As San Diegans continue the conversation about diversity and inclusion, one local business owner is urging her fellow business owners to speak up.
"It shouldn't be a difficult thing to say 'I stand with the black community,'" said Angel Mason Broadus, owner of Puzzle Pieces Marketing in Mission Valley.
Mason Broadus is a communicator by trade who believes without tough, candid, and uncomfortable conversations, San Diego will miss out on this opportunity to create meaningful and long-lasting change.
As a Black and lesbian woman, Mason Broadus's life story is filled with diversity, but she can't say the same about the business world around her.
"I sit on several boards for organizations in San Diego County, and on every single one of them, I'm the only African American. It's frustrating because I can't speak for everyone, I'm just one voice" said Mason Broadus.
Like many people across America, Mason Broadus does feel things are different right now because of the large numbers of people speaking up on behalf of the black community.
She believes business owners play a particularly pivotal role in the Black Lives Matter movement and is now using her platform to encourage more of them to step out into the conversation.
She says some businesses are hesitant to jump in on social justice matters because they're concerned they will offend people who support police.
"People feel like you can't be in support of both and by saying 'you stand with the black community' is automatically synonymous with 'I'm anti cop' and that's certainly not the case" said Mason Broadus.
Her advice to fellow business owners: seize the opportunity to reach out to black customers, employees, and neighbors and do it with purpose instead of platitudes.
"Even if it's 'we're doing some internal research to identify ways we could be doing more to support the black community or to support this movement', I think it's OK for people to say 'we don't know what we should be doing yet but we're taking this time to listen and to learn'" said Mason Broadus.