Is What Racism Looks Like

This series aims to explain how racism operates within organizations and create conversation about racial justice, dignity, and belonging.
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