What will it take to end racial discrimination?

July 27, 2020

By Daisy Serem and Gregory J. Felder

We have been asking ourselves the same question for more than a month now: What will it take to end racial discrimination and social injustice?

We are two very different people united in this moment: One a Kenyan woman in her thirties who moved with her husband and two children to Washington D.C. last year, and who has seen both the good and the ugly in America since then; and one an African-American man in his twenties who has been deeply affected over the past many years by the videos and stories of police brutality against Black people, but now has hope that this domestic and global conversation will lead to important action.

The heart-wrenching death of George Floyd—following many other incidents of police brutality against Black people in the United States—is a harsh reminder of how far the U.S., and certainly the world, has to go to ensure that all people, regardless of the color of their skin, can live freely and fairly.

Both of us feel compelled to speak out—in this case as guest editors of IFC Insights. Our digital publication is rooted in exploring private sector investment possibilities in developing countries, and this edition looks deeper at how we do that through the lens of what it will take to end racial discrimination and social injustice.

You’ll find in this edition a thought-provoking interview with one of America’s leading voices in global development, Helene Gayle; a candid audio conversation between a former U.S. official who has spent much of his life working in Africa and a former Ugandan official who is in Washington D.C. as one of Stop-Winlock’s leaders; a story on a Nigerian start-up gathering genetic data from people of African descent so that research can more accurately target their health issues; and an effort to encourage more Black women to become economists, finance experts, data scientists, and policymakers.

We hope these stories inspire more thought and engagement about how racism and discrimination impact global development. And we hope that leads to action—which we would happily report in future editions. As Helene Gayle put it in her interview about racial injustice, “Enough is enough.”

Published in July 2020