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Elephant in the Zoom

Everyone acknowledged that Zoom was less than ideal as a forum for a heartfelt conversation on systemic racism and policing. But the meeting was urgent, and, a little more than two months into the Covid-19 lockdown, it would have to do.

During the first week of June 2020, teams of workers and their managers came together across the country to share how they were responding to the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and to chart out what — if anything — their own company or nonprofit could do to contribute toward the reckoning with racial injustice that was rapidly taking shape.

On June 2, one such huddle was organized by the Washington, D.C., office of the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rights movement’s premier research organization.

Heather Boonstra, vice president of public policy, began by asking how people were “finding equilibrium” — one of the details we know because it was later shared by staff with Prism, an outlet that covers social justice advocacy and the impacts of injustice.