There is a policy at my company that says all individuals are welcome to join or attend any ERG (Employee Resource Group), even if they don't belong to that race/gender.
Even though I am not Black, I decided to attend one of the Black Professionals meetings. Like most Americans, I am sickened by the recent violence and treatment of African Americans, so I wanted to attend to show my support for the group.
When I joined the Zoom call (we're still all working remotely), I was surprised that there was not a single Black individual. All 25 individuals on the call were white. (Except for me; I'm half Latino).
After asking around, I finally have pieced things together. It turns out that this ERG was running smoothly. But after the Black Lives Matter moved gained national attention, the group became flooded with awkward white individuals who wanted to prove to everyone how they weren't racist. They would spend the meetings asking strange questions that would make others feel uncomfortable. Somebody told me that it was eerily similar to the movie Get Out.
One by one, the Black individuals of the group left. (There is now nobody officially in charge of the group now, but a white woman has taken over as an unofficial president of the group). Some of the former members have since decided to join the Latino Professionals group. There is apparently some rumblings in that group that Latino's aren't happy with these changes.
This whole thing is a mess. Since I am an executive (lower level, but executive nonetheless) as well as a Latino, I have the ability to exert influence make some changes. But now the question is, what can I do? How can I help to defuse these tensions and restore these ERGs to their original intention?